BRADFORD actress Hannah Midgley landed her first television role at the age of 18 months, and now she's playing a schoolgirl mum in a new Kay Mellor drama.
The six-part BBC1 series, In the Club, which started this week, centres on a group of pregnant women who meet at parentcraft classes. The cast includes Hermione Norris, Tara Fitzgerald, Jill Halfpenny and Will Mellor,
Hannah, 21, plays Rosie, a troubled teen with a secret pregnancy. It was an emotional audition that landed her the role.
"I was really nervous as I saw something in Rosie that I could connect with. I understood her," said Hannah. "When I went in, I could feel a lump in my throat and I burst into tears. Kay said, 'Let's do this scene' and I was sobbing the whole way through. I got to the end and looked up, and Kay was streaming. I thought even if I don't get the part I can be proud of myself, as it was a good audition."
Writer Kay Mellor revealed that Rosie's dilemma reflects her own experiences of being pregnant at 16. "I was five months pregnant before I told anybody other than my boyfriend," said Kay.
"My mum took me to a clinic where I was told to attend a slide show. I sat in a room with nine or ten older women, I was too young and shy to talk to anyone.
"If I was frightened before I saw the colour slide show, I was absolutely terrified after! As I walked home the inevitability sunk in - that was going to happen to me in a couple of months. I felt like throwing myself down a quarry."
Hannah, who had a dramatic birth scene in this week's first episode, said Kay gave her valuable advice.
"She told me quite a bit, to understand what a 15-year-old would go through when giving birth," said Hannah. "It's so important for me to do it justice for her."
Hannah's first TV role was as a baby in police drama A Touch of Frost. Aged three she joined Emmerdale as Jack Sugden's daughter, Victoria, and appeared in some dramatic storylines. Her character was in a bus crash, caught up in a bitter custody battle, and ended up mute after the trauma of discovering her brother's torrid affair with their sister-in-law.
A former pupil of Blakehill Primary School in Idle, and Debut theatre school in Shipley, Hannah told the Telegraph & Argus in 2006, when she was 12, that she had to keep storylines secret from her pals.
"My friends know I'm not allowed to say anything, they just find out what happens when it's on TV," she said.
* In the Club is on BBC1 on Tuesdays at 9pm.