This weekend the final episode of What’s Up TV, Season 12 aired on SKY 1!
Although I loved every minute of filming for the show, being on the screen and I know shooting for season 13 is just around the corner, I’ve still been extremely anxious about what’s next for me.
Over the last few weeks I’ve had friends, acquaintances and family tell me how proud they are of me, that I’ve got to keep it up and how exciting it is to be doing what I do. I smile, I say thank you but honestly I’m thinking to myself… I don’t know how long I can keep this up. You really need thick skin to keep going in this industry and I have my doubts that my cocoa butter soft skin wont be able to take it anymore lol
I honestly feel like EVERY DAY IM HUSTLING!
I don’t know why but I just remembered I wrote a letter to Oprah, that I never did get to post as shortly after finishing it I found out that the Harpo Studios in Chicago were knocked down, and I didn’t know where to send it. I saved it to my laptop and thought one day I will share this. Two years later its popped into my head and I want to share it; 1) because I genuinely have a question for Oprah lol and 2) Sad to say I can’t believe 2 years on I feel exactly the same way.
I am aware and grateful for the changes I have seen over the last few years on the screen since writing this letter, with amazing talent such as AJ Odudu, Clara Amfo, Sarah Jane Crawford, Julie Adenuga, Maya Jama, my co host Jacqueline Shepherd and more making regular appearances. But I still feel like more can be done and if my letter shocks, confuses or offends you I’m sorry but this is my truth. I want to see a change, have more opportunities and not feel like a minority anymore.
So here is my letter to Oprah, written in 2015… Here goes!
First of all I would like to thank you for everything you have done!
Your work has not only inspired my career as a broadcaster but also given me hope that as a young a black woman I can achieve anything.
My names is Remel, I’m 26 and I live in North London, England. I studied broadcast journalism at the University of Leeds and I graduated in 2010.
In the last 5 years, I’ve come to terms with the fact that my degree has probably only contributed to 20% of my career so far…
Of course I am grateful for the opportunity to graduate as a professional with a degree but really I couldn’t have continued this career choice without you leading the way as a true role model.
Whilst watching Season 25 – Oprah behind the scenes, I was inspired to create my own television show called The Show Room. www.youtube.com/RemelLondon
The Show Room started as a platform to showcase new talent, but now as I begin to create my third series and after reading ‘What I know for sure’ I know for sure that I was put on this earth to use my skills and be a role model, an influencer and inspire as many people as possible.
I know it has never been easy to be a black woman across the WORLD and I am so inspired by you and all of the influential women across America, who continue to encourage me to be a high achiever.
I for one have not suffered the oppression some of my role models have experienced, however I still believe and have experienced the limitations of being a black woman, here in the UK, particularly as a darker skinned woman.
I have worked for numerous media organisations and feel that the colour of my skin has often been a concern for the casting agents, the TV producers and the British Public in general, as their not always sure what to do with me or where to place me based on my race rather than my talent.
I am very aware that black people are a minority here in the UK, and it’s apparent when I turn on the TV, as I’m not always able to see someone like me represented in a positive way.
So my aim is to follow in your footsteps to create my own tv shows, produce diverse innovative and authentic content, to break all of the conventions and be a role model and inspiration to not only young women in the uk but also young people around the world.
I thank you for showing me that I can also lead the way for change in the broadcasting industry, the same way that you have.
It’s beautiful however somewhat disappointing that you are my inspiration from such a long way away, as I wish I had more UK inspirations. Although there are incredible black female figures here such as Moira Stuart, Margherita Taylor, June Sarpong, Charlene White and Trisha Goddard who I am very proud to say they are leading the way with their own responsibilities across news and daytime television, however I aim to go above the white collared bosses by paving the way for a new generation of talent.
My goal is to own an International production company and studio as you have and lead the way not only for myself but also those who will follow in my footsteps.
I have written this letter to you, almost as a diary entry in my own ‘Dear Oprah’ adaptation of ‘What I know for sure’ because last year I was emotionally fatigued, depressed and wanted to give up my dream but something made me think – what would Oprah do…
And so my question to you is, as a creative and huge inspiration to many people around the world of course including myself, is what keeps you going when you want to quit and why have you continued to pursue your career even against the odds?
It would honestly mean the world to me to have your advice and I promise to fulfil this journey and my career in dedication to you as REMEL LONDON.