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Apple Music introduces now radio stations with exclusive original shows from top music hosts and artists



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Earlier today, Apple today announced Apple Music’s addition of two new live global radio offerings, now available to music fans in 165 countries. Beginning today, Beats 1, the flagship global radio station, will be renamed Apple Music 1, and two new additional radio stations will launch: Apple Music Hits, celebrating everyone’s favorite songs from the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s, and Apple Music Country, spotlighting country music. Here’s a rundown of everything to explore on day one on Apple Music Radio

Apple Music 1 

9:00a PST: Apple Music 1 Special:

Zane Lowe and Ebro Darden host a star-studded 3-hour launch special along with Rebecca Judd, Matt Wilkinson, Travis Mills, Brooke Reese, Nadeska, Hanuman, and Anna Lunoe, talking with Vince Staples, Elton John, HAIM, Aitch, Billie Eilish, and SHABBAAAAA, new members of the Apple Music Radio family including Young M.A, Nile Rodgers, Snoop Dogg, and Carrie Underwood, plus the new hosts of Apple Music Hits and Apple Music Country.
12:00p PST: GAGA RADIO: 
GAGA RADIO is a non-stop dance mix that features Lady Gaga as the show’s host and guide, breaking down the elements that came together to form Chromatica. Each episode will give deeper context to the making of the superstar’s latest album with collaborators, as well as a check-in with fans.In today’s episode, Lady Gaga talks to musical icon Elton John. They discuss the making of their song “Sine From Above” and their incredible relationship. Gaga also hears from “Sour Candy” collaborators BLACKPINK.
1:00p PST: Ma G Radio with J. Balvin
J Balvin’s Ma G Radio takes its name from a term of endearment—ma G, my guy, my friend. And that’s very much the vibe: Every other week, the global star introduces and welcomes listeners to the world of reggaetón, telling the genre’s story through candid conversation and mixes selected by guest DJs from around the world. In the first episode, Balvin and designer Milkman take you back to the origins of Reggaeton and pay homage to Daddy Yankee, Nicky Jam and Ivy Queen.
2:00p PST: Aitch D Radio
Emerging in 2018 with the neat, flowing bars of debut freestyle “Straight Rhymez,” Manchester’s Aitch has energized UK rap. His full-wattage charisma powered 2019’s breakthrough EP AitcH2O, and that same charm shines through on each show-stealing feature slot. Every fortnight on Aitch D Radio, he’ll dive into what makes UK rap culture so diverse, compelling, and fresh—and deliver the music currently inspiring him (expect surprises). In the inaugural episode, the British rapper introduces Aitch D Radio to the world, playing the biggest summer bangers and the freshest tracks from the UK rap scene, plus tips listeners off on what’s moving across his socials
3:00p PST: me & dad radio with Billie Eilish
Before the release of her 2019 Grammy Award-winning debut album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, Billie Eilish introduced herself to Apple Music listeners with her show “groupies have feelings too.” Now she’s back—along with her dad, Patrick O’Connell—with a new show, “me & dad radio.” “My dad and I have been putting each other on to music since I can remember,” she tells Apple Music, “and we want to share it with you.” In today’s episode, Billie and Patrick exchange a random selection of songs they love both old and new, featuring tracks by Jorja Smith, Connie Francis, and Linkin Park.
5:00p PST: Me Always Radio with Young M.A.
Brooklyn rapper Young M.A remains one of hip-hop’s most intriguing figures with her nimble flows, flirtatious bravado, and witty and gritty lyricism. Through her first two releases, 2019’s Herstory in the Making and 2020’s Red Flu, the entertainer thoughtfully relayed her story and character—her difficult upbringing, identity struggles, and unbreakable sense of humor. But we still wanted more. Every other week on Me Always Radio (her stage name stands for “Me Always”), the rap force gets up close and personal with fans as she talks through culture and current events and, of course, plays her favorite songs. On Episode 1, Young M.A invites Eminem, Odell Beckham Jr., Fivio Foreign, and her childhood friends to hang on the block and discuss the latest all while DJ Ease keeps things moving with a mix.
6:00p PST: Deep Hidden Meaning with Nile Rodgers
Over a career-spanning five decades, Nile Rodgers has helped write and produce some of the most iconic songs in pop music, both for his pioneering disco band Chic and for superstar collaborators like Diana Ross, David Bowie, and Daft Punk. On his Apple Music show, the composer, record producer, and rhythm guitar legend—a Rock & Roll and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee—invites the most important established and emerging songwriters to discuss the ideas and inspirations behind their work. With each episode digging deep into the stories behind the songsRodgers’ candid discussions give invaluable insight into how your favorite music was created. In the debut episode, Timbaland discusses writing Justin Timberlake’s SexyBack, British songwriter Kamille talks about creating Mabel’s hit Don’t Call Me Up and Poo Bear dissects Where Are Ü Now, his song that took Justin Bieber’s career to new heights.
Hailing from Southern California’s sunny San Fernando valley, HAIM is the Grammy-nominated band of sisters—Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim—whose 2013 debut Days Are Gone introduced the world to their masterful songwriting and signature three-part harmonies. Their romantic 2017 follow-up Somethin To Tell You furthered the trio’s reputation as a modern rock force and proved that they operate entirely in their own lane. The second season of HAIM TIME is centered on the band’s third full-length, Women In Music Pt. III, and the realities of making and releasing music in quarantine. Featuring heartfelt advice, surprise guests, and spirited reviews of LA’s best delivery food, the special bi-weekly show makes fans feel like family. In today’s episode, HAIM take a journey back through time to relive their favorite bat mitzvah bangers, go full HAIM TIME x Time Crisis crossover mode with Ezra Koenig, and chat with celebrated singer-songwriter, Tori Amos.
8:00p PST: Ramona Radio with Vince Staples
You know Vince Staples for his one-of-a-kind style and strong opinions, and he’s bringing all that and more to the new season of RAMONA RADIO on Apple Music. Tune in as the visionary artist broadcasts from home in Long Beach with special guests, thoughtful conversation, and a lot of sarcasm. 
SHABBAAAAA has quickly evolved from an underground dancehall-influenced party to a global movement, with online radio stations based in Los Angeles and London. Now they’re joining the Apple Music family of shows with SHABBAAAAA SOUND RADIO. Every two weeks, the SSS Crew, which includes Drewbyrd, Sean G and Shacia Päyne Marley, spins a unique selection of sounds that capture the evolution of dancehall music —whether it’s afrobeats, hip-hop, world music, latin music, reggae, house or R&B. Each episode features a curated playlist alongside a host of live mixes that bring the party right to your home. On today’s episode, the crew connects with Skip Marley, talking inspiration behind his upcoming project, Higher Place, collaborating with Rick Ross & H.E.R., and his experience of growing up as a Marley. Plus, dj mOma drops in for a guest mix.
11:00p PST: Boiler Room Radio
Boiler Room began with a webcam taped to a wall that opened a keyhole into London’s vibrant underground. Since 2010, they’ve built a unique archive spanning thousands of performances with artists across the globe, and become the definitive stage for showcasing electronic music’s emerging stars. On Boiler Room Radio, they expand on their mission of bringing the dance floor to you—whether it’s your headphones, car stereo, or living room speakers—and share in-depth interviews with the DJs and producers behind featured mixes each week. Episode 1: One of the rising stars of the past couple of years within house music, Honey Dijon, breaks down the 2018 Sugar Mountain Festival set that launched her into stardom and made her a household name as one of BR’s most watched sets.
Apple Music Hits 

