Mr Cooper by Dakota Blue Richards

The star of The Golden Compass, Skins and Endeavour still has the key to her school’s art room, where her laid-back teacher would let her work during lunch

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Mr Cooper was head of the arts department at Newlands School in Seaford. He had a very dry sense of humour and I was never entirely sure whether he was joking or not.

He had one of those faces that could say a huge amount without him actually moving it. He could have been an actor.

But he was a teacher and an extremely good one. He had a real passion for the arts in general. I was already into my acting career at that point, but he inspired me to take an interest in the visual side of what I was doing.

I remember going to museums as a kid, but I don’t remember going to art galleries. Now, ...

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