Talented Felicia, 9, stars in prime-time TV drama

Kiri (Felicia Mukasa) and Miriam (Sarah Lancashire)
Kiri (Felicia Mukasa) and Miriam (Sarah Lancashire)

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SHE only went along to the taster class for an acting school because her big brother was interested.

But Felicia Mukasa was immediately bitten by the bug, and she is now making her TV debut in the title role of a major four-part prime-time drama.

The nine-year-old plays Kiri, a child who is abducted, in a four-part show starring Sarah Lancashire, and written by Jack Thorne, both multiple Bafta winners.

Felicia attends the Portsmouth-based UK Film Academy, which helped her get the role. She said: ‘I was surprised to get the part but I was very happy because it is a big chance for me.

‘Being on a TV set was different from what I expected and all the professionals really helped me and were amazing.

‘It was really good and I am excited to be in a television show.’

Felicia’s mum Debbie Makumbi said she was really happy for her.

‘Felicia’s nine going on 19, she’s very mature for her age,’ she said.

‘When we got given the script for the audition, I sat her down and talked to her about it because Kiri is a very sensitive character, and she understood.

‘I’m ecstatic for her, I’m really proud of my children.

‘I was on the set with her all the way through when it was being filmed, but we haven’t seen the finished show ourselves yet – I’ll be watching it when it’s on TV the same time as everyone else.

‘Felicia is multi-talented, she writes songs and poems.

‘She hadn’t even been interested in acting, that was her brother Marliqi. We kind of joke about it but he’s not jealous, they’re very supportive of each other.’

Debbie, from Southampton, added that since Kiri, her daughter has had several other auditions for other potential high-profile roles.

She added: ‘I’m so grateful to the academy for what they’ve done, and they’ve been so professional with the kids.

Louisa Bromley, from Portsmouth, and founder of UK Film Academy said: ‘We’ve had other children from the academy picked up for adverts and a few other bits and pieces, but she’s the first to get a big role like this.

‘We teach students film and TV at our classes and all our students take part in film projects throughout the year.

‘Casting directors want more natural kids not stagey kids, and that’s why they were interested in Felicia.

‘This just shows there are genuine opportunities out there.’

The UK Film Academy is currently auditioning for more budding young stars who want to learn about TV acting.

Contact Louisa to find out how you can get involved by calling (023) 9234 1672 or go to ukfilmacademy.co.uk. The academy runs on Friday evenings at Admiral Lord Nelson School, Copnor, Portsmouth.

Kiri’s is on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm.