JAMES Nesbitt has been announced as the 2018 Outstanding Contribution to the Film & Television Industry Award winner ahead of The Irish Post Awards this week.
The Northern Irish actor will be honoured on the night when live coverage of the Awards kicks off on TG4 this Thursday, November 22 at 9.30pm.
Born and raised in Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Nesbitt began his incredible acting career after following the advice of a school teacher to attend drama school in London.
Starting out as a stage actor, the 53-year-old has appeared in numerous plays including Paddywack, Translations, As You Like It, Philadelphia Here I Come, Can't Pay, Won't Pay and most recently Shoot The Crow in the West End.
Nesbitt worked on his first film, Hear My Song in the early 1990s. He then worked extensively with director Michael Winterbottom on the films Jude (1996) and Welcome To Sarajevo (1997).
He gained wider recognition in the film Waking Ned Devine (1998), playing the lovable pig farmer, Pig Finn, and has also starred in Danny Boyle’s movie Millions, and featured in Woody Allen’s Match Point.
The Antrim star's highest-grossing films are of course The Hobbit trilogy – in which he played Bofur, one of 13 dwarfs on an adventure with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) across Middle-Earth alongside fellow Irish actor Aidan Turner, who played Kíli.
Nesbitt's first major TV roles included Ballykissangel and Playing The Field but it was playing Adam in the BAFTA award-winning Cold Feet that brought him to the attention of a wider audience. The critically-acclaimed drama won James a British Comedy Award in 2000 and a UK National Television Award in 2003.
Nesbitt's range of TV roles since then have included the title role of Tommy Murphy in Murphy’s Law – which was specially written for James by writer Colin Bateman. The show ran for five seasons up until 2007.
In 2002, Nesbitt played the leading role in the film Bloody Sunday about the 1972 massacre of 14 innocent protesters by British soldiers in Derry – which won him a BAFTA nomination and Best Actor award at the British Independent Film Awards as well as the Stockholm Film Festival.
In 2003, BBC Drama produced a modern re-working of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with Nesbitt playing the main lead, Nick, in The Miller’s Tale – airing on BBC AMERICA in January 2005.
In early 2004 he played the lead in Passer By – a drama directed by David Morrisey (State of Play) and written by Tony Marchant (Canterbury Tales, Crime & Punishment).
Later in 2007, Nesbitt starred in the critically acclaimed BBC series Jekyll which gained him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television, and a Rose D’Or nomination for Best Actor.
In 2008, he played Pontius Pilate in BBC 1’s The Passion, starred in Midnight Man for ITV1 and a year later starred in BBC Films’ Five Minutes of Heaven.
That same year he featured in the BAFTA award-winning Occupation for BBC1, as well as co-starring with Martin Sheen as an Irish writer who joins a bereaved father undertaking a pilgrimage in Emilio Estevez’s The Way, released in 2011.
Nesbitt has hosted the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) for the last six years, and has also presented the Empire Awards, the Irish Film and Television Awards twice and the star studded GQ Awards on two occasions.
The Northern Irishman most recently starred in the critically acclaimed drama series The Missing for BBC1 and Starz Network in the US, as well as Stan Lee’s Lucky Man for Sky.
He also rejoined Cold Feet for a triumphant return to ITV after 13 years in September 2016.
Tune into The Irish Post Awards 2018 this Thursday, November 22 at 9.30pm LIVE on TG4!