A young actor who went from the University of Teesside to London's West End has now joined the cast of hugely popular Channel 4 youth soap Hollyoaks.
Steven Uppal who plays Ravi Roy in Hollyoaks
Stephen Uppal plays Ravi Roy in Hollyoaks, which clinched six awards at the British Soap Awards 2008. He has quickly settled into his new role as a doorman at The Loft nightclub.
Stephen, 29, of Middlesbrough, achieved a BA (Hons) English Studies from the University of Teesside in 2002, before securing a three-year place at the prestigious Arts Educational Institute in Chiswick.
He was also among 400 hopefuls competing for just 40 places at the Institute, which has Pop Idol winner Will Young among its former students.
Stephen has fond memories of his time at the University of Teesside, saying: ‘If you love English, the University of Teesside is a great place to study. My tutors were brilliant and passionate about the subject.
‘It helped me to see a different way of looking at things and covered different types of critical theory which gave me a greater appreciation of the texts that I was studying.’
He also remembers the University's Learning Resource Centre, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, as his ‘second home’.
Before landing his role in Hollyoaks, Stephen worked extensively on the stage most recently in My Beautiful Launderette at the Duchess Theatre in London’s West End.
His interest in the stage grew while studying drama at Nunthorpe School. He was also involved in acting classes at Cleveland Theatre School in Billingham and dance classes at Justine Kavanagh’s Theatre School in Middlesbrough.