An Oxfordshire actor and model looks set for stardom after a major new BBC drama airs tonight.

Witney-born Emma Appleton, 30, plays the lead character Maggie in Everything I Know About Love based on the best-selling memoir by journalist and Sunday Times columnist Dolly Alderton.

It is a coming-of-age story which follows two childhood friends, Maggie and Birdy, as they try to survive their 20s, bad dates, heartaches and humiliations.

Ms Appleton grew up with a younger brother in Witney, her mother is a nurse for the NHS, her father is an architect.

She attended West Witney Primary School and then Wood Green School.

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She began a modelling career as a teenager, which progressed to acting.

She has starred in BBC Three series Clique, Channel 4's spy thriller Traitors and she played the role of Princess Renfri alongside Superman actor Henry Cavill in the Netflix fantasy drama series The Witcher.

Last year she guest-starred as Mya Miller in science fiction TV series Intergalactic.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Ms Appleton said she was an anxious child — “about everything”.

“I never felt settled in the world. I didn’t really get to grips with life or going to school. You couldn’t pay me to go back.

Oxford Mail:

"The world felt big and scary. It was very much always worst-case scenario is going to happen. Convinced of it. I’m so much better at coping with it now, but I had to completely restructure my natural way of thinking, which I’ve worked on in quite a lot of therapy."

Ms Appleton moved to London to pursue modelling aged 18, but told the magazine at one point she got “thinner and thinner and thinner” because of stress, “and I thought, ‘Oh wow, if I’m losing weight then I’m doing the right thing.’ It’s so sad.”

She is currently starring in another big hit, playing Nancy Spungen, the girlfriend of Sid Vicious, in Danny Boyle’s series Pistol, which is streaming on Disney+.

She told the Sunday Times she “absolutely devoured” Ms Alderton's memoir, which won the National Book Award for autobiography in 2018, and was shortlisted for the non-fiction narrative book of the year in the British Book Awards in 2019.

“It feels like a part of you. It was a huge book for young women because no one had put down our experiences like that," she said.

Asked if she ever internet-dated, which features heavily in the show, she admits she did it briefly for a joke.

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"I did it for about two weeks but I didn’t like it, the catalogue of people," she said.

She added: "In my twenties I would change myself for someone to like me more. With boyfriends I was very much like,'I’ll do whatever you wanna do.’ 

“I think the main lesson is that nothing has to be the same for the rest of your life — you don’t need to know exactly what you’re doing all the time.”

Everything I Know About Love airs on BBC One at 10.40pm and BBC iPlayer on June 7.

Read the full interview at