9:00a PST: Jayde Donovan

On her debut episode, Jayde introduces the world to  Apple Music Hits! She welcomes her colleagues Estelle and STROMBO to join her in kicking off the broadcast, as well as the incredible line-up of ladies hosting some of the Hits playlist shows, plus conversations with Shania Twain (Home Now Radio), The Backstreet Boys (All I Have to Give Radio), and Meghan Trainor (Dirty Pop Radio).
10:00a PST: STROMBO 
Over the years, George Stroumboulopoulos has hosted CBC’s interview program The Hour, anchored Hockey Night in Canada, and led his own talk show on CNN. But his first love has always been music—whether working at a pirate radio station in the ’90s, discovering underground talent on MuchMusic’s The NewMusic in the early 2000s, holding down The Strombo Show on CBC Music, or, more recently, welcoming us into his House of Strombo for intimate live sessions with some of the world’s most storied performers. Join him every day from Monday through Thursday, when he brings great music, stories, and interviews to STROMBO Radio. In his inaugural show, STROMBO is coming at you live, talking to fellow Apple Music Hits anchor Estelle, plus check-ins with some of the artists on the new station including Huey Lewis (’80s Radio), Alanis Morissette (Alanis Radio), and Mark Hoppus (After School Radio).
11:00a PST: The Estelle Show
On The Estelle Show, the UK singer draws on timeless musical influences and fresh contemporary voices to paint a portrait of what inspires and excites her. Her tastes range from legends like Bob Marley, Prince, and Madonna to newer ground-shakers like Wizkid and Lil Wayne, but they’ve all got one thing in common: They’ve made what she considers to be some of the best music of the past few decades. Listen to Estelle—and the occasional guest—play favorites and share personal insights into the music Monday through Friday, only on Apple Music Hits.In this first episode, Estelle welcomes listeners to her new show and reflects on some of the Afrobeat music that shaped her as a person and an artist – including music from Bob Marley, Beenie Man, Kas Kas, Super Cat, Wizkid, Wande Coal, and much more.
12:00p PST: Level Up Radio with Ciara 
Ciara earned her first multiplatinum hit in 2004 with the now-legendary “Goodies.” More than a decade later, in 2018, she earned another smash with “Level Up.” That the Grammy-winning R&B singer and dancer has been able to adapt across the years—maintaining her intrigue and cultural relevance—is a testament to her dexterity and musical prowess. So who better to examine R&B’s cultural impact and evolution? Every week on Level Up Radio, Ciara celebrates the definitive songs and sounds of modern R&B and shares stories of her experience as an entrepreneur, mother, philanthropist, and unstoppable entertainment force. In her debut episode, Ciara introduces listeners her brand new show, Level Up Radio, as she shares the meaning behind the show title, spotlights artists and songs that inspire her mantra of leveling up, and plays favorites from Missy, Janet, and Michael Jackson while throwing it back to her hometown of ATL with Waka Flocka and Outkast.
1:00p PST: After School Radio with Mark Hoppus
As a founding member of blink-182, +44, and Simple Creatures, Mark Hoppus has survived three decades of alternative music—from the punk clubs of Southern California to unlikely pop stardom in the TRL era to navigating the new millennium’s post-genre revolution. Each week on After School Radio, Hoppus focuses on the songs, artists, and culture that’ve defined the movement, with the sense of humor and perspective that have become his trademark. Mark Hoppus kicks off the first episode with a playlist highlighting the last thirty years of alternative rock. Plus — the Blink-182 frontman cold calls his Simple Creatures bandmate Alex Gaskarth (also of All Time Low), and spotlights a record he felt went under appreciated, Sugar’s ‘Copper Blue.’ 
3:00p PST: Home Now Radio with Shania Twain
Every month on Home Now Radio, Shania Twain invites listeners into her genre-defying musical world by sharing her favorite classic hits, new discoveries, and some unlikely sources of inspiration. She’ll also sit down with special guests who consider her songs an indelible part of the soundtrack of their lives. In the first episode, Shania Twain welcomes her fan to her show “Home Now Radio” which she shares about music and how it can create a home anywhere, anyplace. Her show features music from Kiss, to Drake, to Dolly, to Taylor, to OneRepublic while inviting the listeners to hear the stories surrounding the songs.
4:00p PST: Uncle Snoop’s Army Radio
There’s a new way to spell Apple Music and it’s S-N double O-P D-O double G. That’s right: The legendary Snoop Dogg, also known as DJ Snoopadelic, presents Uncle Snoop’s Army Radio, a weekly show that serves up the best of hip-hop’s golden era and shines a light on the legends who set the table. You can bet there’ll be plenty of appearances from the big Dogg’s partners, too. In this first episode of Uncle Snoop’s Army Radio, Snoop spotlights politically inspired Hip Hop tracks from both legendary groups Public Enemy and N.W.A. Snoop also mixes classics from golden era artists 2Pac, Eazy-E and A Tribe Called Quest.
5:00p PST: Dirty Pop with Meghan Trainor
Meghan Trainor has spent her whole life studying pop music and what makes it stick. If Britney, Justin, Lady Gaga, and Doja Cat have shaped the soundtrack to your life with their glossy, over-the-top, era-defining anthems, this is the show for you. On Dirty Pop Radio, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter—an authority on exuberant, youthful, celebratory pop music—dances through the past three decades of pop’s golden era. Join her every week as she revisits music that shaped her childhood, shines a light on her favorite contemporary voices, and shares never-before-heard studio stories about how songs become hits and singers become superstars. On the very first episode of Dirty Pop Radio, Meghan takes it way back playing some of her favorite pop songs from her childhood.
