A SKIPTON lecturer hopes his appearance in a prime-time BBC drama will help inspire his students.

On Tuesday the first episode of In The Dark will be screened on BBC One, and students at the college may spot a familiar face as the show progresses.

Tom Aldersley, the leader of the performing arts course at the Northern School of Creative Industries, has previously appeared in soaps Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks, and will be playing a police detective in the gritty new drama for its final two episodes.

In The Dark is written by Bafta-winning Danny Brocklehurst, who wrote Ordinary Lies and Shameless, and stars Downton Abbey actor Myanna Buring and So Solid Crew rapper-turned-actor Ashley Walters.

It is based on a series of novels by crime writer Mark Billingham, although the location has been switched from London to an unnamed northern town.

Mr Aldersley’s episodes will air on July 25 and August 1.

At the start of the next school year he hopes to use his experiences being part of the show to give students a real feel of how a TV drama comes together – taking them beyond the acting theory and performance techniques many acting courses use.

The actor, who is a lecturer at Bradford College, said: “I play a detective and one of the main character’s best mates, the one in the department she can really rely on.

“It is pretty true to the novels, except for the fact that they’ve moved it from London to the North. It is the first time in my career where a story has been re-located to, and filmed in, the North, normally it is the other way round.”

He said the filming was very different from what he was used to when working on soaps, which regularly had to film multiple episodes a week – In The Dark is a four-episode miniseries. He said: “You have a much greater time pressure on soaps, with a one-off drama you have much more time to experiment with different techniques and do multiple takes.”

His students will be shown items from his time filming, such as the first draft of the script and the final draft – which will help show how a drama can change even after filming starts.

Mr Aldersley said: “I’ve got the early scripts, the re-writes and all the amendments so the students will be able to look at them and understand what they look like. When I first started I had no idea what a working script for TV looked like, so it will be good to give them that knowledge. We teach them about things like how to write CVs and perform showcases that will get them noticed.

“Being able to be part of the process that saw Mark Billingham’s novels adapted for and then performed on screen was an incredibly enlightening experience, one I look forward to sharing with my students.”

He said of the college course: “We teach young people higher education, and while they can go to university to study performing arts, it can be so expensive. It is great when you get people from areas like Bradford given the opportunity to get out and get involved in the industry.

“There has been a lot of filming in Bradford recently, so young people have the perfect opportunity to get into the industry.”