A DRAMA student is set to follow famous footsteps after clinching a place to study for a top acting degree.

Lucy Yates, who attends St Mary’s College in Blackburn, will be packing her bags for East 15 Acting School at the University of Essex campus in Loughton in October.

The school’s alumni includes big names such as Alison Steadman from the sitcom Gavin and Stacey and former Nelson-based actor John McArdle, who played Billy Corkhill in Brookside.

The 17-year-old from Gisburn said she had dreamt of being an actress since she was little.

She said: “When I was about seven I used to want to be Dr Who’s assistant, but my parents had to break the awful news to me that time travel wasn’t real.

“So then I wanted to be the next best thing. I wanted to play Dr Who’s assistant and become an actress and thankfully, I still want to do that 10 years later.

“Acting is just a wonderful form of expression and I am so excited to have got a place at East 15.

“It’s a bit overwhelming and I never expected it at all.

“My friends keep asking me if I’ll remember them when I’m famous but I’m not chasing fame. I think too many people do that nowadays.

“I just want to be good at what I do but I’m very excited to be following in the footsteps of Alison Steadman, who I really love.”

Lucy will be studying for three years on the acting and contemporary theatre course where she will not only learn about acting but also have a go at writing her own material.

The former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School student went through a full-day interview to get her place which included performing a classical and contemporary piece, as well as a piece written by herself.

Lucy said: “I’m into a lot of cult British sitcoms like the Mighty Boosh, where the stars also wrote the programme, so that would be my aim in life.”

Emma Naylor, head of drama at St Mary’s, said: “We wish Lucy all the luck and look forward to seeing her name in lights in the future.”