With spooky season (and terrible autumnal weather) in full swing, there’s nothing we love better than a Harry Potter marathon to cosy up to.


But while we’re familiar with the likes of Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and, of course, Daniel Radcliffe starring in the movies, the franchise was made up of a supporting cast and crew of thousands over the eight films.

One of these was David Holmes - Radcliffe’s Harry Potter stunt double who is credited with starring in all eight of the films.

But after one of his performances went badly wrong in 2009, Holmes was left paralysed.

Now, Holmes and Radcliffe - who are still good friends - have created a documentary about his life-changing accident, and his time since then.

Read on to find out everything we know so far about David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived.

David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived release date

Daniel Radcliffe wears a black T-shirt and black leather jacket, as he holds a microphone in his right hand and rests it under his chin during a panel talk
Daniel Radcliffe

David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived will be available to watch in the UK on demand on Sky Documentaries, and streaming service NOW, from Saturday 18th November.

In the US, it premieres on HBO on Wednesday 15th November at 9pm EST, before being made available to stream on Max.

What is David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived about?

David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived will take a look at the “inextricable bond” between Daniel Radcliffe and his Harry Potter stunt double David Holmes - who was left paralysed while filming the hit movie franchise.

On set for the penultimate film in 2009 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - Holmes previously told The Mirror that he was rehearsing a flying scene when he was pulled backwards “at speed” by a high-strength wire in a “jerk back” stunt that replicates the effects of an explosion.

However, Holmes was instead launched into a wall, immediately breaking his neck and leaving him now using a wheelchair.

Sky revealed: “Featuring candid personal footage shot over the last decade, behind-the-scenes material from Holmes’ stunt work, scenes of his current life and intimate interviews with David, Daniel Radcliffe, friends, family, and former crew, the film also reflects universal themes of living with adversity, growing up, forging identities in an uncertain world, and the bonds that bind us together and lift us up.”

Who is David Holmes?

Emma Watson stands in the middle of Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe, with her arms around their shoulders. Rupert is wearing a black jacket and grey slogan t-shirt; Emma is wearing an olive green-coloured dress with a beaded necklace; and Daniel is wearing a grey suit, black shirt and silvery-grey tie
Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe in the Order of the Phoenix era

A prodigious teenage gymnast from Essex, Holmes was selected to play Radcliffe’s stunt double in the first Harry Potter film.

Also playing a Slytherin beater during the Quidditch scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, while Radcliffe was the face of the famous wizarding film series it was Holmes was who we watched in the other action-packed scenes.

While his world was turned upside down after the on-set accident left him with a debilitating spinal injury, it still seems that Holmes is an adrenaline junkie.

Following the accident, he took up racing, and drives a car with hand controls.

And along with two of his friends – who are also paralysed – Holmes started Ripple Productions, which in 2020 launched a podcast with Radcliffe called Cunning Stunts, interviewing other stunt actors to raise awareness about the risks they face.

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What has Daniel Radcliffe said about the documentary?

Radcliffe is yet to comment on his documentary, but Holmes himself did take to Instagram to share his thoughts.

"This film tells the story of not just my achievements in front of camera, but also the challenges I face every day, and my overall attitude to life after suffering a broken neck,” he wrote.

"In the turbulent world we find ourselves living in right now, I would like to quote Harry – 'We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.'

"I am only able to live because of the united love and support that I am fortunate enough to have had. And it is thanks to this love and support that I am able to share my journey with you all."

David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived premieres on HBO on Wednesday 15th November at 9pm EST, before being made available to stream on Max in the US. UK viewers can stream it on Sky Documentaries and NOW from 18th November.

If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our hub for more Documentaries news.


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