12-year-old lands role alongside Michael Palin, just seven days after he started acting
Television may be one of the hardest industries to break into yet a 12-year-old from Bradford has certainly made it look easy after being cast in a major BBC drama after just one week of acting classes.
Ubayd Rehman, from Eccleshill, is starring alongside the likes of world renowned actor and comedian Michael Palin, in the now-airing ‘Remember Me’ three-part series which has gathered many plaudits after its first show aired last Sunday evening.
The Dixon’s Trinity Academy pupil took on the role of Akil Salim, a ‘cheeky neighbour’ of Tom Parfitt, played by Mr Palin, who finds himself mixed up in Tom’s mysterious life.
A member of Baildon’s Articulate Speech, Acting and Casting group, Ubayd explained what it was like to have landed the role and a little bit more about his character.
“At the first audition I was nervous because I had never done anything like it before,” he explained.
“But once I got a call back for a second audition, I felt a lot more confident. I also got the chance to meet Aqib (Khan) and run some lines with him which helped me a lot.
“When I got told I had got the part I was just really happy.”
He added about his character: “Akil is Tom’s nosey, cheeky neighbour who just likes to get involved in things he maybe shouldn’t.
“His brother is a really bad influence on him as well which is very clear in the series.”
The role of Ubayd’s brother in the drama is also played by a fellow Bradford actor with Aqib Khan, of East is East fame, taking on the role.
Full Monty star, Mark Addy, and Absoltuely Fabulous actress, Julia Sawalha, are also cast in the series, with Mr Palin.
Despite working alongside the Monty Python star, Ubayd admitted he had not seen anything the world-renowned actor had starred in before he met him on set.
“I had never seen anything really but since meeting him and talking about some of his experiences, I have,” he said.
“I watched ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ and to see him visit so many places and speak to so many people was just amazing, especially because I was now talking to him as well.
“From the first day he was really nice but so was everyone else on set which made it very easy to settle in.”
Ubayd’s mother, Makdas Rehman, said the whole family was ‘really proud’ to see her son on television even if it did come as a surprise initially.
“It all happened really fast,” she said. “Ubayd only started his drama school around November time last year and was asked if he would like to try out for this BBC drama by his teacher.
“From then he had his auditions and filming began almost straight away.
“We are all just really proud of him and it is nice to see how much his confidence has developed as well.”
Articulate Speech, Acting and Casting currently has pupils cast in the new Dad’s Army film, Hunter’s Prayer – a film set to be released in 2015 featuring Avatar’s Sam Worthington, as well as a number of adverts.
Stacey Burrows is principal of the class, which runs drama and public speaking sessions for more than 200 students.
After initially gaining her qualifications as a lawyer, she said the appeal of working with children in a field she was passionate about drew her away from the courts and is now a teacher at Beckfoot School in Bingley.
Speaking of Articulate Speech, Acting and Casting, she said: “I started off with just two students back in April 2013 and now we have more than 200.
“A lot of pupils have landed roles in television and adverts but it doesn’t surprise me that much because Bradford is full of raw talent.
“For Ubayd to get the role in Remember Me was fantastic. He is a really good actor and as soon as I heard about the role, I asked him and his mum if they wanted to go for it. Thankfully they did.”