Akshay Kumar is without doubt one of the most sought after acting talents in the Indian film industry and has reached an outstanding status in India and throughout the South Asian Diaspora. With over 100 films under his belt, he is a global phenomenon winning praise from film directors, audiences and critics alike. From humble beginnings and with no filmy background, Akshay Kumar began his career teaching martial arts to students in Mumbai getting his first break into show business when he was offered a part in a furniture showroom advertisement. Today, he acts and produces films not only in Bollywood but recently in Hollywood also, being the first Indian film star to do so, working alongside worldwide names such as Sylvester Stallone, Denise Richards, Kylie Minogue & Ludacris. As well as his award-winning film work, Akshay Kumar is one of the most renowned social activists and humanitarians from the Indian film industry supporting initiatives such as the Asian Heart Institute, United Nations for its work to curb global human trafficking, HIV/Aids Awareness in rural India with celebrity Ashley Judd and his role as ambassador for the Special Olympics.
Akshay Kumar was awarded on the merits of his talent, his ambition and unique charm that has captivated audiences for over 20 years. Through his many collaborations which he pioneered in the industry, Akshay Kumar has been instrumental in the embracing of Indian cinema into the global mainstream, making him the undisputed Global Brand Ambassador of Bollywood.
Lord Sebastian Coe KBE, Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, and host for the evening, welcomed award-winning British director Gurinder Chadha on stage to announce and present the award to Akshay Kumar. She commented: “This evening’s winner is a true superstar – a national and international icon. He’s acted in over 100 films many critically acclaimed and international box office successes. He’s not only a hugely accomplished actor but adding to his sex appeal he is one of the few leading stars of the Bollywood film industry to do all their own action stunts! I’m delighted to say that the winner of the Outstanding Achievement in Cinema is … Akshay Kumar.”
Due to prior filming commitments, Akshay Kumar was unable to attend the event but distinguished guests with a pre-recorded message. He said: “To all the great achievers in front of me now, I applaud you, for your talent, for your dedication to Greatness, you inspire so many. The Asian Awards, it is wonderful of you to acknowledge so many outstanding achievers in this World, and I am truly humbled to be amongst them. Thank you kindly for this honourable award. My fans are probably the only people that really know the story of my life, and it is only them I dedicate this to, you know me, and where I came from, and it is only you I aim to please and inspire every day. Thank you for your love and support throughout my career. I am so sorry I couldn’t be there tonight, but as always I am in the middle of hopefully my next adventurous blockbuster mission, so please forgive me. My Love and Prayers to everyone, Thank You.”
Taking place amid the grandeur of Grosvenor House, Park Lane London, the spectacular night of glitz and glamour were attended by the showbiz and business glitterati comprising state dignitaries, business tycoons, cultural icons and global celebrities who gathered to celebrate the highest levels of achievement and excellence from within the global Asian community across a multitude of industry sectors. Attendees included global music icon Asha Bhosle, Anushka Shankar and Jay Sean; the family of music legend Freddie Mercury; Indian TV personality; international comedy sensation Russell Peters; Mayor of London Boris Johnson; actress and writer Meera Syal; Film Director Gurinder Chadha OBE; Lord Sebastian Coe KBE; fashion icon Christian Louboutin;and entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den panellist James Caan.
Other awards recipients included Freddie Mercury, Google’s Amit Singhal, named by Fortune as one of the smartest people in tech, Anand Mahindra, who has built a US$12.5 billion organisation, Mahindra & Mahindra, as Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Amir Khan, the youngest British World Champion boxer ever, comedian, producer and actress Meera Syal, Jay Sean, the most successful British/European male urban artist in US chart history, world-class cricketer and legendary bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, philanthropist Shiv Nadar, music maestros Asha Bhosle and Ravi Shankar and comedy king Russell Peters.
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