Former Pendleton Sixth Form College Performing Arts student, and Emmerdale star, Joe Gill, shows current students the ropes.

Joe, who studied BTEC Performing Arts between 2011 and 2013, left college and walked into a successful career on one of the nations most beloved soaps. But, this week he was back where it all began to talk to current performing arts students about his journey into the world of TV and film, as well as giving some of his own advice about their futures.  

He said: “I remember when I was exactly where you are now. There are so many routes to take, some of you might be considering drama school, some of you might be considering going on to act, some might not want to be actors at all and some might not know, and that’s all ok.

“But, whatever you go into, what you learn at this college is invaluable. Listen to everything your teachers say because everything you will learn on this course will set you up for the future.”

It was acting teacher Gideon Clear who invited Joe in to speak, after teaching him just a handful of years ago. He wanted to show current students that getting into the industry is achievable and hoped to educate them about the different routes available to them.

Gideon said: “As a college we push progression, but there are three different types of progression. There is university, in our case drama school, or you could go straight into work within the industry, and we push all three as viable options for students.

“Joe went straight into a career and he has done extremely well for himself, he didn’t end up going to drama school – neither did many other successful alumni.”

Joe added: “I chose not to go to drama school. What I did, and I always believe you should do this, I followed my gut. I had these different options in front of me, but by following my gut I ended up landing a job in Emmerdale and I spent four years there.”  

Joe became a household name playing Finn Barton on the British soap and is now pursuing other roles.

If you would like to be a part of one of the nations most acclaimed performing arts departments, contact the college’s admissions team on: 0161 631 5000.