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Rasta poet from Spalding area guest editor of Today

Moulton Seas End resident Benjamin Zephaniah brought his own take on life to guest-editing Radio Four’s Today programme today.

He raised issues including the comparative absence of regional accents from the BBC, why he wears a white poppy on Remembrance Day, institutional racism and the remarkable success of the UK’s multicultural society though it’s only mentioned on the news in a negative way.

He argued with presenter John Humphreys who said the five minute Good News bulletin he’d commissioned wouldn’t interest viewers.

Born of Jamaican parents in Handsworth, Birmingham in 1958, Benjamin’s been living in Lincolnshire for six years. He told this newspaper earlier this year: “Birmingham’s my home city but Moulton here in Lincolnshire is my real home. I’ve been here quite a few years now and I love it.”

He describes himself on his website as “a poet, writer, lyricist, musician and trouble maker,” having performed for Nelson Mandela and with The Wailers, Howard Jones and Sinead O’Connor. A noted children’s author, he works with pupils in local schools.

“I wanted to bring new voices to the listeners,” he said. “I want to bring new listeners to the programme. Most of all, I want to impress my mum. She thinks I’m not working hard enough.”

 

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