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Forest Gate actor Chiwetel Ejiofor wins best actor Bafta for 12 Years a Slave

Chiwetel Ejiofor  with his Bafta for best leading actor Chiwetel Ejiofor with his Bafta for best leading actor

Monday, February 17, 2014
9:20 AM

Chiwetel Ejiofor was one of the star of last night’s glitzy BAFTA Awards ceremony winning the coveted best actor gong.

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The former Forest Gate resident bagged the award for his powerful performance in 12 Years a Slave – a role that sees him up for an Oscar in two weeks’ time.

The film, an adaptation of Solomon Northup’s 1853 autobiography, was also named best film, having been nominated in ten different categories

Born in 1976 to Nigerian parents, Ejiofor began acting at public school, Dulwich College, at the age of 13.

Going on to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, he was forced to drop out after landing a part in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad.

After accepting the award from actress Uma Thurman, Ejiofor dedicated the gong to the film’s director Steve McQueen.

“I want to thank him for his artistry and passion in the project,” he said.

“He really brought us all though it and had the vision to tell this remarkable story.

“This is yours by the way. I know that, you know that but I’m going to keep it anyway.”

Hosted by Stephen Fry, the star-studded event took place at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

The other big winner on the night was Alfonso Cuarón’s space disaster movie Gravity, which took away six awards including best British film.

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