Actor Rakie Ayola praised for 'perfect' response to ‘woke Welsh’ question during BBC interview

Rakie Ayola appeared on BBC Breakfast and told host Victoria Fritz that people should not throw the word 'woke' around "willy nilly." Credit: BBC

Welsh actor Rakie Ayola has been applauded for her response after being asked about the term "woke" during a television interview.

Ayola, who has starred in shows such as Black Mirror and Holby City, appeared on BBC Breakfast to promote the new series of The Pact, which centres around a black Welsh family and is filmed in Wales.

During the interview, she was asked if showing a black Welsh family on TV was "woke" - which prompted a passionate response from the actor as she urged people not to "use a word you cannot describe".

Cardiff-born Rakie Ayola has featured in programmes such as Doctor Who and Noughts and Crosses. Credit: PA

During the interview, host Victoria Fritz said: "There are some people who will see this and they'll say that this is a woke version of a Welsh family."

After noticing Ayola rolling her eyes at the statement, Fritz invited the actor to share her thoughts. Ayola responded: "If anybody wants to say that to me, what I would say first is, 'Explain what you mean by woke and then we can have that conversation'."

She went on to say: "If you can't explain it, don't hand me that word.

"Don't use a word you cannot describe because you don't know what you mean. Or maybe, you know exactly what you mean and you're afraid to say what you mean. So, let's have that conversation.

"Sit there and tell me what you mean by woke and then we can talk about whether this show is woke or not. Because then, I will introduce you to a family just like this one so are you saying they don't exist? When they clearly do. Are you saying that they're not allowed to exist. What do you mean by that?"

Ayola concluded her response by urging people not to throw words like 'woke' around "willy nilly".

She finished by saying: "You don't know. Please be quiet because you're incredibly boring."

Her answer received praise on social media with one video of the interview being watched more than one million times.

One user said: "I would never have had the patience, grace and articulation to provide an answer like this."

Following the interview, Rakie posted on Twitter herself that she was "glad" her interview "struck a chord".

She also said to Victoria Fritz that there was "no apology wanted or needed".

"Believe me, if I felt differently you'd know. A loaded question maybe, but I got to say on national tv what I've been saying... in our kitchen for months. I'm glad it's struck a chord."