AN EMMY award winner from Wrexham has said it is more than he could ever have dreamt of. 

Leighton Cox, from Rhostyllen, is a professional lighting cameraman and steadicam operator.

He won the Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Program as part of the Welcome to Wrexham team's Do or Die episode.

The 37-year-old attended the 75th Primetime Creative Arts Emmys in Los Angeles recently where he picked up the award alongside Alastair McKevitt, Craig Hastings and Jason Bulley.

The Leader:

"I can’t say I dreamed of this moment or it’s been a lifelong ambition as I never thought I’d receive anything near this level of recognition," he said. 

"The last award I won was for being Top Goalscorer for Garden Village u15’s! 

"In all seriousness I feel immensely proud to be bringing this back to Wrexham as we speak and I’ve always said if we won anything then the awards belong to the town.

"To everyone who’s opened their doors and shared their stories with us, it’s what made the show such a compelling watch and why it’s resonating with audiences around the world. 

"I took the award to all the show's main characters, people that opened their doors and their lives to the world (not knowing how big the show would get). It's such a brave thing to do and they should be commended for it."

The Leader: Leighton with landlord of The Turf, Wayne Jones - one of the stars of Welcome to Wrexham.Leighton with landlord of The Turf, Wayne Jones - one of the stars of Welcome to Wrexham. (Image: User generated content)

Leighton first started filming skateboarding videos when he was 16. He went to Yale College to do Media and Film studies, and then Aberystwyth University for a degree in it. 

"I got my big break shooting All or Nothing: Manchester City with long time collaborator and friend, Mike Staniforth," Leighton said.

"After Rob and Ryan were announced as potential buyers of the club and they were making a documentary about it - I put out a cheeky tweet. I had a phone call from LA about an hour later then the rest is history so you never know who’s watching."

He was first contacted by the production team in October 2020, and became the unofficial tour guide as American directors and producers flew in to see what Wrexham was all about. And then spent nearly two years in production filming for the first season of the show.


​"Over that time I really grew into the role of assisting producers with storylines and characters then ultimately moving into a director of photography role," he said.

"Originally it was more of a support role to the main director of photography on the UK side, Craig Hastings, but the workload was so full on that there were regularly two crews out shooting daily.

"We were wonderfully supported and assisted by people like Claire Sarsfield, Gareth Roberts and Marcin Orlowski. All are local which makes me feel really proud of the talent we have in the area and all incredibly hard workers. It’s the headline roles that accept the awards but without those people there would be no award to speak of."

The Leader:

Leighton described attending the awards ceremony as "surreal". "It's something you watch on the news or see pictures of but never in a million years think you’re going to walk the red carpet," he said. 

"It was the first year that nominees could bring a guest so I was delighted to be able to experience the night with my wife, Rhian, by my side. She’s been my rock through the whole gruelling two year shoot and I couldn’t have done it without her. We had our first child, Llewelyn, just five months into the shoot.

"Those days were pretty tough but Rhian gave me the confidence to go out and do my job well knowing he was in the safest pair of hands."

Leighton is currently shooting season three of Welcome to Wrexham. "I’m so happy for the show to be receiving all the recognition it has," he said. 

"It’s more positive news for the town and a very special time to look back on in our history. Being able to tell the story of what’s happening to my hometown and team is the dream.

"I hope I’m still filming season 12 when we beat City in the Champions League Final."