Idris Elba will receive BAFTA’s Special Award for creative contribution to television at the BAFTA TV Awards 2020 at the end of the month.
The honour is in recognition of not only his acting accomplishments, but also the additional work he has done for the television landscape as a writer and producer.
Born and raised in South London, Elba is the son of African immigrants who began working towards his impressive career after receiving a grant from the Prince’s Trust, which allowed him to earn a place at National Youth Music Theatre.
He rose to international stardom for his roles on the critically acclaimed crime dramas The Wire and Luther, which aired on HBO and BBC One respectively.
Alongside stellar performances, Elba has become proactive in nurturing diverse and undiscovered filmmakers through his production company Green Door Pictures.
In 2016, he used his influence to challenge the UK Parliament on the lack of diversity on television, producing a series of short films for BBC Three the following year, which were dreamt up by emerging talent.
Elba said: “It’s a great privilege to be honoured with the BAFTA Special Award. It’s been a mission of mine to provide opportunity and access to emerging talent from diverse backgrounds in this industry, which is the same opportunity I received many years ago from open minded and diversity conscious casting.
“I thank BAFTA for recognising myself and others who are dedicated to the same cause, as these are all necessary steps towards helping to shift the awareness and understanding of the diversity gap in entertainment.”
He is currently preparing to launch the third season of his Sky One series In The Long Run, while a film adaptation of Luther is also on the cards.
Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, added: “We’re thrilled to honour Idris Elba OBE with the BAFTA Special Award at this year’s Television Awards ceremony. Idris is one of Britain’s best known actors in the UK and internationally with a long and successful career on-screen, and an accomplished director, producer and writer.
“He is also a driving force for championing diversity, ensuring talented people from all backgrounds achieve their potential. We’re delighted to recognise Idris, and his outstanding work, at this year’s ceremony.”
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