Child movie star Ben is living out his dream
The floor is littered with Lego and cuddly toys are scattered on his bed – to most it might seem like an ordinary 10-year-old's bedroom.
But fame and fortune has come at an early age to Staffordshire youngster Ben Wilby, who stars in new Christmas comedy Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger, which will hitt cinema screens nationwide tomorrow.
The St Mary's Primary School pupil shot to fame after starring in hit 2009 comedy Nativity! and took up his role of the loveable Bob for the sequel – starring alongside former Doctor Who actor David Tennant and Gavin and Stacey actress Joanna Page.
The hallway of his Cannock home is decorated with pictures of the young star alongside celebrities including actress Barbara Windsor, comedian Jimmy Carr and Irish pop duo Jedward.
The Manchester United supporter has also appeared on ITV chat show This Morning and starred in several television adverts.
He started freestyle dancing at the age of four after joining Walsall Academy of Dance and has since won hundreds of trophies in competitions, which can be seen scattered about his home.
He now attends ballet and tap classes three times a week at Dance Xtreme in Willenhall.
Despite being picked for the part in his new film from hundreds of youngsters, he has never had any professional acting classes and instead has been helped out and encouraged by his mother Jill.
He said: "I'm not nervous. I love to perform. I'm living the dream.
"It was a different cast to the first film. The first one was with Martin Freeman. We all had to audition again. I was like focus, I've got to get this. Bob is a cheeky chappy. He does some rapping in this film."
Tennant plays a supply teacher in the new film leading a group of under-achieving kids in a Christmas concert competition, against his twin brother who leads the challenge from a posh private school.
Ben plays one of the pupils at St Bernadette's who goes on a road trip to the national 'Song for Christmas' competition.
He endured long hours of filming in Wales and Warwick Castle for about eight weeks last winter but said he had a great time with the cast. Speaking about his co-stars, he said:
"David Tennant was inspiring. He was friendly and talked about his wife and kids. There was one bit in the film that he was going white water rafting and he fell in. I was laughing my head off.
"Joanna was great. I'm a massive fan of Gavin and Stacey. It was a pleasure meeting her."
Ben was also on the red carpet with his co-stars for the film premiere in London's Leicester Square last week.
"The premiere was amazing," he said. "I had a personal bodyguard. I was signing lots of autographs and doing interviews. It was a privilege to do it. My friends love it too. They are really supportive."
The youngster now wants to further his career by attending the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School in London. Former pupils who attended the famous stage school include All Saints singers Nicole and Natalie Appleton, former Spice Girl Emma Bunton, Denise Van Outen and Amy Winehouse.
But Ben, who has three older sisters and is now learning to play the keyboard, says he still enjoys time to sit back and relax.
"I like to sit down and chill at the weekend," he said. "I like to go to Cannock Chase for a walk, build Lego, play Fifa with my dad and ride my scooter up the street."
He was also recently made the patron of charity Clowns in the Sky, which is dedicated to the research and treatment of childhood brain tumours.
At the age of two, Ben had an elongated skull and underwent a 10-hour operation to remodel his skull and relieve the pressure.
But the youngster has bounced back in style and is ready for his next venture.
Of his dream job he said: "I'd like to work with Tom Cruise in an action movie."
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