A Thirsk schoolboy beat 50 other youngsters to take the lead role in the musical Oliver! at The Grand Opera House in York.

Richard Lyth, 12, a Year 8 pupil at Thirsk School, is appearing in the York Musical Theatre Company production until Saturday next week alongside his school's drama teacher Richard Bainbridge, who plays Bill Sykes.

Richard is the son of the school's doctor, Natalie Lyth, of Bagby, and attends Stagecoach Theatre School in Northallerton.

He has previously appeared in Yorkshire Television's Heartbeat series and has also recently taken part in a TV drama with former EastEnders actor Martin Kemp. It will be shown later this year.

An accomplished musician, Richard recently visited Belgium with the school string ensemble and played in several concerts.