The screening of new E4 show Youngers took place at Peckhamplex in Peckham on Tuesday evening, where we were invited to watch the first two episodes of the comedy drama. Cast members were in attendance, as well as producers, scriptwriters and celebrity supporters Idris Elba and Kojo.
The programme follows the lives of two 16-year-old boys Yemi (Ade Oyefeso) and Jay (Calvin Demba) and their friendships, relationships and their strive for success following their GCSEs.
With a mixture of comedy and drama, writer 29-year-old Levi David Addai said he wanted to create a show that didn’t focus on the negative side of urban life that is usually seen on TV; Youngers isn’t all about crime and gang life, instead it relates to the positive side of urban life with humour and scenes that anyone living in an inner city area can identify with.
Youngers sets the tone as a programme which doesn’t take itself too seriously, and has already been coined as a mixture between Skins and The Inbetweeners with moments such as Jay’s player lifestyle, trying to juggle two girls and Yemi’s strict and firm Nigerian home-life creating moments of laughter.
There is also a promise of a budding romance between Yemi and the girl at his new posh sixth form college, Davina (Shivani Seth) where the awkwardness of Yemi being young and unsure of himself makes for some funny viewing.
Speaking to some of the cast about the show, most of them said that it was their first major TV role.
Ade Oyefeso, who plays Yemi, spoke about seeing himself on screen for the first time at the event:
It was weird seeing myself; and a little bit cringey.
Also, discussing how he got the role, he revealed that he auditioned and started rehearsals with a different cast, and it was only after the series got picked up by E4 that they done one last audition to get the final cast.
Before I knew that I was in the show, I spent the whole time waiting in my room, doing weights. Nobody ever saw me. I was just waiting for the role.
The show also features YouTube-famous Mandem On The Wall, who bring their recognisable characters to the show by playing the mandem on the wall on Yemi and Jay’s estate.
Mandem On The Wall’s Dee Kartier spoke about how they got involved in the series saying:
Overall, it’s a show that I’ll be looking forward to – if I do say so myself – as it showcases something about urban life that we don’t usually see on TV, which is relatable, simple and fun.
We were contacted to feature in Youngers, just to bring Mandem On The Wall to do a few little scenes; we’ll be on the show throughout the whole series.
But we haven’t stopped doing Mandem On The Wall, we have many more skits coming all the way until the end of the year.
Youngers starts on 20 March on E4.