Dev Patel's ex-Skins co-star hails Oscar nominee 10 years on from show's launch
It is 10 years since the groundbreaking television drama that launched the career of Oscar hopeful Dev Patel first aired on UK television.
Patel starred in the first two series of Channel 4's landmark show Skins, which followed the exploits of a group of teenagers experimenting with drink, drugs and sexuality.
The British actor went on to star in Slumdog Millionaire before landing the part in Lion which saw him collect an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor on Tuesday.
His former co-star April Pearson, who played Michelle - the long-suffering girlfriend of Nicholas Hoult's Tony - lauded Patel's flourishing career.
She said: "Directors who wanted to work with those actors plucked them out of Skins because they knew that they could do the job.
"Dev was shooting Slumdog Millionaire at the same time as the second series of Skins and flying backwards and forwards.
"He was coming back from India and coming into Skins and saying, 'It's so hot there, you've got no idea, it's going to be a huge smash hit'."
Asked if she would be cheering him on, Pearson said: "Oh god, always.
"When Jack O'Connell (who appeared in series three and four) won the rising star award at the Baftas, any time any of them do something really cool and get recognised for it, I'm absolutely 100% behind all of them and they're so deserving of it as well."
She added: "I haven't seen Lion yet but lots of people say it's an amazing performance and that the film has had huge critical acclaim. I think he's going to be fine."
On Skins, which is now available to watch online via All 4, Pearson said: "We'd had the best time ever shooting a cool TV show, we were a bunch of 17-year-old kids who got taken out of school and got to hang out every day and do cool stuff.
"It was a complete revelation and shock that it took off in the way it did."
Pearson said p art of the appeal of the programme was seeing teenagers playing teenagers.
"We were so used to shows like The OC and Dawson's Creek, where it was 26 and 27-year-old actors playing teenagers.
"I think it felt like a voice for young people.
"It was the first time people had seen a younger actor take centre stage and have a full-blown storyline about them."
The actress said there were plenty more programmes featuring younger actors now, including Netflix series Stranger Things, which "the world went crazy for".
"It's definitely more normal now but I like to think we started the trend," Pearson added.
:: All seven seasons of Skins are available to watch now on All 4