Bobby Brazier had NTA viewers feeling emotional as he accepted his award for Rising Star at this year’s ceremony.
The EastEnders actor has been a firm fan favourite in the show ever since his September 2022 debut, playing Freddie Slater, the son of Kacey Ainsworth’s legacy character “Little” Mo.
On Tuesday (5 September), the actor’s popularity and promise was rewarded with his first-ever win at the National Television Awards.
Accepting the statuette, Brazier, 20, began his speech with a thank you to his father, Jeff Brazier, who raised him as a single parent following the death of his mother, TV personality Jade Goody, in 2009.
“I’ve been thinking about what I might say over the last couple of days, and it’s just become very, very, very obvious,” he said.
“This actually has very, very, very little to do with me and everything to do with my Dad.”
As the audience at the event, held at London’s O2 Arena, cheered, Brazier continued by sharing how his father’s motivational spirit has significantly shaped his outlook.
“Over the course of the last 20 years, I’ve consistently heard him say ‘because I can’. It was a mantra, or a motto of his. And him just saying that – because I can! Why not?”
TV presenter Jeff was then seen crying from the crowd, and was comforted by EastEnders actor Molly Rainford.
Brazier went on to thank his EastEnders castmates who have taken him under their wing since he joined the show. “I had no experience, I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing, to be honest.
“But they’ve all been so supportive and just lovely, and merciful, and everything that I needed throughout the whole time. They’re so good that I don’t even need to ask any questions, I just observe, and naturally, I progress. And here I am, with an NTA.”
As well as garnering cheers from those watching in person, Brazier’s speech received widespread praise from fans on social media.
“OK, I’m so not crying right now,” began one response on YouTube. “Well deserved. He’s one of the best things to happen to EastEnders in ages and Freddie is such a genuine character and you can see how genuine Bobby is as well. So happy for him.”
Many took the opportunity to speculate about how his mother would have been proud of him.
“Bobby Brazier’s speech at the NTA’s tonight was so lovely,” wrote another fan. “He’s so honest and down to earth and you could see how much the whole cast love him, a huge credit to his amazing dad Jeff who looked so proud and Jade would have been buzzing.”
Similarly, another Twitter/X user added: “He seems like a really lovely young man. His family must be so proud of him. His Mum must be looking down on him beaming with pride. Jeff has done an incredible job with both his boys, they are all very lucky to have one another.”
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