A COLNE actress has made her television debut, appearing in popular soap "Hollyoaks".
Jessica Forrest (20) beat stiff competition from hundreds of hopefuls for the role of loved-up student Leanne.
The former Fisher-More Catholic Humanities College student says she is still adjusting to life as a television star, but is loving the experience.
"The past few months have been absolutely mental. Everything has happened so quickly but I'm enjoying every second. I'm so lucky to be in the position I am in."
Jessica was studying drama at Manchester University when the opportunity for the role came about. "I wasn't really enjoying the course as I found it was very academic and wanted to get some practical experience. I searched on the internet for open auditions and went along to a couple of things. I think I was just in the right place at the right time and got spotted by an acting agent and ended up getting the part in 'Hollyoaks'."
Jessica has been working on the show since June but the episodes have just started being screened on Channel 4.
"This is the first bit of television work I have done so it was all a bit daunting at first. I was handed the script and needed to take it all it quickly. Everyone working on the show was really supportive though and I'm getting to grips with things now and am starting to develop my character."
Jessica plays student Leanne Holiday, girlfriend of Lee Hunter who has made a comeback to the show after five years. "Leanne is fun to play. She is so different to me. She is really sensible but a bit naive and has her heart set on marriage and her education."
Jessica's contract is until May and she hopes eventually to branch out into television presenting. "It has always been my dream to present on Channel 4 and I'm one step closer now. If I could eventually do that it would be amazing."
For budding actors wanting to break into television she has offered some advice. "If you love acting, follow your heart and give everything you do 100%. The business is so competitive, so you really need to make your own luck by auditioning for anything you can."