ONE of TV's best-loved actors believes Runcorn could be the home of the next generation of stars of stage and screen.

Paul Nicholas - best known for his role as Vince Pinner in the hit BBC sitcom Just Good F riends - is convinced the town is full of talent.

And to prove he is serious, the star wants to open an acting school in Runcorn.

The Paul Nicholas School of Acting gives children aged four to 18 the chance to learn the skills needed to act on stage and TV.

He believes thousands of talented children do not get the chance to shine because they live outside London. There are already schools in More-cambe and Blackpool and now Paul is looking for drama teachers and prospective students to help set up a similar enterprise in Runcorn.

After he shot to fame in Just Good Friends, Paul starred in West End productions including Jesus Christ Superstar and Bar num. He is currently preparing for a starring role in 42nd Street.

He said: 'I believe acting is a brilliant way to give children the confidence and other skills needed to get by in life.

'I was terrible at normal school work but was able to come into my own with the more physical and creative classes.'

The schools operate at weekends and evenings, with a two-hour session costing £7.50.

But before a school can be established in the town, Paul must find a network of drama teachers and actors.

Karen Roberts, managing director of the Paul Nicholas School of Acting, said: 'We are really keen to give children in Runcorn a chance to be a star on the stage, the TV or the big screen.'

Anyone interested in helping can call 01253 851144.