Two years ago TNT were asking “who is Marcquelle Ward?” and we’re sure we weren’t alone. These days, we and everybody- especially the under 30s- recognise Marcquelle as one of the great faces of Manchester’s leading black actors.
A talented powerhouse whose aptitude extends beyond acting in to dancing, rapping, singing and film making; Marcquelle was also a recognised basketball star when he was 19. He also had his own show called Bump & Grind in 2004 for a while on Trouble TV, “where 8 million viewers enjoyed watching our show.”
“I was all up in the camera; I needed to take a step back. I learned that a lot later on in my career,” he admits.
As well as all of the above, Ward had a stint presenting Welcome to our House. The experience had Marcquelle in the media for all the wrong reasons, he explains, “This was the time when the whole Kelly Osborne story went down in the newspapers, me and Kelly had beef! It was a show where we all had to be up early in the morning, and they were partying next door and I made a comment alongside everyone else saying, ‘I can’t believe they’re so f****ing insensitive’ and someone in the house quoted me! That was it, all hell broke loose in most national newspapers saying Kelly responded with a Tweet of some sort, for the record I don’t know the girl, and it was nothing.”
Ward speaks fondly of two things. His dance teacher Wynn Moran, who also taught the likes of Aaron Cobham and ITV programme Britannia High which exploded onto billboards and TV screens in 22 different countries and even had merchandise made in their image. Such was the popularity of the programme Marcquelle was one the highest-paid young actors at the time.
Turning his hand to writing and directing, Macrquelle’s current project, My House Party is a comedy written and directed by himself. It is about two best friends who are in love but they are the only people who can’t see it, until things change at a house party that is. The dynamics of the friendship twist and turn in ways you would have to see to believe.
Ward explains how he chose his “amazing and professional” cast himself after having personal experience with them beforehand on shows such as Waterloo Road, “My leading lady Misha Timmins from the beginning of this writing process was always someone I wanted to play this part. I’m not saying I’m feeling guilty for dropping her when she was 13 in an acrobatic lift and this is why I casted her but it did play a factor,” he jokes.
Off Devon Anderson, Ward says “Mr Eastenders/Hollyoaks is one of my closet friends and I’ve always admired his work as an actor and person. He’s a great guy.”
TNT will be following Marcquelle over the next few months to see what he is getting up to and meeting a lot of the actors he comes into contact with from around the Manni scene and beyond, on popular youth programmes such as Hollyoaks, Cucumber, Banana, Tofu, Secret to Dating and Eastenders. Let the games begin!