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Noel Clarke to receive Bafta gong for outstanding British contribution to cinema

Noel Clarke to receive Bafta gong for outstanding British contribution to cinema
Noel Clarke (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Noel Clarke is to be honoured with the outstanding British contribution to cinema prize at the Bafta film awards.

The actor, who wrote and starred in the film trilogy Kidulthood, Adulthood and Brotherhood, and directed two of them, will be recognised for his role in elevating under-represented talent and stories and bringing diversity to British screens, both in front of and behind the camera.

The 45-year-old will receive the prize as part of the EE Bafta Film Awards opening night ceremony in London on April 10, when a handful of gongs will be given out ahead of the main ceremony on April 11.

Clarke was first recognised by Bafta in 2009, when he won the Rising Star prize.

The outstanding contribution award is among Bafta’s highest prizes and is presented annually in honour of Michael Balcon, the British film producer known for his work with Ealing Studios.

Previous recipients include Andy Serkis and Ridley and Tony Scott.

Clarke made his first TV appearance more than 20 years ago in the Channel 4 series Metrosexuality, and gained fame for his roles as Mickey Smith in Doctor Who and Wyman Norris in Auf Wiedershen, Pet.

He co-founded his own production company, Unstoppable Entertainment, in 2007, which has produced films including Jessica Hynes’ directorial debut The Fight, and 10×10, directed by Suzi Ewing and starring Luke Evans and Kelly Reilly.

In 2018, the company joined forces with All3Media and launched Unstoppable Film and Television to expand their remit to include television, which led to the launch of Sky One drama Bulletproof, in which he stars with Ashley Walters.

Clarke said: “Thank you, Bafta, for this acknowledgment and recognition of my work over the past two decades.

“I will endeavour to continue to make ground-breaking work and open doors for under-represented people that may not often get a chance.”

Marc Samuelson, chairman of Bafta’s film committee, said: “Noel is an inspiration to me, and to many others, for his central and much-needed role in supporting and championing diverse voices in the British film industry.

“He is a multi-hyphenate who early on in his career has managed successfully to cross the line from respected actor to film-maker.

“He truly is able to do it all – acting, writing, directing and producing. His authentic portrayal of London life in his critically acclaimed Hood trilogy cemented his place in British cinema and he continues to push boundaries with his work today.

“He is now building a hugely successful production company, giving opportunities to a wide range of talented people from many different under-represented groups. I cannot think of a more deserving recipient for this year’s award.”

The largely virtual Bafta film awards, which will be broadcast from the Royal Albert Hall, will be handed out over two nights this year.

The first show, celebrating the craft of film, will be broadcast on April 10 on BBC Two, while the second show, featuring the major acting categories, will air on BBC One on April 11.

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