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This month, I had the pleasure of flying out to Cannes to host the Diversity TV Excellence Awards at MIPCOM, which is where TV executives from around the globe, gather each year at the World’s biggest entertainment content market, to buy and sell TV formats and series.

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The Diversify TV Excellence awards are only in their 2nd year, and are a fantastic way to recognise and celebrate the very best representations of diversity and inclusion, in all its forms that include; disability, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation across international programming. And as someone who is passionate about promoting the benefits of diversity in Television, being asked to host these prestigious awards really was an honour.

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Held at the iconic Intercontinental Carlton Hotel, on the famous Boulevard de la Croisette, Television executives from around the world that work for brands such as; All 3 Media International, Seven Network Australia, BBC Worldwide and A & E Networks, gathered to watch some of the best examples of diversity and inclusion in both scripted and unscripted programming.

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The energy in the room that night was electric and the big highlight for me was getting the chance to interview American actress and writer, Issa Rae, who is the star of the Emmy-nominated hit HBO series, Insecure live on stage the day before she received the 2018 MIPCOM Personality of the Year award.

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That night, I also interviewed British actor; Sunetra Sarker (No Angels, Ackley Bridge, Insider), Latin America’s Alfonso Herrera (Sitiados), music guitar legend Stevie Salas, and Michael Jai White (Dark Knight, Spawn and The Legend of Bruce Lee) all before they revealed the night’s award winners to the audience.

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Wearing a dress that glittery dreams are made of, (thank-you Ariella Fashions!) I literally felt like a human glitter ball up on that stage, radiating joy.

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I’m so proud to have played such a key role in what was an incredible evening that seemed to mark a shift change in how the industry views diversity and inclusion. As we all know, it not only makes good business sense to create content that reflects the diversity of its audience, but at a time when audiences are bombarded with choice, it is the teams with diversity at their very core, who apply diverse thinking from the development stage to senior leadership level who stand to triumph overall.

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What came to light through the content that was showcased that evening, was rich, diverse stories being told from a variety of perspectives that had never told before, they gave the voiceless a voice and shone a light on the experiences of people in society that we know very little about. These stories were interesting, revelatory, empowering and funny and it is these emotions which emotionally connect us all and make us human. Importantly, they also help to change the perceptions we have of each other, so if this is just a taste of things to come, I’m excited for the programming of the future.

The 2018 Diversify TV Excellence Awards Winners Are:

• Race & Ethnicity – Scripted – The Boy with a TopKnot – The BBC

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• Race & Ethnicity – Unscripted – Against All Odds: The fight for a Black Middle Class – Scorpion TV

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• LGBTQ – Scripted – Home and Away – Seven Network Australia

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• LGBTQ – Unscripted – My House – Viceland

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• Disability – Scripted – Blind Donna

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• Disability – Unscripted – Different Like Me

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• Best Kids Programming – First Day

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Click here for more information about MIPCOM