A SALISBURY actor who celebrated his television debut in an ITV drama hopes his appearance will inspire others to pursue their acting dreams.

Liam Akpan, who works at the Odeon Cinema in the city, appeared as PC Tom in A Confession. The six part drama centred on the police investigation into the disappearance of Sian O’Callaghan in 2011, and later Becky Godden-Edwards, who was reported missing in 2007, and how it lead to the arrest of Christopher Halliwell.

The 25-year-old, said his first rehearsal with Martin, who played Detective Superintendent Stephen Fulcher, was “very daunting and nerve wracking” but the Sherlock actor, who has also starred in The Hobbit, Love Actually and Nativity, had an “incredible ability to make everyone on set feel as equals”.

“Martin is a genuinely lovely human being with an extraordinary talent and drive for collaboration. Playing and working scenes as his partner was a dream,” said Liam.

“One of the best pieces of advice he gave me on set was along the lines of “obviously people are going to have ‘bigger parts’ than others on a project, but when put simply, we’re all here to be an addition to the story being told, because the story is all that matters”.”

He says to get the role in the Prime Time drama for his first television acting gig was “special” and he said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better director to work with on my first professional gig than Paul Andrew Williams”.

On seeing himself on TV, he said: “My family were all sat around the living room with jaws hitting the floor, double-taking watching me sat next to them on the sofa to me as a police officer detaining Martin Freeman. My aunties were face-timing us and all I could hear were screams – needless to say it was a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Liam hopes his TV appearance will inspire other budding young actors to give it a go and pursue their dreams, adding: “If I, Liam Akpan, from humble beginnings, from the small medieval South West city of Salisbury, can train in New York city, meet and work with some of the best the acting industry has to offer, anybody can pursue their dreams and succeed. We live in a world where literally anything is possible. Be brave, be bold, be the hardest but smartest worker in the room and choose to want more out of life - I promise you, you will not regret the decision to take a leap of faith.”

The drama also starred Imelda Staunton, Charlie Cooper, and Siobhan Finneran.