North London Press
Sunday, 06 January 2013
TV stars: Ade Oyefesi, centre, with fellow Youngers actors Shavani Seth and Calvin Demba
By Henry Vane
A YOUNG actor from Colindale is on the verge of stardom after being cast in a new teen drama from the people behind Skins.
Ade Oyefesi, 19, was working as a host at TGI Friday’s during his gap year when he landed a leading role in Youngers, a show created by E4.
The eight-part series, which starts in February, is set in south-east London and follows a group of friends trying to negotiate their way through teenage life and launch a music career.
Ade plays Yemi, who, he says, is a serious, driven character trying to get out of the situation he is in.
“He’s torn between duties to his parents and his passion for music,” said Ade – and there are some similarities with the teenager’s own journey to becoming an actor.
“I can definitely relate to his drive,” he said. “I know about following your dreams, using your talents. But, unlike Yemi, my parents have always been supportive.”
Ade lives at home with his mum and dad and two sisters and retains great affection for Colindale, the place where he has lived for 12 years.
He is full of praise for the drama department at St Mary’s High School, in Downage, Hendon, where he first got into acting and eventually decided to make a career out of it.
“It was such a haven for creative arts,” he said. “It shaped my personality.”
Another central influence was Dev Patel, the Skins and Slumdog Millionaire actor, from nearby Harrow.
“Seeing Dev in Slumdog Millionaire inspired me,” said Ade. “He proved you don’t have to be related to the producer to get a part, you can just go for an open audition. I’ve tried to imitate him.”
Ade believes that Youngers, being of a similar ilk to Skins as well as The Inbetweeners, is guaranteed a lot of hype and publicity.
“Being associated with those shows will definitely boost the profile and hopefully draw audiences, although Youngers is quite different,” he added.
“It’s more real. Most shows about Peckham highlight the gangs and the drugs. We show the other side by portraying really motivated, intellectual people.
“It’s not an illusion, showing that everything is glamorous or terrible. It’s just real life.”
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