We starred in Harry Potter, Mr Bean & a Little Mix McDonald’s ad as kids: here’s what really went on behind the scenes

BEING on TV is what many children dream of – and for a lucky few, that dream came true.

Earlier this year TikTok star Meghann Cooke, now 25, from Bishop Stortford, who appeared in Supernanny as a nine-year-old, spilled the beans on what really went on behind the scenes.


She revealed that in a scene not included in the Channel 4 show, she climbed on a table and lashed out, hitting its star Jo Frost.

The family became infamous in their area for being on the show, with the episode’s legacy following Meghann as she grew up and went to secondary school.

Despite her often boisterous behaviour, she revealed that the crew were always lovely to the family, both on and off camera, adding that she grew fond of the director Victoria – who told her that she would make a brilliant director one day.

Meghann credited this as her inspiration for her career path.

Here, four Sun readers who appeared on screen as kids reveal what it was really like to star alongside some of the entertainment industry's biggest names.

Little Mix 'barely spoke to each other'

Student Ella Collins-Godden, now 21, was 16 when she landed a part as an extra in a McDonald's advert in 2016 – and was stunned when Little Mix suddenly burst into the restaurant.

The band – who are currently dogged by feud rumours and set to split later this year – performed their hit Hair.

Ella, who lives in Lancing, was star-struck – but admits she was surprised by how the foursome failed to interact and "barely even looked at each other" during filming.

She says: "When I was 16 I took part in an online ad campaign for McDonalds. We got on set which was a posh, spruced-up restaurant outlet and were served by McDonalds staff.

"Suddenly there was loud music, a smoke machine started up and Little Mix appeared on a stage.

"There were 50 of us kids and while I knew who they were – a lot of the younger ones didn’t.

"They just stared at these scantily clad women singing and dancing on the counter while flicking their hair about.

Things didn’t go to plan, one of the band almost tripped over a smoke machine

"The director made them perform their song Hair at least four times too. Things didn’t go to plan, one of the band almost tripped over a smoke machine.

"We all tried to say hello to the girls but weren’t allowed to until they got the perfect take on camera.

"When Little Mix were done they said hello to everyone. They didn’t interact with one another which was strange and they barely looked at one another either."

Ella admits she hadn't thought about the fact she'd have to eat McDonald's while taking part in the advert.

Being a vegetarian, it posed a bit of a problem.

She recalls: "I was really ill after eating a Fillet o Fish. I hadn’t eaten food like that in years.

"I’m vegetarian and Dad is vegan. You can see his reaction to his food on the YouTube video reluctantly picking over a lettuce salad. They had to take the chicken out as there was nothing else for him to eat.

"It was a four-hour shoot and I didn’t get paid for it. I’ve since learned not to compromise my values when it comes to food."


'I left Mr Bean starkers in a pool'

Spiritual life coach and freelance writer Georgina Caro, 35, who now lives in Cornwall, was signed to an agency for child actors as a toddler.

She appeared in loads of commercials, and then landed a part in Mr Bean.

Georgina says: "I was auditioning before I even went to school. I didn’t audition for Mr Bean, I was cast on the strength of my pictures.

"I was on set for three long days and got the total A-list treatment. I had my own Winnebago for the whole time.

I had my own private caravan on set – I was only a toddler!

"Me and mum got to hang out together in my private caravan where my hair and make-up was done too.

"I was involved in just one swimming pool scene. After much faffing Mr Bean half jumps and is half pushed off a very high diving board.

"His fall is spectacular and to his horror he discovers he has lost his swimming shorts.

"I’m the little girl who spots them, fishes them out of the pool and walks off with them dangling off the end of my snorkel."

While Georgina's role sounds easy, she insists it wasn't straightforward.

She says: "I really struggled to get the trunks out of the pool. I couldn’t get the heavy wet shorts to slide onto the snorkel.

"We did take after take to try and make it work in one shot, but in the end it took two different ones.

Rowan Atkinson is really funny on screen but very serious off camera

"I put the trunks on the snorkel and then dragged them towards me before toddling off with them, leaving Mr Bean starkers in the pool.

