A BURNLEY schoolgirl is one step nearer to her dream of becoming a professional actress after landing a speaking part in Shameless.

Elise Thomas, 11, who lives on Aspen Drive, has been acting for around 18 months, and while she has appeared in the Channel 4 drama before, this was the first time she has been cast in a speaking role.

And Elise is not Burnley’s only link to Shameless – the iconic drama series, which finished this week, was created by Paul Abbott who was born and raised in the town.

Many of the original plotlines in Shameless were based on Abbott’s own experiences of growing up in Burnley.

Elise is registered with Eurokids casting agency in Warrington, who found her the Shameless role as well as a part in comedian John Bishop’s Christmas panto.

She attends acting workshops at Eurokids once a month, and is also a keen singer and dancer, attending dance classes at Energize in Burnley twice a week.

Elise’s recent Shamless part has given her a real taste for acting, and the St. Mary’s RC Primary pupil is now hoping to pursue a career as an actress when she leaves school.

She said: “I was a bit nervous, but it was really fun and exciting. I met lots of the actors. I met Frank and Mimi.”

Elise’s mum Abby Thomas, 37, said the family enjoyed watching her in Shameless.

She said: “I’m extermely proud of her and the speaking role that she got.

“It’s great because it’s what she wants to do. She wants to take the acting forward.”

Other Shameless stars from East Lancashire include Burnley's Alice Barry, who played Lillian Tyler, and Jody Latham, who grew up in Barrowford and now lives in Bacup, who played Lip Gallagher.