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One morning in 1988, Trix Worrell, a young St Lucia-born writer, was sat on the top deck of the number 36 bus going from Peckham to central London. He had just won Channel 4’s debut writing competition, and had been invited to meet distinguished producer Humphrey Barclay and propose a new black sitcom.

But he had no idea what to pitch, and had never written comedy before. As the bus stopped at the traffic lights on the Queens Road, he was drawn to a scene below in a West Indian barber shop.

“It was called Fair Deal,” recalls Worrell, “and there were these barbers, their noses pressed against the front window, chirpsing the girls walking past. And I could see the customers in their chairs, half-lathered and half-shaved, waiting to get their hair cut, but thinking nothing of it whatsoever. That’s when it came to me

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