Friday 15 December 2017

UK stars Ahmed, Driver and Oliver hailed for 'social change' TV shows

The US shows were celebrated for bringing about social change and exploring issues facing society.

By Kerri-Ann Roper

TV shows fronted by British stars Riz Ahmed, Minnie Driver and John Oliver have been celebrated for promoting social change.

The Night Of, starring Londoner Ahmed as a Pakistani-American in the US legal system, was among six series to be heralded by Emmy organisers the Television Academy on Thursday.

Speechless, in which Driver plays the mother of a boy with cerebral palsy, and Oliver’s talk and satire show Last Week Tonight were also recognised at the Los Angeles event.

The US shows were celebrated at the Montage Beverly Hills hotel for bringing about social change and exploring issues facing society.

Driver, 47, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Good Will Hunting, said Speechless has changed the conversation around disability.

“It’s very, very rare that a half-hour comedy would affect social change but I feel like that’s what this show is doing,” she told the Press Association.

“To do it with laughter, an irreverent humour, to not be a sad, sentimental view of disability but rather a really robust, wonderful exploration of family – I love that.

“It deserves to be lauded more for what it’s doing for people who have just previously not had any kind of voice, who are literally and figuratively looked away from in the street.

“It’s starting a whole different conversation, which for me is incredibly positive.”

Oliver, 40, from Birmingham, thanked his staff as he accepted the award in a video recording.

Ahmed, 34, was praised as being “perfect” in the role of Nasir Khan by the show’s co-creator, Steven Zaillian.

Press Association

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