A Lincolnite has beaten 1,600 other applicants to become one of the top five in the running to earn a role on Australian soap Neighbours.
Miriam Locke-Wheaton was one of many across the country to apply for the part of Poppy Rogers, a quirky British traveller who joins the street (in which Neighbours is based around) after her brother becomes ill.
“This is a whole new experience for me. I’ve been into acting from a young age. I come from a big family so we were always trying to out-perform each other, and I love creating a new character, and thinking like them,” said Miriam, who studied drama at the University of Lincoln.
“I love Neighbours and used to watch it at home with my mum. One of my earliest memories of it was watching Harold [Ian Smith] come back from the dead and my mum explaining it to me! It’s surreal to think I could be there too.”
Miriam became aware of the part through a competition mention on the radio, saying Neighbours was looking for an actress via Channel 5. Applicants had to act out a script provided, record themselves doing it and then upload it. 1,600 applications submitted their video to Channel 5, who only picked 35 people.
From there, the 35 shortlisted were sent to Neighbours, who narrowed it down to just five. The rest is down to the public vote. “It was so strange to pretend to be talking to Karl Kennedy [Alan Fletcher],” Miriam said.
Miriam believes she would be good for the part because the character is very similar to herself: “Poppy is a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and quite quirky. I’m quirky too and can’t sit still, so I could bring a lot of passion to the character.
“She’s from a small town in England, and after her brother becomes ill, she decides she should make the most of her life and go travelling – with only £100 in her pocket. That’s how she meets Mal Kennedy [Benjamin McNair] in Europe. She’s a bit of a hippie.”
Voters can go to Channel 5’s Become a star page and vote for their favourite of the five finalists here. Voting closes on June 27th, where the final two will be decided, before picking their favourite actress.
Miriam said: “I’d love people to vote for me because I would definitely make a passionate and quirky Poppy, and I love Neighbours! As silly as that sounds, I grew up watching the street so it’s amazing to think I could be on the street.”