Actor and comedian Matt Lucas visits East Finchley school

Matt Lucas stands with secondary school students in East Finchley

Matt answered students’ questions about his own school days and how much being involved with drama meant to him. - Credit: Archer Academy

Actor, comedian and Great British Bake Off star Matt Lucas visited the Archer Academy in East Finchley to inspire a group of year 10 and 11 students.

Matt is patron of Raise the Roof, the school's campaign to raise funds to build a performing arts studio.

The comedian's visit was just the first in a number of ways that he is planning to share his time with the academy.

He answered students’ questions about his own school days and how much being involved with drama meant to him.

He spoke of how he got involved with the National Youth Theatre where he met his friend and future collaborator, David Walliams.

He also talked about the determination needed to be a successful actor, noting that although there is a glamourous side to the job, it involves hard work and early morning starts on set and that no matter who you are in the business, you still have to audition for roles.

Matt Lucas and headteacher chatting at school library in east finchley

Archer Academy is over halfway to its £300,000 target and would like to start work this summer in order to have the new performance space ready for next academic year. - Credit: Archer Academy

Matt advised students that it’s either "feast or famine" for an actor and that they should have a second career to pursue alongside acting.

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When asked why he has decided to support Archer Academy to build its new drama and dance studio, Matt said: “Who knows, one of you might be a future BBC commissioning editor and I might be coming to you to pitch one of my ideas for a show.”

Students discussed the impact of the pandemic and how important it is to have the physical contact of drama and dance back in their lives.

Matt will be visiting Archer Academy again to do an assembly for all students. He will also be hosting an "evening with" to raise funds for the new performance space in the coming months.

Archer Academy is over halfway to its £300,000 target and would like to start work this summer in order to have the new performance space ready for next academic year.

Trusts and foundations that might be interested in supporting the campaign should contact the headteacher’s PA, Jessica Scott at jscott@thearcheracademy.org.uk