Neil Baldwin, born just after World War II, is considered to have learning difficulties but he has an appetite for life and, encouraged by his mother Mary, leaves his butchery job to join the circus as Nello the Clown, being undaunted when the circus moves on without him. He moves to Keele University, where Mary has a cleaning job, appointing himself the unofficial greeter to new students, a role rewarded by an honorary degree in 2013. He also gets to manage its unofficial football team, named after him, and in 1992 talks his way into becoming the kit man and mascot of his beloved football team Stoke City. For Neil there are no boundaries - his interest in religion leads to his becoming a lay preacher whilst he presents himself at the House of Commons for tea with MP Tony Benn and at Cambridge University, where he strikes up a friendship with Prince Andrew, which results in his being on the queen's Christmas card list. With his indomitable attitude overcoming early set-backs and the ...


Julian Farino


Toby Jones
as Neil Baldwin
Tony Curran
as Lou Macari
Greg McHugh
as Malcolm

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by santiagocosme 9 /10

"Marvellous" couldn't fit this movie better!

I came across this movie and after reading a few reviews, I thought it was worth giving it a go. Well, I am glad I did because it has to be one of the best I have seen this year.

The story of a man with learning disabilities who goes through life without a care in the world and gets pretty much all he wishes for by simply asking for it. People who come across him just fall in love with his personality, to the point that they feel blessed to have met him and have him in their lives.

In a world as critical as ours, it's magical to see that a man like Nello can become such an icon. Not only is he a sports personality and a circus celebrity. He is now also a movie star!!

This may well be his first and last movie, but it could not be a better way to start. Or finish.

Reviewed by markgorman 9 /10

Marvellous does not do this justice.

Marvellous is such a small movie in scope and ambition that it shouldn't really register.

It was made for UK TV and not overly hyped, yet it turns out to be a career defining work for an actor that has already had all manner of praise heaped on him for his role in Infamous and his many franchise movie roles (Potter, Hunger Games and The Muppets.).

Like his contemporary Michael Sheen (Cloughie in The Damned United and David Frost in Frost/Nixon) he is adept at playing performances that impersonate the stars (Truman Capote in Infamous). Only this time the star is not really anyone outside of Stoke has ever heard of.

He plays, Neil (Nello) Baldwin, a small guy with learning difficulties who has no fear of the conventions of life because the fear button in his brain is switched off. The result is an outrageous journey of hope over fear, joy over sadness and opportunity over failure.

A clown. Stoke City's kit manager. University of Keele doer. Crazy jobs each and all. And all brought to life by this amazing man's unique personality.

Three times I wept. It's a joyous movie but has deeply sad moments and is an absolute must see.

Reviewed by tr91 9 /10

Outstanding TV movie

Don't you just love it when you watch a film without knowing much about it and it absolutely goes above your expectations? That's what Marvellous did for me. It is an outstanding TV movie. Everything about this film is simply Marvellous!

The film is an incredible true story which gives a great message to the viewers; it's a real heart warmer. Neil Baldwin is an incredible man who is portrayed so well by Toby Jones. The supporting cast were also very good and I liked how in parts of the film we also saw cameos from the real life people that the actors were portraying. A really unique way to shoot a film but it worked.

As I watched this film I had a huge smile on my face the whole way through, it played with my emotions. Some of the one liners are incredibly funny and then some scenes are so happy that you want to laugh and cry.

Some people may look at this and be put off by thinking that it's a film about football, please don't let this put you off. It is about so much more than that and overall is an incredible true story.

"There's only one Neil Baldwin"

9/10. – A film so good that it will probably end up in my top 10 for 2014 – Watch it!

Read more IMDb reviews