A CROP of youthful stars is blossoming at St Mary's School at Menston.

Several pupils from the school have already established themselves with a variety of television and theatre roles.

And whether performing for YTV soap Emmerdale or travelling to Lapland with pop queens The Spice Girls, the kids all manage to balance their fame with their school work.

Pupil Frances Rolfe has appeared as an extra in Emmerdale and is auditioning to be an extra in Where the Heart Is.

She is a member of the Scala performing arts group at Guiseley.

Mark Hearne has performed for the Queen at the opening of the new Bradford City Stand and has finished a second series of the Adam's Family Tree YTV production. He has appeared at various speech and drama festivals around the country.

Verity Rushworth had her first speaking part in TV's Heartbeat and has appeared in a speaking part in 'Emmerdale' with much more extra work on television.

Anthony Lewis has had much stage work, along with work as a TV extra and a number of acting roles, including parts in productions such as Cracker, A Touch of Frost, Cardiac Arrest and My Dad's a Boring Nerd.

He is also a member of the Scala performing arts school.

He said: "I had always wanted to be an actor since I was a small child. I was always entertaining relatives and dressing up as different characters.

"Fortunately for me, my primary and secondary schools have both been very supportive. I am grateful for this and in return, I try and keep up with my schoolwork."

Laura Townend is a member of the performing arts class, Stage 84, and has been in Scientific Eye and has been interviewed for Emmerdale.

Alex Cooke is the cousin of Spice Girl Mel B and travelled to Lapland with the group.

He stayed there for the weekend and was interviewed by Radio Portugal.

But Alex also enjoys fame in his own right, having appeared on MTV, in TV series Heartbeat, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Children's Ward and also the Royal Armouries commercial. And that's not all - in addition, he has had many other parts as an extra.

Chris Smith is an instantly recognisable face to fans of TV's Emmerdale. For the last eight years he has appeared in the popular Yorkshire soap as Robert Sugden.

Maria Pignanelli has had several walk-on roles in Emmerdale, as well as appearing in Chiller and Criminal.

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