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Oldbury schoolboy's delight at role in BBC adaptation of Sathnam Sanghera's The Boy with the Topknot

By Mark Drew | Wolverhampton | Showbiz | Published:

Himmut Singh Dhatt is getting a taste of fame – and he is enjoying every minute of it.

Sathhnam Sanghera with 11-year-old Himmut Singh Dhatt

“I think it is really cool how my face is everywhere,” the 11-year-old joked.

Himmut, from Oldbury, got his first ever acting role he stars in BBC2’s The Boy with the Topknot as a young Sathnam Sanghera, the journalist and author raised in Wolverhampton.

The 90-minute one-off drama airs on Monday at 9pm – but a lucky few were treated to a preview screening at Molineux last night.

Himmut, who landed the role after responding to a Facebook advert, was at the screening with his family who are bursting with pride with what the King Edward VI Five Ways pupil has achieved.

Asked how he had enjoyed his acting debut, Himmut said: “I was really excited. I kind of knew I wasn’t going to get through the audition.

“I didn’t think I would get the part at all. Then surprisingly I have.

“I think it is really cool how my face is everywhere. I just see myself in photos and videos at home and stuff and the fact I can see myself on the big screen is really cool.”

His mother, Mandip Kaur Dhatt, said it was an emotional experience seeing Himmut on the screen.

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“When I did first see him my eyes just welled up,” she explained.

“Obviously I went to shoots and saw everything happen there and everything was ok, but once I saw the finished product, I am just so super proud of him.

“It still doesn't seem real and I’m glad his first acting experience is with the Boy with the Topknot.

“It is a very meaningful, true story as well and Hummit himself has learnt a lot through this about mental illness.”

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The drama is based on Sathnam’s memoir of the same name published in 2009.

Author Sathnam Sanghera with actor Sacha Dhawan, who plays him in the film

It tells the story of his 1980s childhood spent growing-up in Park Village.

Most significantly it follows how he came to terms with finding out his father and sister both had schizophrenia and had done for many years without his knowledge.

Himmut, added: “ I think it’s really sad because of his life story and how he found out quite late on that his dad and his sister had schizophrenia.

“And the fact he saw his sister get sectioned is really heartbreaking.”

Sathnam, who was also at the premiere, was impressed with the 11-year-old’s debut.

He said: “He is a very sweet kid who obviously reminds me a bit of me.

“He has got his head screwed on. He is really good at acting but he can see the wood from the trees and he realises there is a lot of bull*** that comes with it.

“I’m sure he will do creative things in his life but I think he also wants to do something.”

As for Sathnam, he said he felt like the “luckiest man in Wolverhampton”.

He added: "I have had many amazing experiences but this screening in my hometown is just wonderful.”

Mark Drew

By Mark Drew
@MarkDrew_Star

Group Head of News

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