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Brad Kavanagh - the new Zac Efron?

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Brad Kavanagh - the new Zac Efron?
Whitehaven, on Cumbria's gloomy west coast, is a far cry from Zac Efron's home town of San Luis Obispo, California. And Brad Kavanagh, despite being picked up by Disney Channel and billed as the UK's answer to the American starlet, has kept his strong North West accent. But he has perfected the hip teen look and can sing, act and apparently play the guitar. Fifteen-year-old Brad tells Digital Spy why he's determined to live up to expectations.

You joined Disney Channel towards the end of last year - what have you been doing so far?
"I joined As The Bell Rings for its second series as the character of Dylan. It's a short-form series about a bunch of kids who just have fun in break times. They have mini adventures every episode. Me and some of the cast also went to shoot a music video that aired on the Disney Channel on Christmas Day. Now it's available on the internet and we are shooting another at the beginning of March."

You are the star of the music video - does that tie in to the show?
"Dylan is referred to as the cool kid in the show and is very passionate about music. He writes songs about the people around him and cool things that have happened during the episode and stuff like that. In the show I sing and play the guitar."

And you are musical off-screen too?
"I'm so passionate about music, like Dylan, and I would love to pursue it further. I play the guitar - it's one of my favourite instruments. Luckily I had some lessons just a few weeks before my audition for As The Bell Rings. (Also) I was in the Billy Elliot musical before I started As The Bell Rings, so that was kind of an all-rounder as well."

You are hosting talent competition My School Musical as yourself - what will you bring to the show?
"Dylan is a great character because he's so bubbly and fun and nice to everyone - and I'm kind of like that off-screen too. I'm co-presenting it with a friend called Samantha Dorrance who won Disney's You're The Star competition last year."

Are you enjoying being a young rising star?
"It's just been great to do things I'm so passionate about with the singing and acting and everything. All the cast on As The Bell Rings were brilliant people. What happened on screen was basically what happened off screen, so it was great fun. I never imagined myself being a person that's recognised. It's nice to know I can inspire people through what I do and that they enjoy what I enjoy so much."

My School Musical gives others the chance to become famous. What can you tell us about that?
"It's a brand new talent competition that Disney Channel have launched. You can sing, dance or perform. It gives anyone with a talent or skill the chance to send a video of them performing part of High School Musical 2. The public can rate their favourites on the website then pick semi-finalists. The best will then go to a final and the very best will be picked as the winner. If anyone out there's interested, of who has got any kids who might be, they should go for it."

As the Bell Rings is on the Disney Channel Monday–Thursday at 4.55pm. My School Musical is on Fridays at 5.55pm

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