Maya Jama and Lady Leshurr have spoken about starring in ITV2’s Don’t Hate The Playaz, saying they’re proud to be part of a ‘diverse panel’ celebrating hip hop culture.
The duo lead rival teams on the anarchic quiz, taking part in freestyle challenges and games alongside host Jordan Stephens.
Now in its third series, the show has gained a strong cult following and welcomed a string of high-profile guests from the worlds of comedy and music, including Ms Banks, Aitch, London Hughes, Katherine Ryan and Mo Gilligan.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, dancehall star Lady Leshurr said: ‘It’s probably the only show in the UK which is that diverse and unique. It’s only going to get stronger as the years go on, and get bigger and better.’
‘We haven’t really got [another] black TV show or a show that showcases culture, media, entertainment and a little bit of politics like this,’ she added.
‘I’m just really happy and proud to be a part of something that is going to be history in making. We’re creating and setting foundations for TV presenters and other people in the UK to do similar things.’
Some of the most memorable moments on the show come during the freestyle challenges, with Maya and Lady Leshurr taking the mic for spontaneous performances.
Maya has shown her impressive skills on all three series and co-star Lady Leshurr thinks she should ‘go into the studio’ for real.
There’s a refreshingly unscripted feel to it all, and the format works well. So well, in fact, that it’s a wonder it’s not been done successfully before.
While MTV’s Wild ‘n Out brought a similar energy and a mix of hip hop and comedy to American audiences in the mid-00s, Don’t Hate the Playaz is the first major show of its kind on mainstream TV to take off this side of the channel – something both stars are glad to be championing.
It’s also one of the most inclusive shows around. Notably, Don’t Hate The Playaz has the distinction of being the first ever UK TV show to feature an all black, all female panel back in 2019.
Maya said: ‘You barely ever see such a diverse panel on one of the main channels. I think it’s super refreshing to be able to reflect hip hop and our scene on a mainstream platform.
‘To see a show like this on ITV, with such a big platform is incredible. It just proves that these shows can get a look in. I do feel proud [to be a part of it].’
‘You’ve got to have patience with shows like this,’ Maya added. ‘You can see there’s been a bit of a shift this year more than any other, where TV in general is becoming a lot more inclusive and a lot more diverse.
‘Obviously there’s still a massive way to go, and we need more shows than just Don’t Hate The Playaz, but I think things are going in the right direction.’
Don’t Hate the Playaz airs on Tuesday nights at 10pm on ITV2.
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Credit: Original article published here.