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Reggie Yates: The Power of The Documentary

Many young people aren’t as interested in documentaries as maybe some older people are. I for one love watching a good documentary series, but not everybody is like that.

BBC Three have always been known to show documentaries focusing often on controversial and dangerous issues aimed specifically at their young demographic of 16-34 year old’s. Since BBC Three became the first British television channel to make the switch to online only, the general thought would’ve been that there wasn’t going to be any more of it’s original programming, however BBC Three has kept it’s online audiences on it’s toes, specifically so with Reggie Yates’ interesting and sometimes truly shocking documentaries.

For as long as I can remember Reggie Yates has always been on my television screen in one way or another, whether acting or presenting. His unique style and likability are just a few of the things that make him successful throughout all of his endeavours, especially within his progression into presenting documentaries for BBC Three.

Yates has focused on numerous issues, including male body shaming and prejudice that exists within certain countries against certain groups of people. His trips to Russia in ‘Reggie Yates: Extreme Russia’ showed us the extent of hatred against the gay community as well as the focus on forcing young girls into modelling as a way of supporting their families.

This series of successful documentaries then led onto Yates doing a similar series, ‘Reggie Yates: Extreme South Africa’ showing similar subjects, one that specifically stood out in my mind focusing on ‘The White Slums’, something that I myself wasn’t aware was such a massive issue within South Africa.

More recently Yates has focused on subjects affecting his homeland with his ‘Extreme UK’ series, with ‘Dying for a six pack’ that focused on male body image and how it isn’t only women that struggle with body image issues. This is something that I personally believe society needs to be reminded of from time to time.

The ‘Extreme UK’ series actually started with ‘Men at War’, a documentary following the men that are fighting against feminism to ensure that men’s needs and concerns such as body image issues for example aren’t brushed aside and laughed at. Again, something that does need to be taken into consideration by society in the fight for equal rights and opportunities.

Yates’ most recent series, that is currently ongoing on BBC Three online has taken him onto his travels again as his first episode led to him spending a week in a Texan jail, living the life of a prisoner and being made aware of the treatment and focus on mentally ill inmates. His second and most recent episode focused on the Mexican Drug War, something that has not only affected locals, but also had a massive hit on tourism to certain parts of the country.

I guess I have rambled a little here, but I want to ensure that those that haven’t watched any of these documentaries can still read this and understand why I believe in the power of the documentary and especially the series done by Reggie Yates. In all honesty I believe that these series and episodes focus on topics that people are scared to talk about and that is just one of the reasons that I think anybody who gets a chance should take a look at them. Topics that I weren’t even aware were an issue are focused on and explained in such detail that I left the documentary being more aware of so much that is happening around me in the world.

Reggie Yates; I salute you and your bravery!



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