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Baftas 2023: TV historian David Olusoga to get special award

Presenter and historian David Olusoga is to receive a Bafta award for his outstanding contribution to television.

Bafta said the University of Manchester professor, who presented BBC Two's A House Through Time, will be honoured at its TV Awards ceremony on 14 May.

The award, one of the charity's highest honours, has previously been given to film and TV stars Idris Elba and Sir Lenny Henry and presenter Clive James.

Prof Olusoga said it was "humbling" to have his work "recognised in this way".

The historian has become a familiar face to many through his work on a number of BBC series, which include Civilisations, Black and British: A Forgotten History and A House through Time, and his appearances on BBC One's The One Show.


Prof Olusoga, who was born in Nigeria and grew up in Gateshead, has previously spoken about how working in TV was "the best job in the world", but also had sometimes his career left him feeling "crushed, isolated," and "disempowered".

The special award will be his second from Bafta, as his 2015 series, Britain's Forgotten Slave Owners, won the specialist factual category at the charity's ceremony in 2016.

The historian, who began his TV career five years after graduating from the University of Liverpool in 1994, said he was "honoured" to get the special award.

"It is humbling to have my work in television, as both a producer and a presenter, recognised in this way," he added.

Bafta chief executive Jane Millichip said the historian had made an "outstanding contribution, not just to the television community, but to our society and culture".

She said his "commitment and bravery in reappraising how history is presented through television is inspiring" and he represented "the best of what television can do, [showing] its power to inspire, educate and challenge".


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