The winners of this year’s Royal Television Awards have been announced, and amongst them was an 18-year-old student from Southport College, who won the Network Newcomer award for her role in the controversial Channel 4 drama Pleasureland. Katie Lyon portrayed a teenage girl struggling with peer pressure and promiscuity and was praised by the judges for her "mesmerising, painful, and remarkable" performance. Despite receiving such high praise, Katie remained humble and claimed that her success came out of nowhere. She had never aspired to be an actress and found enjoyment in drama class during her school years. It wasn’t until her teacher, Mr Cunningham, encouraged her to pursue the BTec performing arts course at Southport College that she considered the possibility of a career in acting.
Katie went on to reveal that her original ambition was to become a drama teacher and that she had never even thought about acting before the opportunity presented itself. Even after receiving the award, she felt that she was just an average performer and considered the possibility of returning to her original ambition of being a drama teacher. Her experience with Pleasureland began when she received a leaflet inviting her to an open audition. Despite not believing that she had any chance of obtaining the part, she attended the audition nonetheless and was called back for over 15 different auditions. However, it wasn’t until her 18th birthday that she discovered that she had been selected for the role.
Katie was initially worried about taking on the role, but she explained that her fears were soon put to rest once filming began. She also admitted that she didn’t speak about her role with anyone at college and didn’t want to appear arrogant or pretentious. However, once the ads for Pleasureland started to air on TV, people started taking notice and expressing an interest in her role. Despite her recent success, Katie remained modest and didn’t believe that she was particularly talented. She expressed her belief that expecting good things to happen all the time often leads to disappointment and was happy to continue pursuing her studies in drama. However, she did reveal that she had been offered a small part in a new series by the director of Pleasureland, without having to audition.