Champion: release date, cast, plot, trailer, first looks and all about the south London musical drama

Champion on Netflix and BBCiPlayer is a unique musical drama set in south London.
Champion on Netflix and BBCiPlayer is a unique musical drama set in south London. (Image credit: BBC)

Champion is a musical drama featuring new music from some of the most exciting talent around, and shows what happens when fame collides with family. The drama stars Top Boy actor Malcolm Kamulete and newcomer Déja J. Bowens as siblings Bosco and Vita Champion, whose relationship is fractured as they both try to make it in the music industry. Musician Ray BLK, known for her single MIA, is also starring alongside Nadine Marshall, Ray Fearon and Jo Martin. 

Champion is the first TV project for writer and novelist Candice Carty-Williams who says: "Champion is a celebration of black music and of a black family, however fragmented that family might be, and I can’t wait for the world to see their story. Since I knew what music was, I’ve loved grime and UK rap and neo-soul, to the point of obsession, and to bring to BBC One and iPlayer in the U.K. and Netflix globally a series that gives these genres of music life and texture is my dream, as is working with some of the best producers and songwriters making music today to create original tracks for the show." 

Here’s everything you need about Champion on Netflix and BBCiPlayer…

Champion is the first TV project for writer and novelist Candice Carty-Williams.

Champion is the first TV project for writer and novelist Candice Carty-Williams. (Image credit: Getty)

Champion release date 

Champion is an eight-part series launching worldwide on Netflix from Thursday January 11 2024. The musical drama has already been shown in the UK in 2023 on BBC1 from Saturday July 1, when all episodes also became available on BBCiPlayer

Is there a trailer for Champion?

You can get a feel for what the sibling's music rivalry is like in the drama Champion in the two official trailers plus a teaser trailer below them which introduces the cast...

Champion plot

Champion has music, family rivalries and fame are at the heart of a story that sees a young woman step out from her brother’s shadow and into the limelight. It starts by following rap sensation Bosco Champion (Malcolm Kamulete), who is released from prison after nd determined to pick up where he left off with his successful music career. However, his dutiful sister Vita’s (Déja J Bowens) talent is then discovered by Bosco’s rival, Bulla, and she steps out of his shadow to become a performer in her own right. The siblings’ ambitions pit them against one another and their once tight family is torn apart in the process.

Champion cast — Malcolm Kamulete interview on playing Bosco Champion

Malcolm Kamulete plays rapper Bosco Champion. Previously, he's played Ra’Nell in the series Top Boy and has also been in The Re-Up and Unearthed Narratives

Malcolm says: "Bosco is a really good musician. He’s a grime rapper who had a great run at the top and a good shot at stardom, but he got himself in trouble with the law and has been in prison for the past two years. Now he’s back but there is a vulnerability to him which he tries to cover up with bravado.

"When I got the notes for the audition, I saw the name was ‘Champion’, and that’s the namesake of a very close friend of mine who I lost in 2013 and I thought, ‘This is it’. I still had about six months of auditions to do but reading about Bosco, I saw people I knew within him and I saw parts of myself within him, too. The character resonated so strongly with me."

Champion stars Top Boy actor Malcolm Kamulete.

Champion star Malcolm Kamulete. (Image credit: BBC)

Déja J Bowens on playing Vita

A relative newcomer, Déja J Bowens plays emerging music artist Vita. This is her debut TV drama role.

Déja says: "It was amazing – this is my first TV acting role. I felt so many connections to Vita that I thought, ‘This role is going to be mine!’ We are a similar age and from the same place in south London, and there are also parallels with Vita not feeling so confident within herself and then flourishing.

"Vita has a big heart and is caring for her brother but, at the same time, she’s trying to look out for herself. Their mum, Aria doesn’t accept Vita in the same way she accepts Bosco. Vita feels she’s never been good enough, and she starts to resent that more and more."

Déja J Bowens as Vita.

Déja J Bowens as Vita in Champion. (Image credit: BBC)

Who else is starring in Champion? 

Champion also stars Nadine Marshall (Sherwood, Small Axe) who plays the sibling's mother Aria Champion. Musician Ray BLK is Honey Igwe, Kerim Hassan (Once Upon a Time in London) is Memet Karagoz and Ray Fearon (His Dark Materials) is Beres Champion. Jo Martin (Doctor Who, Top Boy) plays Dawn., Adeyinka Akinrinade (Top Boy), Tom Forbes (Wolf Hall), Genesis Lynea (Silent Witness), Karl Collins (Hollyoaks), Francis Lovehall (Small Axe), Corey Weekes (Coronation Street) and Rachel Adedeji (Hollyoaks) also star. 

Jo Martin as Dawn in Champion.

Jo Martin as Dawn in Champion. (Image credit: BBC)

Nadine Marshall as Aria.

Nadine Marshall as Aria. (Image credit: BBC)

Ray Fearon as Beres.

Ray Fearon as Beres. (Image credit: BBC)

All about the music in Champion

‘Set in south London, Champion is a celebration of a sound that has long been the beating heart of our culture,’ says the official release from the BBC. The musical drama features original music from Ray BLK and grime artist Ghetts who is best known for his album Conflict of Interest featuring artists such as Stormzy and Pa Salieu. 

SInger Ray BLK is Honey in Champion.

Singer Ray BLK is Honey and provides some of the original music in Champion. (Image credit: BBC)
Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.

With contributions from
  • Senior Writer for What's On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite week,