Alan Yau is famed for revolutionising the way British people looked at Asian food by creating some of the most memorable restaurants in the UK, such as the casual Japanese chain, Wagamama and Thai chain, Busaba Eathai. He was awarded with an OBE in 2006 for his contributions to the UK’s restaurant industry.
Grace Jones is a music icon, supermodel, actor, dancer and style symbol. Jones entered the public eye as a young model and was told that there was only room for one black model at a time in society. She went on to become an icon of fashion and music. Subverting societal norms of gender, race and sexuality, Jones gave a voice to the oppressed and celebrated blackness.
Kanya King CBE is the CEO and founder of the MOBO Awards, which now reach more than 400 million viewers in over 200 countries. Since the organisation’s inception in 1996, the MOBO organisation has established itself as a champion of diversity, inclusion and recognition for BME talent within music, culture, arts, fashion, media and larger society as a whole. King was presented with an MBE in 1999 for services to the music industry.
Multimillionaire media mogul Lord Waheed Alli founded Planet 24 and was the Managing Director for Carlton Communications. He is currently the Chief Executive of Silvergate Media, Co-Owner of Olga TV and vice president of UNICEF. In 1998 he became the youngest member of the House of Lords, as well as the first openly gay peer. The BBC summarised his appointment as “the antithesis of the stereotypical ‘establishment’ peer – young, Asian and from the world of media and entertainment”.
Meera Syal MBE is an actress, writer, producer, comedian, playwright, singer and journalist. Syal is one of the UK’s best-known Indian personalities, who first came to prominence as one of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me. She was awarded an MBE in 1997, and a CBE in 2015 for services to drama and literature. Her awards include the Guardian Whitbread First Novel award, Women in Film and Television’s Creative Achievement Award, two British Comedy Awards, two International Emmy Awards and a BAFTA nomination. She has an honourary doctorate from SOAS university.
Ozwald Boateng OBE is a Savile Row tailor and celebrated British designer who has been a significant figure in the in both the UK and international fashion scene for almost 30 years. Boateng was the youngest and first African to open a shop on Saville Row and was Givenchy’s first black menswear designer. In 2006, Boateng was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. He was appointed Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2007 and received a Veritas Award from Harvard in 2014.
SIR Trevor McDonald is one of Britain’s most recognisable and respected broadcasters and journalists, best-known for his work with ITN. McDonald was the UK’s first black male newsreader. He has interviewed such prominent world figures as former US President Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Saddam Hussein. He was knighted in 1999 for his services to journalism.
Vanessa Kingori MBE is the publisher of British Vogue, the first woman and first black woman to hold the role in the magazine’s 102 year-long history. She began her career at the Evening Standard, before moving to Condé Nast, where she became the youngest and first female publisher of GQ, and Condé Nast UK’s first black publisher. Kingori was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2016 for services to the media industry.