A SCRIPTWRITER and actor who grew up in Southend is celebrating the start of the second series of his hit show, Being Human.

Toby Whithouse, 38, writes the BBC Three series which tells the story of a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost who all share a house in Bristol. It stars Billericay actor Russell Tovey.

The series began life as a pilot, but, following a petition by viewers, a first series was commissioned in 2008, followed by the second, which begins on Sunday at 9.30pm.

“It was nothing short of amazing,” said Mr Whithouse.

“I was getting e-mails from people I’d never met, saying how much they enjoyed it.

“Then I heard there was a petition, fan groups and forums all going crazy about the pilot. I couldn’t believe it.”

The actor-turned-scriptwriter started out penning plays, before switching to write for the small screen.

He has written episodes for the ITV series Where the Heart Is, penned the Channel 4 nursing drama No Angels, plus an episode of Doctor Who and its spin-off series Torchwood.

Mr Whithouse added: “I use the same approach for everything I write.

“You have to start from the viewpoint of the character; whether they’re vampires, werewolves or nurses. If you build up three dimensional characters who are human and by turns sympathetic, unsympathetic and complex, then it gives you an endlessly rich supply of material.”

Mr Tovey, 28, who plays the werewolf in Being Human, made high-profile cameo appearances in two of the BBC’s most watched Christmas programmes.

He materialised in space opera Doctor Who, as well as making a brief appearance in comedy Gavin and Stacey, which revolves around his home town of Billericay.

Mr Tovey’s star has been on the rise for the past 12 months and he was tipped to be a future TV Time Lord by out going headwriter Russell T Davies.

But, for the moment, Mr Tovey is happy with the complications of spending time shacked-up with his supernatural house mates.

In Being Human, he plays George, a down-to-earth hospital porter, who every full moon transforms into a blood-thirsty werewolf.

He said: “George just wants to be normal, and I suppose a lot of people in life struggle with this if they’re somehow different.

“They just want to be the norm, but the point is, what is the norm?”

Mr Tovey was also quick to praise Mr Whithouses’ writing efforts.

He said: “With Toby’s writing you’re completely like, wow, where did that come from?”

“Everything is just brilliant, when it comes down to one-liners, or a situation. Everything is just off-centre and quirky, which suits the piece.”

Finally, Mr Tovey said he has become a lot more intune with his body, since howling through numerous hairy, snarling transformations.

He added: “I’m naked a lot, so you’re running through the woods and there’s a 20-strong crew watching you and it’s cold.

“But after you’ve been filmed naked once, you become normal with it. “