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British Cypriot wins Bafta comedy award

the 2022 british academy television awards in london
Actor Jamie Demetriou poses with the "Best Male in Comedy" award for "Stath Lets Flats" at the British Academy Television Awards in London

Barnet-born actor, writer and comedian Jamie Demetriou, the son of an English mother and a Greek Cypriot father, won Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme at the Bafta TV Awards on Sunday.

The 34-year-old actor won for the third series of the Channel 4 comedy Stath Lets Flats in which he plays Stath Charalambos, described by Wikipedia as “an incompetent and socially inept British Greek-Cypriot man who only has his job at a letting agent in London because his father is the owner of the company”.

Stath’s sister is played by Demetriou’s real-life sister Natasia, who was herself a nominee at Sunday’s awards. The show has form at the Baftas, in fact this is the second win for Jamie as Stath. He previously won at the 2020 awards, when the show also won Best Scripted Comedy.

The ‘male actor in a comedy’ category was quite strong this year, making Demetriou’s second acting Bafta all the more impressive. Other nominees included Steve Coogan as the revived Alan Partridge (This Time With Alan Partridge) and Ncuti Gatwa for his role in Sex Education. Gatwa is the Rwanda-born actor who’s just been announced by the BBC as the new Doctor Who.

As with most second-generation British Cypriots, it’s unclear just how Cypriot the actor feels – though he did contribute a mostly humorous entry to the ‘Cypriots Worldwide’ website, talking briefly of his heritage:

“Growing up in England I’ve lost a bit of my Greek Cypriot essence, but it’s there in my obsessive use of lemon and olive oil, and in my desire to be a father from an early age.” His own dad started out with nothing, and ended up a chef in posh restaurants. “My mum’s responsible for my capacity to love. My dad’s responsible for the way I dress salad.”

The actor has also co-starred in Fleabag (as the bus suitor with big teeth), among other highlights. Meanwhile a US remake of Stath Lets Flats, to be called Bren Rents, is being developed by Fox, with Demetriou among the executive producers.

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