Mirfield boy's acting dream goes up in smoke

A BUDDING child star missed out on his first acting job in a television advert because of a paperwork blunder.

Callum Allnut, who was 10 on Monday, had a part in the Department of Health's new anti-smoking advertisement which features the song I'd Do Anything.

He was one of 30 children out of 10,000 to get a part. But his mum says a mistake on an entertainment licence provided by Kirklees Council invalidated it – meaning Callum, who dreams of starring in action or comedy films, could not take part.

Callum's mum Stacey said her son was devastated and embarrassed after telling all his friends he was going to be on television.

Stacey, of The Knowl, Mirfield, said that Callum heard about the audition the day it was taking place – and had just an hour to learn the song driving to the audition after school.

She said: "We put the CD on in the car and he sang all the way there."

Callum, who took the part of Herod in his school Christmas play, found out he had got the part at the beginning of December.

By law any child under 16 needs to have a licence from their local education authority to perform. Callum's agency completed the relevant paperwork to apply for one and sent it to Kirklees.

However when the licence was sent to both Callum's parents and the agency, the address of where the performance was to take place was incorrect.

Stacey said her family did not notice the mistake until the agency rang to tell them the licence was invalid – and he could not take part.

She said: "Callum was devastated. He wanted to spend his own money on his family at Christmas and put the rest in the bank. That's what upset him the most. It was awful having to tell him. He was heartbroken, and I cried myself."

Kirklees Council was unable to respond to our request for a comment.