Christ Church alumnus Riz Ahmed wins Emmy

Christ Church alumnus Riz Ahmed (2001, PPE) was awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series at the Emmy Awards ceremony held on Sunday 17 September.

Riz fended off competition from actors Ewan McGregor, Geoffrey Rush, John Turturro, Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert De Niro to take home the award for his role as Naz Khan in the HBO series 'The Night Of' – and made history as the first male actor of Asian descent to win an Emmy for acting.

After graduating from Christ Church with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Riz went on to study at London's Central School of Speech and Drama. He's also a rapper, performing as Riz MC, and released his first hip-hop single in 2006. Following this, he was cast in the Bafta-winning film 'Four Lions' (2010), and has since appeared in high-grossing films including 'Jason Bourne' (2016) and 'Rogue One' (2016). In 2017 he was also included on the annual Time 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Alongside his other work he is an activist, raising funds for Syrian refugee children and advocating representation at the House of Commons. 

'The Night Of', set in Manhattan, follows the story of Nasir 'Naz' Khan, a Pakistani-American student who is accused of the murder of a woman. The show goes on to examine the police investigation and legal proceedings of the case, and takes a closer look at the inner workings of the criminal justice system. The drama won 10 Emmys on the night, and Riz has also been nominated for 'Oustanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series' in the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards for his portrayal of Naz. 

You can find out more about Riz Ahmed on the Emmy Awards website, and the HBO website gives further details about the series 'The Night Of'.

Congratulations to Riz for this amazing achievement!