Oscars 2023: Film starring Edinburgh schoolboy with Gabriel Byrne, Idris Elba and Tom Hollander is nominated

Broughton High School pupil is heading for the red carpet in Hollywood

An animated short film in which an Edinburgh schoolboy stars alongside screen icons Gabriel Byrne, Idris Elba and Tom Hollander has received an Oscar nomination.

The BBC’s moving children’s tale, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, is up for best animated short film.

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It stars Jude Coward Nicoll, a pupil at Broughton High School in Edinburgh. The 15-year-old is carving out quite the career for himself as a voice actor, and has previously had roles in Tom & Jerry (2021), The Lost Sock (2019).

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse stars Jude Coward-Nicoll, a pupil at Broughton High School in Edinburgh. Photo left: Paul Johnston.

The TV adaptation of Charlie Mackesy’s bestselling illustrated book screenned in the UK last year when it was the most watched BBC programme on Christmas Eve.

An average of four million people tuned in to watch the author and illustrator’s distinctive images reimagined with hand-drawn traditional animations for the BBC One short film about kindness, friendship, courage and hope.

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In an interview with the Sunday Post, young Jude discussed starring alongside A-list actors Byrne, Elba and Hollander in the tale.

Speaking from his home in Edinburgh, he said: “When I got the role I was really excited and I can remember running up and down the stairs because I was so happy,” said the teenager. “It was just excitement for what was to come, especially when I found out who the other cast members were.”

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The teenager added that it was Hollander whom he had been most looking forward to working alongside.

“I like Tom’s performance in Pirates Of The Caribbean,” he said. “He’s just brilliant.”

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The film enlisted Elba as the voice of the fox and Hollander as the mole, while veteran Irish actor Byrne featured as the horse and Jude was the boy.

The short film was produced by Star Wars director JJ Abrams and Hannah Minghella of Bad Robot Productions, with an original score by composer Isobel Waller-Bridge, sister of Fleabag star Phoebe.

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The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse was published in 2019 and explores the friendship between the four titular characters as they journey together in search of a home.

After its publication, it was named book of the year by Waterstones and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards’ non-fiction lifestyle book of the year.

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