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Friday 16 April 2021

UCLan acting graduate lands star role in BBC short drama

First-class Niamh shines in The Break as partially sighted fresher struggling to fit in

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) acting graduate has landed the star role in a new BBC short drama that focuses on the challenges faced by minority groups.

Niamh Longford, who graduated last year with a first-class honours degree in acting, features in the latest BBC Writersroom series of The Break on BBC Three.

The Break is written by new emerging talent from across the country and ‘reflects modern life in the UK.’ Niamh stars in the fifth episode of the current series and plays May, a fresher at university who is partially sighted but doesn’t want anyone to know.

In an interview with the Lancashire Post, Niamh, who is partially sighted herself, said: “Each season gives small bites of content that is relatable to everyone in some way. Every season has an overall theme that highlights the struggles and realities that marginalised communities face in the UK. It showcases the type of people and stories we don't usually see on our screens which is one of the reasons I was so proud to be involved with the season.

"Every season has an overall theme that highlights the struggles and realities that marginalised communities face in the UK. It showcases the type of people and stories we don't usually see on our screens which is one of the reasons I was so proud to be involved with the season."

UCLan acting graduate and star of BBC Three's The Break Niamh Longford

"I play the character of May in the fifth episode - she is a fresher at university who is struggling to fit in and find her gang of people that she feels comfortable around. It follows her on her personal struggles of not being able to connect with people.

"She is partially sighted but doesn't want anybody to know. Because of this, she struggles to recognise people which causes her to have a miscommunication with people she has met. It gives a real insight into living with a disability and whether you want to let it define you or not. It balances this with finding the humour in vulnerability and real personal issues."

"What a fantastic first professional job for Niamh. Not only a great role but tackling a really important issue that’s very close to her heart. Niamh certainly never let her disability define her, she was an amazing student and a particularly strong screen actor."

UCLan acting lecturer Terence Chapman

UCLan acting lecturer Terence Chapman congratulated his former student. He said: “What a fantastic first professional job for Niamh. Not only a great role but tackling a really important issue that’s very close to her heart. Niamh certainly never let her disability define her, she was an amazing student and a particularly strong screen actor.”

Niamh signed with talent agent Janet Hampson from JHMP Ltd last year. Janet, a former UCLan Leader in Residence, has close links with UCLan Acting with an agreement to sign two UCLan acting graduates every year.

The Break is a collaboration between BBC Studios, BBC Writersroom and BBC Three. Niamh’s episode, Rude, is available to watch now on BBC iPLayer.

UCLan acting graduate and star of BBC Three's The Break Niamh Longford01 / 09