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Charva's Angels are out clubbing.

Byline: By Sam Wonfor Arts And Entertainment Correspondent

It's called Girl's Club and that couldn't have done more to sum up the mood of three young actresses on Tyneside last night.

Local girls Jessica Johnson, Lucy Blackie and former Coronation Street regular, Georgia Taylor were in playful mood for a female party after getting together for the small screen premier of their latest project.

"It's Charva's Angels," they shouted before causing mass confusion at City Road's Egypt Cottage pub when they poked a trio of heads through the window and joined in with a karaoke rendition of Abba's Waterloo.

The reason for the gathering was Girl's Club, a half-hour comedy drama which sees the girls taking their destiny into their own hands when they decide to take over an ailing Tyneside nightclub.

Set and shot in and around Newcastle, it is one of eight dramas and documentaries being screened on ITV1 in the North-East for the Hothouse series - hoping to prompt network commissioners to sign up the ideas for long term series.

The first show is by Newcastle production company Ipso Facto, also responsible for School For Seduction, the film starring Kelly Brook which plucked Jessica, 20, from Gateshead, from obscurity and will place her on the big screen next spring.

She said: "I haven't stopped since we finished filming School, and I'm not complaining. Bring it on. The producers approached me - get that! - to take this role and I was really happy to do it.

"We filmed the whole thing in six days, which was totally mad and was such a culture shock from doing the film."

It was a sentiment shared by thespian newcomer Lucy Blackie, 19, from Fenham, Newcastle, drafted in at the last minute for a role in the programme which will be screened later this month.

She said: "David (Young, the writer) suggested me when someone pulled out and they offered me the part.

"I had just finished a foundation course in fashion design and had just heard I had got a place at Northumbria University, so you could say it was a very good week.

"It would be fantastic if it got signed up to become a series. I was always a bit sceptical about acting as a career but I didn't have to go through any horrible stuff to get this part. I loved it."

Mother-of-two Jessica had experienced the comings and goings of film making but said she hadn't been a source of advice for Lucy.

She laughed: "No way, she's competition for jobs! Anyway, she was brilliant - she didn't need any help.

"I'm not sure what I'm doing next. Obviously it would be fantastic if Girl's Club went to a series - other than that, I've got some meetings lined up so we'll see.

"The kids are great and are just getting to used to everything that has happened ... let's just hope it all continues."

Co-funded by Tyne Tees Television, Northern Film and Media and One North-East, the pounds 225,000 Hothouse series includes a documentary on Mike Tyson, a comedy by Live Theatre writer Julia Darling and an animation featuring former Starsky and Hutch actor, David Soul.

Graeme Thompson, controller of programmes at Tyne Tees said: "This is one of the most ambitious projects in British television. We've brought together writers, animators, directors, actors, technicians and North-East production companies to create eight weeks of unique television."

* Girl's Club kicks off the Hothouse series and will be screened on July 22.
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Title Annotation:Entertainment
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 16, 2003
Words:579
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