AN up-and-coming actor believes he has what it takes to achieve theatre stardom after finishing joint second in a national competition.

Adam Boardman outshone more than 400 other wannabes in this year's Alan Bates Award, a nationwide competition for aspiring actors.

The 22-year-old is delighted to have fared so well and has now been signed by creative talent agency Milburn Browning Associates and secured his first professional acting jobs.

Adam, who graduates from the Guildford School of Acting (GSA) in July, will be starring in Shakespeare plays Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire from June 25 to July 11.

He said: “I am really chuffed and looking forward to performing on stage in Gloucestershire.

“Stage is my comfort zone and I enjoy that part of acting most, but I would also like to do television and film roles in the future.

“I have always wanted to have a job which I enjoy doing and I definitely have one now.”

Adam, from Astley, applied for the Alan Bates Award in January and had to progress through a series of rounds to make the final six.

He impressed in a television screen test in front of a panel of judges that included EastEnders directors at the semi-final stage.

The final was held at The Actors Centre in London on May 4.

Adam and Ross O'Donnell were the runners up to Georgia Frost.

Each of the final six contestants have been given a mentor to help them through the first 12 months of their acting careers.

TV actor James Doherty has been assigned to help Adam.

"To be part of the award was great for me because of how well known it is," said Adam, a former Fred Longworth High School pupil.

“It has given me confidence that I have got what it takes to make it in this business and that I have not made a mistake in deciding to become an actor."

The annual acting competition was set up 13 years ago in memory of British film actor Sir Alan Bates.