EastEnders actress Danielle Harold talks to TV Times magazine about how Jamie Oliver, luck and raw talent helped land her dream role of Lola... Your acting career started in a very unconventional way, Danielle... “I had a bladder problem and I was in hospital a lot and missed most of my GCSEs. Afterwards, I went straight into work and did waitressing for a couple of years, but it just wasn’t what I wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to act; drama was the only lesson I enjoyed at school.” You took part in C4 programme Jamie’s Dream School, which led to an audition for EastEnders... “At the end of Jamie’s Dream School, we were given some scholarship money, but I didn’t know what to do. My drama mentor, Peter, introduced me to an agent, and she said 'I’ve just had a casting for EastEnders; I can let you have a try.'" What did you think ahead of your audition? “I didn’t have a clue what it took to do an audition, but I did have a really clear vision of how I imagined Lola to be. I didn’t go to a posh school, and there were girls there like her. And I’ve tried to take bits of what I can remember of being that age – you think you know it all!” Were you nervous? “I was more than terrified! I was really crying after we cut, because it was such a relief to get it out of the way.” What’s the experience been like so far for you? “I‘m learning so much and there’s so much more I can learn.” What would your advice be to anyone out there wanting to follow in your footsteps? “Don’t doubt yourself, you never know what you can do until you try!”
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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