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Billy Barratt: Responsible Child star ‘honoured’ by International Emmys win

bbc– Billy Barratt is only 13 years old and he’s just become the youngest person to win an International Emmy.

On Monday, Billy won best actor for his performance in the hard-hitting BBC drama series Responsible Child.

And the drama itself, which tells the story of a young boy put on trial for the murder of his father, won the prize for best TV movie or miniseries.

Speaking in his school lunch hour on Tuesday, Billy said he was “honoured and very happy”.

The ceremony was conducted virtually, hosted by veteran US TV, film and stage actor Richard Kind, known for Mad About You and Hereafter.

“Hello and welcome to the first, and hopefully the last virtual International Emmy Awards!” Kind said, raising a glass of champagne to viewers.

The other big winners on the night were Glenda Jackson, who won best actress for Elizabeth Is Missing, based on Emma Healey’s best-selling novel.

It tells the story of an elderly woman suffering from dementia while struggling to solve a murder mystery – a role which previously earned Jackson a Bafta.

Netflix won best drama series for its Indian programme Delhi Crime, while Brazilian show Nobody’s Looking took the best comedy award.

Billy was watching the ceremony at home with his family and his win came as a big shock, he told BBC News from his stage school Sylvia Young.

“They were playing the clips and I was watching and saying, ‘They’ve won’, and was getting ready to clap and then they said ‘Billy Barratt’ and I was so confused. My whole family was like, ‘Oh, my god’, so it’s very exciting.

“And it’s kind of crazy (to be the youngest winner), I don’t know what to think about it.

“But my teachers and the other students are all really supportive and really nice about it and happy for me.”

Responsible Child was a one-off BBC drama that was shown in December last year.

It followed 12-year-old Ray who, along with his 23-year-old older brother Nathan, was arrested for murdering their abusive stepfather.

Both are tried as adults, as the minimum age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is 10 and the series explores the issues surrounding the law.

Billy played the central role of Ray and his brother Nathan was played by James Tarpey. It was a tough part for a 12-year-old but Billy said he had plenty of help.

“I had a lot of people around me like the director, Kudos [the production company], the BBC, all my cast mates, they were all really supportive and in between takes it was all fun and jokes, trying to keep things as light as possible.

“We had an acting coach and she was really good and she told us how to get in and out of character and leave Ray onset and get back to our lives when we went home.”

Responsible Child was loosely based on the real life case of 14-year-old Jerome Ellis and his older brother Joshua, 23. Both said they killed their stepfather because he was abusive and had previously threatened to kill Joshua, who struggled with depression.

It also featured Owen McDonnell (Killing Eve), Shaun Dingwall (Noughts and Crosses, Top Boy), Debbie Honeywood (Sorry We Missed You, Vera) and Angela Wynter (EastEnders, Les Miserables).

Billy said making the drama was particularly “challenging” at times, especially one of the last scenes.

“Ray is having a freak out and noticing what he’s done and that particular scene was very powerful and I had to take a minute afterwards and everyone sat down and had a think about it and readjusted.

“It was all very challenging and it is a true story so if I got it wrong I would have offended quite a lot of people. That was quite hard.”

Billy has also starred in The White Princess and Blinded By The Light.

Two days of Billy’s week is taken up with learning acting, dancing and singing whilst the other three are for academic work.

Once he’s finished at Sylvia Young, Billy says he hopes to go the London Screen Academy, which teaches everything about film-making, including directing, lighting, producing and costume design alongside acting.

And his dream is to star in an action film and also a comedy.

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