Rakie Ayola
British actor
Rakie Ayola
Rakie Olufunmilayo Ayola is a Welsh actress, best known for her role as Kyla Tyson in the BBC medical drama Holby City. She first rose to prominence in the lead role of the 1993 Jeanette Winterson screenplay Great Moments in Aviation.
Biography
Rakie Ayola's personal information overview.
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Relationships
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News
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Aisle View from London: A Curious and Altogether Astonishing Incident
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Six days in London bring the opportunity to catch up on seven shows that have opened since my last visit. I could have more industriously caught nine by juggling the schedule, but one does have other obligations. The most astonishing piece of theatre I've seen of late, for sure, is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This National Theatre production, which transferred from its home base at the Cottesloe to the Apollo in March, has thrilled packed audiences since its inception and collected a Matilda-tying seven Olivier Awards in the spring. But universal critical and audience acclaim--accompanied by a raft of awards--doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to like it. The play comes with a literary pedigree, being an adaptation of Mark Haddon's 2003 bestseller. This is decidedly beneficial to a serious drama, providing automatic name-recognition to a wide swath of ticket buyers. But this can be a negative, should the consensus be "it's not quite as good as t ...
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Huffington Post article
Movie Review - Dredd 3D (2012)
Flickering Myth - over 4 years
Dredd 3D, 2012. Directed by Pete Travis. Starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Wood Harris, Langley Kirkwood, Junior Singo, Jason Cope, Luke Tyler, Domhnall Gleeson and Rakie Ayola. SYNOPSIS: Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) teams up with rookie Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) to take down a gang that's flooding the streets of Mega City One with a reality-altering drug called SLO-MO. With the smell of Sylvester Stallone’s 1995 effort to bring 2000AD’s most popular character to the big screen now a distant memory, it’s the turn of independent British company DNA Films to give see if Judge Dredd can make it on the silver screen. Based upon the bestselling comic, Dredd 3D sees Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) and rookie mutant Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) investigate a triple homicide at Peace Trees, a 200 story housing project which is run by former prostitute and current drug peddler Ma-Ma (Lena Headey). Upon discovering Dredd and Anderson have arrested one of her men who might give ...
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Flickering Myth article
Doctor Who complete reviews: Midnight - Shadowlocked
Google News - over 5 years
Another thoughtful performance from Holby City actress Rakie Ayola, who delivers a sensitive, clever turn as a woman who's forced to think outside the box and overcome her usual routine to help defeat the intruder. Even with such a small amount of sets
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'Dredd' Photos Featuring Olivia Thirlby As Rookie Judge - Latino Review
Google News - over 5 years
Along with the aforementioned Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby, the film features Lena Headey, Domhnall Gleeson, Langley Kirkwood, Rakie Ayola, Joe Vaz, Kevon Kane, and Deobia Oparei. Just a few days ago, Lionsgate announced that 'Dredd' will be released
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Rakie Ayola
    FORTIES
  • 2009
    Age 40
    Ayola placed 17th in the awards in 2009.
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    In 2009, Ayola starred in the CBBC musical comedy My Almost Famous Family.
    More Details Hide Details She stated: "The script made me laugh out loud when I read it. I also like the fact that there were a lot of correct boxes being ticked, but the writers and producer haven't been restrained by that. "So, instead of bowing to this altar, they've said, 'Okay, we have this family that's half-black, half-white, half-American, half-British. We have a mix of boys and girls, one character who's mixed-raced and deaf – but we're not going to be restrained by any of that. We're not going to tiptoe around Martha's disability or anything.' I liked that. It wasn't some sort of reverential hands-off approach to what we're presenting." She has also been cast in the film Dredd.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2008
    Age 39
    She placed 40th in 2008, with the Western Mail noting: "the last 15 years have only seen Rakie become more beautiful and more successful".
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    She received Honourable Mention for the same role the following year, and was shortlisted again in 2008.
    More Details Hide Details In 2005, WalesOnline voted Ayola the 29th sexiest woman in Wales, saying of her: "One of our favourite thesps, she's black, beautiful and the term "yummy mummy" should have been made for her."
    In 2008, Ayola offered her support to the Action for Southern Africa campaign Dignity!
    More Details Hide Details Period, aiming to provide affordable sanitary protection to Zimbabwean women. Ayola was nominated and shortlisted for the 'Female Performance in TV' award in the 2006 Screen Nation Awards, for her role as Kyla Tyson in Holby City.
    In October 2008, Ayola announced that she would be departing from Holby City in order to have a second child, stating: "I've had a great time and I'll miss it.
    More Details Hide Details I made the decision purely because I was pregnant, but I wasn't really ready to put down the character of Kyla. I'm very sorry to have to let her go." Throughout her career, Ayola has been outspoken on the subject of racial discrimination in the entertainment industry. Describing her motivation, she states: "I am not an overtly political person. I just want fairness". Ayola believes that black actors receive less recognition than their white counterparts, explaining; "If you get a show with six stars and one is black you are more likely to see interviews with the five white actors. They are not being sold as a reason to watch." She believes that her career would have taken her in a different direction were she not of ethnic origin, stating: "I could not have played any of the roles I have played on TV if I was white I am very aware of where the glass ceiling is and it's still very low and expectations are still very low". She has noted having casting directors accept the notion of characters being both black and Welsh to be a particular problem, explaining that: "I get offered a lot of very different roles, but they're never Welsh. The one time I was asked to play a Welsh character on screen was in Tiger Bay for BBC Wales, but I know if that series had been called Radyr Park or Cyncoed Close I wouldn't have been in it".
