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14 top talents to watch out for in 2017 – as chosen by current TV stars

Who do Cillian Murphy, Dawn French, Jon Snow, Russell T Davies, Harry Hill and Ron Howard and Phoebe Waller-Bridge tip for the top?

4. Jamie Demetriou

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29, Comedian

You might recognise me from

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag. 

Early days

I went to the Compton School in north London, and then joined the Chickenshed theatre company. I then took two gap years, trying to get into drama school. I mean, I called them gap years, but it was two years of rejection. 

First job

I was a pea in a pod on Playdays when I was five. Then I was on An Audience with Cliff Richard singing the Lord’s Prayer. And then there was a dry period of 20 years. 

My big break

I did three comedy shorts for Channel 4, one of which was about a Greek character called Stath. Robert Popper [who created and wrote Friday Night Dinner] saw it and got in touch, and we’re now writing a full series for E4. 

Coming up in...

Stath will be on E4 later this year and I’m coming up in Quacks on BBC2. And I’ve got a part in Paddington 2… 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge says

“Jamie is a wonder. He can take ridiculous characters and imbue them with such depth of humanity that you can’t help but fall in love while you’re laughing at them.


5 Henni Zuel

27, Sky Sports golf presenter

Sporting start

I started playing golf when I was nine. My mum worked in IT and had to go to a company golf day full of men — she didn’t play at all, but she’s a very determined woman, so she learnt. And so did I! 

My course to fame

At 13 I played in a team at the Faldo Junior Series with Rory McIlroy. I left school at 16 and played on the amateur golf circuit before turning professional at 18. I won my first tournament aged 21 at Terre Blanche in France in the Dinard Ladies Open. 

I’m on tv because

I stopped playing two years ago after a back injury. I started at Sky after that and fell in love with presenting.

Coming up in...

So far my reporting career has meant that I run around with a microphone and do fun features with the players. But this week I’m moving into the studio to present the first women’s major of the year. 

Sky’s golf presenter Sarah Stirk says

“Henni has made a seamless transition into the media world. She’s bright, articulate, engaging and has a great attitude.”


6. Oli Bell

29, ITV sports presenter

Early days

I was a scallywag at school in Glastonbury, but I knew what I wanted to do when I was about six years old. 

Currently

I present horse racing on ITV with Ed Chamberlin and Victoria Pendleton. We’ve got the Grand National coming up on 8 April, which is the kind of event every sports presenter dreams of doing.

Role model

Clare Balding, for making the transition across from racing to other sports. 

Dream job

I’m a TV presenter, and while I love racing I don’t want to limit myself to that. I’d report on any sport, I love them all! 

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Ed Chamberlin says “Oli will never settle at one level; he wants to constantly find ways to improve his performance. He’s shown already that’s he’s improving at a rate of knots.”

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