Teachers star eyes real teacher role

An actress who starred in the TV series Teachers is looking for a real job in the classroom.

Ursula Holden-Gill played shy school secretary Carol Schickelgruber in four series of the C4 show between 2000 and 2004.

More recently, the 32-year-old spent two years starring in ITV soap Emmerdale as chicken farmer Alice Dingle, who died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The role earned her a nomination for most popular British actress at last year’s National Television Awards – she lost out to Billie Piper for Doctor Who – but playing Alice forced her to postpone plans to study for a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) at Reading University.

She has now revived her dream of becoming a drama teacher and is looking for a placement with a school in West Yorkshire, Lancashire or Greater Manchester.

The actress told the Times Educational Supplement she felt privileged to be involved with Teachers.

“At the time, it was quite controversial and showed up the differences between the new graduates and old-school teachers,” she said.

“Simon Casey, played by Andrew Lincoln, was the worst. He had just drifted into the career and took no responsibility. I hope, as a teacher, I am the opposite of him.”

She added: “I think acting has prepared me. If I had gone into teaching at 22, I would have had very little experience and wouldn’t have come into contact with all the different people that I have.”