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‘Top Boy’ star Ashley Walters wishes the show was written by a Black writer

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Top Boy star Ashley Walters has discussed diversity in the TV industry, and how he wishes the show was penned by a Black writer.

The Netflix show stars Walters as Dushane and Kane ‘Kano‘ Robinson as Sully, and is set on the fictional Summerhouse estate in Hackney, London.

The show’s fifth and final season aired this month, and Walters spoke to The Times about the finale and what he wishes could have been different about the show.


Discussing the show’s script, which was written by 67-year-old Irish writer Ronan Bennett, Walters said: “It would have been ideal for Black people’s stories to have been told by a Black person.

“So I did scrutinise Ronan. But understanding the people he consulted for the script was key.”

He added that, if the show were to begin now, he thinks it would be different. “That may not be great for Ronan, but it’s huge for people like me,” he said.

“I was one of the few Black actors allowed on TV before this wave of diversity, so seeing Black writers being championed feels amazing. Yet it’s a fight. It’s always a fight.”

Top Boy
Dushane and Sully square up in ‘Top Boy’. CREDIT: Netflix

Reviewing the show’s final season, NME said: “There are flourishes of nostalgia, but creator Ronan Bennett is more interested in driving everything towards a satisfying conclusion than getting lost in legacy.


“A recent trailer promised “no loose ends” and despite the sprawling, messy world he’s built over more than a decade, Bennett pulls it off beautifully. Not a second is wasted, with big moments happening right up until the final credits roll. It seems certain that we’ll be talking about Top Boy for years to come.”

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