Channel 4 Top Boy open auditions in Hoxton cancelled


UPDATE 13/11/2012

The film production company that’s producing Top Boy released a statement this afternoon:

“The producers of Top Boy, Cowboy Films held an open audition specifically for 13 – 16 year olds. The auditions were attended by more people than had been anticipated and was closed early for safety reasons. The situation was extremely well handled by police on the ground and the crowds dispersed very quickly.”

The organizers of  an audition for the second series of Top Boy were forced to cancel it, after an unexpected number of hopeful youths showed up for their chance to be noticed.

While there have been rumours on Twitter about gunshots and fights, nothing has been confirmed, although a witness to earlier scenes told Hackney Hive he believed replica guns where present. There was also chatter of fireworks being released.

It is still unclear if it was cancelled due to the unexpected numbers or if violence broke out, however a police spokesperson confirmed there had been NO incidences.

Word spread fast earlier in the week, after a call out was issued:

In a one off open call for series two of the hit Channel 4 drama Top Boy, the casting team will be looking for the following:

No acting experience necessary.

Please do not attend the casting if you do not fit the above description as you will be turned away. No emails or tel calls, simply turn up on the day.

DATE:           SUNDAY 11TH NOVEMBER 2012
TIME:            12 PM – 5 PM.


Top Boy is written and co-produced by Stoke Newington resident,  Ronan Bennett who was refused filming permission in Hackney for the first series in 2011, by the council. At the time Hackney Mayor defended the councils position by saying:

“It was not fair on residents to run the risk of having their neighbourhood stigmatised on national television as riddled with drugs and gangs.

“Even where estates do suffer these problems, few people would want their home portrayed like that, and I’d question the motives of any that did.

“Estates aren’t film sets to be casually rented out, they are people’s homes. When filming is proposed on an estate, before approaching residents’ associations for their agreement, Hackney’s film office looks carefully at the application and considers numerous issues including whether the portrayal would have a detrimental effect on the reputation of the area.

“Had Hackney agreed to the filming and had our worst fears confirmed, what possible justification could the Council give for being complicit in such negative stereotyping?”

The audition organizers have were unable to be reached for a comment or on when a new date will be arranged.

This video from the streets outside Hoxton Hall has surfaced:


Top Boy Auditions in Hoxton

About Remi

Remi Hackney Hive founder, publisher and contributor. Hackneyite and all round Girl Friday who couldn't wait to leave Hackney and London behind her. After hitching her wagon in California, Texas, New Orleans, Louisiana for 18 years, with a brief spell in Mexico, the prodigal daughter returned to London, happy to put an unconventional and risqué past behind her. It sometimes feels like she’s still at war with herself. This often leads her into a whole lot of trouble, although it’s fair to blame it on some of her best qualities: intelligence, original thinking, willingness to take risks, skepticism, rebelliousness, independence, and creativity. But you know what, much of the trouble she gets into is because she can’t help pointing out that the emperor is naked. Remi still lives by her own rules, nobody else’s. She is owned by her two dogs Deffer(a Jack Russell ) Darcy (a Jack Russell/Pomeranian mix now deceased but can’t remove their names) and two Black cats she adopted December 2021, Desmond and Tutu. She is proprietor of London’s finest and long established pet sitting service. The big smoke is home for the moment, but she desperately yearns wide open spaces, where she hopes to call home in the near future.


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3 Responses to "Channel 4 Top Boy open auditions in Hoxton cancelled"

  1. What were they thinking? There is an animal called social media, they should have known better.

    Comment by Torbjorn Halvsted on 11/11/2012 at 8:38 pm

  2. they should do online applications like email and people can send them a picture of them and a biography or something and they can phone or email back people that could be in for auditions

    Comment by skerridge on 11/11/2012 at 9:27 pm

  3. Dear Channel 4,

    I was at the audition for Top Boy with my 13 year old daughter and was horrified at the lack of organisation and proper measures taken for an audition of this size. Myself and others were practically crushed by a stampede and had to run to safety. I had to come to the aid of a grandmother who’s granddaughter had been locked in the hall when trouble started and could not reach her. 

    This is not how you would expect a television company to conduct their business. The audition was a one- off call to anyone who would fit the profile of black, Asian or mixed race origin, aged 13-  16, with no acting experience required. it was obvious that hundreds if not thousands would transcend on the venue. Yet there were no barriers or stewards to control the crowds.

    Was this a misguided attempt on Channel4s  behalf to be ‘real’ and actually recruit from the community. All  you managed to do was put children and families at risk. Most auditions always request that minors are accompanied by adults. Many children arrived alone or with friends and were terrified as they ran in panic. One girl fell and was crushed by others and sustained leg injuries.

    Channel 4s irresponsible handling of this event cannot be tolerated. I rang Hoxton Hall and Officials told me that they are not responsible for the problems and that Channel 4 had lied to them about the nature of the event and only realised when hundreds of youths filled the streets. They were not aware it was an open audition. How could this happen? We were lucky that noone was seriously hurt. Although all the facts have not emerged yet.

    As far as I could see everyone was there for a chance of an audition and didn’t set out for trouble. It didn’t help when a man went throughout the queue telling lighter skinned looking hopefuls that they didn’t fit the profile and should leave rather then wait and be disappointed. As a result of Channel 4’s mismanagement and deception the safety and reputation of young black people was compromised today. Only compounded by the irony that the role these children were auditioning for is such a negative portrayal of black youth.

    I am complaining to Channel 4 in the strongest possible terms for risking my safety and others and am taking further action



    Comment by Modetta on 12/11/2012 at 10:44 am

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