Nikki Amuka-Bird (born 1976) is a Nigerian-born British actress of the stage, television, and film.
Amuka-Bird was born in Delta, Nigeria, where her father still lives. She left there as a young child with her mother and was brought up in England, Lagos and in Antigua. Attending boarding-school in Britain, Amuka-Bird originally hoped to be a dancer. That ambition was thwarted by injury:
I hurt my back and at that point was deciding what to do university-wise and I thought I would try for drama college because I knew you could do some dancing there but it didn’t have to take over everything. It was only really when I went to drama college that that world [acting] opened up to me and I fell in love with it and became obsessed like everybody else.
|Amuka-Bird at the Virgin TV BAFTA Television Awards in 2017|
Amuka-Bird's theatrical credits include Welcome to Thebes (National Theatre); Twelfth Night (Bristol Old Vic, for which she won an Ian Charleson Award nomination in 2004 for playing Viola); World Music (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, and Donmar Warehouse); Top Girls (Oxford Stage Company); A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest and The Servant of Two Masters (RSC); Doubt: A Parable (Tricycle Theatre).
Her film credits include The Omen (2006 remake), Cargo, Almost Heaven as well as the screen adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith's novel The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. On television, Amuka-Bird has appeared in Spooks, The Line of Beauty, The Last Enemy, Robin Hood, Torchwood, and a recurring role in the reimagined BBC apocalyptic series Survivors. In 2010 she appeared as Det. Supt Gaynor Jenkins in the BBC's Silent Witness.
She appeared in Small Island, the BBC adaptation of Andrea Levy's award-winning novel, broadcast in December 2009. In June 2016 it was announced that she and Phoebe Fox would star in the production of Zadie Smith's novel NW. It was broadcast on BBC Two on 14 November 2016 and Amuka-Bird received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress.
She is currently playing the role of Rav Mulclair, Head of Judd Mission Control, in HBO's Avenue 5
|2000||Forgive and Forget||Nicky|
|The Omen||Dr. Becker|
|2008||The Disappeared||Shelley Cartwright|
|2014||The Face of an Angel||Roxanne|
|2015||Jupiter Ascending||Diomika Tsing|
|2017||The Children Act||Amadia Kalu QC|
|2018||A Private War||Rita Williams|
|The Personal History of David Copperfield||Mrs. Steerforth|
|1999–2005||Holby City||Various||3 episodes|
|1999||The Bill||Doreen West||1 episode|
|2000||Safe as Houses||Carole||Television movie|
|2003||Canterbury Tales||Constance Musa||1 episode|
|2003–2004||Bad Girls||Paula Miles||8 episodes|
|2004||Murder Prevention||Gemma||1 episode|
|2005||Afterlife||Sandra Petch||1 episode|
|2005||Casualty||Moji Muzenda||1 episode|
|2005||Casualty @ Holby City||Moji Muzenda||3 episodes|
|2005; 2010||Silent Witness||Simone Campbell / Det Supt Gaynor Jenkins||4 episodes|
|2006||The True Voice of Prostitution||Television movie|
|2006||The Line of Beauty||Rosemary Charles||2 episodes|
|2006||Spooks||Michelle Lopez||1 episode|
|2006||Robin Hood||Abbess||1 episode|
|2006||Born Equal||Itshe||Television movie|
|2007||Five Days||PC Simone Farnes||Miniseries|
|2007||The Whistleblowers||Helen Errol||1 episode|
|2008||Torchwood||Beth Halloran / Sleeper Agent||1 episode|
|2008||The Last Enemy||Susan Ross||Miniseries|
|2008||The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency||Alice Busang||1 episode|
|2008–2010||Survivors||Samantha Willis MP||5 episodes|
|2011–2013||Luther||Det. Sgt / Det. Chief Inspector Erin Gray||8 episodes|
|2012||Sinbad||The Professor||1 episode|
|2014||House of Fools||Fiona||1 episode|
|2014||Death in Paradise||Anna Jackson||1 episode|
|2015||Inside No. 9||Joanne||1 episode|
|2017||Doctor Who||The Testimony (voice) / Helen Clay||1 episode “Twice Upon a Time”|
|2018||Hard Sun||Grace Morrigan||Main cast, 6 episodes|
|2020||Avenue 5||Rav Mulcair||Main cast|
- Gray, Interview by Susan (5 January 2018). "Nikki Amuka-Bird: 'Mum was on the frontline of diversity, banging on doors'". the Guardian.
- Caroline Bishop, "Nikki Amuka-Bird", OfficialLondonTheatre.com, 30 June 2010.
- "Nikki Amuka-Bird interview: 'There's huge enthusiasm among actors of colour'". theartsdesk.com. 10 October 2017.
- ""It's About The Constant Pull for Freedom": Nikki Amuka-Bird Translates Ibsen For A Modern Audience". 1 November 2017.
- "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - Nikki Amuka Bird plays Alice Busang", BBC Press Office, 13 March 2008,
- Alex Flatcher, "BBC One to adapt Levy's 'Small Island'", Digital Spy, 23 October 2008.
- Natasha Onwuemezi, "Amuka-Bird and Fox to star in NW adaptation", The Bookseller, 10 June 2016.
- Tom Meltzer, "NW star Nikki Amuka-Bird: 'Zadie is purposefully challenging the viewer'", The Guardian, 14 November 2016.
- Adrian Lobb, "NW Star Nikki Amuka-Bird Interview: 'Bursting through the glass ceiling can cause damage'", The Big Issue, 21 November 2016.
- Jones, Ellen E. (3 October 2017). "Nikki Amuka-Bird on plays, passion and working with Kwame Kwei-Armah". Evening Standard. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
- Nikki Amuka-Bird at IMDb
- Nikki Amuka-Bird at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management.
- Survivors Interview
- Tola Ositelu, Interview with Nikki Amuka-Bird: “Our job as actors is to show the colour of our skin doesn’t matter”, Soul Culture, 17 June 2010.
- Sophia A. Jackson, "Afridiziak Theatre News interview with Nikki Amuka-Bird, Welcome to Thebes", Afridiziak Theatre News, 3 June 2010.
- Radhika Sanghani, "Meet Nikki Amuka-Bird - star of BBC's gritty new Zadie Smith adaptation, NW", The Telegraph, 14 November 2016.