GREAT, GREAT, GREAT EXPECTATIONS; Dickens' Descendant to Star in TV Drama

Article excerpt

THE great great great grandson of Charles Dickens is to star in a TV production of the novelist's favourite work, David Copperfield.

Harry Lloyd - whose ancestor also wrote Great Expectations - will play two-faced James Steerforth in a pounds 4million BBC adaptation.

The 15-year-old Etonian said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for me.

"It's pretty cool having Dickens as my great great great grandad. But until I got this part I didn't really know the story."

BBC bosses auditioned Harry - who is descended from Dickens through his mother - after a talent scout saw him in an amateur production at upper-crust Eton.

When he was asked what he knew about the legendary Victorian novelist, the teenager replied: "Well, I don't read as much as I should. But I do know a little about him. He's a relative."

Harry will start filming in Liverpool next week. The production also stars Bob Hoskins as Wilkins Micawber and Nicholas Lyndhurst as Uriah Heep.

Other stars are Pauline Quirke, Sir Ian McKellen, Maggie Smith, Trevor Eve and Zoe Wanamaker.

Harry said: "When the BBC came to school looking for someone to play Steerforth they had a look at three boys, including me. I was the lucky one.

"It's really exciting and I'm a little nervous. This is a big break. But if nothing comes of it, then I haven't lost anything.

"Steerforth is a good character to get into because he's so complicated."

Harry's only previous Dickens experience was playing the part of Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol when he was eight. …