Date: 23rd September 2000
Young JAMIE BELL is riding high as the star of new British film BILLY ELLIOT - but the actor has never known his own dad.
Jamie, 14, who has been tipped for an Oscar for his role in the quirky movie, reveals that fame will not help him get over the pain of not knowing his father. Jamie's toolmaker dad walked out on mum EILEEN, 42, before he was even born.
In the film Billy is supported in his dreams by dance teacher MRS WILKINSON, played by JULIE WALTERS, but in real life it is Jamie's mum who encouraged and looked after him. He says, "Mam and Dad got divorced before I was born. I didn't have a dad. "My mother was my own Mrs Wilkinson, and the dad as well."