It's enough to have old Ebeneezer Scrooge turning in his grave - in a twist to the traditional Christmas tale the miserable miser has just been played by a 16-year-old girl.

Ruth Middleton breathed fresh life into the character when she took the lead role in her school production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Ruth, who hopes to take theatre studies at university has previously played King Duncan in Macbeth.

She said: "Some people were slightly surprised when they found out a girl was playing the lead, but I haven't really had any negative reaction."

Producer and head of drama at St Mary's School, Menston, Alacoque Marvin said: "She is very talented and was simply the best person for the part.

"Ruth's great talent and energy really bring the miserly old Ebeneezer Scrooge to life.

"Just like the entire cast she has worked incredibly hard and deserves great success," Mr Marvin told the Wharfedale and Airedale Observer this week.

l Entertainments page - see page 12.