Uprising survivors express their “relief” at Steve McQueen’s BBC programme.


Uprising survivors express their “relief” at Steve McQueen’s BBC programme.

Director Steve McQueen and producer James Rogan have created a new three-part documentary series called UPRISING. The BBC series looks at three pivotal events in 1981 Britain, including the terrible New Cross fire in January of that year, which would forever change race relations. Two true survivors of the fire spoke to this website about how it felt to finally be able to speak their tales after so many years of silence.

Steve McQueen’s Uprising, BBC One’s newest documentary series, is presently showing and covers three catastrophic occurrences in London’s black community. Wayne Haynes and Denise Gooding, survivors of the 1981 New Cross fire, spoke exclusively to This website about their relief at being able to finally tell their tales, as well as the “honor” of collaborating with McQueen to bring their essential stories to the screen.

Following the huge success of the anthology film series Small Axe, the BBC is reuniting with award-winning director McQueen and producer Rogan to bring the sad events of 1981 to life.

The two directors discussed how they want to change the discourse around race relations in the United Kingdom in a Q&A before of the series’ premiere.

McQueen emphasized the significance of the series not only for the black community, but also for the British public, who are unfamiliar with the historical events.

Denise Gooding and Wayne Hayes talked about how it felt to finally have their tales told on screen and what it means to them.

The New Cross fire occurred in the early hours of the morning during a house party in southeast London, and no one was ever convicted.

Thirteen black youths died in the fire, while another survivor committed suicide less than two years later.

Both Hayes and Gooding were survivors of that horrific night, and both described how discussing the experiences with McQueen and his crew helped them to be emotionally free.

“You know, it’s almost like someone releasing you free,” Hayes added. It’s such a relief to be able to tell your experience for what it is and how it was.

“It’s something we’ve had for 40 years, and we’ve had these things with us. And no matter how hard we try, we can’t get away from it,” he concluded.

“It doesn’t.” According to the Brinkwire Summary News.


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