GREAT, GREAT, GREAT EXPECTATIONS; Dickens' descendant to star in TV drama.
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.
Few of his pals know he is related to Dickens. But he admitted: "Some of the family take the connection very seriously."
Harry's mother, book editor Marion Lloyd, 46, was born Marion Dickens.
She is married to literary agent, Jonathan Lloyd, 52. The family - which also includes Poppy, 19, and Tom, 13 - live in Hammersmith, West London.
In Dickens's partly autobiographical story, Copperfield is sent to public school where he is bullied by older boys.
Steerforth befriends him. But later, he steals Copperfield's fiancee.
BBC drama producer Kate Harwood said: "We went to Eton because that's the kind of boy Steerforth is, and Harry is perfect for the role.
"He's a very relaxed person and can put over complicated emotions without seeming to try too hard. He's very talented."
THE FAMILY TREE
Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812-1870) married Catherine Thomson Hogarth (1815-1879) Ten children including:
Sir Henry Fielding Charles Dickens (1849-1933) married Marie Roche (1852-1940) Seven children including:
Admiral Sir General Charles Dickens (KCVO. CB. CMG) (1879-1962) married Pearl Birch (1889-1970)
Captain Peter Gerald Charles Dickens (DSO MBE DSC RN (1917-1987) married Mary Alice Blagrove (born 1921)
Marion Dickens (born 1952) married Jonathan Lloyd (born 1946) Three children including:
Harry Lloyd (born 1983)
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jul 13, 1999|
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