A TEENAGE actor has landed his big break in a BBC spy show.
Eighteen-year-old Sam Strike still lives at home with his family in Southend, but will make his debut on the small screen in the CBBC series MI High next month.
The former Thorpe Greenways student, who won an Echo modelling competition when he was 16, will play new character Dan in the sixth series of the show, which chronicles the adventures of a group of young spies.
Sam said: “The first day on set was nerve-wracking, because it’s a whole new experience and you’ve got a lot of people relying on you.
“But filming was amazing, everything I’d hoped it to be.
“There are literally thousands of young actors in competition with each other, so for the guys at MI High to give me that opportunity was massive for me and I count myself very lucky.”
Sam got his first taste of acting at secondary school, when he played a flower seller in Oliver and Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar.
He secured the role in MI High after submitting a tape of himself performing and then travelling to Edinburgh to audition.
Filming took place over the summer and the show will start with an action-packed double bill on January 7.
Sam said: “My character was very physical and I got to do the vast majority of my own stunts on camera.
“I enjoyed that. It was also surreal to see people I have watched on TV in the flesh on set.”
Celebrating his newfound fame, Sam hinted that other projects might be in the pipeline and he was looking forward to working in different locations.
But, despite the prospect of stellar career potentially taking him all over the world, he said he would still look forward to coming back to Southend.
He said: “Most of my family live here.
“As soon as I got back from filming, I got back into my skateboarding.
“For insurance reasons I wasn’t allowed to skateboard during filming, so it was lovely to get back down the seafront.
“I’d be great to do a bit of work here in the future.”