EastEnders’ star David Essex offers a helping hand

A DREAM came true for an EastEnders fan when he got to perform with his idol David Essex in the long-running show.

Lee Milsom, 37, was selected to star with David and co-star John Shepherd, who play father and son Eddie and Michael Moon, after attending an audition organised through his Huntingdon drama group.

The September 16 episode of the BBC1 soap show Eddie and Michael visiting Eddie’s Downs Syndrome son in a supported house.

Lee, who lives in Alconbury, joined the cast and crew for a day’s filming on location near Elstree Studios. David took time out to give Lee some helpful acting tips.

The day ended with a tour of the set including the cafe and laundrette. Lee was even allowed to stand behind the bar of The Vic and pretend to pull a pint.

Lee, who religiously watches every episode of the soap, said: “I had a lovely time. David Essex is a very good actor.” He would now like to land a part in Coronation Street. He

His drama teacher and Bedazzle Theatre Arts founder Diane Janssen accompanied Lee for the day. Diane runs drama groups for mainstream students and those with learning difficulties.

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Lee has been attending her group at Huntingdon’s Mencap Centre for 18 months.

Diane said: “When I saw the casting for someone with Downs Syndrome, I thought it was a great opportunity. We arranged an audition and went to Elstree Studios. Lee had a bit of script to read. I think it was Lee’s great personality that won through for him.

“This particular scene was shot on location, and I am glad it was, as it meant the cast and crew were much more of a close-knit team.

“In the studio, actors tend to go back to their dressing room, but on location you get chucked in together. We had a very social day. We got to meet lots of people and ask questions.

“David Essex spent a lot of time talking to Lee and encouraging him. From a confidence point of view, Lee is really cock a hoop. I say to any student that goes for an audition, they are really lucky just to get one. But to do an audition and get a day’s filming out of it, is a real achievement.”

Lee is currently waiting if he will appear in a BBC2 drama following an audition this summer.

INFORMATION: To find out more about Bedazzle call Diane on 07841 990611.