A SWINDON teenager who dreams of being an actress has landed a lead role on a BBC short film.

Gabriella Virgilio, 13, will star in 'Toni with an i', an upbeat drama about a 14-year-old oddball who is having a tough time with the bullies at school. One day, the internet and a passion for performance saves her.

The Commonweal school pupil who plays the character of Michelle was cast for the film following a telephone audition.

“I was so excited to get the part”, said Gabriella.

“I enjoyed playing a mean girl as it’s different to anything I have done before but I felt a bit mean.

“All of the cast really got along with each other and we had a great time outside of filming as well as when working.”

Gabriella added: “This is an experience I will never forget and I can’t wait for everyone to watch it. I would love to do this as a career and I hope to do more stuff like this in the future.”

The film is one of a series reflecting on life in the digital environment, as part of a season marking the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, commissioned by BBC Arts and the BFI.

‘Toni with an i’ will premiere tonight in London, Gabriella accompanied by her family will be in the capital to watch the youngster’s performance.