Reggie Yates

Reggie Yates
Born (1983-05-31) 31 May 1983
Archway, Islington, London, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Actor, television presenter, Radio DJ
Television Presenting:
Top of the Pops (2004—)
Only in America (2005)
The Voice UK (2012–13)
Release the Hounds (2013—)
Prized Apart (2015)
Website Official website

Reggie Yates (born 31 May 1983) is a British actor, television presenter and radio DJ, best known from his roles as Rastamouse, Leo Jones in Doctor Who, and for his work at the BBC in radio and television - presenting various shows for BBC Radio 1 with Fearne Cotton – as well as hosting the ITV2 reality show Release the Hounds.

Since 2015, he has co-presented the primetime BBC One game show Prized Apart, alongside Emma Willis. He is also the presenter of the BBC Three show Reggie Yates' Extreme Russia, Extreme South Africa and Extreme UK.


Yates made his first television appearance in Desmond's at the age of eight. He also appeared in Disney Club, as Robbie. In 1998, Yates appeared as a guest presenter on Diggit on CITV also under the name Robbie. In 2002, he played Carl Fenton in the popular children's series Grange Hill. From 2002 to 2004, he presented the Sunday morning programme Smile, and then went on to present Top of the Pops with former Smile co-host Fearne Cotton before the final episode broadcast on BBC Two on 30 July 2006. He also created and starred in the series The Crust and presented Dance Factory and his own radio show on BBC Radio 1.

In 2005, Yates appeared in the BBC singing contest Comic Relief Does Fame Academy in aid of Comic Relief, finishing in fourth place. On the show, his songs included "Boombastic", "You're The First, The Last, My Everything", "It Ain't Over Til It's Over", "U Can't Touch This" and "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)". He also sang a duet, "It Takes Two", with Edith Bowman, the eventual winner of the show. He dyed his hair red for his performance of "Dancing on the Ceiling".

On 10 March 2006, Yates appeared on Stars in Fast Cars and won his heat to get into the final, beating Elton Welsby and Ben Fogle in the last round.

Yates presented Mighty Truck of Stuff and Only in America with Fearne Cotton on CBBC as well as a programme on BBC Radio 1. They presented a breakfast show on Saturday and Sunday mornings, taking over from JK and Joel. They played from 7:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. The duo then went on to present The Radio 1 Chart Show starting on 14 October 2007 until Sunday 20 September 2009. Cotton left following her promotion to weekday mornings on Radio 1 from 10:00 a.m.–12:45 p.m. leaving Yates to present on his own.[1] In addition to the chart show, Yates also presented a request show on Saturday afternoons, known as The Radio 1 Request Show, where listeners could send in a text or phone in to request a song. In April 2012, it was announced that Yates would finish the request show and continue with only The Official Chart. He announced in November 2012 that he would leave BBC Radio 1, and his last show aired on 23 December that year.

In 2006 Yates appeared on a Reality TV Special of The Weakest Link and was voted off in the fourth round.

In 2007, Yates appeared in the third series of revived science-fiction series Doctor Who as Leo Jones, brother of the Tenth Doctor's companion Martha.[2]

Yates also presented series 1 of Escape from Scorpion Island with co-presenter Caroline Flack on BBC 1 between 3 and 21 September 2007.[3]

He also appeared on Dizzee Rascal's 2007 single "Flex" music video as one of the judges in a parody TV show called "Flex Factor".[4]

Yates co-hosted the MOBO Awards 2009 with Keri Hilson at the SECC, Glasgow. He has also presented live coverage of the Glastonbury, Reading and T in the Park music festivals for BBC Three, and interviewed stars such as Estelle and 50 Cent for MTV specials.

Yates also made a cameo appearance in Jack Osbourne's Celebrity Adrenaline Junkie with Joanna Page and Jesse Metcalfe.

Yates appeared in a special Family Guy episode on BBC Three, counting down the top 20 characters of the show as part of a special Family Guy weekend.

In 2011, Yates voiced the main character, Rastamouse, in the CBeebies television show Rastamouse. In March 2011, he appeared with Lenny Henry, Angela Rippon and Samantha Womack in the BBC fundraising documentary for Comic Relief called Rich, Famous and in the Slums, where the four celebrities were sent to Kibera in Kenya, Africa's largest slum.[5] In October 2011, Yates starred in Arjun Rose's UK slasher Demons Never Die as Officer Mason.

In 2012, as part of BBC Three's Criminal Britain Season, Yates explored the culture of fear, anger and violence that drives the dangerous world of teen gangs. The show, Reggie Yates: Teen Gangs, involved Yates speaking to current and former gang members to find out why and how teens get into gangs. He also investigated ways in which gang members can escape the life of violence and anger.

In 2012 and 2013, Yates hosted the BBC One singing show The Voice UK, hosting the first two series with Holly Willoughby. They were replaced by Emma Willis and Marvin Humes in 2013.

2013 saw Yates travel to South Africa to shoot a series about extreme communities entitled Reggie Yates: Extreme South Africa, which aired in Spring 2014 on BBC Three. It was successful enough for Yates to return with Reggie Yates' Extreme Russia in April 2015 for BBC Three.[6]

Yates is also a writer and director. In 2013, his first short film Patriarch aired on Channel 4 as part of their "Random Acts" season and he has just completed his second short called Date Night starring Daniel Kaluuya and Tony Way which won 'Best UK Short Film' at the London Independent Film Festival.

