Dasharn Anderson

Across all six series of CBBC show Hetty Feather, Dasharn Anderson played regular character Gideon, working alongside a cast including Isabel Clifton, who played his foster sister Hetty, and during the COVID lockdown, they both reunited online to work with BAFTA. Other screen projects for Dasharn have been a short film called A Change in Time, an episode of Doctor Who and Truckers, which was also his first screen role, and he is currently at university studying for a degree. Chatting to Dasharn, he tells us about playing Gideon in Hetty Feather, working with BAFTA and his first screen role in Truckers.

You played Gideon in CBBC’s Hetty Feather across all six series, what was the character like to play and how was it returning to film each series?

Throughout the six seasons I was able to see how Gideon developed as a character. Growing up from the timid child to an independent young man. Returning each season was exciting, working with the cast and crew; we became like a small family over the years.

What do you remember most from your first day on set and meeting the rest of the cast?

The first day was nerve-racking. I had already met Isabel Clifton and Gus Barry (who played Hetty and Mathias respectively) but seeing everyone else was a first. Everyone was welcoming and excited for the opportunity.

Did you have a most challenging episode to film and which would you say is your favourite?

The hardest episode to film was Season 1 Episode 7. I remember it being the hottest day of the year and we had to do hours of army circuits, with huge rucksacks and four layers of clothing; I felt like I was in the actual army. My favourite episode is Season 5 Episode 10; my character was involved in a few stunts which made the episode more exhilarating. It was my first time experiencing hand to hand combat.

Hetty Feather filmed a special musical Christmas episode, what was it like to be part of?

The Christmas episode was honestly the most fun I’ve had on set. We barely got through filming without laughing. Not everyone was experienced in singing and dancing so it added to the fun of it. We worked with fantastic choreographers and vocal coaches who helped us through it all.

Was there anything you enjoyed most about working on the CBBC show and playing Gideon?

The most enjoyable thing about playing Gideon on CBBC was most definitely the other cast members. We all essentially grew up together and experienced similar things. Even to this day we keep in contact and try to meet up.

How did it feel filming the last series and what do you miss about playing the role?

Filming the last season was very strange. As much as it felt like the right time to come to an end, it was still hard saying goodbye. Some of us had spent every day of summer together for the last six years. It felt like an end of an era.

What are some of your highlights from your time on set and being involved with the show?

A lot of the highlights were things that happened off camera. The laughs and memories created are irreplaceable. Also, Hetty Feather had many guest stars that were phenomenal. Experienced actors/actresses would make an appearance and add something special to the show.

Can you tell us about working with BAFTA during lockdown alongside your fellow cast member Isabel Clifton?

I have worked with BAFTA many times over the years, so I’m always happy to take part, especially when it’s for a good cause. It was different last year as it was all online (due to the lockdown) but Isabel Clifton and I still had great fun doing it all. It also gave us an excuse to work together again and reminisce about the ‘old days’.

What was short film A Change in Time like to work on?

A Change in Time was a brilliant experience as I got to work with David Knight again (who played Ned in Hetty). He’s an amazing actor and I knew the film would be great, so being part of that is all I could have asked for.

How did you find the experience filming an episode of Doctor Who and can you tell us about your character Ryan?

My time on Doctor Who was brief but memorable. I got to work with Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi; two phenomenal and very welcoming people. My character was a cheeky little school kid who loved to make trouble; something I could relate too.

Your first screen role was in 2013 for an episode of Truckers, how was this?

Truckers was a real eye-opener for me; my first real taste of on screen acting. I had huge actors, such as Ashley Walters, help guide me through it all and make the experience enjoyable. It was at this moment that I found my love for acting.

Do you have any favourite TV shows or films to watch?

I am a TV fanatic and have many favourite shows and films. However, Harry Potter holds a special place in my heart. I can re-watch all the films a million times and still never get bored. My favourite TV show has to be Game of Thrones; it’s so unpredictable you are always on the edge of your seat. I used to re-watch it every time a new season came out.

How did you get into acting and is it something you always wanted to do?

I never always wanted to be an actor; I sort of fell into it. My previous dance school owner, and now agent, Jessica Elliott took me under her wing. Originally I assumed I would only get dancing jobs but who would have thought my first job would be a BBC drama. I owe everything to Jessica for that and am forever grateful.

What do you enjoy doing away from your career?

Away from acting, I’ve always been very sporty. So I enjoy keeping active, whether that’s playing football, table tennis, martial arts etc. I’m normally jumping from one thing to the other.

What plans do you have for the upcoming months?

I am currently completing my university degree, so the next couple of months will be focused on that and then hopefully some exciting projects coming my way.

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