6:00p PST: Alanis Radio with Alanis Morisette
Alt-rock icon, devoted mother, activist, and Broadway inspiration Alanis Morissette will not be contained. On her Apple Music radio show, the trailblazing musician shares her expansive and eclectic tastes—from ’60s singer-songwriters to Tori Amos and Rage Against the Machine—in the interest of spreading love, depth, and knowledge around her favorite songs. “Songs can be incredibly defining for us,” she says. “They can be spiritual signposts, snapshots of important junctures in life, and soundtracks for our ongoing emotional evolution. They can heal and empower, unify and support, and express both the political and personal.” Join her every other week on a thoughtful tour through the songs and artists that inspire her.
7:00p PST: Nevuary with Ari Melber
Every week on Nevuary Radio, Emmy-winning MSNBC news anchor Ari Melber shares rap’s most iconic tracks and the stories behind the verses. Join him as he deep-dives into hip-hop’s vaults—specifically, hits from the ’90s and 2000s—playing tracks, telling stories, and celebrating the most memorable lines in hip-hop. On episode one, Melber takes a deep dive into the musical genius of Jay-Z and Drake.
8:00p PST: 80’s Radio with Huey Lewis
On his own show, ’80s Radio With Huey Lewis, the legendary musician shares music, stories, and one-of-a-kind insight into one of the most important decades in rock ‘n’ roll. Kicking off his first episode — Huey Lewis showcases the power of the eighties with a decade spanning playlist featuring heavyweights like Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson and more. Lewis also provides commentary plucked straight from era — including how “The Power of Love” found its way into ‘Back To The Future,’ touring with Loverboy, and seeing Madonna’s iconic MTV Video Music Awards performance in person.
9:00p PST: All I Have To Give with The Backstreet Boys
AJ, Kevin, Howie, Brian, and Nick—five singers who make up one of the most influential groups in pop history—are each embedded in the memory of music fans who came of age at the turn of the century. The Backstreet Boys’ indelible melodies and pitch-perfect harmonies made them Top 40 titans in the late ‘90s, and the following two decades proved they were more than a time capsule of pop’s golden era with blockbuster tours and chart-topping singles. On All I Have to Give Radio, the guys get up close and personal with fans by answering questions, trading fond memories, and sharing what they’re up to next. The Backstreet Boys welcome listeners to their first episode of All I Have to Give Radio. Brian, Howie, Kevin, AJ and Nick share their Backstreet backstory, swapping stories and songs, from their earliest hits, to their most recent album, DNA.
11:00p PST: Hip Hop R&B Throwback with Lowkey
Lowkey hosts a ‘Launch Special’ complete with 60 minutes of live DJing by Apple Music’s own S.WHiT, spinning tracks from the ’80s, ’90s, and ‘00s.
Apple Music Country 
9:00a PST: Apple Music Country Launch Special: 
All four Apple Music Country anchors, Kelleigh Bannen, Ty Bentli, Ward Guenther, and Tiera host a big celebration to kick off the new station, speaking to some of the exciting new artists hosting shows including Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Kelsea Ballerini, Jimmie Allen, Dierks Bentley, and Chrissy Metz.
12:00p PST: XO Radio with Carrie Underwood
What can’t Carrie Underwood do? With a vast catalog of blockbuster hits that remind us of the power of music and a successful career as an entrepreneur (she has a lifestyle brand, fitness app, and bestselling book on health and wellness), the global superstar has steadily proven that her talents know no bounds. Every month on XO Radio, she sits down with friends and peers from across the entertainment spectrum to catch up, share stories, and play the music that inspires them. Consider each episode a love letter to her favorite musicians and fondest memories, soundtracked by the songs that mean the most. On the debut of XO Radio, Carrie takes listeners on a journey through her life with musical selections from Mötley Crüe, The Rolling Stones, Queen, George Michael, Guns N’ Roses, and Aerosmith.
2:00p PST: Party Barn Radio with Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan loves a good surprise. Each month, the country star creates a party atmosphere in sound and feel—sometimes with a set of songs tied together by a timely theme, sometimes with a crew of friends and fellow celebrities dropping in. Whatever the case, Party Barn Radio is a good time through and through. Expect the unexpected. Luke reveals his first ride and his favorite country song on the premiere of Party Barn Radio.
4:00p PST: Wildcard Radio with Jimmie Allen
Burgeoning singer-songwriter Jimmie Allen knows what it feels like to be a wild card: The Delaware native was one of the first black artists to score a No. 1 debut single on country radio, with 2018’s “Best Shot.” With his Apple Music show Wildcard, the future country superstar welcomes you with hearty words and good cheer as he plays some of his favorite country tunes. But Wildcard isn’t just for country fans: From Allen’s thoughts on pop culture to his eclectic and expansive taste in music, no topic or song selection is off-limits. Jimmie talks sports, Disney, and throwbacks on the first ever episode of Wildcard Radio.
6:00p PST: The Nashville Countdown with Dierks Bentley
There’s no better way to catch up on what’s happening in country music than to hear the biggest songs of the moment from a Nashville veteran. Inspired by the iconic countdown radio shows of yesteryear, trailblazing hitmaker Dierks Bentley rounds up the most popular songs from Apple Music’s country charts and peppers them with occasional throwbacks and surprise guest interviews. Every week, you’ll get a real-time picture of where country music is–and where it’s headed. On the premiere of Dierks Bentley’s re-invented countdown show, he shares his thoughts on joining Apple Music Country, watching the new Taylor Swift documentary, and reveals his first ‘Dierks Deep Cut.’

