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By ‘eck! Southerner Joe Sugg is cast as a TV Yorkshireman

By ’eck! Southerner Joe Sugg is cast as a TV Yorkshireman by top writer who has long lamented the shortage of roles for Northerners

The role of Sam in the new series of The Syndicate, about a group of lottery winners, went to Joe Sugg, the former Strictly Come Dancing winner who grew up in Lacock, a village near Chippenham

As one of the most influential names in British drama, writer Kay Mellor has been vociferous in calling for more Northern actors on television.

But when it came to casting one Yorkshire character for her new BBC1 series, she instead turned to a YouTube star who hails from Wiltshire – more than 200 miles further south and well below the Watford Gap.

The role of Sam in the new series of The Syndicate, about a group of lottery winners, went to Joe Sugg, the former Strictly Come Dancing winner who grew up in Lacock, a village near Chippenham. 

And the 29-year-old admitted he had to be given coaching to hide his West Country twang.

‘I was putting on a Northern accent,’ he said. ‘So knowing that I am not actually from the North, for me it is like hearing your voice back for the first time again. I’ve got a lot of fans who are from the North so I was worried about doing a stereotypical Northern accent.’

He also admitted he was surprised to be cast in the drama – his first acting role – and suffered on set from ‘terrible impostor syndrome’.

His character is the boyfriend of Roxy, a member of a syndicate of workers in a dog kennel whose lottery numbers come up. The cast also includes Staffordshire-born Neil Morrissey and Ms Mellor’s daughter Gaynor Faye, from Leeds.

At a publicity event to launch the show, Ms Mellor, 69, revealed that if she won the lottery she would launch an organisation for young writers and actors in the North, who she believes are often ignored.

As one of the most influential names in British drama, writer Kay Mellor has been vociferous in calling for more Northern actors on television. But when it came to casting one Yorkshire character for her new BBC1 series, she instead turned to a YouTube star who hails from Wiltshire

As one of the most influential names in British drama, writer Kay Mellor has been vociferous in calling for more Northern actors on television. But when it came to casting one Yorkshire character for her new BBC1 series, she instead turned to a YouTube star who hails from Wiltshire

‘I would probably start some sort of studio where I could nurture new young writers and bring through actors, and put actors together with writers,’ she said. 

‘I think it’s vital that the North of England is represented in mainstream drama, not just soap opera. For me, Northern dramas have a different feeling because it feels like these are my people.’

And she praised Sugg’s Northern accent, adding: ‘It was a long-shot that he’d be able to do it… but he took direction really well and listened. I think he will make a great actor.’

Sugg, who won Strictly with Australian professional dancer Dianne Buswell, who is now his girlfriend, has been touted by BBC bosses as one of its future stars – not least because of his social media following of eight million YouTube subscribers and 5.5 million fans on Instagram. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk