A FORMER Taunton student has now become a regular on TV screens across the country.

Tom Turner, who attended Queen’s College from 1989-98, has been appearing in ITV's Coronation Street as Phil Gillespie, deputy head of Bessie Street School, making his debut in the show in October.

It is the latest in a series of TV, film and stage roles for the busy actor.

He has worked with legendary director Steven Spielberg on his movie ‘Ready Player One’, played the King in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and worked opposite Andrew Garfield in the Andy Serkis film ‘Breathe’ – all out last year.

Tom’s earlier credits include the Netflix series ‘Rebellion’, playing male lead in the ITV comedy ‘Pat and Cabbage’ a principal role in Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ at the RSC and Channel 4’s ‘Hollyoaks’.

“I got the part in Coronation Street in the usual way – by auditioning,” he said. “It was a guest spot so I did about 14 episodes and I’m all done now.

“They’ve left the door open but I’m keen to see what else is out there, if I’m honest. I enjoyed it though.”

Tom has fond memories of his time at Queen’s College, describing them as “the best of times” with many fond memories.

His parents were housemasters of Southcombe, then a girls’ boarding house – now a boys’ house known as Channon – in Wild Oak Lane, Trull.

“I was thoroughly entrenched in the community – although I was a day pupil, I had what you might call the best of both worlds.

“A highlight from junior school was taking all ten wickets against Edgarley Hall and I still have the ball which Mr Stirzaker had mounted for me.

“In senior school, I was in a band called One Last Summer which performed regular concerts in the Queen’s Hall.

“I continued to play cricket for the 1st XI, opening the bowling, but asked Mr Free if I could be demoted to the seconds as I felt my interests were shifting.

Tom's acting career started in school - although it was a smaller role than he's used to now.

Tom said: “I loved being part of the school plays which Mr John Marston directed – ‘Cabaret’, in which I played a sailor with one line, ‘Heartbreak House’ and finally ‘Privates on Parade’.

“Without him, I’m sure I would never have had the presence of mind to seek drama school training and become an actor.

“I owe him a great debt of gratitude and I’m happy to say we’re still in touch.”

“I can’t emphasise enough how grateful I am for my Queen’s experience.”

So what does the new year hold for Tom now that his run in ‘Coronation Street’ has ended?

“2019 is a blank page – all possibility – just how I like it.” he added.