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Historian David Olusoga recognised at TV diversity awards

PRIZE-WINNER: David Olusoga

HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARY-MAKER David Olusoga has won two awards at prestigious broadcasting awards celebrating diversity in the media.

At last night’s (Nov 12) 2014 Creative Diversity Network (CDN) Awards, the writer and presenter received the Best On Screen Talent gong and Best Writer/Director award for his work on BBC Two’s The World's War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire.

Speaking about collecting his two prizes, Olusoga said: “I’m absolutely delighted to win these awards for The World’s War.

“The series was a real team effort and the whole team pulled together to help make a series that set out to challenge our collective understanding of the First World War.”

He added: “We wanted to tell the stories of the soldiers and auxiliaries from distant lands who fought and served in the Europe and elsewhere. We've been overwhelmed by the positive reaction this series and their stories have received.”

Also winning big on the night were the production and editorial teams of hospital drama Holby City, who were honoured with the Achievement in Production award for the programme’s commitment to diversity on and off the screen.

According the BBC, the soap’s regular cast comprises 35 per cent black and ethnic minority (BME) actors, while 40 per cent of its editorial team is BME and 10 per cent of the show’s episodes are penned by black and Asian writers.

Holby City executive producer Oliver Kent said: “I'm incredibly proud that Holby City has won this award for our editorial and production team.

Holby has become a top destination for diverse talent on and off screen and we hope to keep it that way.”

Hosted by actor and comedian Warwick Davies, the CDN Awards was founded on the premise to recognise excellence around the diversity agenda in British television production.

Speaking about last night’s presenting duties, Davies, known for his starring role in comedy Life’s Too Short, said: “My career has had a really positive shift recently and I’m now regularly offered jobs that have no reliance on my size.

“I hope this is in part down to a desire from broadcasters to be more inclusive and representative. It’s important that the talent we see on TV reflects the diversity we have in society, and in turn will help to promote acceptance.”

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