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Bird of a feather sticks by her pals; PERFORMING ARTS: Actress Pauline gives academy youngsters a boost.

Byline: By Adam Smith

BIRDS of a Feather star Pauline Quirke gave the pupils at her Midland Performing Arts Academy a personal boost with a flying visit.

The actress even gave some of the classes a few tips about acting on Saturday when she popped into the Pauline Quirke Academy at Brewood.

The Pauline Quirke Academy was launched in April this year and is proving popular with youngsters who are determined to break into the world of performing arts.

The actress said: "It's great to have the opportunity to come back to South Staffordshire.

After 40 years in the business I hope I've got a few pearls of wisdom I can pass on to the kids, so I'm looking forward to a fantastic morning."

The academy's weekend classes at Brewood Middle School are aimed at children aged from six years to 17 and give the opportunity to get involved with all areas of performing arts including drama comedy, musical theatre, film and television.

And Pauline explained why she thinks PQA South Staffordshire has been so popular with local youngsters.

She said: "We've had a fantastic response since launching the Brewood Academy and local children and their parents have really embraced the PQA ethos of 'fun not fame'.

"We're not about exams, end of term productions or running an agency, we simply want children to have fun, gain confidence and explore their imaginations."

Pauline began her career as a child actress and her first appearance on TV was in the legendary police drama Dixon of Dock Green.

As a teenager she hosted two children's series, You Must Be Joking and Pauline's Quirks before getting a small role in the film The Elephant Man in 1980.

However, it was her portrayal as Sharon in Birds of a Feather that made her a household name. The sitcom ran on the BBC from 1988 until 1998.

The 48-year-old also received critical acclaim for the television adaptation of Minette Walters' The Sculptress in 1996.

For more details visit www.pqacademy.com or call PQA on 08456 732022.

CAPTION(S):

ICE TO SEE YOU...Pauline Quirke with youngsters at her academy. Picture: Trevor Roberts Photo ref.: TR210608PAUL-2
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jun 23, 2008
Words:361
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