Adeel Akhtar creates BAFTA TV awards history

By  Agencies | Posted  17-May-2017

Adeel Akhtar. at the awards event. Pic/AP
Adeel Akhtar. at the awards event. Pic/AP

Adeel Akhtar made British Academy Television Awards (BAFTA) TV history as the first non-white Best Actor winner in the awards' 62-year history.

He was recognised for his brilliant, tortured performance in BBC Three drama, Murdered By My Father. It featured Akhtar as a man who murders his daughter in a so-called honour killing, after she is promised to a man, but falls in love with another.

The 2017 BAFTA Awards, which celebrates the best in British TV, were held at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday night in London. They were hosted by Sue Perkins.

The significance of Adeel's BAFTA win was noted by the drama's screenwriter, Vinay Patel. He tweeted, "First non-white fella to win a BAFTA TV award for best actor? This guy. (Not me, obvs)."

Akhtar first rose to prominence as Muslim extremist Faisal in Chris Morris's 2010 film Four Lions. He also starred in Channel 4's sci-fi drama Utopia and Sky's comedy drama Trollied. His credits also include Apple Tree Yard and The Night Manager.

Akhtar, who is of Pakistani and Kenyan Muslim descent, described how he almost had a "cry on stage"when he collected the award. He said: "I felt myself going a little bit." BC's Happy Valley came out victorious in a surprise win over Netflix's The Crown, taking home Best Drama and Best Actress for Sarah Lancashire.

Meanwhile, despite being snubbed for the main part, The Night Manager won one award: Tom Hollander in supporting actor. Wunmi Mosaku, Damilola bagged the Best Supporting Actress award for Our Loved Boy.

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