An Aberdeen schoolgirl is set to star in new ITV crime drama Payback.
Olivia Lucking, nine, portrays Esme Noble in the Scottish thriller, which will air in October.
Esme is the daughter of the main character Lexie Noble, who is played by Morven Christie.
Set in the suburbs of Edinburgh, Payback centres around Lexie as she becomes entangled in a dangerous police operation to topple notorious crime lord Cal Morris (played by Peterhead actor Peter Mullan).
Lexie is unaware her husband, Jared, has been laundering Cal Morris’ illegal earnings and has to walk a thin line that could put her family in peril.
‘We are really proud of Olivia’
Talented Olivia is a student at Aberdeen Academy of Performing Arts (AAPA).
She filmed the series between August and December last year, spending hours on set in Glasgow.
AAPA Principal Rachel Mearns said the whole company was delighted by Olivia’s casting but had to keep it a secret for months.
She said: “We are really proud of Olivia. It’s lovely to see local kids be able to have this opportunity.
“She got such a warm personality.
Opportunities like these are important for future dreams and future goals.”
“She is not shy, she’s confident and for someone so young she speaks so clearly and with conviction.
“She’s just a lovely, hard-working kid.”
Ms Mearns says Olivia’s peers at AAPA are all supportive of her and gives them hope that Aberdeen-based performers can be chosen over those in Glasgow, Edinburgh or London.
She added: “Opportunities like these are important for future dreams and future goals.
“Sometimes kids say they want to be on TV or in a film, and don’t realise it can actually happen to them and it’s not just a dream.
“It takes a lot of hard work, creating a good name for yourself, having determination and resilience, because you will get more nos than yeses.
“These opportunities are out there, but because we are based in Aberdeen, we don’t get them as much, especially the West End London-based jobs.
“However, we have an amazing agent who fights for these opportunities for the kids, so when the kids see others succeed, they believe they can do it too.”
- Payback is set to air next month on ITV and will be available on BritBox.