Johny Pitts is an English television presenter, writer and photographer from Firth Park, Sheffield. He is of mixed-race heritage (his father is from New York and was in the '70s soul band The Fantastics, which was the subject of a 2015 BBC Radio 4 documentary written and presented by Pitts). Currently presenting Escape from Scorpion Island, Roar and All Over the Place, he also had stints on CD:UK hosting with Lauren Laverne and Myleene Klass and on Blue Peter and MTV.
He is a keen musician and member of the Bare Knuckle Soul collective, who have supported the likes of Omar, the Pharcyde, Plantlife and Alice Russell and garnered acclaim from Giles Peterson, Zane Lowe and Trevor Nelson, as well as appearing on the Norman Jay Good Times 7 compilation.
Pitts has written for Blues & Soul magazine, Straight No Chaser and The Observer, and won the Decibel Penguin Prize for new writers, with his short story "Audience" appearing in the anthology The Map of Me published by Penguin Books. He studied poetry under Debjani Chatterjee and has performed solo and alongside renowned poets John Agard and Valerie Bloom at venues such as the Albany Theatre, the Jazz Café, the Big Chill Festival, Notting Hill Arts Club and the Soho Theatre.
Pitts recently collaborated with the novelist Caryl Phillips and Art Angel on a photographic essay exploring immigration and the River Thames for the BBC/Arts Council's The Space, and founded the website www.afropean.com, which is part of the Guardian newspaper's "Africa Network", and the ENAR Foundation award-winning "Afropean Culture" page.
His photography has been featured on The New York Times Lens Blog and the front covers of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing and Harvard University's Transition Magazine A limited edition photo book was published by Cafe Royal Books
He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
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