Alesha Dixon reveals battle against racism

PUBLISHED: 12:06 12 April 2013 | UPDATED: 12:16 12 April 2013

Alesha Dixon in Cosmopolitan (Picture: Peter Pedonomou)

Alesha Dixon in Cosmopolitan (Picture: Peter Pedonomou)

Archant

WELWYN Garden City star Alesha Dixon has attacked the entertainment industry as she opened up about racial prejudice.

The former Strictly Come Dancing judge and now Britain’s Got Talent star argued that black women were still too much of a minority on our screens in a blistering interview for Cosmopolitan magazine.

The 34-year-old said: “There still aren’t many black women on prime-time TV.

“Times are changing, but it’s interesting we’re in 2013 and still experiencing firsts. Hopefully in the next 100 years things will balance even more.

“Britain is an amazing multi-cultural place to live in, and that should be celebrated and represented.”

Speaking from first-hand experience, the former Mis-Teeq star revealed racism still exists in the world of showbiz.

“Sadly, I’ve learnt that prejudice still exists in parts of the entertainment industry. I did an interview with a magazine once and the journalist quite openly said they wouldn’t put a black person on the front cover because the magazine wouldn’t sell.

“It made me angry because it shouldn’t be about the colour of the person’s skin, it should be about the person,” she fumed.

When she was first made a judge on Strictly Come Dancing she states the BBC was honest about having her on the show.

“When I joined the Strictly Come Dancing panel in 2009, the controller of the BBC came into my dressing room and said they were proud to have a woman of colour on their panel.

“It was so nice that they acknowledged it,” she said.

Speaking about her childhood, she said she was aware of prejudice from a young age.

But she refused to let other people’s ignorance stand in the way of success.

The The Boy Does Nothing singer added: “I grew up in Welwyn Garden City and, when you’re a woman of colour in a predominantly white area, you become aware of prejudice from a young age.

“I was the only mixed-race girl in my school, but for me that was a positive thing; it made me unique.

“If it wasn’t for spending time with the black side of my family, perhaps I may have felt like an outcast, but I never did.”

The full interview appears in the May issue, out now.

For behind-the-scenes footage of Alesha’s cover shoot, go to www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/alesha


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