'I wanted to be an actor but I never thought I'd be given the opportunity,' says Dev Patel. The producers of Channel 4's cult teen drama Skins took the chance on the then 16-year-old and cast him as the goofy Muslim boy who does not think much beyond girls, sex, music and drugs. Patel has not looked back. He came straight off the second series and took the lead role in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire which, he says, will show what he is capable of as an actor. 'My character was the comic relief in Skins,' he says, 'but in Slumdog I play an illiterate slum kid who has just lost his mother. It was incredibly emotionally draining but the experience really helped me mature, as a person and as an actor.'

Contact: Curtis Brown, (44) 20 7393 4400