Dec 6 2012 by Leona Greenan, Hamilton Advertiser
A young Hamilton boy has scooped a top acting award - beating off stiff competition from Hollywood legends Kevin Spacey and Keiffer Sutherland.
Lewis McGowan, of Corrie Court, was astounded when his name was read out as the winner in the Best Actor category at a sparkling ceremony at the British Arrows Craft Awards in London last week.
The eight-year-old received his award after his fantastic performance in last year’s spectacular multi-million pound John Lewis Christmas advert. In the ad Lewis played a little boy who spent months eagerly awaiting Christmas morning - but not so that he could open his own presents, instead rushing into his parents bedroom on December 25 to give them their gift from the department store. At one point he even tried to forward time by zapping the kitchen clock with his toy wand.
His portrayal touched the hearts of millions across the nation with thousands of posts on Facebook and Twitter about Lewis. The advert even received over four and half million views on Youtube.
Lewis, who attends Townhill Primary School, told the Advertiser: “It has been a great year for me, and I was so excited to win the award last week.
“I had no clue I was going to win it - especially with being up against Kevin Spacey and Keiffer Sutherland. So when they shouted out my name, I was amazed.
“I went up on stage and had a speech ready, just in case, but they didn’t let me say anything as there was no time.”
He added: “I remember when the advert was first shown. It was during an ad break of X Factor last year and mum let me have my friends over to watch it.”
Lewis has already been snapped up by one of the UK’s top agencies, United Agents, the same agency which looks after Keira Knightly, Stephen Fry and Scottish actor Ewan McGregor .
Lewis’ mum Julie and dad Stuart, also a trained actor, were delighted with his award and said they were “extremely proud” of the son.
Julie said: “Lewis worked very hard on the ad, and it definitely paid off. He’s just a normal little boy who put his head down and got stuck in to the role.
“Whilst acting is what he wants to do, it’s important to us that he is a child first and actor second and whatever roles may come up next we’ll look and see how much of his time may be needed so he doesn’t miss school or anything important.”
Lewis’ brother Conor is also keeping the family busy. The 12-year-old has a passion for producing and directing films, but is also in the process of speaking to contacts about a crime/detective book he has written called Tom Quist - Beginnings.
Meanwhile, Julie and her husband Stuart have opened up a film school within the University of the West of Scotland in Hamilton. The school, called Drama 1st Film School, teaches eight to 16-year-olds acting.
Julie explained: “Our school focuses on acting for the camera. It’s not all jazz hands, dancing and happy faces, but concentrates on real aspects of acting and performing.
“It’s going so well that we’re opening up new classes in Glasgow and Airdrie in the New Year.”