Ex-Holby Citys Jimmy Akingbolas life after sick mum forced to give him up

Former Holby City star Jimmy Akingbola will revisit his childhood in a new ITV documentary called Jimmy Akingbola: Handle With Care.

The deeply personal film will see the award-winning actor as he opens up about his younger years as a foster child and being uprooted from his Nigerian family.

In telling his own story, he gives viewers an insight into the UK care system, which he was placed in when he was just two years old.

But who is Jimmy Akingbola?

Here's everything you need to know.

Who is Jimmy Akingbola?

Jimmy is a 44-year-old award-winning actor from Plaistow in London.

His parents, who were from Nigeria, moved to the UK prior to his birth but they struggled in the capital.

By 1980, when Jimmy was two years old, his parents split up and shortly after, his mother Eunice took him to the social security office in Plaistow and left him there as she struggled with her undiagnosed schizophrenia.

He was then placed into a children's home and fostered by a white British family, most of whom feature in the ITV documentary.

He remained fostered instead of adopted as his foster mother, Gloria, wished to respect the status that he and Eunice had as a birth mother and son, according to The Guardian.

Jimmy told the publication: “Gloria made that decision from such a deep place of love and understanding.

“Her and Eunice always got along so well and she understood how I needed them both.”

How did Jimmy Akingbola rise to fame?

The 44-year-old has been a consistent presence in the entertainment industry for the last 20 years, featuring in numerous roles throughout his career.

In 1996, Jimmy started at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) in Wandsworth, London where he went on to complete a three-year, full-time acting diploma

He started his career in theatre, starring in stage productions including The Nativity, People Next Door and Blue/Orange, which saw the star bag the TMA Theatre Award for Best Supporting Actor.

The actor then moved onto the small screen, starring in the likes of Holby City, The Bill, Doctors and The South Bank Show.

He secured his first permanent major television role appearing in BBC's police drama series HolbyBlue as PC Neil Parker.

He won his first major TV award during this time as he received Best TV Comedy Performance at the Black International Film Festival and Music Video & Screen Awards for his role as Mick in BBC2 series, Rev.

Jimmy was then cast to play Geoffrey the British butler in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air revamp series, Bel-Air, which was a huge milestone in his career.

The actor grew up watching the original series, with Will Smith as the main character who is sent to live with his rich aunt and uncle who live in Bel-Air.

Jimmy told the Radio Times: "Will Smith is playing [Fresh Prince executive producer] Benny Medina. Benny Medina was adopted by a white American family. So as a kid, I grew up watching a version of myself.

"Will is playing me and I just didn't know it. This is a cultural, iconic, global hit sitcom that is still being watched today – that is a care story and now I'm playing Geoffrey in the drama version. You can't make that up."

When will Jimmy Akingbola: Handle with Care air?

The documentary will air tonight on ITV at 9pm.

Handle with Care will also be available on ITV Player shortly after the documentary has aired.

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