Adeel Akhtar

Adeel Akhtar (born 18 September 1980) is a British actor. In 2017, he won the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor for his role in Murdered by My Father. He was also nominated for a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor for his role on Channel 4's Utopia, as well as a British Academy Film Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Ali & Ava.

Adeel Akhtar
Born (1980-09-18) 18 September 1980 (age 42)
EducationOxford Brookes University (BA)
New School (MFA)
Years active2006–present

Early lifeEdit

Akhtar was born in London, to a Pakistani father and a Kenyan mother. He was educated at Cheltenham College[1] Junior School from 1991 to 1994 and then moved to Cheltenham College in Newick House from 1994 to 1999. He originally completed a degree in law from Oxford Brookes University in 2002, but decided to follow his passion and change to acting, training at the Actors Studio Drama School, then within The New School, in New York.[2]


Akhtar's first major role was as the bumbling Muslim extremist Faisal in Chris Morris's film Four Lions.[3] Other comedic performances include Gupta in The Angelos Epithemiou Show,[4] Maroush in The Dictator[4] and Smee in Joe Wright 's Pan.[5]

Akhtar has also won acclaim for his dramatic performances: in 2015, he was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor for his 2014 role as Wilson Wilson on Channel 4's Utopia.[6] He played shopkeeper Ahmed alongside Toby Jones in the BBC mini-series Capital,[7] and DS Ira King in the BBC's River.[8] Reviewing River in The Daily Telegraph, Michael Hogan wrote, "This series was beautifully written by Abi Morgan, stylishly directed, and most of all, superbly acted. The quieter, less showy supporting players also shone. Not just stalwarts [...] but fresher faces: Adeel Akhtar as River's endlessly patient sidekick and Georgina Rich as his psychiatrist".[9]

In 2016 Akhtar appeared as Shahzad in the BBC one-off drama Murdered by My Father. He won the 2017 BAFTA award for Lead Actor for this role,[10] the first non-white actor to do so. In 2017 he also took part in the American romantic comedy film The Big Sick, playing the role of the protagonist's brother, Naveed.[11] He appeared as Rob Singhal in the acclaimed BBC miniseries based on John le Carré's The Night Manager.[12] In 2019, Akhtar appeared as Billy in the BBC Three series, Back to Life, written by Daisy Haggard and Laura Solon, returning in 2021 for the second series.[13]


  Denotes works that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Let's Roll: The Story of Flight 93 Hijacker Saeed Al Ghamdi
2008 Traitor Hamzi
2010 Four Lions Faisal
2010 Stranger Things Mani
2012 The Dictator Maroush
2013 Jadoo Vinod
2013 Convenience Shaan
2014 War Book Mo
2015 Pan Smee
2017 The Big Sick Naveed
2017 Victoria & Abdul Mohammed Bakhsh
2018 Swimming with Men Kurt
2019 Murder Mystery Maharajah Vikram Govindan
2020 The Nest Steve
2020 Enola Holmes Inspector Lestrade
2021 Ali & Ava Ali Nominated - British Academy Film Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
2021 Everybody's Talking About Jamie Iman Masood
2021 The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Dan Rider
2022 Save the Cinema Mayor Tom
2022 Enola Holmes 2 Inspector Lestrade
2023 Murder Mystery 2   Post-production[14]


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Hazim Episode: "Dollhouse"
2006 Conviction Darpan Banerjee Episode: "Downhill"
2010 Angelos Epithemiou's Moving On Gupta
2011 Coming Up Hasan Episode: "Hooked"
2013–2014 The Job Lot George
2013 Trollied Ray Series 3
2013 The Tunnel Anwar Rashid Series 1, 2 episodes
2013–2014 Utopia Wilson Wilson Nominated – British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor[15]
2015 River Detective Sergeant Ira King
2015 Capital[7] Ahmed Kamal
2016 The Night Manager[16] Rob Singhal
2016 Murdered by My Father Shahzad Television movie
Won – British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
2017 Unforgotten Hassan Mahmoud Series 2
2017 Apple Tree Yard Jaspreet Episodes 3 and 4
2017–2018 Ghosted Barry Main cast
2018 Counterpart Casper
2018 Les Misérables Monsieur Thénardier
2019 Killing Eve Martin Season 2, episodes 5 and 7
2019 Back to Life Billy
2021 Sweet Tooth Aditya Singh Main role
Pending – Children's and Family Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Performance
2022 Sherwood Andy Fisher BBC miniseries - main cast
TBA Fool Me Once DS Sami Kierce Netflix series - main cast[17]



Award Year Category Nominated work Result Ref.
Children's and Family Emmy Awards 2022 Outstanding Supporting Performance Sweet Tooth Pending [18]


  1. ^ Harris, Andrew (January 2012). "From Terrorist to the Prince of Denmark". Floreat Cheltonia (5): 35. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  2. ^ Fisher, Alice; John, Emma; Shaitly, Shahesta (11 May 2014). "Dominic West, Adeel Akhtar, Rory Kinnear, Andrew Buchan, Jodie Whittaker, Julie Hesmondhalgh and Simon Bird: Bafta TV awards 2014". The Observer. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  3. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (6 May 2010). "Review: Four Lions". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Adeel Akhtar". British Film Institute. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  5. ^ Ford, Rebecca (24 April 2014). "Amanda Seyfried Joins Warner Bros.' Peter Pan Adaptation". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  6. ^ "Who should win best supporting actor at the TV Baftas 2015?". Radio Times. 6 May 2015. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Capital | Episode 1". BBC iPlayer. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  8. ^ "River | Episode 1". BBC iPlayer. 13 October 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  9. ^ Hogan, Michael (17 November 2015). "River, episode six, review: 'one of the year's best home-grown TV dramas'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 June 2022.(subscription required)
  10. ^ "Bafta TV Awards 2017: All the winners and nominees". BBC News. 14 May 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  11. ^ "Bafta TV awards: Adeel Akhtar is first non-white best actor winner". BBC News. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  12. ^ "The Night Manager". BBC iPlayer. 10 January 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  13. ^ Morris, Lauren (1 September 2021). "Back to Life season 3: Release date rumours, cast, plot and news around BBC Three comedy-drama's return". Radio Times. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  14. ^ Galuppo, Mia (24 January 2022). "Jodie Turner-Smith, Mark Strong Join Netflix's 'Murder Mystery 2'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  15. ^ Ritman, Alex (8 April 2015). "BAFTA TV Awards: Benedict Cumberbatch Gets Third Nomination for 'Sherlock'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  16. ^ Gill, James (18 May 2017). "Meet the cast of The Night Manager". The Radio Times. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  17. ^ "Netflix Adapting Harlan Coben's 'Fool Me Once' With Star Michelle Keegan". The Wrap. 20 February 2023. Retrieved 21 February 2023.
  18. ^ Matt Webb, Mitovich (1 November 2022). "Emmys: Mysterious Benedict Society, Sneakerella, Heartstopper, Sweet Tooth Lead Children's & Family Nominees". TVLine. Retrieved 1 November 2022.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit