A TOWN actor is hoping to conquer the soaps after landing a role in a popular daytime drama.
Dan Westwood, 28, joins the cast of BBC1 afternoon soap Doctors in the summer.
It’s a busy time for the former Brierton Comprehensive School pupil, as he is touring the country as a presenter with Mr Tumbles star Justin Fletcher, and is also writing a book.
The Mail reported last year that Dan, who grew up in Cornwall Street, off Oxford Road, was appearing on Channel 4 reality show The Intern, where he was pitted against two other contestants for their dream job as a journalist.
In the show, starring Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Hilary Devey, Dan went on to land a proper job as a journalist with the Sunday Sport newspaper.
Now Dan, who also played Kylie Platt’s friend Ralph in Coronation Street last year, is enjoying more stardom after securing the part of bulimic patient Liam.
He will be based in Birmingham when he films the scenes in late July over a three-month stint.
Dan said: “I’m really chuffed to have got this part.
“Coming from Hartlepool, people can go on to achieve whatever they want as there is a lot of highly talented kids from the town at local dance schools, including Ruff Diamond, which I follow as my Gran sends me the Mail in post.
“The role is quite serious, so I’ve done quite a lot of research in men having eating disorders.
“A lot of people associate bulimia with girls, but I didn’t realise how common it was among men and boys.”
Dan, whose sister Emma, 27, works as a cruise ship singer and is based in LA and at sea, had training at the Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts, as well as the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London and the London Studio Centre.
He now counts Hilary Devey as a close friend, and she is helping him with his new book, which aims to help people cope with their sexuality.
Dan, who has also appeared in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, says he hopes to conquer the other soaps, and has been reading for other parts.
But his feet are still firmly on the ground as he juggles his TV work with a part-time job at Topshop as a sales advisor.
In November, he plans to appear in a pantomime.
He said: “It’s been a great start to 2014, and I look forward to being very busy and hopefully return to Corrie, which is the next step and has always been on my mind since I played Kylie Platt’s mate, Ralph, last year.”
He said he has had great support from his mum Sue Hornsey, who still lives in the town.
Dan says he has had good advice from his best friend, Matt Di Angelo, who recently returned to the screens as Eastenders’ bad boy Dean.