Rakie Ayola wins Bafta for role as mother of murdered teenager

Actress Rakie Ayola paid a moving tribute to murdered black teenager Anthony Walker and his mother as she won a Bafta for her role in a TV drama about the life he might have lived.

She was recognised for her performance as Gee Walker in Anthony, a one-off film written by Jimmy McGovern about the life her son might have lived had he not been murdered by two white men in an unprovoked racist attack in a Liverpool park in 2005 when he was 18.

Collecting the best supporting actress Bafta, she said: “I would ask anyone, if you think for a second that you know anybody who thinks all they have is to take the life of another, do whatever you can to stop them.

“Gee Walker said to me the one reason she wanted her son’s story to be told is because she thought people might watch it and they might think about it just long enough for someone to get away, just a few seconds to get up off the floor and run.”

The Bafta television awards are being handed out at Television Centre in west London in front of a small, socially distanced audience of nominees, with fans watching remotely.

Comedian Romesh Ranganathan was the first winner of the night, taking the Bafta for entertainment performance for his comedy series The Ranganation.

Inside No 9 was named best scripted comedy and the prize was collected by Reece Shearsmith, who joked: “We are in our sixth season, we have more episodes now than Countryfile, so we are going to keep going.”

Appearing virtually with the rest of the show’s creative team, Steve Pemberton quipped: “This is like the crappest episode of Gogglebox ever.”