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Behind the footage: a survey of a career in TV

By Jo Manby

Reggie Yates: Unseen – My Journey, by Reggie Yates. BBC Books and Penguin Random House, London: 2017

In this book, Reggie Yates provides those who have watched his BBC documentaries (‘Extreme Russia’, ‘Extreme South Africa’, among many others) with a behind-the-scenes look at their making, plus an understanding of his own career development.

If you haven’t seen his documentaries then this book gives a flavour of his presenting style on-screen, as he dissects the films in detail; but with the additional insights of a written narrative. The major landmarks, and all the highways and byways in between. His documentaries explore, broadly speaking, youth-centred issues – such as being young and gay in Russia, aspiring to supermodel status in Siberia, body modification in the UK.

Yates’ first official job as a working actor age nine was ‘a tiny role on Channel 4’s longest-running sitcom at the time’, Desmond’s. A black family with a successful barbershop in Peckham, South East London. Some years later he comes across Louis Theroux documentaries and immediately knows that ‘this was a lane I would kill to operate in.’

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Glorious Occupations

Next in her series of library indepth posts, cataloguer and book reviewer Jo looks at my favourite section – Arts, Media and Sport

Filled with the brilliant colours and sounds of visual art and music, the swish of fashion and dance, the flash of camera and moving image, the million tongues of literature and the rising cheer of the sports arena, the Arts, Sport and the Media section divides into six subsections.

Books form the art media and sport section on the shelf
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