Safari, so goodie for our Dawn

IT'S a long way from Milton of Campsie to the African wilderness, but that is just where actress Dawn Steele has ended up.

The 33-year-old has landed a top part in popular Sunday night drama, Wild at Heart, filming in the South African outback, an hour and a half from Johannesburg.

The actress, famous for the role of Lexie in Monarch of the Glen, is gracing our screens as vet Alice Collins in the family drama, replacing Amanda Holden as the love interest for vet Danny Trevanion.

So, did Dawn feel nervous at replacing such a loved actress as Holden?

"I didn't really. It's the same crew that have been there the past three years, which is a bit daunting. But no-one made me feel like I was replacing her, they were just really welcoming.

"Amanda was such a big character and everyone loved her but, you know, I can hold my own, I'm alright."

Dawn was raised in Milton of Campsie and attended Kilsyth Academy before moving on to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama to complete a first-class honours degree in acting.

After her six-year stint in Monarch of the Glen she moved to London to be nearer work with her boyfriend, actor Paul Blair and a new dog, Welsh terrier Murphy.

"I know, a Scottish actress with a Welsh terrier who has an Irish name." she laughs.

And how is she finding being away from home?

"I never get to really miss Scotland" says Dawn.

"Mum and Dad are still in Scotland, and as soon as I moved to London I got the role in Sea of Souls and did six months in Glasgow. I also did panto there last year."

Dawn spent Christmas back in Milton of Campsie with her parents and two younger brothers, Ross and Ryan.

You can catch Wild at Heart on STV on Sunday evenings.