Mak­ing BAFTA his­tory

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

WHEN he picked up his Best Ac­tor BAFTA on Sun­day, Adeel Akhtar made his­tory.

He be­came the first non-white win­ner of the Best Ac­tor cat­e­gory in the 62-year his­tory of the awards.

He was recog­nised for his tor­tured per­for­mance in the BBC Three drama Mur­dered by My Fa­ther, which fea­tures him as a man who mur­ders his daugh­ter in a so-called hon­our killing af­ter she is ‘promised’ to one man but falls in love with an­other.

Adeel was born in Houn­slow in 1980 and moved with his par­ents Hu­mayun and Mum­taz to Chal­font St Peter in 1982, where the cou­ple still live.

He at­tended Robertswood School and then moved to Gay­hurst in Ger­rards Cross.

Af­ter com­plet­ing A lev­els at Chel­tenham Col­lege, he did a law de­gree at Ox­ford Brooks and then stud­ied at the Ac­tors Stu­dio in New York where he did a Masters de­gree.

He first came to promi­nence as an ac­tor play­ing Mus­lim ex­trem­ist Faisal in Chris Mor­ris’s 2010 film Three Lions.

He also starred in Chan­nel 4’s sci-fi drama Utopia, Sky’s com­edy drama Trol­lied and other cred­its in­clude Ap­ple Tree Yard and The Night Man­ager.

Adeel picked up his award at a glit­ter­ing cer­e­mony on Sun­day.

He beat nom­i­nees Babou Ceesay, Rob­bie Coltrane and Bene­dict Cum- berbatch to the BAFTA.

He said: “It’s very strange to ac­cept an award when you know you’re just in front of a long line of peo­ple who helped make this hap­pen.

“I had to play a char­ac­ter who iso­lated him­self from the best part of him­self be­cause he was scared and that iso­la­tion com­pounded it­self and ul­ti­mately be­came de­struc­tive and he lost his com­pas­sion and his kind­ness.

“I’d like to ded­i­cate this award to my wife and my baby who re­mind me to be kind and com­pas­sion­ate ev­ery day.”

Pre­vi­ous non-white ac­tors to be nom­i­nated in the best ac­tor cat­e­gory in­clude Idris Elba, who re­ceived a nod last year for Luther but lost out to Mark Ry­lance for Wolf Hall.

David Oyelowo was also recog­nised in 2010 for Small Is­land but the award went to Wal­lan­der’s Ken­neth Branagh.

Art Ma­lik was nom­i­nated for the prize in 1985 for Jewel in the Crown, while Sir Ben Kings­ley, whose fa­ther was Kenyan-born and of In­dian de­scent, was nom­i­nated the fol­low­ing year for Si­las Marner.

Adeel Akhbar makes BAFTA his­tory by be­com­ing the first non-white win­ner of the Best Ac­tor award

Adeel Akhbar with co star Ki­ran so­nia sawar in Mur­dered by my Fa­ther

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