Baftas 2014: Chiwetel Ejiofor's Best Actor acceptance speech in full

Actor said 'we will endeavour to make a world that you are proud of'

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The Independent Culture

Chiwetel Ejiofor won Lead Actor at the Baftas last night for his performance in 12 Years A Slave. Read his acceptance speech in full:

"Thank you to Bafta for this extraordinary, this incredible, award. I am so deeply honoured and privileged to receive it. I have so many people to thank for this. I want to start with Steve McQueen

"Thank you. Thank you, sir. Thank you for your work, for your artistry, for your passion in this project. You really just brought us all through it and had the real vision to tell this, kind of, this remarkable story, to introduce me to Solomon Northup, which I thank you for. The extraordinary life that he had and to tell this story in a way, to make it of — of such value, of such worth to all of us who were there. All of us who worked with you. Thank you for this, this is yours by the way. I know that, you know that. It is yours — I am going to keep it, that's the kind of guy I am, but it is yours.

"I want to thank everybody who pulled this film together and got it out there and made it happen. New Regency, Fox Searchlight, E1, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt. Everybody at Plan B. Bill Pohlad, River Road, Tessa Ross, the extraordinary Tessa Ross from Film4. 

"I want to thank an incredible cast of actors that I had this remarkable opportunity to go on this journey with. It is slightly unfair to pick out people there are so many, but I would be remiss if I did not thank you, Michael Fassbender, for your extraordinary work. You are a marvel, as is Lupita Nyong'o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, an extraordinary group, Adepero Oduye, Alfre Woodard, Michael K Williams. I mean, the list was endless and everybody bringing an extraordinary passion to this project. 

"I want to thank my family, my mother who is here. I love you. My father, my late father who is not here. I love you too. My brother, my sisters, my niece and nephew, who are brand new actually, Hero and River. We will endeavour to make a world that you are proud of.

"There are so many people that I need to thank on this journey in a way. You know, people that have guided and inspired me all through the years and chief among them is Pippa Markham, who is remarkable and Alex Irwin. You know, I thank you for being you and helping me all these years.

"I want to thank Bob and Susie Wallerstein, I want to thank Laura Simons and Emma Scott.  I want to thank Michael Cooper and John Burnham.  Thank you all so much for this, thank you."

Read more: Winners in full
12 Years A Slave beats Gravity to take top prize