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Samaira Iqbal wins 2021 BAFTA Kids' Young Presenter Competition

16 July 2021

Manchester United and England footballer Jesse Lingard surprises 15 year-old from Hemel Hempstead with exclusive interview kicking off a year of presenting opportunities and support as part of her BAFTA prize.

BAFTA, in partnership with Sky Kids’ FYI has announced today that 15 year-old Samaira Iqbal has won the 2021 BAFTA Kids’ Young Presenter Competition.

An expert BAFTA panel including presenters Elle Osili-Wood, Inel Tomlinson, Kerry Boyne, Nathan Connor and Naomi Wilkinson and First News editor-in-chief, Nicky Cox selected Samaira from over 200 outstanding entries from around the UK.

For her winning entry, Samaira used sign language to interview her sister which can be viewed at She is the fifth young presenter to win the prestigious award. Previous winners such as Tianna Moore, Braydon Bent, Daniel McGovern and Gracie Gosling have interviewed stars at BAFTA events, including Tom Hiddleston and BAFTA President HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

Samaira now has the opportunity to present with BAFTA Kids for the next year as well as feature on popular Sky Kids’ news show, FYI. Samaira has already completed her first presenting opportunity, interviewing the BAFTA-winning creator and cast of CBBC’s new comedy, Lagging.  The show, which focuses on a group of close friends and their gaming community, premieres on CBBC and BBC iPlayer on 20 July. Her interview will be available to watch on BAFTA’s Kids and Teens YouTube channel soon.

In a surprise interview this week, BAFTA arranged for Samaira to interview her football hero Jesse Lingard. In the interview she asked him about his dream dinner party guests and had the chance to recreate Lingard’s viral meme with Marcus Rashford MBE.  Samaira, who is fluent in sign language, taught him how to sign his name. Visit BAFTA’s Kids and Teens YouTube channel to watch the full Q&A.

Samaira Iqbal, BAFTA Kids’ Young Presenter winner for 2021, said: “Coming from a British-Asian Deaf family, I never in a million years thought I would ever get an opportunity to work with a company as big as BAFTA. Being a kid myself, I was told that I was too young to start thinking about my career at such an early age but I’ve always been so passionate for TV presenting. It still hasn’t sunken in and I am constantly in shock when I remind myself that it has actually happened and I’m not dreaming. I am getting closer and closer to my dream of becoming a TV presenter and just the thought of it is getting me way too excited!”

Tim Hunter, Executive Director of Learning and New Talent added: “We're very proud of the amazing talent we've found through our Young Presenter Competition and are so happy that Samaira has joined the ranks of our previous winners. For us, the Young Presenter Competition is important because trying your hand at speaking to camera is a chance to boost important life skills like confidence, speaking persuasively and team work. Samaira has these skills in bucket loads and we can't wait to see what she does next.”

Nicky Cox MBE, Editor In Chief at First News, said: “Every year the standard of entries for BAFTA’s Young Presenter Award astonishes me. This year was no exception. It was a difficult job to choose a winner but we got there in the end. We’re looking forward to welcoming Samaira as a guest reporter on our Sky Kids show, FYI, and one or two of the other finalists might pop up too!”

To enter the competition, children who were between 7 and 14 at the time were invited to create and submit a short video on how they express themselves.

The BAFTA Kids’ Young Presenter competition is part of BAFTA’s award-winning, year-round programme for families across the UK. Open to the public, BAFTA Kids workshops, roadshows and masterclasses have moved online during the pandemic, offering young people the opportunity to discover some of the skills involved in making their favourite films, games and television programmes.

Photography is available at and Rex/Shutterstock

For further information, please contact: 

Dingile Kasote

Press Officer, BAFTA

T 020 7292 5863

E [email protected]


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds in working in film, games and television, visit For more, visit

About BAFTA Kids

BAFTA Kids is a programme of content, events and initiatives for families across the UK run by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, offering insight into creative excellence within film, television and games. The award-winning programme features behind-the-scenes roadshows and online content; workshops and masterclasses with BAFTA-nominated talent and initiatives such as Young Presenter to promote well-being and self-esteem for young people. BAFTA Kids is a trusted and accessible brand for families to explore and discover new, innovative and non-mainstream work, helping them deepen their appreciation of the films, television programmes and games they enjoy.