Michaela Coel – MacTaggart Lecture

I posted about this year’s MacTaggart lecture on Twitter on the day of the lecture, Michaela Coel is one of only a handful of women invited to deliver this lecture. A few weeks on and having watched this several times, I wanted to say more. 

Michaela Coel’s lecture takes us from her early childhood, Saturday morning drama lesson at The Bridewell theatre via attempts at university to The Guildhall School of Music & Drama to the writing & shooting of her acclaimed series Chewing Gum. Coel talks about the experiences of being a “misfit”: hearing her experiences of drama school and the industry are not comfortable – the unintentional racial discrimination is bad, the more intentional discrimination worse, remembering this is happening for the most part in this century (Coel went to drama school 2009). Coel comments on “misfits” (around 21.00) I think speaks to anyone who has ever felt that they don’t quite belong. Coel said that her lecture was to be about transparency, transparency within the industry… and there I am going to leave it, in the hope it has inspired you to watch. Coel’s lecture is warm, funny, definitely different from the typical McTaggart lecture. If you have watched or attended previous ones, you will know what I mean. 

If watching this has left you moved, inspired and in awe of Michaela, then her interview with actress and writer Katy Brand below recorded the day after delivery the MacTaggart lecture is below. She can also be seen in the forthcoming BBC2 drama Black Earth Rising, showing on BBC2 this autumn.

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