AFSHAN Azad may be best known for dancing with renowned magician Harry Potter's best friend - but at a Blackburn school she has cast a real spell over pupils.

Miss Azad, best known for her role as Padma Patil in the book-to-film adaptation series, was at Pleckgate High School to hand out awards at the annual prize-giving ceremony.

And the 26-year-old turned up early to deliver an acting masterclass to pupils at the Pleckgate Road school.

Miss Azad, who starred in five of the Potter films, said she met 'so many talented students' during her visit.

Deputy headteacher Nic Ford, who organised the event, said pupils were 'extremely excited' to receive advice from such a high-profile actress.

Mr Ford said: "She came in at 5pm, which was incredibly good of her because the awards didn't start until later in the evening.

"Our year 11 drama students are split into two groups at the moment working on productions and they were able to perform to Afshan and get some feedback.

"We always try to get a celebrity or someone inspirational to talk to the students and we got in touch with Afshan through a contact.

"The pupils were very excited and Afshan seemed quite impressed."

Miss Azad, from Longsight, Manchester, starred in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and parts one and two of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

After the prize-giving, a Pleckgate spokesman, said: "Never have we had such a popular speaker at awards evening."

Miss Azad said: "Thank you for honouring me to be guest speaker. I hope my speech inspired you all a little."

In the film series, Miss Azad's character was introduced in the fourth movie as Parvati Patil's twin sister.

She was urged to be Ron Weasley's date for the 'Yule Ball' by her sister, who went with the lead character, played by Daniel Radcliffe.

In later films she became part of 'Dumbledore's Army', a secret organisation led by Harry Potter, and went on to survive the epic battle at the end of the final film.