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Ricardo P Lloyd

Ricardo studied an MBA at ARU and graduated in 2018. In 2022, he won the 2022 Contribution to Culture Award at our Vice Chancellor’s Outstanding Alumni Awards.

Ricardo P Lloyd grew up in the London Borough of Brent at a time when gangs and crime was rife. As a teenager, he performed in school productions of Bugsy Malone and West Side Story, but went down a bad path, hanging around with the wrong crowds trying to fit in, which led him to get into fights and fail most of his GCSEs. He later turned his life around, staying at his secondary school’s sixth-form to retake some GCSEs and do an A-level in drama before going on to university.

He knew there was a stigma around what black masculinity looked like. Expressing himself emotionally was considered weakness, or soft, by those around him. Rather than letting those negative thoughts take over his life, Ricardo started acting to tap into a side of himself he had never explored before.

Thanks to his determination to become more than his surroundings, Ricardo is now considered one of the fastest rising acting talents in the UK.

As an actor known for his work in theatre, film and TV, he was part of the Shakespeare walks and Shakespeare in the Abbey produced by The Royal Shakespeare Company, before later securing the role of Romeo in Excluded.

The play transplanted and re-imagined some of Shakespeare’s iconic characters into a London secondary school as they prepared for GCSEs and highlighted how the education system is failing many young people in the modern day. It was produced by Intermission, a company which helps teenagers stay away from crime, and Lloyd’s performance generated national and regional press.

In 2020, Lloyd was listed in The Voice newspaper’s 2020 Top 20 ones to watch out for in business, sport, culture and politics.

Ricardo has claimed universal credit and questioned his acting, identity and purpose. He did however work on his own short film during lockdown, Call It a Problem, with The Peoples FC, a YouTube charity football team, which donates to multiple causes and highlights issues including mental health, an issue important to Ricardo who has had mental health problems in the past, and also was made homeless for a time during the pandemic, when he spoke out about the need for more support for young black men.

Despite his experience and being mentored by Oscar winning actor Mark Rylance, Ricardo still has the door shut on him, but says he will not take on roles which perpetuate negative stereotypes that ultimately harm Black communities. He has encouraged young people struggling to break through to follow their dreams despite any "obstacles" in their way.

“I just want anyone reading and following my journey to know it is possible despite sometimes the obstacles. I have grown up in a rough area and have managed to make it out. I’m one of the few success stories from my area, I have not gone to prison or gone down that road. I failed my GCSEs but still managed to get two degrees – these are the stories that are out there which need to be told.”