A perfect gift for Christmas and it’s thanks to Joseph...

Lytham actor Joseph Phillips in the award-winning film Christmas Angel

Lytham actor Joseph Phillips in the award-winning film Christmas Angel

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You might not have heard of Joseph Phillips yet, but it’s unlikely to stay that way for long.

The Lytham lad has won a Best Newcomer award at the Monaco Film Festival for his role in a film called Christmas Angel, which has just been released in this country on DVD.

And given his CV already includes a leading role in the West End stage version of Billy Elliot, plus parts in TV shows like The Accused, Doctors and The Royal, it is clear Joseph is doing something right.

Currently in the final year of a BA Hons acting degree at Guildhall School of Music and Drama (one of the top drama schools in Europe), the 21-year-old has no doubt what he wants to do with his life.

“I’ve always known I wanted to act from a very young age, and I’m very lucky to have an extremely supportive family who have let me follow the career that I love,” he said.

“I love all aspects of acting, stage, TV and film, and I would love to be able to explore all of them more.

“I can’t really pinpoint one thing about acting that I love – I think I’ve just always loved the feeling it gives me and having the opportunity to explore such different characters. No one day is ever the same”

Joseph, who went to St John’s Primary and Lytham St Annes High school, is delighted Christmas Angel, the film in which he plays the leading role and starred alongside Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Celia Imrie and the late Mel Smith, is now available to buy.

It was actually filmed more than four years ago and is only now getting its British and American release.

“It was such a brilliant experience to do a film and to work with such a fantastic cast,” said Joseph.

“I wasn’t star-struck because all of them were so nice and down to earth and such a pleasure to work with.

“I learned so much from watching them and chatting with them in between takes and I just felt really lucky to have such a great opportunity.

“I was very upset to hear the news about Mel (who passed away earlier in the year). Although I didn’t film any scenes with him we hung out on set and he was awesome. It is such a shame to have lost such a talented actor and lovely guy.”

The film earned good reviews and was chosen to start to Monaco Film Festival.

“That was amazing,” added Joseph. “I had no idea I would be going until a couple of days beforehand and before I knew it I was on a plane.

“I never expected to win an award (best newcomer), so it was a huge shock ... I was very grateful to even be nominated.

“I was so happy the film won a few awards (seven in total, including best actor for Spall) because we all had such a great time making it, so it was great to get such positive recognition.”

Needless to say parents Mick and Nicola, who live in Victoria Street in Lytham, are pretty proud of their lad – though admit they find it odd watching the film.

“We had to watch it twice because the first time we were so busy watching Joseph and thinking ‘that’s our son on screen’ that we didn’t take any of the plot in,” said Mick.

“Our daughter, Emma, is a teacher at Mayfield and she’s just as proud of her brother as we are.

“He’s a good actor but what’s best of all is that he is a good lad – very unassuming and down-to-earth.”

Christmas Angel is available to buy from Amazon and other reputable sites.