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Mina Anwar

Job: Actress

Attended: Accrington and Rossendale college

Mina Anwar is probably best known for her TV roles in The Thin Blue Line and The Bill. At college she studied for A-levels in theatre studies and contemporary dance.

"I owe a lot to my teachers at Accrington and Rossendale, which was the only college in Lancashire that was doing contemporary dance at A-level.

"My college classes were in an old grammar school building on Blackburn Road. There was a small acting studio in there with black curtains, and it was great because the catering students in their white hats and jackets were there as well, so there was always a lovely smell of food.

"It was a beautiful building, but it has been demolished to make way for some ridiculous housing thing and it makes me very, very sad.

"It had so much character and I remember so much about being in there and learning. I particularly remember my teacher, Martin Cosgrif. He was amazing. He did so much for the pupils, and he was an ex-actor, so every now and then we would do a play and he would be in it too.

"He was an extraordinary actor. He went to college with Gary Oldman, and used to tell us great stories about sharing digs with him at drama school.

"Martin was a very gentle man, and somebody who I consider to be one of the best acting teachers in Lancashire.

"He got so many people auditions for drama school - many from the same class. Since then I've met people over the years who say he always remembers our particular year, for being especially talented.

"He helped so many people pass their exams and get into drama school. I owe him a lot. He was an extraordinary human being and really lovely.

"A lot of us owe him our careers, really."

Mina Anwar was talking to Shekhar Bhatia

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