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Glenda Jackson, 84, ‘stunned’ to win BAFTA television award

LONDON — British actress Glenda Jackson said she was “stunned” during her acceptance of a BAFTA award on Friday at the age of 84 for her performance in the drama, “Elizabeth is Missing.”

Jackson, a former politician, won the leading actress BAFTA, beating “Killing Eve’s” Jodie Comer.

“Oh my word… I’m absolutely stunned,” the actress said via video-link on accepting her award for what was her first television role for more than 25 years.

“Thank you very much indeed, it was a privilege to do this show,” she said.

Jackson plays Maud, a woman with dementia searching for her missing friend, in the 2019 drama based on a novel by author Emma Healey.

She said the show shone a light on the illness and that people with families affected by dementia often now approach her in the street and in shops.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards were hosted on a closed set in London and broadcast on British television Friday evening.

The award is Jackson’s second BAFTA after winning her first in 1972 for her role in “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” a drama that recounts the romantic liaisons of a free-spirited bisexual artist.

Jackson has also won two Oscars for her performances in “Women in Love” and “A Touch of Class,” both in the 1970s. She later quit Hollywood for British politics, becoming a lawmaker for the left-leaning Labour Party in 1992.

Other BAFTA winners on Friday included the television drama “Chernobyl,” based on the nuclear disaster, which scooped two awards. The U.S. drama “When They See Us,” based on the true story of the Central Park Five, got recognition in the international category.

A special award was also presented to actor Idris Elba in recognition of his work to champion diversity and new talent in the industry. Elba received video messages from Matthew McConaughey, Taraji P Henson and Grace Ofori-Attah.

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