Writer and poet Benjamin Zephaniah dies


Benjamin Zephaniah, the British poet and writer, has died aged 65.

He was diagnosed with a brain tumour eight weeks ago, a post on his Instagram page said, describing him as a “true pioneer and innovator” who “gave the world so much”.

“Benjamin’s wife was by his side throughout and was with him when he passed,” it added.

“Through an amazing career including a huge body of poems, literature, music, television and radio, Benjamin leaves with us a joyful and fantastic legacy.

Zephaniah was also a dub poet who played the role of Jeremiah Jesus in Peaky Blinders.

He turned down an OBE in 2003, writing: “Benjamin Zephaniah OBE – no way Mr Blair, no way Mrs Queen. I am profoundly anti-empire.”

He said he had begged Tony Blair to meet him to discuss crime in Britain and told the Queen to stop “going on about the empire”.

Born in Birmingham, Zephaniah was nominated for autobiography of the year at the National Book Awards for The Life And Rhymes Of Benjamin Zephaniah.

It was also shortlisted for the Costa Book Award in 2018.

Benjamin Zephaniah speaks at the Concert For Haiti, sponsored by the TUC, at Congress House in London.
Zephaniah was diagnosed with a brain tumour eight weeks ago

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.

Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

You can receive Breaking News alerts on a smartphone or tablet via the Sky News App. You can also follow @SkyNews on X or subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with the latest news.

Articles You May Like

Russian helicopter pilot who defected to Ukraine shot dead in Spain
Home Office fires chief inspector of borders and immigration
Starmer accuses ‘weak’ Sunak of harbouring ‘extremists’ in his party
The biggest spring questions for the top 25 teams
Speaker clinging on to job as some MPs sign no-confidence motion after Commons Gaza vote row