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How Jamaican reggae decolonised Britain

It is by turns playful, celebratory and rebellious. But how did Reggae arrive in the UK? A new film tells the story

By Colin Grant  

A decade ago, I sat opposite the BBC World Service commissioning editor pitching another documentary on Jamaican music. I’d made a previous programme two years earlier. The commissioner was aghast. “Surely not,” he said, ushering me to a wall covered in a world map. He pointed to Jamaica, saying “look how tiny that island is. Another documentary? What about the rest of the world?” I pointed to the British Isles and said something similar. “Yes,” said the commissioner, “But Britain had an empire and an extraordinary history.” I argued that he…

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