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Wire star calls for more opportunities for black British actors

From BBC - September 16, 2017

The US star of The Wire has called for more opportunities for black British actors to stop them heading abroad.

"They are going where the work is," said Clarke Peters, who played detective Lester Freamon in the TV crime drama.

"When Britain decides to build up its film industry and compete, then those cats will stay here," he continued.

Star Wars' John Boyega and Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya are among those who have won high-profile Hollywood roles after making their mark in UK productions.

Others include David Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King in Selma, and David Harewood, star of Homeland and Supergirl.

Peters, who was born in New York and came to work in Britain in the 1970s, said the trend could be reversed "if Pinewood was where Hollywood is and had the same reputation and kudos".

"I came here because this is where theatre started for me," he told the BBC. "I guess I have done the same thing, but in the opposite direction."

Peters' own reputation on this side of the Atlantic is secure thanks to Five Guys Named Moe, a musical revue that ran for more than four years in the West End in the 1990s.

The show - which features songs by R&B pioneer Louis Jordan - has now returned to London in a purpose-built theatre in Marble Arch, with Peters himself directing.

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