Hackney-based Billy Barratt, 13, became the youngest ever recipient of an International Emmy award on Monday for his role in the BBC drama series Responsible Child.
Speaking to BBC news about his win, Barratt said: “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’…it’s very exciting…and its kind of crazy [to be the youngest winner], I don’t know what to think about it.”
Barratt hails from Hackney and is the grandson of the popular 80’s singer Shakin’ Stevens. His previous screen credits include roles in Mary Poppins Returns, the ITV drama Mr Selfridge, Blinded By the Light, and BBC’s 2019 adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
Responsible Child follows the story of 12-year old Ray who is forced to confront the full wrath of the legal system when he is arrested for murdering his abusive stepfather. The drama also scooped the International Emmy award for best TV movie or miniseries.
The series loosely follows the the true-life story of Jerome Ellis, 14, who in 2013 was arrested for the murder of his abusive stepfather along with his older brother. As the legal age for criminal responsibility is 10 in England and Wales, Ellis was tried as an adult and served 6 years in prison.
Due to Covid restrictions, the 48th International Emmy Awards were conducted virtually, and hosted by Richard Kind, best known for his roles in the US TV sitcoms Mad About You, Spin City and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Other British winners at the awards ceremony included Glenda Jackson, who won Best Actress for her role in Elizabeth Is Missing, and the feature documentary For Sama which won Best International Documentary.
In scoping this award, Barratt joins a long line of veteran actors and previous winners in this category, including Sean Bean, David Suchet, Kenneth Branagh and Dustin Hoffman.
Billy Barratt follows a long line of actors originating in Hackney, they include:
Dame Barbara Windsor – born in Stepney, she is best known for her role in the Carry On films and a 22-year long role as Peggy Mitchell in Eastenders.
Idris Elba – Golden Globe award-winning actor, best known for his roles in The Wire, Luther and the Marvel films franchise.
Jean Marsh – Emmy award -winning actor and screenwriter, credits include Doctor Who, Upstairs Downstairs and The House of Elliot.
Michaela Coel – actor and screenwriter, her credits include Chewing Gum, I May Destroy You and Black Mirror.