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Frome actor debuts in primetime Jane Austen period drama

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FROME actor, Kayleigh-Paige Rees, has made her small-screen debut in ITV’s new blockbuster period drama, ‘Sanditon’.

The eight-part series based on Jane Austen’s last unfinished novel, was adapted for the screen by Emmy and BAFTA-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies, whose previous credits include ‘War & Peace’, ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

Kayleigh-Paige stars in the drama alongside well-known actors that include Rose Williams, Theo James, Kris Marshall and Anne Reid.

As the country becomes hooked on the goings-on of the fictional seaside village of Sanditon, Frome Times caught up with Frome’s rising star to find out what it feels like to star in one of this year’s biggest period dramas, watched by millions.

How does it feel now the show is on television?

“Quite simply, crazy! I feel like I’ve hardly been in the series so far and my agent emailed me the other day to say I’d been sent my first lot of fan mail. Not that fan mail is everything, but it is wonderful to be part of a series so large and be working with such a talented cast and crew.”

What can people expect from your character Julia Beaufort?

“Julia Beaufort and her sister have come to Sanditon with Mrs Griffiths and Miss Lambe to finish their education and find themselves a husband. Julia and her sister can always be found giggling, and very often by the boys.”

Are you watching it each week? Do you watch it with family and friends?

“Yes, every Sunday I’m watching it with my family. We were all so close on the show and it’s wonderful to get to watch scenes that were filmed when you weren’t there and see their talent shine through.”

‘Sanditon’ was filmed in Bristol and North-East Somerset. What was it like filming so close to home?

“It was great. My boyfriend and I bought a house whilst I was filming, so it was incredibly convenient getting picked up each day and being able to come home was lovely. Normally, when you’re working it’s wonderful but you have to accept that you’re away from your nearest and dearest, but with Sanditon I got to work, make great friends and be at home.”

What was it like filming with big names such as Theo James and Kris Marshall?

“I remember on our read through I had such massive butterflies, I was so nervous to meet everybody, but everyone was so welcoming and we really became a close knit little family. We all spent a lot of time outside of work socially and when we were working I didn’t think “this is Kris Marshall or Theo James”, but instead, thought of them as colleagues and friends.”

Has filming been different to what you are used to?

“No, I mean Sanditon was very large scale and we all felt a lot of pressure with it being based on Jane Austen’s last novel and written by Andrew Davies. Hopefully we have done it justice.”

Sanditon airs weekly on ITV, every Sunday at 9pm. Episode four of Sanditon will be shown this Sunday, 15th September. The series so far is also available on demand at: www.itv.com/hub/sanditon

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