Actor visits college to inspire performing arts students


L-R: Principal -Karen Dobson, Actor – Bradley James & Performing Arts Centre Manager – Tina McDonald

On Friday 2nd December 2016, performing arts students from Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) got the opportunity to meet British actor, Bradley James, famed for portraying King Arthur in BBC One’s fantasy TV series, Merlin.

Bradley, who previously attended Madeley High School, attended Newcastle-under-Lyme College’s state-of-the-art £5.5M Performing Arts Centre for a Q&A session led by NULC students aiming to seek guidance and draw inspiration from an international star of TV and film.

Over 90 students from a variety of performing arts related A Level and vocational course areas gathered in the College’s theatre for a lively Q&A session with questions including, ‘how can I best prepare for drama school applications and interviews?’ and ‘which role was your most challenging?’.


Bradley with Students

At the end of the session, in true Hollywood style, NULC Principal and Chief Executive, Karen Dobson unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark Bradley’s visit.  The plaque will take centre stage on a brand new ‘Wall of Fame’ in the College’s Performing Arts Centre.

Debuting on screens in 2008, Bradley’s breakthrough role as Arthur Pendragon in Merlin came later that year. He has since appeared in Homeland, iZombie, and Damien. His films include Fast Girls in 2012 and Underworld: Blood Wars which will premier in UK cinemas during the early part of 2017.

Karen Dobson, Principal and Chief Executive at NULC, said: “We were delighted that Bradley was able to take time out of his busy schedule to visit NULC today to talk to students looking to forge a career in TV or film.  We have so many talented performing arts students at the College and I’m sure that listening to Bradley’s experience in the industry will really inspire them.  Our purpose built £5.5M Performing Arts Centre boasts a wealth of industry-standard facilities and our students learn in an upbeat and motivational environment.  The centre opened less than 2 years ago and we already have over 200 young people on a variety of pathways including music performance, acting, dance and musical theatre.”

For more information please contact Joanne Wilson, Marketing & PR Manager on 01782 254116 or email

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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