Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 12:04 GMT, Saturday, 22 August 2009 13:04 UK
From silly billy to Billy Elliot!

By Fay Yeomans
BBC York & North Yorkshire

Jake Pratt as Michael. Photo courtesy of Alistair Muir
On 1 June 2009 Jake made his West End debut in Billy Elliot The Musical

Twelve year old Jake Pratt from Scarborough is following in the footsteps of other local lads who have made the leap from amateur productions in their home town to the West End stage.

Like Ben James Ellis before him, Jake was involved in a number of shows at Scarborough's YMCA theatre.

He was a pupil at St Peter's Roman Catholic School in the town and, as well as the YMCA, he was also a member of the Scarborough Dance Centre.

His talent for comedy brought him success in several competitions, including BBC Radio York's Comic Relief talent show, More Front Than Scarborough, of which he was the joint winner.

Jake Pratt
Jake was involved in a number of shows at Scarborough's YMCA theatre

Jake also made it to the semi-final of the first series of ITVs Britain's Got Talent.

In 2007 he moved to London with mum, Joanne, and started his training at the Sylvia Young Theatre School.

His first major acting role was as nature reporter, Jay, on CBeebies Green Balloon Club, spending a year there which Joanne describes as 'fantastic'.

Jake has also found work doing cartoon voiceovers and is currently the voice of Boris the Brown Bear in Playhouse Disney's Fun with Claude. He also appeared in and did voiceovers for the Cartoon Network.

Soon to be shown on Cbeebies is Wibbly Pig, where Jake is the voice of Big Pig and also the narrator.

GBC members l-r Lily-May, Ant, Sky, Cat and Jake as Jay
His first major acting role was on CBeebies Green Balloon Club

Last summer the talented young man worked on a film called The Nativity alongside a host of famous names like the hit comedy Office actor, Martin Freeman, and Extras and Ugly Betty actress, Ashley Jensen. It is due for release later this year.

But his latest role is his biggest to date. On 1 June 2009 Jake made his West End debut in Billy Elliot The Musical, taking the role of Billy's best friend, Michael.

He moved into the Billy Elliot house, along with the other youngsters who play the lead roles in the musical, which is where he is now and, according to his mum, he's loving it!

In profile: Ben James-Ellis
03 Jul 09 |  Arts & Culture



Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific