A former co-star of Oscar-winner Daniel Kaluuya has paid tribute to the “magnetic talent” that later propelled him to global fame.
Actress-turned-doctor Nadia Kamil worked alongside Kaluuya on the pilot of Happy Finish, a cancelled 2010 sketch show on Channel 4.
Ms Kamil said: “I’m just so proud of him and pleased because I think he deserves it… I feel lucky that I’ve got to work with him and got to know him.”
When on set together, Ms Kamil said he had a natural ability to be “magnetic on camera”.
She said the 32-year-old had “refined so much into this real gentleman who’s at the top of his game”.
While she is happy for her former co-star, she admitted a hint of longing.
“When you see people doing supremely well – and really there is no higher level than an Oscar – you think ‘maybe that could have been me'”, she said.
“But you know, how many of them did a newborn examination where they had to have a neonate wee on them yesterday?”
Ms Kamil was referring to her current profession of medicine.
Just days before Kaluuya collected his Oscar, she finished her training to become a doctor at King’s Mill Hospital in Nottingham.
Originally from Swansea, she once moved to Los Angeles but decided showbusiness was not for her and changed direction.
She first met Kaluuya through a friend, comedian Jose Long, who worked with him on Channel 4 series Skins – where he played Posh Kenneth.
“Then I sort of followed his career, and we hung out,” Ms Kamil said. “He always struck me as really dedicated and professional.”
She said the thing she found most impressive was his decision to sue Metropolitan Police.
Back in 2013, Kaluuya sued the London force after being wrongly accused of being a drug dealer and arrested in 2011.
“For him to have the confidence and the belief to do that, knowing that’s a really tough thing for a young black guy from London,” she said. “I’ve just got so much respect for him as a person and a human being.”
She described him as a “smart level-headed guy” who really loves his mother.
The show the pair were involved in, Happy Finish, was not picked up for a full series, despite having a cast including Taskmaster comedian Mike Wozniack, stand-up Sara Pascoe, and Nico Tatarowicz – whose writing includes The Armstrong and Miller Show.