Radio & TV

Best international series on Showmax this February, The Last Of Us, Young Rock S2 and more


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1st seasons of The Last Of Us, Julia, East New York, This England, Let The Right One In, American Gigolo & Bump; The Cleaning Lady S2, Gossip Girls S2
THE LAST OF US S1 | Binge episodes 1-2 now, with new episodes on Mondays at 10pm
Save who you can save.
The most popular show on IMDb currently, with a 9.3/10 rating from over 100 000 fans, HBO’s The Last of Us is set 20 years after modern civilisation has been destroyed. Joel is hired to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie out of an oppressive quarantine zone. But what starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal journey as the pair cross the U.S., depending on each other for survival.
As Ellie, Tess and Joel respectively, Bella Ramsey (His Dark Materials and Game of Thrones), Anna Torv (Fringe) and Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian, Game of Thrones) are currently the three highest ranked actors on IMDb‘s Starmeter.
Co-created by Emmy winner Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and game creator Neil Druckmann, The Last of Us‘s cast also includes Emmy winner Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus), Critics Choice winner Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets) and Teen Choice nominee Storm Reid (Euphoria).
The Last of Us has a 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Empire proclaiming it “a masterpiece” and The Guardian giving it five stars and hailing it as “one of the finest TV shows you will see this year… Desperately moving… A phenomenal blend of horror and heart, with a cast that could no be more perfect.”
HBO has already ordered Season 2, after The Last of Us had HBO’s second largest debut, behind only House of the Dragon after one full week of availability, and Episode 2 had the largest week-two audience growth of any HBO Original drama series in the history of the network.
JULIA S1 | Binge from 24 February 2023
Julia is inspired by Julia Child, the legendary cookbook author and television superstar who changed the way Americans think about food, television, and even women.
BAFTA winner Sarah Lancashire (Happy ValleyLast Tango in Halifax) plays Julia Child, with four-time Emmy winner David Hyde Pierce (Dr. Niles Crane in Frasier) as her husband Paul.
Julia has a 93% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As The Guardian puts it, Julia is about a successful woman’s rise to even more success, against the odds… Men tell Child what she can’t do, and she goes ahead and works out a way to do it anyway.”
Julia was nominated for Best Television Series: Drama at the 2023 Satellite Awards; Best Episodic Comedy at the 2023 Writers Guild of America Awards; and two 2023 Casting Society of America awards, among other accolades.
Also watch the documentary, Julia, which was nominated for two Critics Choice Documentary Awards, from 24 February 2023.
EAST NEW YORK S1 | First on Showmax | Mondays from 20 February 2023
East New York follows recently promoted police captain Regina Haywood, who leads a diverse group of officers and detectives, some of whom are hesitant to deploy her creative methods of serving and protecting.
Amanda Warren (NCIS: New Orleans) stars as Deputy Inspector Haywood, alongside the likes of Emmy winner Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blue) and Emmy nominee Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Castle), and Screen Actors Guild winners Kevin Rankin (Breaking Bad) and Elizabeth Rodriguez (Orange is the New Black).
Created by Emmy winner William M. Finkelstein (The Good FightNYPD BlueLaw & OrderL.A. Law) and Black Reel nominee Mike Flynn (Power Book III: Raising KananQueen Sugar), East New York has an 88% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As Variety says, “​​East New York sets a new course for the broadcast cop drama.”
YOUNG ROCK S2| Binge from 13 February 2023
Young Rock, the popular sitcom based on the life of Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock, aka Black Adam), is back for a second season, with the 2032 timeline (in which Dwayne is running for President) far more prominent this go-around, which means we’ll be seeing more of Dwayne himself.
Season 2 was nominated for three People’s Choice Awards: The Comedy Show of 2022, Comedy TV Star of 2022 and Favorite Male TV Star (both for Johnson himself), bringing the count to seven following Season 1’s four nominations.
Uli Latukefu (The Champion in Black Adam) steps into the spotlight early in the season to bring Dwayne’s doomed football career to a close, and look out for Oscar nominee Sean Astin (Stranger ThingsThe Lord of the Rings) and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker (Star Wars’ Saw Gerrera, Bumpy Johnson in Godfather of Harlem) among the cast this season.
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THIS ENGLAND | Binge now
Co-written and directed by BAFTA winner Michael Winterbottom (The TripGreed, Welcome To Sarajevo), This England stars Oscar winner Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson and Ophelia Lovibond (Minx) as Carrie Symonds.
The six-part Sky Original drama takes us inside the halls of power during Johnson’s tumultuous first months as Prime Minister, as he grapples with Covid-19, Brexit, and a controversial personal and political life.
In their five star review, The Evening Standard calls This England “splendid television, history distilled on screen… Watch it and weep.”
THE CLEANING LADY S2 | Binge episodes 1-2 now, with new episodes on Thursdays
Based on the Argentine series La Chica que Limpia, crime drama The Cleaning Lady follows a whip-smart Filipina doctor (Elodie Yung from The Hitman’s Bodyguard and The Defenders), who comes to the US for medical treatment to save her son. When the system fails and pushes her into hiding, she becomes a cleaner for the mob and starts playing the game by her own rules.
Nominated for a 2022 Hollywood Critics Association Television Award for Best Broadcast Network Series: Drama, the series has been compared to Breaking Bad, with Paste saying, “The Cleaning Lady is a fast-paced portrayal of a woman pushed to the edge and forced to contend with hard decisions for the wellbeing of her family… Yung’s central performance is filled with warmth, determination, and grit.”
