Brent Locked In

 22 April 2020

A new video series exploring how Brent has shaped its icons

How have Brent’s legends been coping during the ongoing pandemic, and what might it mean for their work and practice?

In this new video series, guest hosts from the Blueprint Collective will be catching up – in a socially distanced way, of course – with legendary musicians, artists, athletes and activists from across the borough and finding out how they’ve been affected and perhaps even inspired by the COVID-19 crisis. Along the way, we will be digging deeper into our guests’ connections to Brent, discovering what they’ve been reading, watching, hearing and absorbing during this strange and frightening time – and hearing more about how they’re responding.

This forms part of Brent 2020 Unlocked.


England and Arsenal legend Rachel Yankey OBE, speaks to Brent’s Moeed Majeed about struggles at school with dyslexia and her first memories of playing football on the pitches of Queens Park, Brent.

"There were so many women playing football. It was like the biggest secret in the world. There was an England team. There was an Arsenal team. It just wasn’t in your face."

From shaving her head, pretending to be a boy to get a game, to being the first professional female player registered in England. Rachel is one of the original superstars of women's football, playing for Fulham, Arsenal and then Great Britain for the 2012 Olympics.


International award winning author, columnist and podcast content creator Nikesh Shukla is interviewed by Brent’s Moeed Majeed.

Born in North Wembley, Brent, Nikesh has written numerous novels for adults and teenagers. His debut novel 'Coconut Limited' was set in Brent. Listen to Nikesh’s story of growing up in Brent, feeling ok to be an Almost Kid and his journey being published as a person of colour.

“It took me a long time to know myself and that’s what I get from writing. It’s an opportunity to look within, to reflect and interrogate yourself, as well as the world. [...] It’s only when I started writing, and exploring who I was, that I started to ‘come out my shell’."

"Every time I go back to Brent […] I look at it and I see things I didn’t appreciate. That’s why it’s home because it’s where I’m from."


Brent’s Moeed Majeed, TV and radio host, interviews activist and international model, Mariah Idrissi.

Known as the face of modest fashion, Mariah made her name as the first Hijab wearing model for H&M in 2015. Listen to Mariah’s story of growing up in Brent, her advice on staying creative in isolation and navigating both her faith and social media.

“Brent prepared me for this lifestyle, being surrounded by so many different people of different backgrounds, religions and cultures in general. It prepared me for this international work I’m doing, being a woman of the world.”