Ipswich Suffolk New College student Matthew Ford lands role in BBC's Call the Midwife
A performing arts student has described how landing a role in a hit BBC show was a 'dream come true'.
He signed up after a rising star of the show encouraged the students he teaches to put their names forward.
Zephryn Taitte, best known to audiences as Cyril Robinson in the programme, teaches acting classes at 4YP, a charity that works with people between the ages of seven and 25 in the county, which Matthew attends.
He often travels up from London to inspire youngsters to use performance as an outlet, as well as a form of youth engagement and crime prevention.
The episode will air on February 5, as the sixth episode of series 12.
Matthew hoped the performance will lead to bigger and better things, and noted that a first role in a BBC tea-time favourite would look great on his CV.
He said he was always told he would never amount to anything on account of his autism.
This is not his first brush with the show.
He joined Zephryn and other 4YP students when they visited the set of Call the Midwife last year.
Matthew said: “I saw some of the cast at the shoot in London and it was an amazing experience to be in something this big.
"I’m only in one scene, but being on set felt like a dream.
"My mum is a huge fan of the show and we will watch it together when it airs.
"We may even have a small tipple.”
College leaders expressed support for Matthew and congratulated him for securing the part.
This follows performing arts students playing at the National Theatre in London last year.
Matthew described his ambitions to work in theatre productions once he finishes college, citing a love of the rush of adrenaline he gets while performing live.
He even joked about being willing to take on the role as James Bond.
Matthew said: “I know they are looking for a new Bond. I might send the production team a video of me saying one of his famous lines.”
Being an actor had been a goal for much of his life and, as a child, he set his mind on attending the college to study it.
Matthew added: “I knew I wanted to come here from the age of ten. I enjoy every single minute of it.
“Growing up, some people said I wouldn’t get anywhere because of my autism – but I’ve worked hard, I had a role in our hit production of Legally Blonde at the college, and now I’ve been in Call the Midwife.
"Hopefully, it leads to bigger and better things, and I can't wait to see what's around the corner."