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November 28, 2020

John Boyega, Marcus Rashford and Michaela Coel among GQ winners

Sports

P
Pa
November 28, 2020

Star Wars actor John Boyega, actress Michaela Coel and England footballer Marcus Rashford were among the stars honoured at this year’s GQ Men Of The Year awards.

Boyega was named winner of the icon award, with Chewing Gum star Coel named the creative icon winner and Rashford awarded the campaigner honour at the virtual ceremony.

GQ’s annual event, which celebrates men and women who have helped to shape the world’s cultural landscape in style, politics, entertainment and sport, was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic, and was hosted by Jack Whitehall. Speaking from the London Coliseum, the comedian quipped: “Theatres, remember them?”

Manchester United star Rashford, 23, has won widespread praise and an MBE following his successful lobbying of the government for the extension of free school meals. A video showed him dressed in a tuxedo taking a cooking class at his old primary school, before accepting his award in a classroom.

Boyega spoke of his own heroes, including his mother and fellow actor Daniel Kaluuya. He said the honour would drive him to inspire others.

I May Destroy You star Coel was seen watching celebratory video messages from musician FKA Twigs, fashion model Adwoa Aboah and poet Caleb Femi. Speaking about her hit BBC One programme, which tackles the effects of sexual assault, she said: “I want to say thank you for this award. It’s been a lot. The show was a lot. It was a lot of pain. It was a lot of joy. I feel very honoured to receive this award.”

Normal People star Paul Mescal was named the breakthrough actor, with Captain Marvel actress Lashana Lynch the breakthrough actress. Lynch will next be seen playing Double-0 agent Nomi in Daniel Craig’s final outing as superspy James Bond in the delayed No Time To Die. At the awards, she featured in a sketch where she faced a lie detector test and was questioned over her knowledge about who had been cast as the next Bond.

The GQ awards also honoured Patrick Hutchinson, a personal trainer who made headlines after he was photographed in London during a Black Lives Matter protest this year, helping an injured counter-protester to safety. Hutchinson was named the winner of the humanitarian award.

Captain Sir Tom Moore, who recently became GQ’s oldest cover star, was honoured with the inspiration gong. The 100-year-old Second World War veteran has raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking laps of his garden. He was seen in a humorous sketch apparently performing backflips.

Author, artist and illustrator Charlie Mackesy, whose book The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse has been a bestseller, won the artist award.

Musicians Ozzy Osbourne and Shawn Mendes were presented with gongs too, with Osbourne given a lifetime achievement award while Mendes was named solo artist winner. Black Sabbath frontman Osbourne revealed at the beginning of this year that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan was named the winner of the TV personality award, with designer Tommy Hilfiger honoured as the design legend. Ahead of the ceremony, racing driver Lewis Hamilton was named game changer of the year. The GQ Men Of The Year Awards, in association with Hugo Boss, were shown on British GQ’s YouTube channel.

Lewis Hamilton recalled the racial abuse he suffered as a young driver as he was honoured with the game changer prize. The racing driver, who won a record-equalling seventh Formula One world championship earlier this month, appeared during the online ceremony in a pre-recorded segment.

The Stevenage-born star, 35, described his early years in karting and spoke of how he had been affected by the death of George Floyd in the US. He said: “At the end of the day, every single one of us, we bleed the same colour blood.

“It started when I was five, my first experience of racism, and it continued through school, walking through parks and being jumped, having things thrown at you, and then later through karting, constantly racial slurs.

“Once I even turned professional, I received racial abuse and no-one said anything. My dad would always just say, ‘Do your talking on the track’. For me, it was watching George being held down for those eight minutes and 30 seconds. It brought up a lot of emotions that I hadn’t even realised I had suppressed. Enough is enough. Now is not the time to be silent.”

Hamilton, who has shown his support for the Black Lives Matter movement throughout the 2020 F1 season, also looked back at his first race of the calendar where he took the knee.

“I remember feeling heat because I knew it was going to spark some sort of reaction,” he said. “People still to this day don’t fully understand what that gesture means. This is not a political statement. This is a human rights issue.

“It’s not just about doing the symbolism thing, like taking the knee or changing the car to black,” he added, referring to his F1 team Mercedes’ decision to use a black racing livery this year. It’s then what can we do to really make change.”