Adan Canto (Designated Survivor) and Teen Choice Award winner Oliver Hudson (Nashville) return, with Emmy nominee Naveen Andrews (The DropoutLost) joining the cast this season.
GOSSIP GIRL S2 | Binge now
It’s the second semester of junior year, and Gossip Girl is leaving no stone unturned in her effort to control the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite. She’s learned a thing or two from her first go-round, namely: what her audience wants, they shall get. It’s time for her to turn the heat up on what’s been simmering (Julien, have you met Monet?) as well as look at her own impact, and how she can make it more catastrophic than it was before. Even if that means lying to do it. Old enemies, new allies, constantly shifting sands — this semester, there can only be one queen, and by the end of the school year, everyone will know where the bodies are buried, and just who was holding the shovel.
Picking up with a new generation of New York private school teens at Constance St Jude’s, the reboot’s launch saw it trending at #1 on Twitter and generating over 15 billion total social impressions, pulling in a record number of viewers over Part 1’s first weekend on HBO Max in July last year.
Season 2’s cast includes Jordan Alexander (Sacred Lies), Eli Brown (Wrath of ManPretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists), Thomas Doherty (High FidelityLegaciesDescendants 2 & 3), pop-culture icon Tavi Gevinson, Young Artist Award winner Emily Alyn Lind (Doctor Sleep), model and surfing star Evan Mock, Zion Moreno (Claws), Ugandan actress Whitney Peak (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Savannah Lee Smith and Grace Duah. Guest star and Emmy nominee Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) reprises her role as Georgina Sparks from the multiple Teen Choice Award-winning original series, based on the bestselling novels by Cecily von Ziegesar.
Season 2 has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Wrap saying, “What this season does well is truly a delight.”
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RUN THE WORLD S1 | Binge now
Run the World follows a group of Black women who work, live, and play in Harlem as they strive for world domination, not just surviving but thriving together as they navigate relationships and the professional world.
The four best friends are played by Black Reel Award nominee Amber Stevens West (22 Jump Street) as Whitney, Andrea Bordeaux (NCIS: Los Angeles) as Ella, Corbin Reid (Blair WitchHow to Get Away with Murder) as Sondi, and Bresha Webb (Night School), who was nominated for a Black Reel Award for Outstanding Actress, Comedy Series for her role as Renee.
In addition, Erika Alexander (Shining GirlsWu-Tang: An American Saga) won Outstanding Guest Actress, Comedy at the Black Reel Awards, where the series was also nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series for showrunner and executive producer Yvette Lee Bowser (Dear White People).
Already renewed for a second season, Run the World has a rare 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Hollywood Reporter saying, “Fizzy yet substantial, Run the World offers exactly the feeling you’d want while catching up with an old friend over cocktails: It’s giddy, gossipy and gladdening.”
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BILLIONS S6 | Binge now
New money means no mercy as Mike Prince takes the Axe Capital throne in Season 6 of Billions. Chuck Rhoades is convinced no one should have that much wealth – or power. As all the players seek out new alliances, only one thing’s for certain – wealth means war.
Following the Season 5 exit of Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis), Critics Choice nominee Corey Stoll (House of CardsAnt-Man) steps into the spotlight as his successor, Prince, along with Black Reel nominee Daniel Breaker (The Good FightMozart in the Jungle) as Prince’s right-hand man, Scooter Dunbar.
Also among the cast this season are Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Sakina Jaffrey (House of CardsSnowpiercer) and MTV Movie Award nominee Campbell Scott (Big NightHouse of Cards), with a guest appearance from Emmy nominee Wendie Malick (Young SheldonJust Shoot Me!).
Nominated for five Critics Choice Awards, Billions has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes for Season 6, and is already renewed for a seventh season.
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN S1 | Binge from 27 February 2023
Inspired by John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel that has been previously adapted into two acclaimed films, Let The Right One In centres on Mark and his daughter Eleanor, whose lives changed 10 years ago when she was turned into a vampire. Eleanor (aka Ellie) leads a secluded life, able to go out only at night, while her father does his best to feed her the human blood she needs to survive. Now, they’ve returned home to New York City, desperate to find a cure.
Let The Right One In stars Oscar nominee Demián Bichir (The Hateful EightA Better Life) as Mark and America’s Got Talent breakout child star Madison Taylor Baez as Eleanor. Critics Choice nominees Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls) and Nick Stahl (Sin City), Grace Gummer (Mr. RobotDr. Death), Kevin Carroll (The LeftoversBlindspotting), and Emmy winner Željko Ivanek (True Blood) co-star, with child actor Ian Foreman as Ellie’s friend Isaiah.
Critics are praising the performances, with Wall Street Journal saying, “Both of the young actors are remarkable, memorable and carry much of the story. Let the Right One In has a uniformly top-notch cast, but the kids happen to be terrific.”
AMERICAN GIGOLO S1 | Binge from 6 February 2023
Exonerated after 15 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, former gigolo Julian Kaye (Jon Bernthal from We Own This City) tries to pick up the pieces as the detective who put him behind bars works to unravel the mystery that led to his incarceration.
Screen Actors Guild winner Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk EmpireMozart in the Jungle), award winner Lizzie Brocheré (War of the WorldsAmerican Horror Story), and Gabriel LaBelle (The Fabelmans) co-star, along with Emmy winners Rosie O’Donnell (The L Word: Generation QRussian Doll) and Wayne Brady (The Good FightWhose Line Is It Anyway?)
