6 JANUARY 2009

The coming year looks set to be a great one for relatively unknown British actor Dev Patel. On January 11, the Slumdog Millionaire actor could find his name making its way onto the mobiles of Hollywood movers and shakers if the film fares well in its four nominated categories at the Golden Globes ceremony.

There's also Oscar buzz surrounding the 18-year-old from Sudbury's performance.

"I don’t know if luck is on my side but I do feel very lucky," the talented teen told The Mirror.

He has reason to. Just a few weeks ago the Skins' star – who has never had an acting lesson – took his mum Anita, his 'lucky charm', to the British Independent Film Awards where he was recognised as Most Promising Newcomer.

"Ben Kingsley shook my hand, Ian McKellan and James McAvoy were there," he says. "Before I had even laid hands on my first script, these people were making Oscar-worthy films and here I was sharing the same air! It was crazy."

Dev stars in the new movie from Trainspotting director Danny Boyle as Jamal, a boy from the Mumbai slums who competes in the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

When he's one question away from winning 20 million rupees the show's suspicious producers call in the police and Jamal must explain how, as an uneducated slum-dweller, he could know all the answers.

Already receiving rave reviews in the States, Slumdog Millionaire hits British cinemas screens on January 9.

Photo: Getty Images
Dev, pictured with mum Anita at an awards ceremony in November, is a relative newcomer to acting. His only previous role was in TV teen drama Skins
Although he's never had acting lessons, he was cast as the 'skinny underdog' lead in Slumdog Millionaire after the director's daughter - a big Skins fan - suggested him for the part