A LEES-BASED drama teacher is celebrating after a pupil from Moorside landed a role in TV soap Emmerdale.
Harley Hamilton is now playing Oscar in the ITV staple – his family’s favourite – just months after being discovered by Sarah Byrne Acting Academy.
In the show, he is the son of Gail Loman, played by Rachael Gill-Davis, and Ryan Stocks, played by James Moore.
Viewers learned that the couple had a baby together 13 years ago and, being young and unable to care for the baby themselves, he was adopted after he was born.
Recently Gail was contacted by Oscar’s adoptive mum Sophie, played by former EastEnders star Martha Cope, because he is seriously ill after being diagnosed with the rare blood disorder aplastic anaemia and needs stem cell treatment.
And seeing him on screen is more reason to be cheerful for Sarah.
The 34-year-old, who played Meena Karib in the gritty Manchester drama Shameless and Bella in the Channel Four soap Hollyoaks and was a candidate on the 2018 series of The Apprentice, beamed: “Harley is very natural, down-to-earth and very real. He’s well suited to his character.
“As soon as I saw him, I knew he was talented. He has natural ability and his confidence has grown while he’s been on set.
“The other kids have been so supportive and his family are big Emmerdale fans who watch the show constantly. This is a dream come true for them.
“This is another success story for Oldham. I’m proud that what I set out to do is happening and this is the reason why I do what I do.”
Harley started classes at the academy in January and joined the SBM Agency, which provides representation for young actors and adults in and around the north west for film and TV, in June.
His part is another major success for the Sarah Byrne Acting Academy, which she set up in 2016 to act as a role model to her young daughter Sadie.
Talent has also starred in the Netflix thriller anthology Black Mirror and the Amazon Prime series The Power, starring Golden Globe Award and Primetime Emmy Award-winning actress Toni Collette earlier this year.
Based at Oldham Hulme Grammar School and the Manchester Maccabi Community and Sports Club in Prestwich, the academy for budding talent aged four to 25 has students from as far as the Isle of Man and the north east, as well as from across Greater Manchester.
Academy talent scout Sue Burns, 60, from Prestwich, added: “I chaperone him on set and everybody loves working with him. I’m so proud of him.
“He has taken to it like a duck to water. You wouldn’t know that this was his first role.”