BBC4 orders “Skinhead” special

The UK pubcaster has ordered Skinhead, an hour-long special that promises to trace the evolution of a peaceful movement into one of racial intolerance, from Seven Network-backed indie 7 Wonder. (Pictured: host Don Letts)
March 14, 2016

UK pubcaster BBC4 has ordered the hour-long special Skinhead from Seven Network-backed UK indie 7 Wonder.

Hosted by BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Don Letts (pictured), the one-off will focus on the history of one of Britain’s most notorious subcultures and the social impact it’s had across music, style and culture.

The film will give Letts’ first-hand account of the skinhead movement by tracing its origins in the 1960′s as a “harmonious subgroup” through to its evolution throughout the 1970′s and 1980′s into a “threatening and bigoted subculture steeped in far-right politics and violence.”

The special will also reflect on the movement’s modern-day legacy and the stigma associated with the subculture by exploring white power nationalists in the U.S., fascist revivalists in Italy and Neo-Nazis in Germany.

7 Wonder’s Steve Condie serves as executive producer. The special was commissioned by the BB4′s Cassian Harrison and Jan Younghusband.

“As a teenager I spent a part of my youth as a skinhead – we’re talking about the fashion version and not the fascist version that would appear much later,” said Letts in a statement. “It’s a story that says much about British life – about our music, our fashion, our multicultural society and our politics. I want to get under the skin of skinhead and try to understand a movement that was essentially born of white working class disillusionment.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.