Noel Clarke is set to be commended for his impact on the British film industry by being given the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award at next month’s BAFTAs.

Clarke established himself as a cult figure in British film history with his work writing, directing and performing as Sam in Kidulthood, Adulthood and Brotherhood, the legendary UK film trilogy documenting life for teenagers growing up in Ladbroke Grove that went on to become box office smashes.

Since then, the West London-born star has set up his own production company, Unstoppable Entertainment, in an effort to champion diverse voices in film, and has also starred in Doctor Who and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

Clarke will be given the academy’s top award at the 2021 ceremony for his “pivotal role in bringing diversity to British screens in front and behind the camera”.

The award is given out every year in honour of Michael Balcon, with the last award handed to Lord of the Rings star Andy Serkis last year.

Marc Samuelson, Chair 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 filmmaker. He truly is able to do it all—acting, writing, directing and producing.” 

Speaking about the nod, 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 underrepresented people that may not often get a chance.”