A WEARSIDER is in Hebburn after scooping her latest comedy role.
Melanie Hill, who grew up in Fulwell and went to Monkwearmouth School, has joined the cast of the BBC2 sitcom as preparations get under way for its second series.
She will join Gina McKee, who is from Peterlee, Jim Moir, better known as Vic Reeves, South Shields lad Chris Ramsey and a host of other actors from the North East on the hit series, penned by comedian Jason Cook.
He said: “We’ve got some new cast members too and they’re fitting in perfectly.
“They were very carefully chosen and I think we made the right choice with them.
“I can’t wait for people to see them.”
The part Melanie plays in the programme, which is filmed in the region and in Manchester, is yet to be revealed.
While she may be straying into the territory of South Tyneside, she has also reaffirmed her love for her home team and wished Paolo Di Canio’s side all the best as the new season begins.
“I always check the results wherever I am and my mother in Southwick keeps me up to date with the team news and gossip too,” she said.
The news of her new project comes as the actor, who has appeared in Brassed off, Bread and has appeared in Waterloo Road most recently, spoke of her time on the 80s comedy Auf Wiedersehen Pet, when she played Hazel Redfern, wife of Barry, a role performed by Timothy Spall.
She said: “Originally I’d auditioned for another part in the show and the director asked me to audition again for a part playing alongside Timothy Spall.
“As a young actress it was a fantastic experience and I have fond memories of my time in the show.”
The series also spawned the careers and made household names of the lead characters Tim Healy, Kevin Whately, Jimmy Nail, Gary Holton, Christopher Fairbank and Pat Roach.
Fans will have the opportunity to share the Auf Wiedersehen Pet phenomenon at a special convention in Newcastle and Gateshead starting on 20 September.
It will be launched on the Friday with a themed treasure hunt around pubs and clubs as a taster for the weekend and to give people from outside the area a flavour of the region.
It will be followed by a screening of the episode voted as a fans favourite at the Tyneside Cinema and a chance to pose questions with writers Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement, who also found fame with Porridge and Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, and the show’s creator Franc Roddam.
A Brickies Banquet will take place on the Saturday evening at the Hilton in Gateshead where fans can dine with members of the cast, the writers and producers.
Melanie revealed her new job on community station Radio Northumberland.