Reggie Yates on his directorial debut Pirates and the music that made him

Reggie Yates on his directorial debut Pirates and the music that made him

Reggie Yates on his directorial debut Pirates and the music that made him.

The multi-hyphenate screen star discusses his new film, a feature-length homage to London’s garage scene that follows three young radio DJs on a hectic New Year’s Eve in 1999.

After a decade in- front of the camera, his upcoming feature-length homage to London’s garage scene, Pirates, marks a novel step behind it. Set across a hectic New Year’s Eve in 1999, the air electric with hopefulness boded by the new millennium, it follows three eighteen-year-olds – Kidda, Two Tonne and Cappo – as they desperately try to get into the hottest party of the night. It’s an 80-minute hoot.

The movie had it’s London film premiere earlier this month.

Percolating with love for the era and deep reverence for the up-tempo records that defined Yates’s adolescence (think old-school hits by the likes of Wookie and So Solid Crew). Filmmakers often mine their lived experiences for their first directorial outings, and Yates’s debut is no different. None of the characters are explicitly based on him, but they are notionally inspired by the people around whom he grew up: “The people I went to drama club with, the people I went to school with, the people I sat next to at football – my world is piled into this film,” he says.

I have a very broad spectrum of family and friends in terms of racial background

Reggis Yates

Yates finds himself in transition, stacked with lofty ambitions: to direct a film every year for the next few, at least. “I don’t have kids, I’m not beholden to anyone but myself,” he notes. He’s a perennial hard worker: even with decades of work across the media industry under his belt, he still qualifies the current moment as “where I should be grafting, to really learn my craft and do as much as I can.” As a director, he’s far from a dogmatist, professing a belief in the strength of collaboration.


It just shows to me, like, his level of determination and hard work, I think, how much he helped us,” says Reda Elazouar, who plays Kidda. “His work rate is amazing – in-sane. This guy has five hours sleep and he’ll come to set so energised,” concurs co-star Jordan Peters (Two Tonne).

He concluded to GQ: “Every time I’ve tried to predict what’s going to happen, I’ve been really wrong,” he says. “I’m just open to whatever the man upstairs has planned for me.”

Pirates is in cinemas now


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Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman is an established showbiz journalist and freelance copywriter whose work has been published in Business Insider, Daily Mail, Bloomberg, MTV, Buzzfeed, and The New York Post, amongst other media. Often spotted on the red carpet at celebrity events and film screenings, Mark is a regular guest on BBC Radio London and in demand for his opinions on media outlets such as Newsweek, Daily Express, and OK! Magazine, as well as Heart radio, Capital FM, LBC, and Radio 2. His TV credits include ITV News, This Morning, BBC News, The One Show, Sky News, GB News, and Channel T4. Mark is a keen traveller having visited 40+ countries, and a devout sports fan who also attends as many gigs as he can across the capital when not rubbing shoulders with the stars. Email

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