Adeel Akhtar, winner of the Leading Actor award for Murdered By My Father, and Thandie Newton. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
ASIAN star Adeel Akhtar scooped the leading actor accolade for his role in Murdered By My Father at the BAFTA awards in London last night (14).
Akhtar picked up the award for the BBC drama, which was an account of a real-life honour killing of an Asian girl, and which was written by Vinay Patel. Akhtar beat out competition from actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Robbie Coltrane.
BBC 2 documentary Muslims Like Us was also recognised last night, winning an award for the best reality show.
Police drama Happy Valley was the big winner of the night at the ceremony which recognises excellence in television, beating heavily-tipped Netflix drama The Crown.
The series took the best drama prize, and its leading actress Sarah Lancashire also pipped The Crown star Claire Foy to the best actress award at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards.
The Netflix royal drama had been nominated for five awards, but failed to pick any up on the night, with actors John Lithgow, Jared Harris and Vanessa Kirby losing out in their respective acting categories.
US actor Cuba Gooding Jr was on hand to accept the international award on behalf of The People Vs OJ Simpson: American crime story, in which he played the title role, beating out Netflix’s critically-acclaimed Stranger Things, and Amazon’s Transparent.
Actress Joanna Lumley accepted the BAFTA Fellowship award, a prize for lifetime achievement, from her Absolutely Fabulous co-star Jennifer Saunders, and delighted the crowd by briefly slipping into her character from the show during her acceptance speech.
Speaking to reporters on the red carpet before the event, Lumley hailed the standards in the modern television industry.
“Terrific standards both in acting and production values and everything so really thrilling – really, really good. It’s just that I think it’s so diffused now, so spread out that sometimes you go through rather sulkily going ‘Oh there’s nothing on television tonight’. What? Look again,” she said.