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Daniel Kaluuya thanks north London arts centres as he wins BAFTA

Actor name-checks Weekend Arts College and Anna Scher Theatre School in winner's speech

19 February, 2018 — By Richard Osley

GET Out star Daniel Kaluuya thanked two north London arts centres as he won an acting BAFTA last night (Sunday).

Although he missed out on the Best Actor prize to Gary Oldman, Mr Kaluuya was named the academy’s Rising Star, the only award which is decided by a public vote.

He name-checked both the Weekend Arts College, also known simply as WAC, in Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park, and the Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington as he collected his award.

Mr Kaluuya, 28, said from the stage at the Royal Albert Hall: “I am a product of arts funding within the UK. I’d like to thank people who financially support that, obviously in the mainstream arts but also at a grass roots level.”

He added: “Thank you for letting me think differently, telling me I can think differently and allowing me the space to do that.”

The actor grew up on the Camelot House estate near Camden Town and went onto score a role in the challenging TV series Skins. He has also appeared in Black Mirror, and the films Sicario and Kick-Ass 2. Meanwhile, the striking horror film Get Out been nominated for the Best Picture award at the Oscars later this month, and he has been shortlisted in the Best Actor category. He was congratulated by Camden mayor Richard Cotton at the last full council meeting following the short-listing.

At the black-tie Baftas ceremony last night, he had one final important thank you: a message for his mother.

“I’d like to thank my mum, my mum is the reason – levels – why I started, the reason why I’m here and the reason why I keep going,” he said. “Thank you for everything. This is yours. Love, peace, let’s get it.”

His speech had earlier drawn laughter from the star-studded audience after he revealed there was a timer counting down how long winners could talk for after collecting their awards.

“We break all the rules,” he giggled.

He had won the Rising Star award – the mask is blue rather than gold – from a group of nominees which also included Florence Pugh, Josh O’Connor, Timothée Chalamet and Tessa Thompson. Previous winners of the award include Tom Holland, Jack O’Connell, Will Poulter, Tom Hardy, Kristen Stewart, Noel Clarke, Eva Green and James McAvoy.

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