Superstar’ Alana, 10, steals TV limelight from Catherine Tate

SCHOOLGIRL Alana Knowles was named a “super star” by comedienne Catherine Tate after landing a part in a BBC TV special. The 10-year-old from London’s East End was chosen to play the young version of the comedienne’s trade mark’ character Joannie Taylor or Nan’ in Nan’s Christmas Carol

By Else Kvist

SCHOOLGIRL Alana Knowles was named a “super star” by comedienne Catherine Tate after landing a part in a BBC TV special.

The 10-year-old from London’s East End was chosen to play the young version of the comedienne’s trade mark’ character Joannie Taylor or Nan’ in Nan’s Christmas Carol.

Alana, a member of the Pollyanna Training Theatre in Wapping, near the Tower of London, was picked after 17 children auditioned for the part.

Rehearsals were at the BBC centre in White City before four days of recording in Bethnal Green’s Columbia Road, often used as a Victorian backcloth by film-makers.


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“At first it was kind of scary,” Alana admitted. “There was so much going on with people running around.

“But later everyone had a fight in the snow created on set.”

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Tthere was more than just filming and snowball fights. She met Catherine and Doctor Who, actor David Tennant, who also appeared in the show.

“Catherine is very lively and talkative.” Alana let slip. “She cracked jokes and sniffed the snacks on set and started cackling.

“She called me a super star’ and said I was good at acting.”

Alana celebrated her 10th birthday during filming and was given a make-up box by Catherine and the crew as a present. Catherine lived up to her catch phrases by putting “birthday bother” on her card.

But the well-spoken schoolgirl, who goes to English Martyrs RC Primary in Wapping, was shocked when she had to use “the F-word” in one of Catherine’s catch phrases.

“But mum said it was okay, as long as I didn’t repeat it!” she added quickly.

Alana wants to be a comedienne herself one day and impress her older brother Charlie, who is 12.

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