Essex teenager wins role in 'Neighbours'

Gabriella Darlington beat more than 1,600 others to win a competition to play a role in the Australian soap' Neighbours'.

The 18 year old's started filming on Ramsey Street and plays Poppy Rogers who's described as a "free-spirited'' young woman who has encouraged her cousin, Ruby, to accompany her on a backpacking trip around Ruby's native Australia.

Gabriella told Heart it was her mum who encouraged her to enter the competition even though she doubted she could actually win.

She used to do her homework while watching the soap and admitted her only acting experiences have included roles in school nativity plays.

The teenager will be back in the UK next month when her 4 week contract comes to an end and also said: "I can't believe how lucky I am. I never expected to be shortlisted, let alone get to Australia and win."

Gabriella got down to the final two with fellow finalist Jennifer Hall in Five's Be A Star On Neighbours competition and was told she'd won last week. Her scenes are due to be aired in the UK from November 10th on Channel 5.