A TALENTED pupil who was scouted at his primary school play will star in a television drama alongside Benedict Cumberbatch.

Marcus Smith, 10, is eagerly awaiting his screen debut in the gritty miniseries Patrick Melrose, in which the title character is played by former Sherlock Holmes actor Mr Cumberbatch.

Chandlings pupil Marcus landed the part of Patrick's son Robert Melrose after being talent-spotted in 2016, playing King Louis XIII in the Kennington school's production of The Three Musketeers.

Oxford Mail:

Marcus has a quick chat with Benedict

Marcus, who lives with his parents and twin brother Ethan in Noke near Headington, said: "Benedict was really nice and really kind. I chatted to him about science and other things.

"I never really thought about acting but it was really fun - I never expected to get it, I was very lucky.

"I love the feeling that you don't have to be the person people think you are and you can be absolutely anything. You could go from being an evil villain to a superhero."

The scout's interest spurred the twins to several auditions, but they thought little more of it until a call came about 18 months later, recalling Marcus for the Patrick Melrose part.

Their dad Antony Smith, 43, said: "We went to London and had a bit of an adventure. I remember coming out of auditions and Marcus said 'I don't mind what happens, I've had a brilliant time'.

"A few weeks later they offered him the part - we had absolutely no idea what it would involve, but the production company were brilliant and took us through it."

Filming for the two episodes Marcus appears in took place in Provence in France, and the family all jetted out for the two-week shoot during the school holidays.

Ethan even stood in as his brother's double in one scene, and the family got to meet cast members.

The acclaimed five-episode series is a joint project of Sky Atlantic and Showtime, and follows Patrick's battle to overcome demons rooted in an abusive childhood.

Mr Smith said Mr Cumberbatch was 'extraordinarily kind' and took the time on set to talk to him and Marcus's mum Helen Ramsay.

The finance director added: "We were blown away by how well everyone treated us. They were so thoughtful and made it a perfect experience.

"It was a real adventure and completely new to all of us - it's not our world at all."

Marcus stars in the final two episodes, the first of which will screen on Sunday at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.

But the youngster said although he loves acting, his real ambition in life is to become an astronautical engineer and build spacecraft.

Christine Cook, head of Chandlings school, said: "We are really proud of Marcus and our drama department.

"We attract casting agents from time to time and Marcus is one of several pupils who have gone into the world of entertainment."