Teen dream gives Anna a starring role
DAVID WHETSTONE talks to a North East actress whose starring role in a new BBC comedy could be a case of life imitating art.
CELEBRITY culture is all around us - in magazines, on television and in the fathomless depths and immeasurable expanses of the internet.
Small wonder it’s the fashionable teen dream to be famous - or at least to look like someone who might sashay along a red carpet.
Ironically, this obsession with celebrity has earned a starring TV role for North East actress Anna Gilthorpe.
Anna, who grew up in Gosforth, has the title role in The Gemma Factor, a new comedy series which makes its debut this evening on BBC Three.
The BBC plot synopsis tells us that “Gemma Collinge wants to be famous and hounded by the world’s press by the time she turns 21.
“Six weeks to go and her dream inches closer when Halifax agent Kenny Grantham invites her in for a chat.”
Anna has achieved what Gemma dreams of achieving but the former Newcastle Church High School pupil clearly had bags of natural talent and a healthy dose of ambition.
“At school I always wanted to be a singer and was always in the school play and the choir,” says the bubbly 23-year-old.
“I kind of always wanted to do something like that but I didn’t really have any idea of how to go about doing it.”
Still, she earned a place with the National Youth Music Theatre as a teenager and appeared at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.
Then, coming up to leaving school, she successfully auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music where she studied musical theatre.
“I graduated in 2006 and since then I’ve just been trying to get as much acting work as I can,” she says.
Her CV may be short in years but it’s pretty rich in variety with her singing talent very much to the fore.
She has appeared in a few productions for Pimlico Opera including, most recently, Carmen.