Young Leo Ashton enjoys Peterloo premiere and embarks on new ITV series Deep Water

Leo Ashton, of Preston, at the Peterloo premiere with his mum, actress Melanie Ash
Leo Ashton, of Preston, at the Peterloo premiere with his mum, actress Melanie Ash
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A Preston schoolboy is riding high after attending a star-studded film premiere, whilst already beginning his next acting venture.

Leo Ashton took time out of his filming schedule for new ITV drama Deep Water to step on the red carpet in Manchester for the first showing of Peterloo.
The 10-year-old stars as the grandson of Nellie, played by Maxine Peake, in the Mike Leigh film, which marks the 200th anniversary of the massacre in the city.

Read more: WATCH: Preston boy to star in Mike Leigh film Peterloo and WATCH: Melanie Ash talks about Meladrama stage school in Preston and her personal play, The Secret

Leo said: “At first I was really nervous about being on the red carpet but then I remembered the rest of my on-screen family was there and I was not so nervous. It was an amazing experience. Mike Leigh has done a good job in filming something so touching and amazing.”

It was back to business the following day as he returned to the Lake District to continue filming for Deep Water, which will be aired in the spring. He will play Sam, the son of the lead character, portrayed by Anna Friel.

Leo said: “I play a boy who is adventurous, cheeky, charming and fun. I am really pleased as I have quite a big part in the show.It is amazing working with Anna Friel - she is really nice, as is all the cast.”

Leo managed to wrangle a part after he went along to an audition with his mum, former Emmerdale and Ackley Bridge actress Melanie Ash, who runs Meladrama stage school.

Melanie added: “As soon as I found out there was a drama being in the Lakes, I contacted the casting director, suggesting my students could audition as we were so close. We didn’t get a call back but I went along to audition for a role and as it was the school holidays. I had Leo with me. He was given a script to read and he got a part. I didn’t get my part but I am so proud of Leo.”