TV star Adil Ray OBE will be in Birmingham this weekend to announce a special scholarship worth nearly £30,000 for one lucky film student.

The television personality – who was named Patron of Screen and Film School Birmingham in May – will personally choose the recipient of a scholarship established in his name.

Adil, 47, will make the announcement on Saturday at a private event at The Mill in Digbeth. Students in attendance will get the chance to meet the actor, comedian, radio and television presenter and have the opportunity to ask him questions about his career.

A total of 22 students who applied for the scholarship online were asked who inspires them, their career goals, their thoughts on inclusion and diversity; and asked to provide examples of their previous work.

One student will be selected from a shortlist to receive the Adil Ray OBE scholarshipIan Wallman
One student will be selected from a shortlist to receive the Adil Ray OBE scholarship

College Principal Hannah Stevenson and Adil shortlisted six candidates from the applications to review and will make the final decision based on who Adil feels he can best support as a mentor and on their onward journey.

The scholarship is for the inaugural year but the BIMM Group, who own Screen and Film School Birmingham, are considering an annual award. The £30K will cover tuition fees for the specially selected student, who will join 40 other enrolled students in the first year.

Screen and Film School Birmingham, which opens its doors in September 2021, will also be implementing a Fair Access Fund to ensure students are supported during their studies to create a level playing field equality of opportunity.

Birmingham-born Adil Ray is best known for starring in the BBC hit comedy Citizen Khan, which he created and co-wrote. Adil’s other notable roles include the hit Channel 4 drama series Ackley Bridge, Blithe Spirit with Dame Judi Dench, and hosting Have I Got News for You. More recently, he has been a guest presenter on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

Before becoming a national star, the multi-skilled creative worked as a popular radio presenter for BBC Asian Network, based in Birmingham.

As a Patron of Screen and Film School Birmingham, Adil Ray is recognised for his contributions to film, television, the arts and his passion for diversity. The city film school hopes to “benefit from Adil’s accumulated knowledge of the film and television industry, his passion for education and his belief in the power of access, participation and promoting equal opportunities.”

Adil Ray is a Birmingham-born national actor comedian, writer and TV & radio presenter Ian Wallman
Adil Ray is a Birmingham-born national actor comedian, writer and TV & radio presenter

Speaking after becoming Patron earlier this year, Adil said: “I am incredibly proud to be a Patron of the Screen and Film School Birmingham. This school is an incredible asset to the Midlands. I want to help students find their voices and instil in them the self-belief and motivation needed for a successful career.

“We share a passion for helping shape a new generation of filmmakers, enabling diverse young creative minds to flourish. I want families to know that things are changing in the industry and that a career in film and television is possible; it is achievable even if you haven’t been reflected on-screen while growing up. Screen and Film School Birmingham is on my doorstep, so I’m expecting to be involved as much as I can.

“I am honoured to lend my name to the Screen and Film School Birmingham Scholarship. I am committed to nurturing talent from within the region, especially from under-represented communities.

“I hope the Adil Ray OBE Scholarship will open the door for someone who might think the film and television industry is closed to them. Growing up in Birmingham, I would sit in my room thinking up ideas for comedy sketches and television shows. I would travel past the local television studios on the school bus, never thinking it was an option for me.

“I am pleased to say the industry is beginning to change. Still, we need to do more to enable those with financial or social barriers to accessing higher education, training and support to make the industry vastly more inclusive.”

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