Samantha Morton has urged children in care not to let the “system” drag them down – and warned "it will” if they let it.

The double Oscar-nominee made the declaration on Sunday (18.02.24) after being awarded the BAFTA Fellowship in recognition of her “outstanding and exceptional contribution to film and television” at the 77th annual BAFTAs, held in London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Samantha – who was beaten by her dad, taken into care as a baby and lived in a homeless hostel as a teen – said after picking up the gong in a message to children with similar tough backgrounds and anyone in the care system: “Anything is possible – Lemn Sissay (the poet) talks about tis a lot: you have to believe in yourself and not become a government statistic.

“They have privatised the care industry, and that’s not the best of things. Keep strong and keep believing in yourself.

“I was in many children’s homes, and I thought, ‘Why don’t I go a to a great boarding school and get a fancy education?’ but that didn’t happen.

“I tell those kids in care – don’t let the system drag you down, because it can and it will.”

She also urged them to focus on getting an education and urged the government to give more funding to UK entertainment industry.

Mum-of-three Samantha added: “We need more investment in British cinema and I’ve said this for years.

“We can’t just be a service industry for America – we need our own quotas and we need to ne making those investments.

“But if the government only gives us a Culture and Sport Minister instead of separating that – it’s foolish of them not to understand that.

“We need education and books in schools and drama teachers.

“So it really is grass roots and we need to make it believable for them (children) they can pursue a career in music, TV and film.”