Executive produced by 10-time Emmy winner Jerry Bruckheimer (Top Gun: MaverickPirates of the CaribbeanBad BoysCSI  and more), the 18-rated Showtime series is created by Emmy nominee David Hollander (Ray Donovan), based on the iconic 1980 film by Oscar nominee Paul Schrader (The Card CounterTaxi Driver).
BUMP S1-3 | First on Showmax | Binge from 6 February 2023
Because smart girls do dumb things too…
In the Australian series Bump, the lives of a professional mid-40s couple on the brink of divorce are upended when their overachieving 16-year-old daughter Olly has a surprise baby. As the life-changing consequences of an impulsive teenage hook-up ripple out across a high school and three families, the show takes on modern parenthood, kids who never leave, what happens when strangers accidentally become family, and the terrible and great things that come out of one little tiny mistake.
Season 1 nabbed an 86% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Time Out saying, “This show just gets that it’s the bumps along the way that make life so fascinating.” Bump has been nominated for nine awards in Australia, including Best Drama Series at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards.
Young Australian actors Nathalie Morris and Carlos Sanson star alongside the likes of Angus Sampson (FargoOur Flag Means Death) and series co-creator Claudia Karvan (The Other Guy), who was nominated for Best Lead Actress: Drama at the AACTA Awards as Angie Davis.
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THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE S3 | Binge from 13 February 2023
Iris (Julia Goldani Telles from The Affair) relocates to London, leaving behind her family and a half-finished neuroscience degree. She begins a double life: working at a tech startup while providing the girlfriend experience at night.
The 18-rated series is executive produced by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies and VideotapeTraffic), with Berlin International Film Festival winner Anja Marquardt (She’s Lost Control) directing this season. As LA Times says of this season, “The Girlfriend Experience predicted pandemic sex.”
S1 of the anthology series was Time’s second-best series of the year (and made Top Ten lists from Vulture and The Playlist to SlantCollider and Slate), with Newsday calling it, “TV’s most adult show,” while The Guardian called S2 “the most compelling drama on TV”.
CROSSFIRE S1 | Binge from 28 February 2022
From the makers of The ResponderCrossfire follows former police officer Jo, who takes her family on holiday to a resort in the Canary Islands, in the wake of her marriage falling apart. But their dream vacation turns into a nightmare as she and her family are thrust into a battle for survival when gunmen attack the hotel.
BAFTA nominee Keeley Hawes (The DurrellsBodyguardLine of Duty) stars as Jo, with Josette Simon (Anatomy of a Scandal), Anneika Rose (Line of Duty) and Lee Ingleby (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) among the cast.
In their four star review, Radio Times called the three-part BBC miniseries “gripping”, “harrowing” and “heart-wrenching.”
THE REUNION S1 | First on Showmax | Binge from 10 February 2023
Set against the idyllic backdrop of the French Riviera, the psychological thriller The Reunion centres on a high school reunion where three estranged friends reconnect. But the upcoming demolition of a school gymnasium wall is set to unearth the 25-year-old secret that binds them.
Ukrainian actress Ivanna Sakhno (Pacific Rim Uprising), Teen Choice winner Ioan Gruffudd (HarrowAva), and award-winning French actor Grégory Fitoussi (Spiral) headline an international cast that includes award winners Rupert Graves (SherlockV for Vendetta), and Dervla Kirwan (Smother).
The series, based on Guillaume Musso’s international bestseller La Jeune Fille et la Nuit, is adapted by British Screenwriters’ Award nominee Marston Bloom (Marcella) and directed by Bill Eagles (PennyworthBeautiful Creatures).
I LOVE THAT FOR YOU S1 | Binge from 17 February 2023
Inspired by true events, I Love That For You follows childhood leukaemia survivor Joanna Gold (Emmy-nominated comedian Vanessa Bayer from Saturday Night Live and 2020’s Will & Grace) as she chases her lifelong dream of becoming a home shopping channel host.
Shedding her “cancer girl” label, Joanna moves away from her parents, starts a budding romance for the first time in her adult life and befriends her idol, the charismatic star of the network (Emmy nominee Molly Shannon from The White Lotus S1 and 2020’s Will & Grace, who is up for a 2023 Film Independent Spirit Award for the role). But when a little white lie to her boss (Critics Choice nominee Jenifer Lewis from Black-ish) turns into a big snowy avalanche, Joanna finds that living the dream comes with a hefty price tag.
The cast also includes Teen Choice nominee Jason Schwartzman (FargoScott Pilgrim vs. the WorldThe Grand Budapest Hotel) and Critics Choice winner Ryan Phillippe (Damages54Cruel Intentions).
The comedy has an 81% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus calls it “an overdue showcase for Vanessa Bayer.” As Globe and Mail says, “It’s a tight, tart comedy sending up the egos of the on-air hosts and mocking the greed of an outlet that sells gimcrackery with deeply serious intent.”
• HOUSE OF THE DRAGON S1Best Television Series – Drama, 2023 Golden Globes | Best TV Series, Best New Series, and Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy Series, Rotten Tomatoes’ Golden Tomato Awards
• THE WHITE LOTUS S2: Best Limited Series, 2023 Golden Globes and Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Coolidge), 2023 Golden Globes and 2023 Critics Choice Awards
• EUPHORIA S2: Best Actress: Drama Series (Zendaya), 2023 Critics Choice Awards and 2023 Golden Globes
• HACKS S2: Best Actress: Comedy Series (Jean Smart), 2023 Critics Choice Awards
• BARRY S3: Best Supporting Actor: Comedy Series (Henry Winkler), 2023 Critics Choice Awards
To see everything on Showmax in February 2023, including first seasons of The Real Housewives of Abuja and Nairobi, S2 of the hit Showmax Original psychological thriller DAM, and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Oscar-nominated Elena Ferrante adaptation, The Lost Daughter, click here.
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Radio & TV

