Dramatic Pendle actor Thomas Pickles has appeared as a casualty in BBC’s “Casualty” – with former Bond girl Honor Blackman.
And this week he begins rehearsals for “KES” at Derby Theatre. It is on stage from September 13th until October 5th.
Thomas has also appeared with Britain’s most famous drama group – the Royal Shakespeare Company.
He said: “KES is a bit of a Northern classic. It’s been studied in classrooms for generations and then there’s the Ken Loach film.
“ It encapsulates the working class and the scary uncertainty of growing up. We’ve made an amalgamation of four of Billy’s classmates to make them into one character – Tibbut – and I’m playing him.
“Tibbut’s a funny lad – he relives the squelching summer he spent with tadpoles in his wellingtons and then argues with his teacher about who’s the better football player – Denis Law or Bobby Charlton!
“It’ll be exciting to see how the production pans out. Obviously, we’ve only just started rehearsals but it’ll be a cracker.
“Derby’s not too far from home, so I might be seeing familiar faces in the audience!”
Thomas went to Colne Primet High School then Nelson and Colne College. After three years at drama school in London, he immediately started working with the Royal Shakespeare.
“I did the winter season there – it was fab. The RSC’s a bit like the Manchester United of theatre,” he said.
“ The facilities and audiences were great, it was a really positive experience working in that kind of environment so early in my career.”
Of his “Casualty” appearance, he says: “I learned loads. I’d done lots of extra work while I was at high school, but it was exciting to be a guest character on a prime time Saturday night programme. I sat next to Honor in the make-up room.
“I had this horrendous mullet which was attached to my own hair. For weeks after filming, I could still feel it dangling against my neck!
“I had a set of false teeth, too, which fitted over my own teeth – with one missing. It looked grim.
“I had loads of fake blood poured in my mouth every two minutes. I was lucky enough to have a really dynamic story.”
He also appeared in another TV series. He said: “‘Doctors’ was fun, too. I play a love-struck student who’s head is a bit messed up.”