Idris Elba to Receive BAFTA Special Award

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Idris Elba

The 'Luther' star will receive the honor for "creative contribution to television" at the upcoming BAFTA TV Awards ceremony, taking place as a closed studio show on July 31.

Idris Elba is set to be honored at the upcoming BAFTA TV Awards. 

The Luther star, who rose to prominence as Stringer Bell in The Wire, will receive the BAFTA Special Award, one of the British Academy's highest honors, for creative contribution to television. 

Alongside his other notable roles, which away from the small screen have included Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Thor, Beasts of No Nation and Molly's Game, Elba has also used his influence to push for further diversity in the industry. In 2016 he challenged British parliament on the matter and later used his production company Green Door Pictures to provide on-the-job training and help undiscovered talent.

"It's a great privilege to be honored with the BAFTA Special Award," said Elba. "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 recognizing 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."

Added BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry: "Idris is one of Britain’s best known actors in the U.K. 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 recognize Idris, and his outstanding work, at this year’s ceremony."

This year's BAFTA TV Awards ceremony was due to be held in May but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will now be taking place as a closed studio, socially-distanced show, with Richard Ayoade on hosting duties. The BAFTA TV Craft Awards, celebrating behind-the-camera talent, took place on July 17, with Chernobyl coming away with seven wins.