Doncaster schoolboy’s big break on wartime show

Brook Exley, ten, of Scawthorpe, is set to star in BBC drama on WW1 called Harriet's Army. Picture: Marie Caley NSST
Brook Exley, ten, of Scawthorpe, is set to star in BBC drama on WW1 called Harriet's Army. Picture: Marie Caley NSST

A Scawthorpe schoolboy will help people across the country remember World War One, after winning a role in a CBBC drama.

Brook Exley, aged 10, will star as Timmy in WW1 drama Harriet’s Army, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Great War, and is set to be broadcast over three parts on CBBC later this year.

Harriet’s Army also stars fellow Doncastrian actor Sophie Wright who starred in My Mad Fat Diary, and will also be shown in schools across the country as part of a national educational programme on life in wartime Britain.

Brook, of Charter Drive, spent three days in Durham filming the drama, and has also recently completed some voice acting work for Warner Brothers, which is currently being used on a national television advert for Harry Potter Studios in London.

The youngster, who attends Saltersgate Junior School in Scawsby, says he really enjoyed filming Harriet’s Army.

“It was really exciting and I had a lot of fun doing it,” said Brook.

He added: “I also enjoyed doing the voice acting for the Harry Potter advert.

“It was tricky in parts because you had to speak in time with how it had been filmed, but it was good.”

Brook also scooped three awards for acting at the recent Don Valley Festival, for a duologue, monologue and overall performer.

Parents John and Heidi Exley said they are proud of Brook for what he has achieved with acting so far, but add that it hasn’t come as a complete surprise.

Heidi, 41, said: “He’s always been interested in acting and playing someone else from the age of two.”

She added: “Even when he was just playing with his toys he was always acting as someone!

“When he was really into Doctor Who he would go out wearing a suit and a dickie bow, and people would think we’d dressed him up like that - but that was just him.

“He’s just always enjoyed playing a character.”

The child actor has been attending acting lessons at the StarStruck Academy drama school, based at Hall Cross School, for a number of years, which Heidi says has been instrumental in the success Brook has achieved with acting so far.

WW1 remembered through television programmes

Harriet’s Army is just one of a number of television programmes being broadcast this year to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

* Starring Hermoine Norris and Suranne Jones, The Crimson Field is a six part drama which began earlier this month and tells the story of medics and the patients living at a fictional hospital in France during World War One.

* Historian and broadcaster Dan Snow is currently presenting a three part documentary series entitled WW1 Uncut which explores a variety of defining World War One features. From the trenches and a soldier’s kit to war myths and weapon testing, the series explains war topics in an educational yet entertaining way.