Black Panther and Doctor Who among winners at new social impact awards

Michelle Obama and Professor Green were among the other winners at the Visionary Honours Awards.

Black Panther and Doctor Who are among the winners of a new award that recognises social impact in the entertainment and arts industries.

The Visionary Honours Awards are cited as the UK’s first non-profit awards celebrating entertainment, culture and media that inspires positive social change.

The winners of each category were chosen in a public vote.

Marvel blockbuster Black Panther, which has been praised for its inclusion and diversity with a predominantly black cast, was chosen as film of the year, fending off competition from nominees including BlacKkKlansman and The Greatest Showman.

Doctor Who, which currently stars its first ever female lead Jodie Whittaker, won TV show of the year, having competed against BBC One’s EastEnders for its knife crime story, Channel 4 drama Kiri and Sky Atlantic’s Save Me among others.

Doctor Who
Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who (Henrik Knudson/BBC)

Former US first lady Michelle Obama was named the most inspiring person of the year in a category that included nominees rapper Stormzy, former American footballer and activist Colin Kaepernick and the Duchess of Sussex.

The Visionary Honours Awards were created to shine a light on a diverse, pioneering generation of writers, directors and producers in the film, TV, music, theatre, literature and radio industries who are helping to shape the public conversation around diversity and whose work creates positive social impact.

Founder of the awards Adrian Grant said they are “not about awarding egos or fame”, but about “recognising culture, media and entertainment that has inspired, created awareness, made a social impact”.

Grant, a theatre producer and creator of West End musical Thriller Live, added: “Through the Visionary Arts Organisation, it is my goal to inspire young creatives to produce work that can influence positive social change.”

The awards aim to be a catalyst for social change, inspiring teenagers and young adults aged 16-34 via art, media and entertainment.

The winners of the inaugural Visionary Honours Awards were unveiled at an event held at Bafta’s headquarters in London hosted by Sir Lenny Henry.

BBC Four programme on British diversity
Sir Lenny Henry hosted the Visionary Honours Awards (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

Sir Lenny, who has previously spoken about the lack of diversity and inclusion across the arts and entertainment industries, said it was an honour to host the first awards show that recognises those creating work that is “reflective of the multicultural society we live in and telling stories that can have a positive impact on our communities”.

Other winners included rapper Professor Green, whose song Photographs was dubbed song of the year, and musical Hamilton, which won play/musical of the year.

Special award the Visionary Legacy Honour was given to the late Nelson Mandela for his achievements as an activist for social change inspiring communities and culture across the world.

Profits from the event will be donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund UK.

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