It’s February which means that on the 14th of this month specifically, we must demonstrate to our significant others just how much we love them. Roll on all love everything; everywhere. Supermarkets offering cheap deals for obvious flowers (sorry roses). Then chocolate box collections reminding us of cheesy commercials mimicking daring MI6 spies (even sorrier Milk Tray!) – and let’s not forget the fizz leftover from Christmas, camouflaged in ‘hen-night-pink’ bubbles.
Television is an oasis of inspiration as we gaze through its lens for representations of love! Scheduling tends to give those of us for and against this whole one day of love thing, lots of options. Lots of favourite couples making or breaking it for TV Series drama. Or the abundance of classic RomComs for us to flick through. But for us black folks in Britain, on screen representations of love on this blessed day we call Valentines are conspicuous by their absence. We can’t help but look to North America as Black couples in its media are aplenty. Many of them are almost household names on mainstream TV. Black-ish, Atlanta, Insecure, Empire, Everybody Hates Chris, My Wife and Kids – and that’s without going too far into American TV history for examples (The Cosby Show anyone?).
But all’s not lost, we decided to forage into British TV history to find our favourite TV couples. We had to dig deep for examples (but we won’t go over the hoary details, that’s a rant for another day). So here’s to you, our British Blacklist Valentines, our list of what was promised, what was delivered and some of what happened in between.
In no particular order (or age of programming)… Enjoy.
- Norman Beaton and Carmen Munroe as Desmond and Shirley Ambrose in Desmond’s.
- Rochelle and Marvin Humes, sometime presenters of daytime TV’s This Morning.
- Angela Wynter and Rudolph Walker as Yolande and Patrick Trueman in EastEnders
- Robbie Gee and Jo Martin as Roly and Natalie Crouch in The Crouches.
- Richard Blackwood and Tameka Empson as Kim Fox and Vincent Hubbard again in EastEnders.
- Sophie Okonedo and Adrian Lester in the acclaimed Undercover.
- Norman Beaton and Corinne Skinner-Carter as Everton and Hortense Bennett in Empire Road.
- Craig Charles and Pamela Nomvete as Lloyd Mullaney and Mandy Kamara for Coronation Street.
- Babyfather – David Harewood as Gus who got loved-up with Angela Griffin’s Chantelle. Don Gilet as Johnny found himself entangled with Diane Parish’s Lesley and Petra Letang’s Pauline. Fraser James as Linvall and Wil Johnson as Beres.
- Don Gilet and Diane Parish as EastEnders couple Denise Fox and Lucas Johnson.
- Wale Ojo and Yetunde Oduwole as Meet The Adebanjos Bayo and Gladys Adebanjo.
Do you think we’ve missed any couples? Let us know who you think should be added to the list!