A Hereford actress is to play a big part on the small screen when a new ITV drama starts this weekend.

Zoie Kennedy, born in Hereford and raised in Weobley, plays the role of Staff Nurse Meryl Taylor in 'The Royal' a new hospital drama on Sunday nights.

Zoie, who was educated at Weobley Primary and Haberdashers Monmouth School for Girls, plays one of the principal characters in the seven programme series.

She said: "I play the love interest opposite the main character Dr David Cheriton - there is a bit of a question of will she, won't she."

The 25-year-old has appeared on the television before, in Emmerdale, but up until now has spent more time on stage than in front of the cameras.

She said: "As long as I am working I don't really care what I do. I love the theatre but I did want to do some television.

"I am just looking forward to the series starting. I am going to see the first episode with some friends in Bristol."

Zoie's character is described as a young ambitious professional whose desire to succeed conflicts with her feelings for the dashing Dr Cheriton.

"Meryl has a big responsibility for someone of her age. She's in charge of the casualty department and is also the Scrub Nurse in the Operating Theatre. It's a dual role that she wouldn't get in a bigger hospital and it's something that drives her. However, her priorities start to shift when Dr Cheriton comes on the scene."

With two series already recorded and an option to film a third in March the programme is set to make a big impact on viewers, and could change Zoie's life dramatically.

Her mother, Kathy Davies, who runs Flowers of the Field in Weobley, said: "I'm really proud of her but it is costing me a fortune in magazines.

"I've had to buy OK magazine, Radio Times, TV Quick and TV Choice because they have all run articles on her."