Top Boy: Creator Ronan Bennett says Channel 4 cancellation ‘felt like a slap in the face to the community it was representing’

Hackney-set crime drama revived by Netflix after being axed by Channel 4 in 2013

Ellie Harrison
Wednesday 11 September 2019 14:40
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Top Boy trailer

Top Boy creator Ronan Bennett has said Channel 4’s cancellation of the Hackney crime drama “felt like a slap in the face to the community it was representing”.

The series, starring Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson, originally ran for two series between 2011 and 2013. Six year later, it has been revived by Netflix and Drake.

Speaking at the new season premiere in Hackney, Bennett said: “I’m not bashing Channel 4 by any means, shows come and go, but when I was arguing with them and persuading them not to cancel the show, I said, ‘Why would you do this?’

“It felt like a slap in the face to the community it was representing. No answer came back to that, I didn’t understand it.”

He added: “We show a community that just doesn’t get shown on television, where people see their lives represented on screen.”

Top Boy's first two seasons were praised for their authenticity and accurate reflection of life on a Hackney estate.

The third series is executive produced by Drake and his business partner Adel “Future” Nur, along with Maverick Carter and Jamal Henderson for SpringHill Entertainment.

In the new episodes, Walters reprises his role as drug dealer Dushane alongside Kane “Kano” Robinson as his “spiritual brother” Sully. Newcomer Micheal Ward also joins the cast as ruthless young gang leader Jamie.

Top Boy is released on Netflix on 13 September.

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