Broadcast Digital Awards; Best Lockdown Programme: Comedy, Entertainment or Scripted – Don’t Hate The Playaz


After two series on air, Monkey Kingdom’s panel format was forced to adapt to Covid protocols and launch its third series amid a global pandemic.

Unlike many lockdown versions of entertainment shows, the judges felt the distanced set gave the show a sense of “scale and performance” rather than feeling “cavernous”. In fact, the judges felt that the lockdown adaption added to the look of the show and made it more popular than its pre-pandemic iteration.

Don’t Hate the Playaz was praised for its diverse casting, featuring the UK’s first all-back female panel line-up, as well being able to tap into a diverse audience. One judge said the casting felt “refreshing” and full of “fun and energy”.

The hip-hop comedy panel show has earned a reputation launching and nurturing new talent, with agents praising the format for helping boost the careers of young comics and musicians. “Every element felt right” was one judge’s verdict about the show’s lockdown episodes. “It felt so warm and lively and really got the best out of some great guests,” they added.

The set was purposely designed to feel like a gig-style environment with a minimal stage allowing the audience and talent to take centre stage, adding to its “authenticity” said one judge. “This was incredibly impressive to pull off during lockdown.”