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Friday, 28 November 2014

Cumbrian actress causing stir with role in teen TV drama

A Brampton woman who grew up without a television in her home is now lighting up the small screen.

Amy Downham photo
Amy Downham

Amy Downham has just joined the cast of long-running teenage soap opera Hollyoaks on Channel 4.

She plays a bohemian art teacher and has already caused a stir by having a brief romance with one of her on-screen female students.

Friends in Brampton are delighted at her success in the high-profile show, which has provided a spring board for many now-glittering careers.

Her character, Jen Gilmore, made her first appearance on the show at an art exhibition run by sixth form pupil Tilly Evans, where she trashed the younger woman’s work.

This was followed though by a trip to the beach where they ended up sharing a kiss.

However, Jen then revealed herself to be a student teacher at Tilly’s sixth-form college and the pair agreed to be friends despite their romantic feelings for each other.

This unresolved tension between them is expected to be a running theme in upcoming episodes.

The star-crossed lovers have already earned themselves a nickname ‘Jelly’, a fusion of their respective first names in the style of Hollywood A-listers Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s ‘Brangelina’ tag.

Amy’s appearance on Hollyoaks has gone down well with fans, and many web forums dedicated to the show have been filled with discussions about her.

Amy grew up in Brampton and went to William Howard School.

She has performed with the Cumberland Youth Theatre and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Her television work includes a role on the BBC daytime soap Doctors and a Welsh drama called Pan Talar.

She has described herself as a fan of drama and stand-up comedy and Made in Chelsea as a ‘guilty pleasure’.

Surprisingly though, she didn’t have a TV set in her house until she was 18.

As a result she doesn’t have memories of watching children’s shows, but can remember visiting neighbours every Thursday night to watch a series on the supernatural called Strange but True.

She is also “a dab hand at arts and crafts”.

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