West Hallam baby stars in ITV comedy

Jessica Hinett, Daisy Hinett, one with Rachael Young and Lara Bearmore, nine months.
Jessica Hinett, Daisy Hinett, one with Rachael Young and Lara Bearmore, nine months.

A nine-month-old baby from West Hallam is one of the stars of a new ITV prime-time comedy drama which premiers this week.

Lara Beardmore is appearing alongside a star-studded cast including Alison Steadman, Duncan Preston, David Ryall and Ashley Jensen in Love and Marriage, which hits screens tonight (Wednesday June 5).

Lara is one of two babies playing the part of baby Bridgett, whose parents are Ashley Jensen, of Ugly Betty Fame, and Stewart Wright.

In a strange coincidence, the other baby playing the role - Daisy Hinett - lives just down the road in Riddings, and their mums Rachael Young and Jessica Hinett grew up together but lost touch for 15 years.

Producers felt Daisy and Lara looked very similar and could jointly fill the roll - not knowing their parents were once good friends at Ripley Junior School.

The experience has reunited the friends and both mums spent many busy days filming on location in Coventry over a three-month period, where they got to rub shoulders with the actors.

Rachael said: “We used to sit in the green room with the actors and they would take Lara off my hands and sing and dance with her.”

It was when friend Felicity Cutting, who works for the Ripley Academy of Drama, contacted Rachael on Facebook after seeing a picture of Lara that the youngster’s rise to stardom began.

Rachael added: “My four-year-old son Alfie also appeared as an extra and we have been asked to do a few other things so it has opened up other doors.”

Felicity, from Ripley Academy, said: “The two young stars really stole the show and, although they aren’t old enough to have speaking parts, are the centre of the story line.

“The actors and crew made the little girls feel very welcome.”