Game of Thrones' Ben Crompton goes from Westeros to South Shields
Game of Thrones star Ben Crompton took a break from roaming the wilds of Westeros to call in at the Customs House this evening.
He swapped the small screen for its big brother as a special guest host of the Custom Reels Short Film Awards.
The awards evening was part of the Takeover Festival, which has been organised by 15 to 24-year-olds, to put the creative talents of young artists on display.
And Stockport-born Ben, who now lives in Newcastle, was delighted to have the chance to showcase young talent.
When he’s not acting, Ben likes to turn his hand to stand-up comedy and it was one of his friends from the circuit who got him involved in the Takeover Festival.
"It all came about through a mate called David Callaghan," he said.
"He put me in touch with Daniel here at the Customs House, who told me what was happening and it sounded great.
"It’s always good to support things like this. These young people are going to be the film-makers of the future – and possibly my future employers, too."
Ben himself started out as an enthusiastic amateur: “I was in an am-dram company for about seven years before I went to Manchester Met,” he said.
"Film-making schemes such as this allow you to get real experience and then you can decide whether or not it’s something you want to do as you go on to sixth form college or university."
You could even find yourself playing a major role in a global smash fantasy on TV, which brings its own pressures.
Ben’s character Eddison Tollett is the right-hand man to Game of Thrones hero Jon Snow, played by Kit Harrington, who seemed to have met his maker at the end of the last series.
Ben found himself facing regular cross-examination from fans eager to know whether the character would be returning.
"Every two or three days, someone would ask me ‘Is he dead or not?’ What do you think – I’m going to risk my job by telling you?"
Ben admits his role in Game of Thrones leads to a degree of attention, but he’s happy to chat to fans.
“I do get stopped sometimes, but people are lovely about it. It tends to be low-key unless I’m out with Kit, then it’s all baseball caps and hoodies.”