Johny Pitts is a writer, photographer, television presenter and voice-over artist from Sheffield. He is currently presenting All Over the Place on CBBC and also recently presented Escape from Scorpion Island and Roar for CBBC. He can also be heard as the continuity voice of Sky One HD.
Johny began his presenting career on Bump & Grind and Bare on Trouble TV, as well as the music show Today on 3 Live for 3 mobile. Previous presenting roles include hosting alongside Lauren Laverne and Myleene Klass, CD:UK, Blue Peter, BBC1 and MTV.
Through his love of photography and as part of a natural progression to more mature TV Johny has presented items on The Alan Titchmarsh Show on photography. He held his first international exhibition of photographs at Liege University, as part of the ‘What is Africa To Me Now’ event, and held talks at Liege University and Afro Europe@ns IV at Senate House. Johny also 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’.
Johny is very proud to have had a photo essay and front cover photo published in The Journal of Postcolonial Writing, as well as an essay, photo-essay and front cover photo about his travels through ‘Black Europe,’ published in the Harvard University based Transition magazine (issue 113).
Johny is a keen musician and member of the Bare Knuckle Soul collective, who have supported Omar, The Pharcyde, Plantlife and Alice Russell and garnered acclaim from Giles Peterson, Zane Lowe and Trevor Nelson. They also appeared on the Norman Jay Good Times 7 compilation. He has collaborated with composer Andrew Gourlay and narrated The Young Person’s Guide’s To The Orchestra live for BBC Radio 3’s Benjamin Britten 100 weekend. Johny has recently completed a two-part documentary about Northern Soul music and mixed-race identity commissioned by BBC Radio 4. The two episodes follow the journey of his African American father and explores how he met Johny’s white Sheffield born mother through the Northern Soul scene.
Johny is currently working with French Publishers Les Arenes on a travel book about young people changing the world. He has previously written for Blues & Soul magazine, Straight No Chaser and The Observer, and won The 2008 Decibel Penguin Prize for new writers with his short story ‘Audience’ from the anthology ‘The Map of Me’. He studied poetry under Debjani Chatterjee and has performed solo and alongside renowned poets John Agard and Valerie Bloom at venues including The Albany Theatre, The Jazz Café, The Big Chill Festival, Notting Hill Arts Club and the Soho Theatre.
Johny is very proud of his mixed race heritage. He has held talks about mixed-race identity as part of the Africa Utopia festival at The Southbank Centre, The Afropea Now conference in Linz and for Ethnography of Africa course at Goldsmith’s University’s department of Anthropology. Shortly before setting out on his ‘Afropean Odyssey’ Johny set up the Afropean Culture Facebook page, which now has nearly 4000 subscribers and, in 2013, won an ENAR (European Network Against Racism) Award for a ‘Contribution to a Racism Free Europe’. This then lead to afropean.com, the most widely read online journal dedicated to Black European arts and culture, which recently got invited to join The Guardian Newspaper’s African Network.