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Page last updated at 11:04 GMT, Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Skins actor unveils new project

Mike Bailey in 1066
Bailey played Tony Stonem's best mate Sid Jenkins in E4's teen drama Skins

Mike Bailey says he's moving on from playing Sid in E4 teen drama Skins by playing an 11th Century peasant sent to fight the Vikings.

He's appearing in a new two-part feature called 1066 being broadcast on Channel 4 in February.

It's based on the events before and during the Battle of Hastings and is described as "an epic adventure of invasion, resistance and war".

It tells the story of ordinary English, Norman and Viking men and their families.

Mike Bailey said: "Everyone knows about the Hastings battle but they don't know about two other battles before it.

The scale in which they wanted to do it was so big. It was just something completely different for me to do
Mike Bailey on playing an 11th Century peasant
"The first episode shows the Vikings coming over and the English moving all around the country.

"The second one is about the Battle of Hastings and what really happened, because what you get taught in GCSE history may not actually be the way it was."

1066 was unveiled at Channel 4's winter season launch in London and also stars Francis Magee (Layer Cake), Soren Byder (Foyle's War) and Anthony Debaeck (Wolfman).

In the feature-length drama, Mike Bailey plays a character called Tofi.

"He lives in a village of about 30 and has probably never left his village before and on his wedding day he finds out that the Vikings have come over and that all the men of the village have got to leave and fight them," he said.

"It shows his story as he becomes more of a man, because he's only about 15 in the story.

"He's always trying to get back to his village and back to his wife and his best friend."

Directing work

1066 was filmed on location in Yorkshire and Sussex.

Mike Bailey says villager Tofi is a totally different role from unlucky virgin Sid Jenkins from Skins.

He said: "The scale in which they wanted to do it was so big.

"They wanted to actually have real fights, battles go on for about 40 minutes, it was chucking it down with rain, it was so much fun.

"It was just something completely different for me to do."

Skins was Mike Bailey's acting breakthrough.

Before being given the role of Sid, the 20-year-old was working at a branch of Topshop in Bristol.

Sid's character has now been written out of the third series of Skins along with most of the old cast.

But Mike Bailey says he's keeping a close eye on what's happening.

He said: "I have met the cast and I have seen some of the episodes.

"It is weird but it's a new programme really. There are little references to us all.

"From what I've seen and what I've heard it's going to be really good. And all the new cast are really nice.

"It's good for us to leave it now. We wouldn't have gone on and done another series.

"It wouldn't have been as fresh as it is now if we would have carried on."

But Mike Bailey hasn't left Skins completely.

He explained: "I'm going to do a little bit of directing for Skins. They do all the little internet extras and I'm going to do some of that."

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