By Mark Kielesz-Levine
A former Shameless star has teamed up with a local DJ turned actor to co-produce a new film to be shot in Leeds.
Jamie Dorrington, 29, from Cookridge, Leeds, and Jody Latham, 32, who played Phillip ‘Lip’ Gallagher in the Channel 4 comedy drama are seeking funding through Kickstarter to produce Showground – a drama about the travelling community.
The film which is scheduled to be filmed later this year is set to explore the world of the travelling community through the eyes of Nicky, a young abused male.
The project will look to use local talent from Leeds, Yorkshire and the North West.
He said: “The film is about helping people with different backgrounds even if it’s criminal or a bad upbringing. It enables them to get involved.”
Father-of-two Jamie first met Jody through previous acting ventures and said: “Jody is a true gent, he knows what he wants to see in a film and what direction to take. He’s a talented guy.”
As well as acting, Jamie is also a station manager for a community radio station based in Leeds.
Previously, he was a DJ who toured across Europe for various bands. At the height of his DJ-ing career he was earning thousands of pounds every month but became a drug user.
He said: “When I first started out, I didn’t get involved with any drugs, I didn’t even drink. I didn’t want to ruin what was starting to happen. But then when I got to legal age and I was starting to have a career that was in DJing, you can’t really get away from drugs. If you want them, they are free to access.”
During this time, Jamie was earning £20,000 a month but by 2005, Jamie’s DJ-ing career was on the slide making him feel betrayed by the industry and his body had completely broken down because of the manic lifestyle.
After going to prison for driving whilst disqualified, he worked as a driver for a notorious Manchester crime family before meeting investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre whom he credits with saving his life.
Macintyre was running a programme about the crime family at the time and intervened in Jamie’s life, taking him away from a potential life of crime and got him his first audition for a web series.
Jamie at first was reluctant to turn his life around though, taking him a long time to accept that his life had to change and to use acting as a release.
“My first audition was like school. I hated it. I had someone like Donal giving me an opportunity to turn my life around but there was something in my head that made me resent anyone who was trying to help me but he saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.”
But Jamie persisted with acting and now he feels that acting saved him from getting deeper involved in the criminal underworld.
“Acting made me realise there is more to life than the criminal life I almost went down. If it wasn’t for acting, I don’t know what I’d be doing. If I didn’t have the acting I’d be lost. I was lost for two or three years before and it’s not a nice place to be in.”
Jamie’s acting career has gone from strength to strength and he is now determined to keep all of his troubles firmly in the past and focus on his future as an actor and help those who have had similar backgrounds to him.
He said: “For me now it is all about my acting work, family and settling down with my long term partner Fiona.”