"Rowan Atkinson is really funny on screen but very serious off camera. Anytime he wasn’t filming he spent a lot of time practicing his different facial expressions.

"When I was older I showed the film to people and everyone seems to know it. It’s a classic Mr Bean scene.

"I don’t remember if I got paid well for it, but even now every time it’s shown on TV I receive £80. Not bad for toddling off with Mr Bean's swimming trunks!"


'I was paid £37.50 a day to star in Harry Potter'

Lauren Prentice, 31, runs her own theatre business and lives in Surrey.

She appeared in the fourth Harry Potter film – Goblet of Fire – as a wizard at Hogwarts.

During filming, she had to go to school in a portacabin at Leavesden studios.

Lauren recalls: "My parents were dead supportive. Every morning at 6.30am they delivered me to the drop off point and I was bussed to the studio set with the other kids.

"Just like in the film, when you arrive you are sorted into a house. I was given Slytherin and I was fine with that!

"Apparently it made it easier to work out when you’d been on set and when to pay you.

"With this film there was the Triwizard Tournament, which involved scenes outside. We wore civvies clothing which have a specific scheme of muted colours.

"We spent weeks on the scene when Harry has to get the dragon’s egg. It was really cold when we started just before Christmas.

"We had thermals on and were given hand warmers because it was in a field exposed to the elements. In the end the entire child cast was pulled off the outdoor shoot by the chaperones because of the weather.

"When we returned a fortnight later they’d installed heating on the outside set."

The make-up department wanted to cut off my hair!

Lauren tells how a girl from the US had won a competition to be in a scene, and she ended up being her body double.

She recalls: "It was a three to four day shoot for her part – but she was only on set for a day before flying home. I looked like her so I got the call to be her double for continuity.

"The only thing was my hair was longer than hers. The hair and make-up department wanted to cut my hair! Fortunately they tucked it underneath.

Lauren was called back again for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

She recalls how she would arrive on set at 6pm, have dinner and film until 4am.

Lauren says: "When Dumbledore dies – as a result of Snape’s Avada Kadavra curse – all of the kids hold up their wands.

"I was one of the wand holders and each wand was signed out and in. They didn’t want us selling them on eBay.

"As a child actor I got paid £37.50 a day. Some Harry Potter fans would happily pay that to be in the film.

"I feature in the trailer for the Goblet of Fire film. Around school everyone knew me as 'the girl in Happy Potter'."


'I still get recognised from Byker Grove'

Holly Matthews, 36, lives in Coventry with her two children. From the age of 11, she spent seven years in Byker Grove as the regular character Emma Miller.

She reveals she wrote to the casting director asking for a part, signing off the letter with, "I’m not shy."

Holly says: "That letter changed my life. I got an audition for a part that I didn’t get. Six months later I got a call saying they’d written a part for me.

"We’d film six months off and on. Everything went down in the hair and make-up room. We were kids in our teens and would come back looking so different.

"Those poor make-up artists had to cover up all sorts and know stories they will take to their graves.

"I shaved my eyebrows, came in with goggle marks from going on the sunbeds, there were terrible spray tans and once I burnt my forehead with toothpaste.

"I had teenage spots and had read that dapping toothpaste on it would take the heat out of the spot.

"I put toothpaste on my head with a plaster over it. It burnt the skin off.

We had a cast reunion and Ant and Dec turned up

"When I was 15 I had colourful hair extensions professionally glued in. I was a little too drunk with my friends and decided I wanted them out, so pulled them from the roots.

"I walked into make-up with eight small bald patches that had to be covered up."

When Holly was 14, Ant and Dec came back to record an episode.

She says: "It was for the character Geoff Keegan's funeral and during a fairly sad scene all I could think was, 'Wow I’m doing a scene with Ant and Dec!'

"We had a cast reunion eight years ago and they both turned up.

"Even today as a mum in her mid-30s I still get asked, 'Were you in Byker Grove?'

"People thought I was loaded but I wasn’t really. I saved everything I earned and it meant I was able to buy my first property in Essex when I was just 21.

"I continued to act in Waterloo Road, Doctors, The Bill and Casualty. I am now a life coach, NLP practitioner, speaker and founder of The Happy Me Project."


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