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Andrew Hayden-Smith: Wikis

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Andrew Hayden-Smith (born Andrew John Smith, 5 November 1983 in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear) is a British actor and television presenter best known for his work with CBBC.

Contents

Personal life

Early years

Smith was brought up near Chester-le-Street in County Durham and attended the Pelton Roseberry School. He has an older half-sister, Kerri Rogan-Smith, from his mother's first marriage. Auditions for popular CBBC children's serial drama Byker Grove were held at his school and he won the part of Ben Carter, making his first appearance in the eighth series of the show in 1995.

Initially just using the name Andrew Smith, his "bad boy" womanising character became a big hit with viewers. His good looks also gained him much attention and in 2000 he appeared as a guest on Saturday morning CBBC show Live & Kicking with several other characters from the show. Smith's shy and down-to-earth nature endeared him to viewers and he soon became a regular guest on the show. This led to appearances on other shows and also in teen-magazines, as well as two pantomime appearances. In 2001 he applied for Equity membership and was accepted under the name Andrew Hayden-Smith (Hayden being another surname in his family), as the name Andrew Smith was already taken. He announced his change of stage name on Live & Kicking.

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Sexuality

In the early years of his fame, Hayden-Smith had developed a female following due to his good looks and womanising nature of his TV character. His increase in popularity prior to joining CBBC had also gained him a sizeable gay following. His appearance was seen as very "twink"-like and many speculated about his sexuality.

Having grown in confidence since his move to London, Hayden-Smith began to feel more comfortable with his homosexuality and began visiting the London gay scene. In February 2005 he announced to attitude magazine that he was gay and had been in a relationship for around a year.

Hayden-Smith gave another interview to attitude magazine in May 2006. In the latter interview he says "I must have been five when I realised I was gay."

Career

As Jake Simmonds in Doctor Who.

Hayden-Smith's popularity continued and, having been a regular guest in the CBBC studio for some time, was invited to guest present the studio links in autumn 2002. He had expressed a wish for some time to have a go at presenting, and was encouraged by existing CBBC presenter Jake Humphrey to ask the bosses if he could stay on. This was agreed and Hayden-Smith moved to London to become half of the main presenting team for the afternoon slot on BBC1, a position he would continue to hold for just under four years. During that period from time to time he also presented the CBBC breakfast shows on BBC1 and BBC2 as well as the digital CBBC channel. In 2003 he also filmed his final scenes of Byker Grove, in which his character was killed off. Hayden-Smith became one of the most popular presenters on CBBC. Again his down-to-earth persona was a hit with viewers and he became close friends with several of his fellow presenters, including Angellica Bell and Adrian Dickson.

During his time on CBBC, Hayden-Smith was once gunged in the studio after a phone-in deciding which presenter should get gunged in honour of the gameshow Get Your Own Back. With 63% of the votes, Hayden-Smith had a bucket of pink gunge and a bucket of green gunge poured directly over his head.

By this time he had begun presenting the UK Top 40 on CBBC. The show had begun in early 2002 along with the CBBC digital channel and was originally presented by Adrian Dickson and Konnie Huq. It was aired on Sunday nights concurrently with the Top 40 show on Radio One. After Dickson and Huq left the show in September 2004, Hayden-Smith was approached to become the sole presenter, having stood in for Dickson at the last minute one Sunday night several months previously. At first the show continued its success, but in 2005 the format changed to become more "computerised" and this was not received well. The last show was broadcast in June 2005.

Hayden-Smith appeared in the episodes "Rise of the Cybermen", "The Age of Steel" and "Doomsday" as Jake Simmonds in the 2006 series of Doctor Who. He returned to CBBC having completed the filming, but decided that he wished to concentrate on acting. His final day of presenting was on 7 July 2006, the day before his third and final Doctor Who appearance.

On leaving CBBC and after his final Doctor Who appearance, Hayden-Smith has concentrated on his acting career. In February 2008 it was announced that he will be playing Romeo in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in London. The production ran at the Jermyn Street Theatre from 21 April - 17 May 2008.

Filmography

External links

Year Title Role Notes
1995-2003 Byker Grove Ben Carter Series 8–15
2002-2006 CBBC Himself Main Presenter
2004-2005 UK Top 40 Himself Main Presenter
2006 Doctor Who Jake Simmonds Guest role (3 episodes)
2007 Peter Pan Peter Pan Main Role
2007 Cinderella Dandini Major Role

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