As a working class northerner with a love of the arts I know how difficult it is to break into the acting scene and make a career from it.

If you are not lucky enough to be able to afford schooling at such institutes as the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in order to learn your craft then you can be left in a kind of no-man’s-land.

There is a big push going on in the industry at the moment to help working class actors get a foot in the door and help them fulfil their acting potential. So I really do take great encouragement from fellow working class northerners who are gaining major success in the world of acting.

One such actor is Salford born Steve Evets. Although Steve has been on the acting scene for quite some time, on both the stage and screen, he gained his ‘overnight success’ in the Ken Loach, 2009, hit film ‘Looking for Eric’ co-starring with the Manchester United legend Eric Cantona.

Currently Steve is starring in the Sky One, comedy drama Brassic alongside Michelle Keegan, Joseph Gilgan and Damien Molony.

I invited Steve to the Trafford Centre for a coffee and a chat about his life and career and the first thing I noticed about him, apart from his great northern humour, is that he is a very real and down to earth person.

He dislikes the word ‘celebrity’ and sees his acting work as just that, work! So, we took our coffees to an empty table and sat down to have a chat and my first question had to be about working on ‘Looking for Eric’.

“Well that was a life-changing role! I went for an audition with Ken Loach and was asked to come back again and again and again. Each time we improvised, it got more and more intense and demanding and I had to stay in character for longer, but I loved it.

"They never gave anything away and at the end of it they said to me thank you very much. I left and waited about two weeks then my agent says 'Ken Loach wants to see you again'!

"So I think I had eight recalls for that role. I knew I was going to be in that film but I didn’t know what part I would get. I could have done about five or six different parts in it, that would have suited a person of my age, but Ken saw something in me and cast me as the lead role as Eric.

"I’ve got to say it pretty much changed my life really. It got me more work and it got me noticed. I got nominated for best actor at the European film awards. I didn’t win it, but the idea of someone like me, from Salford, being nominated for the best actor award doesn’t seem real, not where I’m from. I’m quite proud of all the work I do, I love my job, and I’d do it for nothing."

So how did a lad from Salford get into this acting business?

“Well, it was a long and arduous journey, I went to school in Salford and the idea of anybody going into the arts wasn’t even a thing, it was never even discussed because it wasn’t that world.

"I thought the arts were for middle class posh people and I wasn’t from that world. So I left school and went straight to work on the freight ships sailing around the world at 16, 17 and 18 years of age which really broadened my outlook a lot.

"But I always had this calling for the arts and I knew in myself I needed to do something about it. I did a foundation course in drama and we had to write, devise and rehearse our own shows for three different audiences, children, teenagers and older people and it was one of the best times of my life. We had a van and a trailer and we drove around doing gigs at community centres, schools and old people’s homes, anywhere really!

"That’s where I learnt my trade. I only had two things I needed to keep going and they were my telephone, with an answer phone, we didn’t have mobiles back then, in case work came in and the second thing was a car so I could get to auditions and actually get to roles. I wouldn’t eat sometimes as I could only afford to pay my phone bill and keep my car on the road. I had to do this to succeed. I took jobs in bars, shops and so on. I did everything I had to do in order to do what I wanted to do and I only really made it because I refused to go away.

"I was that determined. I joined the Actors Centre and I used their notice board to find work and join theatre groups. I think that every fringe theatre that was in Manchester in the 80s I probably worked for and it paid off, I think!”

I asked Steve what he is currently working on.

“There’s a film called ‘The Claimants’ in the pipeline which we’ve shot the trailer for and the director Paul Murphy who I’ve worked with before on Casualty and he directed me in ‘Death in Paradise’ which was filmed in Guadalupe in the Caribbean, which was a really nice job.

"So, me and Paul go back a bit and he’s put together this great idea for the film about a group of people who, when they hear their local pub is being shut down, all club together, they stage an accident and 28 of them get whiplash on a bus, it’s based on a true story! But as we speak I’m working on the second series of ‘Brassic’ which has been very popular with audiences”.

So, when not filming what does Steve do to relax?

“I love to spend time with my two grandchildren who are six years old and 15 months old. I love having fun and spoiling them and regressing to being a child myself to entertain them, which is actually quite liberating."

I’d like to thank Steve for meeting up with me and joining me in getting frothy coffee on our beards! We had a really good chat about my favourite subject of acting. I wish Steve every success in the world and look forward to seeing him on my screen soon. You can catch Steve in the current series of ‘Brassic’, all episodes are on Sky One.