WESTCLIFF teenager Lilly Tebbs may soon find her face is familiar to millions of young children – after she landed a role in a new CBBC show.
Lilly, 13, is to appear in Hank Zipzer, a new series based on books written by actor Henry Winkler – the Fonz in the American TV show, Happy Days.
Lilly, who lives in Crowstone Road, has already filmed her part in the series and says she can’t wait to see the show on the air.
She said: “I felt really happy to get the part and quite honoured, because it’s such an amazing show, and I’m really excited to be in it.
“I was really surprised when I heard. I’ve been to a lot of auditions but never succeeded, so this is my first big job.
“The filming was quite hard to get used to at first, but you soon settle down and the whole cast and crew were really supportive and very helpful. We had such a good time filming. Everyone really enjoyed it.”
Lily’s character, Heather Payne, features in just one episode in the first series, which is adapted from the book The Curtain Went Up, My Pants Fell Down.
However, she could be featured again if a second series gets the go-ahead.
Lilly’s mother, Debbie, said Lilly had wanted to act from a very young age.
She said: “She’s been doing drama for about four or five years.
“When she was about three, she decided two things – she wanted to be vegetarian and she wanted to be on TV.
“She used to mimic all the adverts. She’s always been good at remembering lines. She used to recite Hermione’s lines from the Harry Potter books when she was younger.”
Lilly was put up for the role by Sandra Singer, who runs the Leigh-based Singer Stage School, at which she has been a pupil for the past two-and-a-half years.
The youngster had to go to Halifax, West Yorkshire, four times to film the show, staying there for a week for the first stint of filming.
While at the studios, her mum says Lilly still managed to keep up with her school work for lessons at Southend High School for Girls.
She said: “During the filming, she got to work quite closely with Henry Winkler, which she absolutely loved.
“He was really fantastic with all the children and taught her a lot about acting.
“She didn’t want the filming to end and was quite disappointed when it did.
“There was a tutor on set, so she still had to do her homework every day. It was sent from school, so she didn’t fall behind.
“I’m really really proud of her. The whole family are, because she works really hard.”