Sky has last laugh after raid on BBC comedy talent
An 11-year-old boy from an Irish village, whose previous biggest role was as Bashful in a local production of Snow White, has been named one of the breakthrough stars of the year after receiving a surprise nomination for the British Comedy Awards.
David Rawle, from Leitrim, was chosen from hundreds of hopefuls to play the lead role in Moone Boy, an autobiographical sitcom broadcast on Sky, written by Chris O'Dowd, the Bridesmaids and IT Crowd star, based on his childhood experiences in a small Irish town.
This year's nominations represent a change in fortunes for BSkyB – which has been accused of using its resources to poach the best comedy talent from the BBC – after committing to spend £600m on home-grown programming.
BSkyB dominates the Best New Comedy category with Moone Boy competing against Hunderby, a period drama spoof on Sky Atlantic and Alan Partridge: Welcome to the Places of My Life, the return of Coogan's comic broadcaster.
Rawle, a pupil at Carrigallen National School who was selected from an open-casting session, plays Martin Moone, an artistic 11-year-old whose chaotic daily life is a constant negotiation between school bullies, his sister's pranks and the pressures of being an altar boy.
Rawle has been nominated for Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist at the British Comedy Awards, which will be screened by Channel 4 next Wednesday. The six-part Moone Boy, which features O'Dowd as Martin's imaginary 30-something friend and a cameo appearance from Steve Coogan, has also been nominated for Best New Comedy Programme.
Rawle was unfazed by working in such distinguished company. "It sounded really cool," he said. "I just wanted to go for the fun of it. I was really shocked and excited when they called me for a second audition."
"Sky let us go out into the countryside to do open-casting sessions," O'Dowd said. "We found this kid half an hour down the road from where I'm from, and he was perfect. He hasn't been in front of a camera before. He's just so natural and instinctive."
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
- 3 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 4 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
- 5 Cristiano Ronaldo storms out of interview after being asked about possible sale of Manchester United target Sergio Ramos
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
Chronixx interview: Reggae sensation on taking the opening spot at Glastonbury and calling Barack Obama a 'waste man'
Game of Thrones season 6: Director Jack Bender says showrunners 'communicate closely' with George RR Martin
Amy Winehouse film: Mark Ronson praises 'respectful' movie as it scores highest ever UK opening for British documentary
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts