The eminent filmmaker, Sir Steve McQueen, will be returning to screens with a documentary on the New Cross fire 1981.

From the true-story-inspired series Small Axe to the Irish Hunger Strike story Hunger, Sir Steve McQueen has proved to be a seminal filmmaker whose period dramas pack a punch. Small Axe, Sir Steve’s five-part film anthology, portrayed the real lives of West Indian immigrants in London between the 1960s and 1970s. After airing on BBC One to rave success, the series has now garnered 15 nominations in this year’s Bafta TV Awards.


Continuing along Small Axe’s trailblazing path, Sir Steve’s slot on BBC One will be reinstated with a crucial documentary exploring race relations in London. “Uprising” will be a three-part series taking the New Cross Fire of January 1981 as its subject. The documentary will also examine the fire’s aftermath and the events that followed, including the Black People’s Day of Action in March, and the Brixton Riots that took place in April.


Gathering testimonies from survivors, investigators, and activists, “Uprising” will grapple with events that have been significant in the development of race relations in the UK today.


Speaking to the BBC, the knighted director behind 12 Years a Slave has said “we can only learn if we look at things through the eyes of everyone concerned.”


The series from the Oscar-winning filmmaker Sir Steve, with an air date as yet to be announced, is set to be essential viewing.