MTV Shuga Naija unveils new cast for fifth season of multi-award-winning social impact TV series



MTV Shuga Naija Activated

MTV Shuga Naija, an MTV Staying Alive Foundation initiative, is back for a fifth season and boasts a strong cast to extend the impact of its taboo-defying edutainment TV series. Set to premiere in April this year, the fifth season will focus on storylines about Gender-Based Violence and COVID-19, while continuing to address HIV prevention. Behind the camera, the focus is on empowering female creatives, with an 80% female crew while in front of the camera, an exciting lineup of new faces will be headlined by sensational actresses and co-stars on Netflix’s series ‘Far from Home’, Genoveva Umeh and Gbubemi Ejeye.

Susan Pwajok – best known on-screen from her role in the popular Nigerian family drama series, The Johnsons, has also been announced as a cast member as has well-loved Pan-African MTV Base Culture Squad member, Ilooise Omohinmi. Other new cast members announced include high profile talents Maggie Osuome, Lexan Peters, Ben Touitou, Kem Ajieh Ikechukwu, Okey Uzoeshi, John Njamah, Kiki Omeili, Chioma Edak, Francis Onwochei and, Bolaji Ogunmola.  

Last year, MTV Shuga Naija initiated a search for exceptional young talent via online auditions that received over a thousand applications. The two winners of these auditions – Kanaga Emmanuel Eme and Chioma Edak – have been chosen to play lead roles on the show, while others selected will play supporting roles. 

Returning MTV Shuga actors include Adesua Etomi-Wellington (Far From Home, Falling, Sugar Rush), Tomiwa Tegbe (My Siblings and I) and Sharon Jatto (The Griot). 

“New cast always means deeper, richer stories and, of course, more drama,” said Adesua Etomi-Wellington. “Given the importance of the conversation we are making mainstream, I am so excited to be part of the new season, and excited to be sharing the screen with this group of uber-talented individuals and proud new members of the MTV Shuga Naija family.”   

“The cast of MTV Shuga Naija are not just actors, but ambassadors of our edutainment campaign. They are working tirelessly to ensure that our messaging reaches and positively impacts millions of young Nigerians, empowering them to make better decisions about their health and lives.” remarked Anita Adesiyan, Country Manager, MTV Shuga Naija. 

Season 5 of MTV Shuga Naija promises brand new storylines, fresh characters and a stand-alone story, so new audiences are welcome, as well as welcoming back the MTV Shuga family of fans across Nigeria. The magic of MTV Shuga lies in the research done with youth in Nigeria which informs the social and health topics tackled in the series and ensures that the storyline reflects the lives of the youth they hope to edutain. Their mission is to drive social change among youth, a mission they share with a number of like-minded organisations. 

“In partnership with Unitaid, Global Innovation Fund and Paramount, we will focus on spotlighting the importance of HIV self-testing and accessibility of testing kits, Gender-Based Violence, COVID-19 vaccine confidence, gender capacity building and modern contraception. Also, through our partnerships with the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), the Lagos State Domestic and sexual violence agency (DSVA), the Lagos State Ministry of Health and Hello Lagos, we aim to provide support and direct our audience to the relevant agencies who will offer the required counselling and treatment they need,” confirmed Adesiyan. 

In addition to the return of MTV Shuga Naija, MTV Staying Alive Foundation also unveiled their Talent Accelerator Program — a platform created to invest in young, emerging female creatives. The initiative will leverage internship placements and mentorship programmes across production units to advance gender-aware media in the Nigerian TV & Film industry. Its first execution saw the selection of 11 outstanding young women to work across different departments through the filming of the new season. 

The crew of MTV Shuga Naija Season 5 is 80% female, further emphasising the campaign’s objective of investing in female creatives in the Nigerian media market. The fifth season of the award-winning TV drama is produced by 1Pod Pictures, a female-led production company out of Nigeria and boasts the youngest producers ever to film MTV Shuga Naija.    

The new season of MTV Shuga Naija will premiere on MTV Base (DStv channel 322 and GOtv channel 72), BET, and the free-to-air platform, NTA later this year. All episodes of the season will also be available on Netflix and YouTube.  


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Radio & TV

MultiChoice Talent Factory goes live with online short courses for 300 filmmakers across Africa




The MultiChoice Talent Factory has partnered with SAE Institute, a world leader in creative media education, to offer fully funded online short courses to 300 professional filmmakers. The filmmakers come from Malawi, Zambia, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria. They work at various production houses and free-to-air channels, including public state-owned broadcasters.

The online short courses have been custom designed by MTF and SAE, after identifying certain skills shortages within the industry. The five courses created are Script Writing, Production Management, Cinematography, Audio Post-Production and 3D Animation. Each short course will run for five weeks. The courses were designed to address key areas of development that have been identified by content buyers and subject-matter experts in the industry.

SAE, with 47 campuses in 23 countries, has been setting the global benchmark for creative media education since 1976. In South Africa, they proudly offer nationally accredited Bachelor’s Degrees and Higher Certificates across 4 disciplines Animation, Audio, Games and Film.

“Following the success and immense impact of the MTF Academy, we’ve received numerous requests from established filmmakers, who are unable to apply for the Academy Graduate Programmes as they only cater for young filmmakers. To ensure we cater to those filmmakers, we wanted to create short courses to further enhance their skill sets and this is our response to those requests. The TV & film industry is constantly evolving and as such we as professionals must continue to diversify and develop our skills” say MTF Director for Africa, Nwabisa Matyumza.

The online orientation programme, hosted by South African comedian, Mpho Popps, was attended by the various filmmakers embarking on this exciting learning journey. During the orientation session, the filmmakers were taken through the online learning platform and had the opportunity to meet their course facilitators and fellow filmmakers from across the continent.

“We’re excited to walk this journey with the MultiChoice Talent Factory. Our purpose is to educate, empower and employ and this partnership allows us to expand this purpose into other African countries. These short courses provide much-needed upskilling for many self-taught individuals who have never had the opportunity to study at a university. It goes a long way in bolstering the existing skill and talent on the continent,” says Scott Rogers, Managing Director of Invictus Online at the SAE Institute.


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Radio & TV

Top Gun: Maverick – and the original classic – now streaming on Showmax



Top Gun: Maverick

Having any fun yet?

