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Joe Simpson

Head Tutor - Act4tv Group

Location: Manchester


Joe was a co-founder of the award winning Real Life Theatre Company before deciding to focus more on Television. Since this shift he has regularly appeared on our screens, clocking up an impressive CV, including amongst others Happy Valley, Prey, Heartbeat, George Gently, Emmerdale, The Second Coming, Doctors, The Accused, The Street etc

He is still remembered by die-hard Coronation Street fans for his stint in the soap as the evil Alex Swinton, wife beater, child seller and blackmailer extraordinaire. Indeed it was this role in Coronation Street that attracted the attention of the makers of Sky1’s Premier League All-Stars programme, when they asked if he would be one of the ‘ahem’ Celebrity Players – so shortly after his 40th birthday Joe fulfilled his life long ambition and became a professional footballer for his beloved Sunderland – who says dreams can’t come true!

Emma Bispham

Tutor: Manchester & Liverpool


Emma has enjoyed a full and varied career over the past 20 years and has been lucky enough to work across all of the genres. Below are some of her most treasured credits to date; Television; The League of Gentlemen, Paranoid, Prey 2, The Mill, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, The Driver, Shameless, Heartbeat, The Royal, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Strictly Confidential and The Bill. Film; Kelly & Victor (BAFTA WINNER 2014) Theatre; Paint Your Wagon, Othello and The Big I Am (Everyman Theatre Repertory Company 2018) Blood Brothers (Phoenix Theatre, West End) Taboo (The Venue, West End & National tour) Spend Spend Spend (The English Theatre, Frankfurt) Bad Girls –The Musical (West Yorkshire Playhouse) 16 Gobs (Kingshead Theatre, London) Notes Across a Small Pond (Bridewell Theatre, London) Closer Than Ever (Everyman Theatre, Liverpool).

It’s with great enthusiasm that Emma returns to act4tv which she was instrumental in helping the legendary Michael Jackson to set up, open and run 10 years ago. She is an advocate of self-development/discovery at any age and believes in the power of positivity, deliberate practice and focus. Get ready for your close up. 

Rachel Leskovac

Tutor: Manchester


Rachel Leskovac is an Olivier-Award nominated actor who has had a successful career across theatre and television.


Her performance as Viv in ‘Spend Spend Spend’ at the Piccadilly Theatre saw her nominated for an Olivier Award as Best Actress in a Musical. Other stage credits include Lynette, ‘Frame 312’ (Donmar Warehouse /Josie Rourke)  Margaret, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ (Sheffield Theatres / Josie Rourke), Barbara, ‘Billy Liar’ (Ambassadors Theatre Group / Anna Linstrum) 


Rachel’s extensive television career includes roles in ‘Happy Valley’, ‘Hollyoaks’, ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ and ‘Coronation Street’.


Rachel is originally from Bradford and trained at LIPA – The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

Clare Heathcote

Tutor: Manchester (Kids)

Clare has been working within Drama and Theatre from a very young age, She did her Training at The Manchester College and Liverpool Hope University where she gained her Degree in Drama, Dance and Theatre Studies graduating in 2010. 
Since then her previous television experience include Hollyoaks, Coronation Street, The Crimes That Shook Britain and various commercials including Nivea. 
She has also worked on various Feature films including one for the British Youth Film Academy ‘Treasure of Albion’ and has gained ample Theatre experiences which include Shakespeare Adaptations, The role of Mary Gallagher from ‘Once a Catholic’, and closest to date was the on stage role of Chelsea from the play ‘The Copper Jar’ Written & Directed by Katie Fry. Clare has trained herself at Act4tv since June 2010.

Natalie Gavin

Tutor: Leeds


Natalie was born and bred in West Yorkshire and studied at Leeds intake performing arts college, following a Bachelor of the arts degree in Drama and Theatre studies. She also gained an outstanding achievement award at Huddersfield University. 

Natalie has worked professionally in TV, film and theatre for over 10 years. Her film career started with the Clio Barnard first film The Arbor, as young Andrea and Hector alongside Peter Mullen. TV credits include Shameless, Prisoner's Wives, The Syndicate and ITV’s  Jericho.  Natalie's theatre credits include Shared Experience (Bracken Moor & Mermaid), London’s The Old Vic production of The Crucible, playing Mary Warren and the lead role in Andrea Dunbar’s Shirley. More recently Natalie has joined the Square Chapel Theatre as their youngest patron.

John Gully

Tutor: Leeds (Kids)


John has been an actor for 25 years and has an extensive career in TV and Theatre. Recent TV includes Home Fires, Happy Valley, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and the 2016 film Dusty and Me. John's theatre career has taken him all around the world, having worked for the RSC, Northern Broadsides, Hull Truck, SJT Scarborough and Birmingham Rep.


He has also featured in many major advertising campaigns such as Sony, Magnet Kitchens, Nimble Bread, Carlsberg, Tetley and Halifax.


John has been teaching for Act4tv since 2016 and always looks forward to meeting actors of various ages and experience in order to broaden our knowledge of this wonderful business called SHOW!

Stephen Hoyle

Tutor: Leeds


Stephen began his acting career at the tender age of 5 at the Oldham Theatre Workshop. Initially finding his way into a number of TV Commercials before landing a role in the award winning drama GBH, alongside Robert Lindsey, Michael Palin and Julie Walters. He then went on to work with David Jason in The Bullion Boys. Stephen also appeared as series regular Liam Tripp, in Chanel 5's Family Affairs before moving on to the ITV drama, Monsignor Reynardworking with John Thaw. Throughout his career Stephen has worked on a number of great British dramas such as Fat Friends, The Syndicate, Shameless, Clocking off, Burn It, Reckless and Shockers. These are just a selection of Stephen's credits from a well decorated CV which also include work in Theatre and Radio. 

More recently Stephen played Simon Brown in Kay Mellor's ITV series Girlfriends and a recurring role as PC Connelly in Coronation Street. Stephen’s enthusiasm has continued to grow and he hopes to bring this excitement and experience into classes. Bring your A game! 

Luke Jerdy

Tutor: Manchester


Luke has been a professional Actor for 8 years and has worked extensively in TV, Film, Theatre and Radio. Theatre includes: War Horse on the West End and Twelfth Night at the Liverpool Everyman. Film: Chosen (Netflix) and Radio: several plays for BBC Radio 3 and 4. He has played regular Jesse Donovan on Hollyoaks for the last 3 years. 


He has taught Acting at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and will begin teaching the new Acting for Camera course at LIPA in January and act4tv Liverpool in September, 2019

George Bukhari

Tutor: Manchester



George trained at MMU School of Theatre and is a graduate of Act4tv (2010-2013). His TV credits include, Happy Valley, Banana, National Treasure, Black Box and series regulars in My Jihad, Ordinary Lies and The A Word. Most recently George has appeared in Warren (BBC) and completed filming of a new drama by Russell T Davies: Years and Years for HBO. 


George’s theatre work includes two lead roles in the London West End: Lord of The Flies (Laurence Olivier Nominee) in the title role of Piggy. He went on to play the youngest Bottom in London theatre history at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Other theatre credits include Peter Pan and I Know Where The Dead Are Buried. 


Away from acting George has been involved in producing a new play which is due to tour in 2019. In addition George is currently creating and developing a new TV series, which is being produced and directed by BAFTA  award winning director John McKay and Executive Producer Chris Eccleston.