When James Hobley makes his professional debut as a dancer – and given his talent it is a when, not an if, even though he’s only 10 – Hollywood will be beating down the door to turn his story into a feel-good biopic. It’s Billy Elliot with the added twist of autism. If only Daniel Day-Lewis was 40 years younger and could get his leg behind his head without CGI, he’d have another Oscar in the bag.
James first sprang to attention in Sky1’s talent show Got To Dance, where his startling flexibility and curiously intense presence turned him into a contender. The worry was how an autistic child would cope with the intense pressure of a TV talent show but, as Autism, Disco And Me (BBC3) revealed, James is pretty hard core when it comes to strutting his stuff in front of judges. You have to be if you want to win the bizarre riot of sequins and hip dislocations that is Disco Kid.