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Adil Ray hopes to help others follow in his footsteps

As a youngster, Adil Ray would sit in his bedroom at the family home in Birmingham, thinking up ideas for television programmes and comedy sketches.

Adil Ray, patron of the new TV and film school in Birmingham
Adil Ray, patron of the new TV and film school in Birmingham

"I would travel past the local television studios on the school bus, never thinking it was an option for me," he says.

Now Adil, best known as the creator and star of hit comedy Citizen Kahn, is seeking to help one lucky student follow in his footsteps by supporting a £30,000 scholarship at a new performing arts school.

Adil, who has recently been a guest presenter on Good Morning Britain, has been appointed patron of the new school which opens next month.

He will announce the winner of the scholarship at a launch event tomorrow.

Adil, who grew up in the Yardley area of the city, will also provide personal mentoring and support for the recipient of the award, who will be personally selected by him.

Students will get the chance to meet Adil and ask him questions about his career during the event at The Mill in Adderley Street, Digbeth.

Adil Ray as he is better known to fans

Adil, who rose to fame as the loud-mouthed self-appointed community leader Mr Khan in the Birmingham-based sitcom Citizen Kahn, said he was incredibly proud to take on the role of patron.

"This school is an incredible asset to the Midlands. I want to help students find their voices and instil in them the self-belief and motivation needed for a successful career.

"We share a passion for helping shape a new generation of film-makers, enabling diverse young creative minds to flourish. I want families to know that things are changing in the industry and that a career in film and television is possible, it is achievable even if you haven't been reflected on-screen while growing up.

"Screen and Film School Birmingham is on my doorstep, so I'm expecting to be involved as much as I can."

A total of 22 students applied online and were asked who inspired them, their career goals, and their thoughts on inclusion and diversity. They were also asked to supply examples of their previous work.

The winner of the scholarship will have all their tuition fees covered, worth almost £30,000.

College principal Hannah Stevenson and Adil have shortlisted six candidates to review, and Adil will make the final decision based on which candidate he feels best able to support in their career.

The school, in the Deritend area of the city, will also provide a fair access fund to ensure students are not disadvantaged because of their background.

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