Budding actor auditions for roles in ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Emmerdale’

Jack Hartley
Jack Hartley

A BUDDING young Burnley actor is hoping for TV stardom after being taken on by a leading London talent agent.

Jack Hartley, of Parker Street, Harle Syke, wants to emulate his acting heroes like Simonstone TV star Lucien Laviscount and get his big break on the small screen.

Since being signed, the 17-year-old has been catapulted from local amateur dramatic roles to trying out for big parts in shows like “Emmerdale” and “Holby City” overnight.

The ambitious teenager, who is now studying performing arts at Burnley College, believes his chance to shine could be just around the corner.

“This has given me something to strive for. I really want to achieve success as an actor.

“I feel I am just so close. I just need that one part to get my foot in the door. “

Within five days of signing with London agent Patrick Hambleton he won an audition for ITV soap “Emmerdale “and more recently shows like “Downton Abbey” and “Waterloo Road”.

“Recently I just missed out on a role in ‘The Accused’,” he said. “I saw it on TV and thought ‘that could have been me’.”

Jack admits it could have been quite different because he left school and abandoned acting at 16 to make his way in the world.

After growing up performing in plays and pantomimes, as well as work with the National Youth Theatre and a course with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic, he turned his back on it.

But he returned back to Burnley with renewed desire to make it as an actor after a stint backpacking around Europe and signed up to a performing arts course.

He says he has been helped by storyteller Ursula Holden Gill who formerly played the character of Alice Dingle on Emmerdale.

“If it was not for her I would not have found a passion for it again. I would probably be in a dead-end job or in the dole queue.”

Jack has just finished touring theatres across the North after performing in the Noel Coward play “Still Life”.

He enjoyed the experience of performing live for people but hopes to make a successful career as a TV actor.

“It is amazing being up on stage, but I really see myself on TV. I would really like to do both but at the moment I am going to focus on my TV work.

“I am hoping to get a lot of roles in 2012.”