Since 2014, Yates has hosted ITV2 programme Release the Hounds after a successful pilot in 2013.

Yates appeared in an episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, which aired on 25 September 2014.[7]

Yates, along with Emma Willis presented the Saturday night game show Prized Apart on BBC One in 2015.[8] The show was axed shortly after.

In 2016, Reggie was awarded Best Presenter for his critically acclaimed series Extreme Russia at the Royal Television Society Awards [9] and Best Multi-channel Programme at the Broadcast Awards.[10]

Continuing his documentarian journey, in 2016 Reggie's BBC Three series The Insider saw the presenter spend time behind bars in Texas and join Unit 27 of the 56th Infantry Battalion in Acapulco to live the life of an ordinary soldier fighting on the front line of the brutal war against the country’s powerful and violent drug cartels.

Personal life

Yates' parents, Felicia Asante and Reginald "Jojo" Yates,[11] were both born in Ghana;[11][12] however, his paternal grandfather Harry was the son of an English accountant, George Yates, who worked in the gold mining industry. Harry Yates' wife Dorothy, who was married to him in a customary marriage, was also of mixed race: her father was a British colonial administrator, A. G. Lloyd, while her mother Sarah was a farmer and trader.[13]

Yates grew up in north London, and attended Central Foundation Boys' School in Cowper Street, Islington. A large photo of him, as with other famous ex-pupils, adorns a wall of fame at the school. He then attended City & Islington Sixth Form College on Goswell Road, Islington. Yates has an older sister named Cerise (born 1982), and another sister around 12 years younger.

In January 2015, Yates announced his engagement to model girlfriend Tia Ward. They had been dating for two years.[14]

Yates is a fan of Arsenal.[15]


Yates' charity work with UNICEF and The Commonwealth Games took him to Jamaica to learn about the sport and education work that UNICEF is doing there.[16]




Television acting

Writing and directing


National Television Awards

Year Category Show Result
2017TV PresenterExtreme RussiaNominated
2017Factual EntertainmentReggie Yates: The Insider, BBC ThreeNominated

Royal Television Society Television Awards

Year Category Show Result
2016Best PresenterExtreme RussiaWon
2016Documentary SeriesExtreme RussiaNominated
2016EntertainmentRelease the HoundsWon
2011Best PresenterAutistic SuperstarsNominated

Broadcast Awards

Year Category Show Result
2016Best multi-channel programmeExtreme RussiaWon

Broadcast Digital Awards

Year Category Show Result
2016Best Popular Factual ProgrammeExtreme RussiaNominated
2016Best Entertainment ProgrammeRelease the HoundsNominated

Edinburgh TV Awards

Year Category Show Result
2016Best Factual ProgrammeExtreme RussiaWon

Attitude Pride Awards

Year Category Show Result
2015Attitude Ally AwardReggie Yates for Extreme RussiaWon

London Independent Film Awards

Year Category Show Result
2014Festival Prize, Best Short Film UK FeatureDate NightWon

Children's BAFTA Awards

Year Category Show Result
2003PresenterReggie Yates: SmileNominated


  1. "All Change At Radio 1". BBC Radio 1. 6 September 2007. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2007.
  2. "Meet the Joneses". 3 September 2006. Retrieved 3 September 2006.
  3. "UK Game Shows". UK Game Shows. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  4. "Semtex on set at the Dizzee Rascal 'Flex' video shoot", BBC, 10 October 2007.
  5. Mangan, Lucy (3 March 2011). "TV review: Love Thy Neighbour; Famous, Rich and In the Slums". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  6. "Reggie Yates' Extreme Russia", BBC Three.
  7. "Reggie: Who Do You Think You Are?", Reggie Yates website, 16 September 2014.
  8. Alex Fletcher, "Emma Willis, Reggie Yates to host new BBC Saturday night show Prized Apart", Digital Spy, 11 December 2014.
  9. "RTS Programme Awards", 2016 winners.
  10. "Best multi-channel programme: Reggie Yates’ Extreme Russia" Broadcast Now
  11. 1 2 "Reggie Yates – A tale of complicated relationships in the Ghana goldrush of the early 20th Century...", TheGenealogist, 24 September 2014.
  12. Rachel Shields, "'I'm peerless. If you're black and want it all, there's no blueprint'", The Independent, 12 December 2010.
  13. Jon Bauckham, "Reggie Yates",Who Do You Think You Are? online, 25 September 2014.
  14. Ryan Smith (22 January 2015). "'It's all come together perfectly': Reggie Yates engaged to model Tia Ward after proposing with a stunning ring he designed". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  15. "The ZOO Q&A: Reggie Yates". Zoo Weekly. Retrieved 20 July 2008. I'm a season ticket holder at Arsenal
  16. "Video: Reggie Yates meets children in Jamaica for Unicef", Unicef.
  17. "Reggie & Thunderbirds: No Strings Attached", ITV Press Centre.
  18. "Date Night", Reggie Yates website, 21 April 2014.
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