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by Robin Cottle, Reporter
Thursday, February 27, 2014
For an 11-year-old who seemingly has the world at his feet, Romford youngster Baxter Willoughby is remarkably grounded.
The Romford youngster won a Recorder-backed modelling competition in 2009 and he has been on an upward curve ever since.
He has just appeared in a new commercial for headphone range Beats by Dre, which also starred pop duo Rizzle Kicks and top model Zara Martin.
According to his mum Jane, Baxter was once asked whether he was going to be “Britain’s answer to Will Smith”.
But he replied: “Not at all. It could all change in a second. I could end up being a plumber.”
It’s been quite a whirlwind five years for Baxter, who won the Mall’s 2009 Get Into Fashion Competition.
But the pupil of Crownfields Junior School, White Hart Lane, Collier Row, takes it all in his stride, says Jane.
“He really enjoys performing. Baxter’s one of those kids that is really quiet.
“He’s never been in a school production but he’s a natural in front of the camera.
“Baxter doesn’t even go to stage school and that’s saved us a lot of money!”
The youngster, who is off to secondary school in September, has already appeared in 23 music videos and commercials but wants to branch out into acting.
He has filmed a non-speaking role for In the Heart of the Sea, which is scheduled for release next year. It is directed by Ron Howard and stars Liam Hemsworth.
And Jane, of Rise Park, says he has a lot of “exciting projects in the pipeline”.
The 45-year-old said: “Baxter does most of his shoots at weekends so he doesn’t have to take too much time off school. He doesn’t get tired though. He’s also a track runner and nothing can tire him out.
“I don’t know where he gets his energy from – it’s certainly not from his parents!”
Baxter, the only child of Jane and her 44-year-old husband Terence did not have to audition for his role in Beats by Dre because the producers were aware of his fledgling but impressive CV.
He was the only child in the production.
“Once you get to a certain level, producers know what you can do,” Jane said.
Despite his early success, a career in showbusiness is not set in stone.
But Baxter, who belongs to the Talent Talks agency, will carry on modelling and performing as long as he enjoys it.
And he could have a brush with politics sometime later this year. He has been invited to visit the House of Commons by Romford MP Andrew Rosindell but the family have not been able to take up the offer yet due to the young star’s schedule.