Mr Motivator asked ‘Why didn’t you tell me you were black?’ in interview | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV
Derrick Evans, who is best known as Mr Motivator, is a Jamaican-born British fitness instructor. The 67-year-old rose to fame in the 1990s through appearances on GMTV, where he performed live fitness sessions and gave tips to viewers.
In a new interview, the TV personality has addressed the prejudice he faced and opened up about his own experience living in the UK.
The fitness guru opened up about race and racism while growing up in Leicester and talked about his first job interview.
Speaking to Radio Times, he explained: “I have experienced prejudice in my life. When I came to Leicester aged ten from Jamaica, everyone would look at me as I walked by.
“So I would turn around, smile and wave.”
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Mr Motivator went on: “Later, when I walked into my very first job interview and the guy said to me, ‘Why didn’t you tell me you were black?’
“I replied, ‘Why didn’t you tell me you were white?'”
The fitness instructor admitted it took him ten years to get on-screen and said he had to persevere.
Mr Motivator added: “Every time I went to the studios, the guys would say, ‘Look, for a white lady with two kids, a black guy on TV would never work.'”
His comments come amid the Black Lives Matter protests, seeing thousands of people take on a wider discussion of race and racism following George Floyd’s death.
Elsewhere, Mr Motivator recently made a return to TV, leading workouts on BBC One’s HealthCheck UK Live, to get people exercising amid the imposed lockdown and coronavirus pandemic.
The BBC keep-fit offering, features Michelle Ackerley, Dr Xand van Tulleken and Angela Rippon, who aim to keep households moving while we stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Since the crisis began, Mr Motivator has live-streamed fitness routines for people to complete at home.
More recently, the GMTV fitness guru teamed up with Age UK’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal, so they can continue providing support for vulnerable older people during lockdown.
Soaking about the charity initiative, he told Sky: “It’s a challenging time for us all at the moment. But none more so than the older generation, many of whom are feeling particularly isolated.
“Fitness is key to being able to maintain both your health and independence,” Mr Motivator continued.
“That’s why, with the nation’s help, I hope my new lockdown workout sessions will help to raise significant funds for Age UK’s appeal.”
He also worked with Linda Lusardi for the charity appeal who has since recovered from coronavirus.
She said: “I know at first hand how debilitating this disease can be.
“It is important to keep your fitness levels up. You know what they say, ‘a healthy body, equals a healthy mind’, which is so important at these uncertain times.”
You can read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – out now.