A Shop Owner in Ashington has landed the role of a lifetime in a brand-new TV Crime Series being filmed in the region.
Melvyn Barnes who runs The Divan Clan, a furniture and bedding business in Ashington, has landed the starring role as part of an all-star cast and regional production being produced here in the region by North East Films.
Melvyn who landed his first ever acting role as a child actor in the highly acclaimed BBC Series Our Friends of the North (over 23 years ago), where he played a troubled young boy, took the spot light while starring alongside A-Lister Daniel Craig, Christopher Eccleston, Mark Strong and Gina McKee in 1996 when the series aired on BBC. Since then Melvin has featured in small roles with several London based films and appeared in TV Commercials spots for BT Sport and Hovis over the years.
However, the usual story of travelling to London regularly for castings and auditions with very little production activity here in the North East meant Melvyn had to in recent years – place his dreams on hold and carry out regular work for a living rather than pursuing his ambition and love for acting.
A young Melvyn Barnes with Bond Film Actor Daniel Graig (BBC 1996, Our Friends of the North).
Morelands Firm will star a number of well-known regional actors and UK talent including ITV’s DCI Banks Stephen Tompkinson, Kim Tiddy of The Bill and Hollyoaks fame, regional stars including Craig Conway, Bill Fellows, Victoria Hawkins and many more, with familiar faces and appearances from many other favourite’s from Byker Grove including Lesley Saint-John and Tony Hodge as well as Gary Webster of Minder fame.
“I can’t wait to get started filming – this is the role I’ve been waiting to land for many years, I just never though I would get to work as an Actor in the region – so I am so excited that I get to act alongside some well-known names in a TV production that’s being made on my door-step”
“What’s even more bizarre after all these years, is reuniting on-screen with Craig Conway who played my father in Our Friends of the North over 20 years ago – he’ll play my brother with his lead role in Morelands Firm – so my part is of huge importance and I’m really going to embrace this opportunity and give it everything I have. My kids are just as excited as I am – they are my inspiration and very supportive helping me to learn my new role – so it’s brilliant. Even my customers are wishing me all the success in the world and now I laugh because they’ll be able to enjoy watching me on TV while sitting on a sofa I may have sold them or a bed they bought from my shop (laughs) – but no, everyone is being extremely supportive and I am very grateful for the opportunity and taking on this challenging role”.
“I will still be running my business and looking after all my customers for many years to come yet… but yes I’m really pleased this TV Series is being made regionally, I keep telling people it’s like our own modern day version of Peaky Blinders but a bit more gritty and Geordie”
North East Films, the production group behind the series is stepping up to help develop the regions TV and Film activity starting with a new Crime Series which could be a catalyst for a whole host of new opportunities in TV along with an ambitious slate of films currently in development.
Producers say they will be showcasing an abundance of regional talent both in front and behind camera with Morelands Firm being the start of many new commercial ventures, they are very confident the TV Series will reach a successful commission with one of the main UK Broadcasters or Global Streaming services in early 2020.
With an array of famous faces, regional locations and high value production, North East Films plan to bring a realistic gripping drama that features many Geordie actors with authentic Geordie accents as well as some leading UK talent to create a fast pace leading drama which will have audiences wanting more.
“The region offers so much from locations to amazing on-screen talent, we are really aiming to increase levels of production here in the heart of the region. We have the talent, the skills, the writers, the crew and the cast to make a real difference and change the landscape for a sustainable TV and Film industry that’s all local but producing credible and high value productions that can really help boost the regions economy over many years to come.”
Morelands Firm will feature 8 Episodes in Season 1 and writer Danny Cox is already developing Season 2 which is likely to unearth even more interesting characters and offer even more opportunities for many local actors to join the team next year.
If you are interested in joining the production team or future cast you can visit the website: www.NorthEastFilms.co.uk