Olusoga, who delivered a blistering MacTaggart lecture in 2020 decrying the lost generation of TV’s diverse storytellers and decision-makers, has helmed shows including A House Through Time, Black & British: A Forgotten History and Civilisations.
He used to run factual indie Uplands Television, has written several books and has been a major voice in the UK TV diversity debate for years.
He said: “I am honoured to be the recipient of the BAFTA Special Award 2023. It is humbling to have my work in television, as both a producer and a presenter, recognised in this way.”
BAFTA CEO Jane Milichip hailed his “outstanding contribution, not just to the television community but to our society and culture.”
“His commitment and bravery in reappraising how history is presented through television is inspiring,” she added. “He represents the best of what television can do – its power to inspire, educate and challenge. David has made our industry and society a better place, and this BAFTA Special Award couldn’t be more deserved.”
Last year’s Special Award went to disability campaign group Triple C.
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