Making BAFTA history
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