A budding young actor from Fleet is appearing on cinema screens across the country in his first film role.
Ten-year-old Malachy Knights, of Pondtail Road, landed a supporting role in family film Pudsey the Dog: The Movie, which stars the lovable dancing dog that won TV contest Britain’s Got Talent in 2012.
Malachy, a pupil at Velmead Junior School in Fleet, plays the youngest of three siblings who adopt a stray, Pudsey, and are ultimately saved by the clever canine from an evil plot hatched by their family’s landlord.
The youngster beat competition from thousands of other children in auditions last July to receive the part.
He spent six weeks filming at Elstree Studios in London and out on location last autumn.
On Sunday July 13, he attended the film’s premiere in London’s Leicester Square, sharing the red carpet with the rest of the cast including comedian David Walliams, who provides the voice of Pudsey.
It is the highest-profile role yet for Malachy, who has been signed to an acting agency since he was five and has previously appeared in an episode of TV crime drama Silent Witness.
He attended the premiere with his parents Claire and Paul, brothers Finlay, 14, and Connor, 12, and sisters Matilda, three, and Harriet, one.
His mum Claire said of her son: “Malachy was excited about auditioning but not confident about getting the role.
“He has been to enough auditions to know that it takes not just talent, but also the right look and a bit of luck.
"He was very excited to get the part and said the experience of filming was one of the best things he has done in his life, even though it required lots of hard work.
“Although he enjoyed being on the set, he also learnt that filmmaking is a business and he had to take it seriously.
“He was even assigned a tutor along with his on-screen ‘brother’, to make up for missing school.”
She added: “Malachy was a bit overwhelmed by the crowds and the cameras at the premiere, but he still enjoyed it.
“I was very proud of him and felt very emotional. I even cried when he first appeared on screen.
“He says that he would like to be in more films and wants to keep going to auditions.
“Hopefully, his role alongside Pudsey will open more doors for him.”