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Fleabag and Bodyguard actors among those selected for BAFTA initiative

8 October 2019

Actors from under-represented groups will be supported by BAFTA Elevate

London, 8 October 2019: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced the 21 participants who will receive support as part of the BAFTA Elevate initiative.

Now in its third year, BAFTA Elevate supports individuals from under-represented groups progressing to the next stage of their career, focusing on a different area of the film and television industry each year.

This year, BAFTA Elevate is supporting actors from under-represented backgrounds, including disability, race, sexual orientation and people from lower socioeconomic groups. In previous years, Elevate has supported writers (2018) and female directors (2017). The initiative was developed in response to the under-representation of particular groups in key industry professions.

BAFTA Elevate participants will receive a bespoke, year-long programme of support including networking opportunities, introductions, mentoring, tailored panel discussions, masterclasses and workshops on professional development.

Among the actors selected are Anjli Mohindra, who appeared in Bodyguard as Nadia, and Anthony Welsh who played Jack in Fleabag and Joe in Pure. Other participants include Saskia Chana, who played Deniz in The Bisexual and Amir El-Masry who had a role in BAFTA-winning The Night Manager.

The BAFTA Elevate participants have been selected by a jury of industry experts from across the television and film industries, including actors Himesh Patel (Yesterday, EastEnders), Ashley Walters (Top Boy) and BAFTA winner Chanel Cresswell (This Is England), alongside casting directors, producers and executives.

The 21 participants, listed below, came together last night for the BAFTA Elevate 2019 launch event, which took place at BAFTA Piccadilly and was attended by jurors and leading industry figures.

Mariayah Kaderbhai, Head of Programmes at BAFTA, said: “It was a pleasure to come together and celebrate the start of the Elevate journey for these actors. Our research across the industry has shown that people from under-represented groups are not offered the same as others. With Elevate, we want to help people to access opportunities as well as use BAFTA’s endorsement to encourage the industry to cast more openly.”

Full list of 2019-20 Elevate participants:

Amir El-Masry (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Night Manager, Age Before Beauty)

Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard, Dark Heart, The Missing)

Anthony Welsh (Fleabag, Black Mirror, Pure)

Aysha Kala (Indian Summers, Shameless)

Faraz Ayub (Ackley Bridge, Line of Duty, Silent Witness)

India Eva Rae (Adulting)

James Harkness (The Victim, Wild Rose, In Plain Sight)

Kae Alexander (Kyrpton, Deep State, Fleabag)

Kellie Shirley (Eastenders, In the Long Run)

Manjinder Virk (Bad Move, Midsomer Murders, Ordinary Lies)

Melissa Johns (Coronation Street, The Interceptor)

Micky McGregor (Wolfblood, I, Daniel Blake)

Nahel Tzegai (Sliced)

Naomi Yang (Lilting, Deep Water, Chimerica)

Noof McEwan (Vera, Hanna)

Rhoda Ofori-Attah (Coronation Street, Last Tango in Halifax, Top BoyC)

Rhys Yates (Britannia)

Ronke Adekoluejo (Been So Long, Christopher Robin, Doctor Who)

Saskia Chana (The Bisexual)

Tim Renkow (Jerk, Bobby & Harriet Get Married)

Tommy Jessop (Line of Duty, Casualty)


A selection of photography from the event is available for free press at

A wider selection of photography is available from BAFTA partner agency Rex/Shutterstock at .

Note to Editors:

BAFTA Elevate was informed by the findings of a research report, commissioned by BAFTA in partnership with Screen Skills and the BFI, that examined the career success factors of film, games and television practitioners from under-represented groups. To read the report, published in February 2017, visit

For more information on BAFTA Elevate and its previous participants visit:

For further information, please contact:

Sophie Dudhill, Press Officer at BAFTA
T: +44 (0)20 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