TV role gives Joshua a topsy turvy feeling


He is only nine years old but Joshua Lester is getting used to being recognised by adoring fans.

Joshua plays Tim in the hugely popular television show Topsy and Tim, about the lives of five-year-old twins.

The series, broadcast on the BBC children's channel CBeebies, is watched by over 40 per cent of viewers aged under six, so attracting the attention of other children has become a regular occurrence.

But Joshua said: "Some people get embarrassed, but I just think it's not a big deal."

And he is relaxed about the fact that his brother and his friends have stared to call him "Tim". He said: "I don't mind. I get it. They watch the show and think that is me.

My friends watch the show and think that I'm Tim

"I took a friend on set with me one day and he had to write an essay about it and my class got to ask me questions. They thought what I did was easy."

Joshua, who showed a talent for acting from the age of six, and attends drama classes at Sylvia Young Theatre School, first auditioned for the role two years ago.

"It was quite nerve-racking - he had 10 auditions and at first he didn't get it," said his mother, Michelle Lester.

"They struggled for ages to find children who matched together to play the twins. But he went in to do a voice-over for something different and a producer asked him if he'd been seen for the part of Tim. His dad said no and they saw him again. This time, he got it."

"When I found out I got the part I was screaming and running round the house. I was so excited," said Joshua.

Now on his second series in the show, - which is based on the 1960s' book by Jean and Gareth Adamson - he is happy to swap learning lessons at school to learning lines during 12-hour days on set.

Joshua told the JC that "the best thing is being one of the main parts. I like being on the set, too - it is all very technical. I also like all the animals we have filmed with.

"And," he added, "I like working with Jocelyn McNab who plays Topsy."

Mrs Lester said it was important his school did not treat him differently to other pupils. She said: "They didn't make a fuss of him, which is important, I think. They have strict rules on what he has to do in terms of school-work. He has to do a set number of hours of work a day on set.

Joshua is keeping his options open with regard to what he wants to do when he grows up. He said: "I know acting is a tough job so, if it doesn't work out, I think I'd like to be an inventor, astronaut - or maybe even a rock star."

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