A BILLERICAY youngster is playing a starring role in this year’s must-see Christmas blockbuster.

Seven-year-old Jesse Elgar, from Billericay, is playing the class clown Jesse and is starring alongside Doctor Who favourite David Tennant in Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger.

The sequel to Nativity!, which cost £3million to make, sees the children travel across the country to Wales to take part in a Christmas nativity play, where Jesse plays the donkey, but they run into trouble when they become lost in the Wales wilderness. He plays the sidekick of class teaching assistant Mr Poppy, played by Marc Wootton who was in last year’s festive film Arthur Christmas, and gets up to mischief including interrupting class and dancing on desks.

The first film saw the school compete with a neighbouring school for the honour of the top Christmas play.

Jesse, his family and 50 friends have booked a screen at Empire Cinema at Festival Leisure Park, where they watched the film on it’s release night last Friday.

Jesse, who goes to a Billericay school, aspires to be an actor when he grows up and said the film was the best thing he had ever done.

“I am very excited about the film being at the cinema. It is hard to think of yourself being watched by so many people but I want to be an actor so it is great.”

He said meeting David Tennant was a good role model and looked after the children on set.

“He was really nice to me and it makes things much easier when everyone is so nice. I had the best time ever.”

Jesse was cast for the role last year after attending auditions at the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London after impressing film writer and director Debbie Isitt in auditions.

Debbie, who also directed 2006 hit film Confetti, said working with Jesse was a pleasure.

“Jesse is the most fantastic little boy to work with. Jesse's dancing in the audition scene of Nativity 2 brings the house down everywhere it plays. He is such a charming, delightful, fun loving little boy who showed huge maturity when it came to engaging in the drama of it all. He took direction really well and rarely needed a second take of any scene.

"Jesse is a brilliant character and a natural movie star and I hope he will join me in Nativity 3 if there is one. He's a winner.”