TV STAR Paul Nicholas is to unveil a new Nelson drama school where the stars of tomorrow will learn the tricks of the acting trade.

The 1980s heartthrob, best known for his award-winning role as Vince Pinner in the long-running BBC sitcom Just Good Friends, will cut the ribbon at the official opening of the latest branch of the Paul Nicholas School of Acting later this month.

Paul, who has starred in West End shows including Cats and Jesus Christ Superstar, has also scored a number of top 20 hits.

He said he was determined to pass on his expertise to the future generations of acting talent.

The school, which will be based at The ACE Centre, in Cross Street, will be unveiled on Monday April 26.

It will aim to prepare local youngsters, aged between four and 18, for careers on stage and screen.

Paul said: “It’s recognised that there are thousands and thousands of talented youngsters who simply don’t get the chance to shine because they live outside of London.

“Well, with the Paul Nicholas School of Acting that opportunity is now theirs for the taking.”

Paul also runs a production company but said acting remains his first love and main passion.

He said: “I believe acting is a brilliant way to give youngsters the confidence and other skills needed to get by in life.

“All my schools are priced so that they are accessible to everyone - not just the rich and famous.”

Principal Jon Ranwell, who has been involved in theatre for 25 years, will be in charge at the school.

The actor and director has had lead roles in musicals including, Oklahoma, Hello Dolly, Orpheus in the Underworld, Half a Sixpence and Die Fledermaus, at regional theatres such as the Hexagon in Reading and the Wilde Theatre in Bracknell.

He has lived in Lancashire since 2000 with his wife and two children. He owns two shops and runs a marketing company.

An open day will take place at the school from 10am to 4pm on May 8. Classes start on May 15.