  • 2006
    Age 37
    From 7 February 2006 to 9 December 2008, Ayola starred in BBC medical drama Holby City as nurse Kyla Tyson.
    More Details Hide Details She had previously appeared in Holby City sister show Casualty, and had made an appearance in Holby City fifth series as patient Marianne Lawson. She was approached about returning to the show in a more permanent role by BBC casting director Julie Harkin. After a series of three meetings, a year after the birth of her first child, she agreed to assume the role of Kyla, despite being "nervous about signing such a long contract", stating: "I've been someone who's loved the uncertainty of acting. I've loved that one month it's Sahara in Morocco and the next I'm doing a stage play, then it's a six-part telly thing. But last summer I started thinking it would be really nice not to have to look for a job every couple of weeks. It would be nice just to stay put for a while. If I'm going to be a working mum I'd rather just be one rather than be one intermittently. And then Holby came along, so I'm very grateful".
  • 2004
    Age 35
    The pair married in May 2004, and Ayola gave birth to their first daughter in July that year.
    More Details Hide Details Their second daughter was born in January 2009.
  • 2001
    Age 32
    In 2001, she became a presenter of the BBC Wales arts programme Double Yellow, alongside poet Owen Sheers and performance artist Mark Rees.
    More Details Hide Details She posed nude but for a pair of yellow rubber gloves to promote the show's launch, and was highly critical of the BBC when the show was cancelled midway through its second series. She has since concluded that "the kind of audience they would like to bring in with shows like Double Yellow aren't really into watching TV", but at the time was outspoken against the show's cancellation, stating: I'm still really angry about Double Yellow, about how the whole thing was handled. I was very proud of it. It was something innovative from BBC Wales for a change. So it didn't find its audience, and of course you can't force people to watch it, so if it wasn't going to get a third series then fine, that happens all the time. But the way the BBC axed it mid-series was unforgivable. It left everyone very, very miserable, and very dispirited, and it made me angry. Also, I have to say that Double Yellow was nominated for a Bafta Cymru award. As far as I'm aware, the BBC only allowed it to be nominated for that one award, for the graphics. We had fantastic editors, sound people, camera people, and the directors were all amazing. All those professionals whose work has just been thrown out - I hate that.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1996
    Age 27
    In 1996, Ayola appeared at the National Theatre in Helen Edmundson's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace.
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  • 1993
    Age 24
    Ayola has undertaken the following roles from her screen and televisual debut in 1993, to the present day.
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    Ayola's first prolific television role was in the ITV drama Soldier Soldier, in which she starred throughout its third series in 1993 as soldier's wife Bernie Roberts.
    More Details Hide Details Ayola credits her chemistry with co-star Akim Mogaji, who played her on-screen husband Luke Roberts, for winning her her audition. She went on to appear in Gone With the Wind sequel Scarlett, and star in Welsh soap opera Tiger Bay. She has spoken critically of the way the BBC treated the soap, moving it around the schedules and declining to commission a second series. She acted alongside Pauline Quirke in both Maisie Raine and Being April, deeming Quirke to be a "fantastic" actress, and one she would work alongside again "like a shot".
    Ayola's first film appearance was in the 1993 film Great Moments in Aviation, written by Jeanette Winterson, in which she starred alongside Jonathan Pryce and John Hurt.
    More Details Hide Details Variety magazine's David Rooney said of her performance: "In the film's most naturalistic turn, Ayola is a constant pleasure to watch. Unforced and appealing, she often succeeds in pulling the fanciful fireworks momentarily back down to Earth." Ayola recalls having been daunted at the prospect of working alongside so many established names, but has deemed it to have been a "wonderful experience". Her subsequent film credits are romantic comedy The Secret Laughter of Women, set in Nigeria and starring Colin Firth, thriller The i Inside, filmed in Sully Hospital, Cardiff, and starring Ryan Phillippe, and Sahara, filmed in Morocco whilst Ayola was pregnant with her first child, starring Penélope Cruz. Ayola says of her film career: "I really like doing film but I've not done enough big films though to really know the difference between film and television."
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1968
    Born
    Ayola was born in Cardiff, Wales in May 1968, to a Sierra Leonean mother and a Nigerian father.
    More Details Hide Details She was raised by her mother's cousin and his wife in Ely, Cardiff. Ayola's heritage means she is Yoruba by descent, although she does not speak the language. Ayola studied at Windsor Clive Primary and Glan Ely High School, and was a member of the Orbit Youth Theatre, South Glamorgan Youth Theatre, South Glamorgan Youth Choir and the National Youth Theatre of Wales. She left high school before sitting her A Levels in order to pursue her ambition of becoming an actress. She explains: "I've always wanted to act. I decided at 16 I wanted to make my living acting, but even if I couldn't, I’d be in an amateur theatre company." She then went on to attend the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, studying for a three-year acting diploma. Her first acting role was for the Welsh Eisteddfod when still at primary school, playing a lady-in-waiting at the court of King Arthur. Ayola has stated that it was Barbra Streisand's performance in Hello, Dolly! that inspired her to act as a child, though credits her adoptive mother with encouraging her to act professionally. Ayola's first job was selling jeans on Bessemer Road Market in Cardiff. She worked as a chambermaid whilst attending drama school, and, six weeks prior to graduation, was offered a job with the 'Made in Wales' theatre company which enabled her to obtain her union card.
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