Crossfire and Mount Pleasant star Daniel Ryan becomes newest patron of Leigh Film Society

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An actor who is a very familiar face on our TVs hopes to inspire a new generation’s interest in film and television by backing a community organisation in his home town.

Leigh Film Society has announced television, stage and film actor Daniel Ryan as its newest patron.

He recently starred in the acclaimed BBC series Crossfire and is possibly most famous for playing Dan in the long-running TV series Mount Pleasant.

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He has also had a recurring role in every series of The Bay as Det Insp Tony Manning.

Daniel Ryan appeared in every series of The BayDaniel Ryan appeared in every series of The Bay
Daniel Ryan appeared in every series of The Bay
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Daniel’s parents were both from Leigh and he was born at Firs Maternity Home. He grew up in Culcheth and retained strong links with Leigh.

He said: “About nine years ago, where it was the first Leigh Film Festival, I caught sight of it on Twitter and that was my first point of recognition that this had all started. Weirdly I have been without contact with the film society and have been watching the events and seeing how it grew on Twitter.

"Completely randomly, out of the blue, Elizabeth Costello [Leigh Film Society’s development director] got in touch to ask me to be patron.

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Daniel RyanDaniel Ryan
Daniel Ryan

"I have worked with Matthew McNulty and Sasha Parkinson recently, who have spoken about being patrons there too.

"I am genuinely thrilled to be asked. Leigh is a big part of my life.”

Daniel, 54, lives in Sussex now, but is planning to visit Leigh Film Society and Spinners Mill when he is next in the North West to see his family.

He said: “My involvement begins here and I will do what I can for them. I regard myself as a jobbing actor and it’s very nice to be asked to represent the society.”

He described the development of the society as “incredible” and praised the efforts of the volunteers involved.

Daniel loved appearing in plays at Culcheth High School, but did not have the easiest route into a career in acting.

He says when he told a careers advisor at school that he would like to become an actor, he was advised to pursue journalism or hotel management instead.

He did not know anyone from the North West who had become an actor at that time and had to research drama schools at Leigh Library.

But his hard work paid off and led to a career on both stage and screen.

He hopes the next generation of youngsters in the borough will find it easier to follow in his footsteps.

Daniel said: “It was an oddity for me to try to pursue acting. I think the concept is more accessible now.

"The idea that someone might be inspired by seeing an independent film is great. We can all watch Top Gun and the big blockbuster movies, but seeing a film that represents your life and seeing people you can relate to is a whole different thing. That’s what independent cinema is all about and what they are trying to do at Leigh Film. That could inspire someone to get on the road to becoming an actor.”

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