After another blinding BGT performance which has given DIVERSITY this years BAFTA Must See TV Moment award, now seems a great time to get set for their tour which is rescheduled to next year. The guys will be getting to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff next May.
In receiving the award, Ashley Banjo thanked the tens of thousands of people who complained about the performance.
The Black Lives Matter routine won the only award voted for by the public, the must-see moment.
The performance saw a man in a police uniform kneel on Ashley, echoing the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd. Following the screening almost 30,000 complaints were made to industry watchdog Ofcom.
“This is mad, this is so much more than just an award.”
“I want to just say first thank you to every single person who voted for us, it means so much.
“Thank you to everyone who stood by us. Every phone call, text, comment, DM, you guys made the difference to what was a really dark time, being in the storm of 30,000 complaints and just a torrent of racially charged abuse, threats, all of it, it was a dark time and that support made all the difference.”
“In a way, I have to say thank you to the people that complained, the people that did all of that abuse because you showed the truth.
“You showed exactly why this performance, this moment, was necessary.
“But for all of those people, just take a look, because as much as there are so many conversations and so much that needs to change, this is what change looks like. And I’m so proud to be standing here and so thankful to all of those people.
“And for me, this is about not representing the minority.
“It felt like we weren’t at the time, but standing here right now, this represents the majority.
“So thank you all so much.
“Let’s keep having those difficult conversations, let’s keep standing up for what’s right regardless of the colour of our skin and we will achieve that equality.”
It’s really difficult to know where to begin with a troupe who have achieved so much since their incredible BGT series winning performance. We checked out the meaning of DIVERSITY in the Oxford English, thinking that would be a good place to start in telling you about the incredible dance group who have been around for more than ten years since Britain’s Got Talent. Indeed it does…..
diversity [ dih-vur-si-tee, dahy- ]
variety; multiformity. the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, colour, religion: a point of difference.
Never has a dictionary definition been more precise in telling us what and who DIVERSITY really are. The group is made up of friends from London and Essex, including two sets of brothers and three other members. At the time they appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, some were still at school or uni, while others had jobs of their own. Like most of us, we remember that performance so well, it really was the benchmark for talent show dance groups of the future.
Here’s a look back at that very first audition…….
Last year marked 10 years since Diversity took the nation by storm when they won the third series of Britain’s Got Talent. Over the past 10 years they have continued to wow audiences around the world with their innovative live tours and performances. They celebrated this incredible achievement with a critically acclaimed sell out 48 show UK tour, Born Ready.
After nine sell out UK tours, over 600,000 tickets sold, and countless television and live performances Diversity have announced one of their biggest UK tours to date including two dates at London Palladium next spring.
This tour is set to be even bigger, and as Diversity promised their fans on the Born Ready tour, they will continue the legacy of Diversity and never let anyone tell them they cannot achieve something. To take them into the new decade of Diversity, Ashley has created a new show, ‘Connected’, which centres around the world of social media, the internet, and the digital era we now live in, but more importantly how this connects us all.
Creator and choreographer Ashley Banjo told us…….
“Every year that goes by, and every time we get to create a new touring show, I cannot believe we are still lucky enough to get to do this. But even after all this time, we are still growing, and this new decade and new chapter for Diversity is sure to be something even more special than the last. I truly do believe that we are all connected in mores ways than one and I cannot wait to bring this to life on stage.”
If you look back over the last ten years, you can’t help but marvel at the groups long list of achievements. From that first appearance on BGT they have gone on to things they probably could never have imagined.
- Winners of Britains Got Talent 2009
- Performing in front of Her Majesty the Queen
- 8 sell out UK tours, with their 10 year anniversary tour ‘Born Ready’ starting this September
- TV shows including Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew and Big Town Dance
- An ITV special called ‘Diversity Live’ which aired in January 2015
- Judging and performing on Got To Dance
- Appearing on China’s Got Talent
- They have performed to thousands at festivals across the country
- Performing on a whole host of TV shows including Red or Black, Born to Shine, Saturday Night Takeaway, Britains Got Talent and many more…
- In 2016 Ashley was asked to put together a massive 10 minute routine featuring past acts from Britains Got Talent for the shows 10 year anniversary.
- Ashley and Alexander Armstrong put together a group of celebrities in 2017 to do the Full Monty at the London Palladium to raise awareness of mens prostate and testicular cancer. The show was so successful that it was back in 2018 and 2019.
- In 2017 Diversity appeared in their first ever panto – Dick Whittington at the London Palladium. They were back in 2018 for Aladdin in Southend, and returned to Southend in 2019 for Robin Hood. They will be in Jack and the Beanstalk in Milton Keynes in 2020.
- In July 2020 they will perform their first ever show on a cruise ship.
Ashley Banjo has returned to the judging panel for his third series on ITV’s primetime show Dancing on Ice, with fellow Diversity member Perri Kiely competing for the winner’s trophy.
Fellow Diversity member Jordan Banjo was recently hosting the second series of BBC 1’s primetime show The Greatest Dancer.
So just who are DIVERSITY? The group, ranging in age from 23-35, consists of leader and choreographer Ashley Banjo and the following other members: Jordan Banjo, Sam Craske, Mitchell Craske, Perri Kiely, Warren Russell and Terry Smith. Founding members Ashton Russell, Ian McNaughton, Jamie McNaughton, Matthew McNaughton and Ike Chuks have left Diversity. They are currently managed by Danielle Banjo, Ashley and Jordan’s mother, and based at Dancework studio.
We had to share this picture from back in the day………
Diversity’s Connected tour gets to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on Saturday 14th May 2022. This is a Matinee Only show. Tickets are on sale now and you can get yours right here. DIVERSITY There’s also some VIP Packages available and you can check them out here. VIP
Diversity continue to inspire the next generation of dancers and cannot wait to launch their online dance classes 20DV and return to Butlins to showcase their 20DV experience dance academies.