Former Coronation Street star Lee Boardman is going back to his roots to give youngsters in the area acting opportunities he never had.
Lee, who is famed for walking the cobbles as Jez Quigley among many other TV, stage and film roles, is opening up a new acting school in Stockport along with his wife and fellow actor, Jennifer James.
The couple, who met on the set of Coronation Street, started Actor Tribe three years ago in Knutsford. Now following its success, they have expanded, with a new school in Heaton Mersey, Stockport.
Lee, who grew up in Reddish, said: “I may as well have said I wanted to be an astronaut when I was growing up, because the idea of me being an actor at the time was so absurd.
“But having belief from one school teacher helped change that, so we want to make sure youngsters and adults in my home town and across Greater Manchester get the opportunities I never had, to make them more prepared for a career in acting.”
Lee and Jenny – who have two children of their own – are being supported in their venture by fellow Coronation Street stars and friends, who are patrons of Actor Tribe, including Stockport’s Sally Lindsay and Suranne Jones.
Students at Actor Tribe have previously had masterclasses from Suranne, Sally and comedian Peter Kay, as well as meeting top agents, directors and casting directors.
But it is much more than getting the youngsters acting jobs for Lee and Jenny. They want the children to be a part of something.
Jenny, who played Geena Gregory in Coronation Street, added: “Lee and I will split our time between Stockport and Knutsford with the support of fantastic acting teachers.
“We are very hands on because for us it is more than just an acting school, we are very proud of that. We have had children come who have been having a difficult time at school, and I know how that feels, having experienced bullying myself in high school, so we are delighted they find somewhere to fit in.
“Being different really is celebrated in this industry, so we make sure they know it is ok. It sounds like a cliché, but we really do care for the children like one big family, we really are a tribe.”
Actor Tribe will be holding a meet and greet event on Sunday, September 11, between 12 noon and 2pm, at Natalie Wood School of Theatre and Dance, Winsor House, Heaton Mersey Industrial Estate, Battersea Road.
All new students that sign up will be put in our prize draw to win signed scripts and memorabilia from some famous faces.