A film buff's dreams came true as he rubbed shoulders with a galaxy of Hollywood stars at the Bafta awards.
Movie-mad James Burgess, 22 – who uses a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy – met George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Tilda Swinton on the red carpet before Sunday’s awards ceremony in London.
James – who has won plaudits on Twitter with his film reviews – got a spot on the red carpet alongside with mum, Beverley and sister Laura, 25. It was a special treat because it was the day before his 22nd birthday.
The trio posed for a photo with Clooney after the star – who was in the running for Best Actor for his role in The Descendants – offered to take their picture.
Creative writing student James, who has been a film fan since he was a toddler, said: “It was amazing, it was such a great honour to be there.”
Clooney chatted with the trio about his chances of winning an award before going in for the ceremony. James, of Drummond Way, Macclesfield, added: “We spoke with Tilda Swinton for quite a long time.
I said I liked her in ‘Burn After Reading’ and she said ‘You’re a real film fan’.”
Despite his wheelchair, James, who studied at Fallibroome School and Marple and Cheadle College, said he was determined to fulfil his ambition.
“I don’t think that I would have ever let my disability act as barrier to my ambitions, be they getting my A-Levels or going into acting.”
Next year, James plans to begin a foundation degree in contemporary theatre practice – a two-year course that he hopes will be his first steps on the acting ladder.
James, who counts actors Denise Welch and Tim Healey as friends after meeting them on a visit to Coronation Street, added: “I realise acting is a very difficult and competitive occupation to get into but
I’d love one day to appear in Coronation Street or Eastenders.”
You can read James’s reviews at the website jabfilmreviews.blogspot.com.