A TEN-year-old from York is making her debut appearance on the small screen today after being singled out from dozens of young hopefuls.

Lydia Waters has been signed up to the popular teen soap Hollyoaks after a tough round of auditions in Liverpool.

Having met the cast and enjoyed a number of days filming, she can be seen in her first episode today on E4, which will then be shown on Channel 4 on Monday.

The Year 5 pupil, who attends Copmanthorpe Primary School plays Holly Cunningham, daughter of troubled single mum, Cindy Cunningham.

Played by Stephanie Waring, Cindy is Max Cunningham's big sister and promises to spice up the soap when she returns for his wedding to Steph.

Cindy had previously fled the country after Holly accidentally swallowed an ecstasy tablet. Then, in her dash for the airport, Cindy ran over Anna Green, leaving her for dead.

A spokeswoman for the soap said of Holly's role: "She will be quite a stroppy ten-year-old who knows her own mind - like her mum's character. There's a big storyline involving Max at the end of June, and they will be involved in that."

Lydia was discovered after having her photograph taken by a model agency last year.

She was selected to audition for the Hollyoaks role after being offered, and declining, two other invitations to try for other parts.

"Her face is so expressive," said mum, Juliet.

There were 54 candidates at the first audition. Lydia was invited back after each round until she was one of three finalists.

She was then told she had won the part in an email, and has since signed a deal which will run until at least September.

"I don't think any of us could believe it," added Juliet.

Lydia's only previous acting role has been as Ngana in South Pacific at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre last year with York Stage Musicals, of which her mum, Juliet, is also a member while her dad, Jez, is a volunteer director.

She also dances with the Patricia Veale School of Dance and Lesley Hill's Attitude group', particularly enjoying ballet, tap and character dancing.