Nine year old identical twins, Nelly and Gwen Currant, from Hertfordshire have been chosen to play the roles of twin characters Toni and Billie in the new series of the popular children’s drama The Dumping Ground, which starts filming this week.
Nelly and Gwen applied via an open casting process which ran earlier this year. The twins applied via the CBBC website and sent in an audition film before coming to BBC MediaCity for a live audition. They impressed the casting team with their natural acting style, energy and the clear bond that they had with each other.
Lis Steele, Executive Producer on The Dumping Ground, says: "Casting nine year old identical twins was set to be an incredible challenge but we were bowled over by the range and quality of auditions. Despite being newcomers to acting, Nelly and Gwen showed naturalness, a sense of fun and a terrific understanding of the show's storytelling. We are thrilled to welcome Nelly and Gwen to a very talented ensemble cast and with their flair for acting we're sure they will become long term contributors to the show."
The casting team received hundreds of applications from the length and breadth of the UK for the roles. Over 200 audition films were sent in and 60 sets of twins were invited for live auditions at BBC MediaCity. This was then whittled down to a final group of 10 before the final choice was made.
Nelly says: “I couldn't believe we'd got the parts - it's so amazing!" while her sister, Gwen adds: "Getting the parts is a dream come true!"
Nelly and Gwen’s first appearance in The Dumping Ground will be in episode three as Toni and Billie move into The Dumping Ground children’s home. Many of the other residents will also be returning, including Amy-Leigh Hickman (Carmen), Joe Maw (Johnny), Mia McKenna-Bruce (Tee), Philip Graham Scott (Harry), Miles Butler-Hughton (Tyler), Kia Pegg (Jody), Reece Buttery (Mo), Sarah Rayson (Floss), Kasey McKellar (Bailey), Stacy Liu (May-Li) and Akuc Bol (Kazima).
The Dumping Ground is a BAFTA-winning children’s drama series inspired by, and set in Jacqueline Wilson’s fictional children’s home. It is the sequel to the multi-award-winning dramas The Story Of Tracy Beaker and Tracey Beaker Returns. This third series (20x30mins) will be produced by Philip Leach while the Executive Producer is Lis Steele.
Filming starts on the new series in the North East of England this week and the series will air on CBBC in 2015.