Teenager YouTuber and presenter Nikki Lilly has become the youngest ever recipient of a BAFTA Special Award.
The 15-year-old – who has interviewed the likes of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn for her Nikki Lilly Meets series on CBBC, which was produced by Blakeway North – was given the award at this year’s British Academy Children’s Awards in London last night.
The Special Award celebrates outstanding contribution to children’s media and recognised Lilly’s work “raising awareness of social issues and her inspiration to young people across the world in the face of extraordinary personal challenges”.
She said: “I never thought that at eight years old when I filmed my first video I would be a BAFTA winner. I wanted to show that despite what life throws at you, you can make the most of everyday.
“I am proud that in my tiny corner of the internet I have been able to give hope, showing people that they are enough and to be proud of who they are, just as I am proud of who I am.
“This award is not just for me, it’s dedicated to everybody living with any chronic illness and to every single person who has helped me on my journey.”
Lilly was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation – a life-threatening medical condition which has resulted in a visible difference to her appearance – when she was six.
She began uploading videos to YouTube at the age of eight and her television career began in 2016, when she was crowned the winner of CBBC’s Junior Bake Off. In the same year, she was awarded the Child of Courage award at the Pride of Britain awards.
Since 2018 she has been presenting her own BBC show titled Nikki Lilly Meets and also helped establish a charity dedicated to raising awareness of arteriovenous malformation.
The Special Award is the highest honour at the British Academy Children’s Awards, with past recipients including Clive Juster, Jacqueline Wilson, Peter Firmin, Newsround and the Chuckle Brothers.