On Wednesday 13 June 2012 ex-performing arts student of Barking & Dagenham College, Idris Elba, won an AoC Gold Award.
Idris, who studied Performing Arts in 1992 is now an international superstar; you may have seen him in this year's big blockbuster, Prometheus.
Idris rose to international fame when playing the character Stringer Bell in the acclaimed HBO series, 'The Wire' for which he was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor.
More recently, Idris has starred in the BBC series, 'Luther' for which he has picked up many awards including a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Television Film and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mini-Series or Movie.
He has appeared in over 20 films including, '28 Weeks Later', 'American Gangster' and worked opposite Beyonce Knowles in 'Obsessed'. In addition to his extremely busy acting career, Idris Elba is also a DJ under the moniker DJ Big Driss / Big Driss the Londoner and a hip-hop soul recording artist.
Cathy Walsh, Principal & CEO of Barking & Dagenham College accepted the award on behalf of Idris at the Houses of Parliament. Cathy was joined by an Idris 'mini me,' performing arts student Annie Hook, who says Idris is a big inspiration to her.
Jakki Cummings, Lecturer for Performing Arts, also helped accept the award as she taught Idris.
On winning his award, Idris said: 'I felt extremely honoured to be nominated for this Award and I was delighted when I was confirmed as a winner. Barking & Dagenham College provided me with encouragement and support and I am always grateful for the time I spent there.'