Radio presenter returns to his old Catholic school to showcase knife crime film

Having family and friends killed in knife attacks has inspired a broadcaster to try filmmaking in a bid to prevent young people from being drawn to crime.

BBC radio presenter Theo Johnson raised £70,000 to make his latest short film, Just Two Drops, about the issue of acid attacks.

Johnson, from Handsworth, Birmingham, said he lost a lot of family members while growing up.

“I’ve seen people go to jail, I’ve seen my friend stabbed to death,” he said.

“All of that gave me experience, it gave me emotion, something inside me that needed a release. I feel like through creativity, I’ve found that release.”

The filmmaker, who presents BBC Introducing on Radio 1xtra, wrote, directed and starred in the film which also features Junior Andre, son of singer Peter Andre, and former EastEnders actor Khali Best.

Johnson returned to his former secondary school, Saint John Wall Catholic School, this week to showcase the film and help inspire drama students to pursue a career in the creative industries.

Alicja,14, said: “It’s inspirational, knowing he came to our school, we can elevate ourselves to become people like him.”

Another student, Mercedes, 15, said she wanted to make a film about the dangers of knife crime.

“One of my family members died of knife crime. It’s really dangerous, especially in Birmingham. I feel scared going out at night because I don’t know who’s out there,” she said.

Although his films deal with hard-hitting subjects Johnson said they also explore the capacity for change, compassion, and redemption, even in the bleakest of circumstances.

“I don’t regret where I’m from, but I do want to help change the mindsets around here, and show them there is another way, another path,” he said.

“Everybody has a choice, no matter how hard it feels, no matter how bad things are.”

Just Two Drops premieres on Sunday on the online platform Link Up TV.

The film is a sequel to Just One Drop which was streamed on Amazon Prime and received more than 1.1m views on YouTube.