Adeel Akhtar: Making Bafta History


Adeel Akhtar has made Bafta history after becoming the first BME best actor winner.  On Sunday night he was given the award for his performance in the BBC Three drama Murdered By My Father, which featured Akhtar as a man who kills his daughter in an apparent honour killing.

Akhtar is also notable for his work in the 2010 film Four Lions, as well as dramas Apple Tree Yard and The Night Manager.

Speaking at the ceremony, Akhtar said that we have ‘come a long way’ when it comes to diversity in the entertainment industry, as his award indicates, but there is still much progress to be made.

Aside from Akhtar’s award, the rest of the ceremony celebrated diversity in other categories too.  Wunmi Mosaku was awarded best supporting actress for her performance as Damilola Taylor’s mother in Damilola, Our Loved Boy.  In her acceptance speech, she dedicated her award to the memory of Damilola and his mother, who died in 2008.

Best factual series was awarded to Exodus into Europe, which gave refugees cameras to film their own journeys from their homeland, and Muslims Like Us won best reality and factual show.

The recognition of such programmes and actors demonstrates the steps that TV is taking in the right direction in terms of its appreciation and representation of minorities; hopefully, this will continue in the near future.


Talia Robinson