ITV’s portrayal of 11 year-old Rhys Jones murder in the series Little Boy Blue has played with the emotions of the entire nation.

All filmed on location in Liverpool, producers have done their ground work to discover the hard truths behind the case. Many viewers are keen to find out is how accurate these portrayals have been and how alike the actors are to their real-life counterparts:

Rhys Jones


Rhys Jones is played by young Liverpudlian actor Sonny Beyga. At just 12 years-old, Beyga got the landed the part when he happened to walk into an acting workshop hosted by All Star Casting. At the time, they were looking to find a boy to play the part of Rhys and he was given the role almost immediately due to his similar likeness.

Sean Mercer


‘Croxteth Crew’ gang member Sean Mercer is played by Paddy Rowan. Mercer was just 18 years-old when he was sent to prison for Rhy’s murder.

Rowan hasn’t had may acting credits before landing this role, but is currently at university studying for a degree. His debut film Playing Field is to be released later this year.
Melanie Jones


Irish actress Sinead Keenan plays the hart-hitting role of Rhy’s mother, Melanie. Before Keenan landed the role, she had never visited Liverpool, therefore felt she needed to meet the Jones family to find out more about the case and get to grips with her character.

Keenan is no stranger to the acting world and has been in a number of TV series such as Taggart, Doctor Who and Silent Witness

Steve Jones


Steve Jones is played by Irish actor Brian F. O’Bryne. In order to understand the character of Steve on a deeper level, O’Byrne also visited the Jones family home. He commented that he hoped to ‘approach the work with respect’ and ‘ease their worries in some ways’.

Detective Dave Kelly


Detective Dave Kelly played by Liverpool actor Stephen Graham was the senior officer in the murder case. Detective Kelly himself was a part of the production process and praised Graham for his accurate portrayal.

He stated: “He’s a scouser and an accomplished actor and he knows what he’s doing. When I first met him, he was asking ‘Where do you get your suits from, what aftershave do you wear?’ He just wanted every detail to understand my character and portray me to the best of his ability.”

James Yates


James Yates, otherwise known as ‘Yatesy’ was the boy who supplied the gun to Sean Mercer and contributed to Rhys Jones murder. Now at age 29, the real-life criminal was sent down for a maximum of 12 years in 2009.

Liverpudlian actor James Nelson-Joyce has been involved in a number of high-profile shows over the years; playing the role of Degsy in ITV’s Cilla, as well as small parts in Casualty, Shameless and Vera.