Top Gun: Maverick is now streaming on Showmax, having just been named Best Movie, Best Wide Release Movie and Best Action & Adventure Movie at Rotten Tomatoes’ Golden Tomato Awards, which recognise the best reviewed films of the year. Top Gun: Maverick currently has a 96% rating from over 450 critics and a 99% audience score from over 50 000 fans on the site.

After more than 30 years of service as one of the navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Oscar nominee Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.

When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialised mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Sundance winner Miles Teller), call sign “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.” Rooster’s father trusted Maverick; he isn’t about to make the same mistake.

Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears.

Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind), Emmy winner Jon Hamm (Mad Men), four-time Oscar nominee Ed Harris (Westworld), multi-award-winner Val Kilmer (Heat) and Monica Barbaro (UnREAL) co-star.

The second biggest box office hit globally, Top Gun: Maverick has already won more than 60 international awards and is one of the 100 top-rated movies of all time on IMDb. It was also named the best film of 2022 by media as varied as Complex, The Globe and Mail, IMDb, People, The Telegraph, Total Film, Uproxx, and The Washington Post.

As Rotten Tomatoes says, “Top Gun: Maverick is why we love the blockbuster experience: exhilarating action with big emotional stakes and an on-your-feet sunset ending.”

Similarly, Independent calls it “as thrilling as blockbusters get”; Daily Telegraph hails it as “unquestionably the best studio action film since 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road”; and Time/Out says, “You will want to high five someone on the way out.”

Top Gun: Maverick has been shortlisted in multiple Oscar categories and is already nominated for four 2023 BAFTAs, including Cinematography and Special Visual Effects; the Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble; and a Grammy for its soundtrack, among other honours.

Showmax is also streaming the original 1980s classic, Top Gun, directed by the late Tony Scott and co-starring the likes of Oscar winner Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption), Emmy winners Anthony Edwards (ER) and Tom Skerritt (Alien), multi-award-winner Meg Ryan (When Harry Met Sally) and the late Kelly McGillis (Witness). Top Gun won an Oscar for Giorgio Moroder’s Take My Breath Away, a Grammy for Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Steven’s Top Gun Anthem, and the 1987 People’s Choice Award for Favourite Motion Picture, among other accolades.

So whether you’re feeling a need for speed, or Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, old-school action or 80s nostalgia, it’s time to strap in to Showmax.

Watch the Top Gun: Maverick trailer:

Watch the Top Gun trailer:

Showmax’s January movie line-up also includes the Oscar-nominated House of Gucci, the BAFTA-winning Licorice Pizza, and the animated blockbuster The Addams Family 2, with Jordan Peele’s Get Out, just named one of the top 100 films of all time in Sight & Sound’s once-a-decade critics’ poll, available from 26 January 2023, and 2022 BAFTA winner Together, starring James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan, available from 30 January 2023.

Showmax is also home to a wealth of Tom Cruise classics, including Mission: Impossible – Fallout, American Made, Oblivion, Interview With The Vampire, and The Last Samurai, as well as Jack Reacher and its sequel, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.

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People & Lifestyle

Blaqboi and Ipeleng are BBTitans’ ultimate dynamic duo as they become joint Head of House




Pairs Yelisa, Santheo, Juvon and Juiovla are up for eviction in new twist


Week two in the Big Brother Titans house turned out to be a key week to level out the ratio of cliques and rivalries, with Biggie adding a new twist where housemates had to form duos before taking part in the Head of House games – and then being nominated for eviction as a duo.

Vying for the grand prize of US$100,000, Blaqboi & Ipeleng (Blaqleng) came out tops as their strategy and pace were tested as a pair during this week’s challenge.

Nelisa & Yemi Cregx (Yelisa), Sandra & Theo Traw (Santheo), Justin & Yvonne (Juvone), and Juicy Jay & Olivia (Juiovla) were the four pairs to be nominated for eviction this Sunday.

How did it work? Housemates had to pick a card with the name of the opposite gender and nationality. The content of the card ultimately carried the name of the housemate they would be paired with throughout the show and compete with for the HoH privilege.

During the first round, male housemates played the “junk in the trunk” game, shaking out ping-pong balls in a tissue box placed around their waists. This was tailed by their partners taking each other on with the viral wine glass race using a roll of toilet paper and a wine glass to pull the glass towards them as fast and effortless as they could.

For the second round, Blaqleng went head-to-head with Khosi & Miracle OP (Khosicle), where the pairs juggled balloons in the air with only two simple rules: keep all four balloons afloat at the same time while remaining in the designated square – the pair who held all balloons afloat the longest won the challenge.

Taking over from Khosi, Nelisa & Yemi Cregx (Yelisa) were announced as this week’s Tails and were told by Biggie that each will be given a white board to carry throughout the week. The two will have to write down anything they need to communicate with their housemates on the white board before speaking. To avoid any penalties, they must duplicate word for word what has been written on the board without adding or taking away any words.

Following the initial nomination of Yelisa, Santheo, Juvone and Ebubu & Tsatsii (Royals), Blaqleng used their veto power to save Royals – replacing them with Juiovla during an emotional nomination process.

Once the final nominations were locked in and announced to the housemates, Biggie warned the nominated pairs not to campaign for votes or talk about their nomination ahead of Sunday’s show where one of the nominated pairs could be the first to leave the #BBTitans house.

Fans can vote for their favourite pair on and by registering on the site, as well as the DStv and GOtv Self Service Apps.

Catch Big Brother Titans live, 24/7 on DStv Channel 198 and GOtv Channel 29. Keep up with the conversation with the hashtag #BBTitans, visit, and follow @BigBroAfrica on Twitter, bigbro_africa on Instagram, and @BigBrotherAfrica on Facebook. 


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Radio & TV

Showmax announces The Real Housewives of Abuja: Meet the Housewives



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Arafa, Comfort Booth, OJ Posharella, Princess Jecoco, Samantha Homossany and Tutupie to star in The Real Housewives of Abuja (more…)

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