“I had terrible empty nest syndrome to start with. The teacher thought I’d danced before which encouraged me to carry on.”. 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"He struggled to sit up and was covered in bruises from toppling over. He would scream the place down if anyone came near him.”. For more information email jill1ben@sky.com. or Who knows - he might pop up on our TV's again soon! Display cabinets groan with the weight of glittering dance trophies he has won. I just knew he was destined for big things.”. If that failed he would have needed a permanent tracheotomy (a windpipe opening) which would have affected him speaking, let alone singing. But as the swelling reduced I could see a huge improvement. Log In. Ben’s success is all down to his own hard work and ability.”. “He’d love to do period dramas but knows he wouldn’t be taken seriously,” explains Jill. In 2008 when Jill came across children’s casting auditions for a film starring Martin Freeman called Nativity! “He lived for dancing,” she says. being made locally she entered Ben on the spur of the moment. His head was swollen and I can remember thinking ‘what have I done?’ The guilt was enormous. Now he's a grown up 16-year-old and looks totally different! “Thankfully the seizures stopped when he was seven. But winning the Wolverine state puts the White House well within reach, Furious Trump team 'called Rupert Murdoch moaning about Fox calling Arizona for Biden', The Fox News decision desk was the first outlet to project that Joe Biden would win the state of Arizona in the first 'flip' of the night from 2016 - Donald Trump and his surrogates were furious, Jill is seeking sponsorship to enable Ben to continue his education at the Sylvia Young Theatre School. Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist. “When I look at the baby photos and hear mum talking it makes me feel amazed I’ve gone through all that,” he says. Mum sparks debate after slamming Christmas Eve gift boxes, Internet left reeling over dad's tribute tattoos of his, Films fans challenged to name iconic rom coms in graphic, Phillip Schofield in heated debate with Minister after, woman is arrested for taking mum from care home. “The nurse had to resuscitate him. “He was a very unhappy child and wouldn’t interact. She says: “I didn’t want people to feel sorry for him or think he only got a part because of what he’s been through. “There was just this awful silence. “They insisted it was purely a cosmetic procedure. She says: “He slept for 19 hours out of 24, struggled to feed, lost weight, sounded like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh when he breathed and his head just seemed too big for his body – with a prominent forehead. Cute Ben Wilby was just six when he first melted cinema audiences’ hearts with a lead role in the hit Nativity! Ben Wilby was born on January 29, 2002 in Cannock, Staffordshire, England as Ben Christian Wilby. Ben went on to star in all three Nativity films including Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger! But Jill continued to worry. “At one point, Ben holds a solo note for ages and all the kids burst out laughing. I just did my own thing to the music. Families say Ben’s story has given them hope. explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. Ben, 13 in January, is already a patron of two charities: Clowns in the Sky, for children with brain tumours, and StrokeInformation. Ben’s distinctive Black Country accent has been softened by vocal classes. “He wasn’t breathing when he was born,” recalls Jill. Off to see @bonnie_langford in @42ndStreetLDN pic.twitter.com/ZTf1F1jzbn. I was terrified,” says Jill. You can unsubscribe at any time. He overcame a whole catalogue of health problems to succeed. 10pm - 1am, Superstar Bob from Nativity is all grown up and looks unrecognisable! “He’d never acted so I made up some details on his application,” she confesses sheepishly. ", Joe Biden wins Michigan as victory over Donald Trump edges closer, We still don't know who has won the Presidential election - votes in are still being counted. “Suddenly he became this outgoing little character who loved to sing and dance. Just six months after starting dance classes, Ben was winning national contests. “I was convinced something was wrong, but the doctors insisted I was being an over-anxious mother.”. He loved Strictly Come Dancing. Keep your little bookworms engaged outside of the classroom with our selection of the very best literary adaptations. “Everyone used to laugh because my girls were tomboyish and not into singing or dancing at all. It was clear his speech and sight were unharmed.”, After three weeks, the bandages were removed. Ben was snapped up by an agent and landed roles on TV and in advertisements – working with the likes of John Bishop and Cheryl Cole. See more of BoB from nativity what a legend on Facebook. Every Christmas we go back to the hospital to say a huge thank you,” Jill says. “You can’t imagine him in Downton going ‘alright, am ya?’. Ten years after his surgery Ben still bears the scars and has regular check-ups at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. “When I saw him in recovery I hardly recognised him. He has been involved in the two Nativity sequels and last January moved to London to start stage school. The photos show how far he’s come. And when I held him, his head would flop forwards. At 30 weeks, doctors fought to prevent Ben arriving early and he was finally delivered at 37 weeks, in January 2003, weighing 6lb 5oz. After seven months of auditions, Ben landed the lead role as dance fanatic Bobby – but the family kept the news secret.