Rami Malek thanked Freddie Mercury, “the greatest outsider of them all”, as he won the leading actor award at the Baftas.
The American actor, 37, has made a huge splash with his performance as the late Queen singer in the film Bohemian Rhapsody.
On receiving his trophy, Malek said it was “truly extraordinary”.
“Thank you to Bafta for this gorgeous gift,” he said.
“I still cannot believe I’m included in this group of actors I so respect and admire.
“I share this with you guys, I thank my lucky stars.”
He went on: “It’s quite difficult entering your world in this role as an outsider. You Brits do it so well and it’s not lost on me how sacred your musical heritage is.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you for including me.”
He also thanked Dexter Fletcher, who was brought in to finish the film, but not the flim’s named director Bryan Singer, who left the project.
He added: “Thank you so very much to Queen, the entire Queen family, I wouldn’t be here without you.
“And to the greatest outsider of them all, for being so unwavering and unflinching and uncompromising in every which way, thank you Freddie Mercury again.”
Bohemian Rhapsody tells the story of Mercury and his rise to fame in Queen.
Malek has been nominated for a host of accolades for his portrayal of the singer-songwriter, and has already scooped a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award.
He is also up for an Academy Award for the role.
- Press Association