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Steve Wraith is a well-known Tyneside face - and he always dreamed of being an actor; Steve Wraith appeared in the recent movie hit, Rise Of The Footsoldier 3, but his acting dreams date back to childhood.

Byline: David Morton

Steve Wraith is a well-known face on Tyneside.

Best known as a promoter and avid fan ofNewcastle United, his dream of becoming an actor began 40 years ago.

Things are finally moving in the right direction for the 46-year-old after his recent appearance in the box office hit, Rise Of The Footsoldier 3.

Steve's first role was at the age of six was when he played King Canute in a school play. From that moment on he was determined to make it as an actor.

At the age of 11 he joined the Young People's Theatre in Heaton - following in the footsteps of Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant - and honed his skills alongside the likes of Tom Goodman Hill, who later appeared in Mr Selfridge on TV.

"It was a great place and I have a lot of happy memories from there. My favourite role was the Artful Dodger in Oliver. I was lucky enough to go on tour with the group to America in 1985 for three weeks, and then Russia in 1988 for a two-week tour."

He left school and attended Newcastle College to study Performing Arts, but left after only one year and walked away from acting.

He remembers: "I had a bad experience on a touring pantomime. It put me off acting and I decided to go into the family business instead. My dream was over and I never thought I would go back to it."

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Fast forward to 2004 and a chance meeting with an old friend John Altman, best known as Nick Cotton in Eastenders, re-ignited Steve's acting career.

"John was starring in a play up here with local actor Chris Connel and we had a night out where they suggested I give acting another go, or I might live to regret it. So I joined up with an extras agency in Newcastle and never looked back."

Steve did six years as an extra working on the likes ofByker Grove, Tracey Beaker, and Wire In the Blood before deciding it was time to go back to study as a mature student.

"I went back to college inGatesheadand took a GCSE in drama. Then after a chat with the head of Performing Arts, Stephen Melville, who I knew from my days at the People's Theatre, I took a three-year degree there with Newcastle University. I graduated in 2010 and finally achieved my dream of turning professional when I was signed up by Claypole Management in 2010."

Steve has gone onto add a healthy array of credits to his growing CV. He has appeared on local crime shows Vera and 55 Degrees North, and in films such as Almost Married, Scintilla, The Guvnors, and In Our Name.

"I tend to get cast in certain roles - gangsters, football hooligans, doormen, but I don't mind that, although I did get cast as a lollipop man and a lifeguard once."

Steve Wraith talks about working the doors of Newcastle

Steve's latest role is as another villain, Steamboat, in the hit gangster movie Rise Of The Footsoldier 3, alongside Craig Fairbrass, Shaun Ryder, Eddie Webber and Billy Murray.

He says: "This really has been a big break for me and getting the chance to work alongside the likes of Craig and Billy has been an unforgettable experience."

But does the actor have a dream role?

"I have just landed a part in another gangster film, The Krays- Dead Man Walking, which starts filming next month and I'm looking forward to that because of my connection with the Kray family.

"However, my dream role would be to play the villain in Coronation Street. I was lucky enough to take a walk along the famous cobbles a couple of years ago. I know I could give current street villain Pat Phelan a run for his money!"

Rise Of The Footsoldier 3 Is Now Available on DVD and Blue Ray.

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Credit: Steve Wraith

Steve Wraith, right, in the film, Rise Of The Footsoldier 3

Credit: Steve Wraith

Steve Wraith, aged 11, played Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Peoples Theatre

Credit: Steve Wraith

Steve Wraith, aged 13, as Laurie Lee in Cider With Rosie at the People's Theatre

Credit: Steve Wraith

Steve Wraith behind the bar at the Rovers Return, Coronation Street, 2016
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Publication:The Chronicle (Newscastle upon Tyne, England)
Date:Jan 28, 2018
Words:733
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