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Big Brother star Darren Ramsay has spoken about the gruelling “stresses and pressures” of acting as he launches a fresh appeal to find missing Torchwood actor Richard Gent.

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Fears are growing for the safety of 28-year-old Mr Gent, who left his West Hampstead home six weeks ago without his mobile phone and wallet.

He has not been seen since.

As the new series of Big Brother begins, original runner up Darren Ramsay, a close friend of Mr Gent, told of the demands that weigh down on actors.

He said: “Acting and being in the media is a game for the young, as it is a tough world.

“You have to be so thick-skinned. Until you have tried it yourself, year in and year out, it is hard to realise just how much rejection there is as part of the job, and how hard it is to even do the endless audition process that Richard and every actor has to go through.

“Sometimes as an actor, you just need to get away from it all for a bit.”

The Big Brother star, who grew close to Mr Gent while the pair worked together at a call centre in Acton, urged the missing actor to get in touch.

He said: “If he could just see what all his friends, and even people who haven’t met him, are doing to try and know he’s safe.

“We all just want to say to him that whatever the scenario is, that’s fine. We all just want to see him again. He needs to know how many people care about him.”

Mr Gent has played cameo roles in TV dramas including Casualty, Teachers, Mistresses, and hit Dr Who spin-off series Torchwood, as well as the werewolf series Being Human.

But he was struggling with money worries since Christmas.

The 6ft actor, who has dark blond hair and a slight northern accent, was last seen leaving his home in Ravenshaw Street on Saturday April 21.

His family, who had to endure marking the actor’s 28th birthday without him, have contacted all his friends in their desperate search to find him, but have no clue where he is.

Throwing his weight behind the search, Mr Ramsay said: “I just hope that I can help with this to get him to let us know he’s OK. We all just want him back to where he belongs, in Hampstead.”

* If you have any information, please call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555 111.

Richard is urged to contact the charity Message Home’s confidential service on Freefone 0800 700 740 or email messagehome@missingpeople.org.uk for advice and support

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