A YOUNG actress who starred in hit TV programme Indian Summers said she was honoured to receive the Arts and Entertainment Award.

Ashna Rabheru, a student at Queen Mary’s College, was unable to make it to the ceremony, and her drama teacher Steve Gallagher picked up the award on her behalf.

He presented it to her in front of all her classmates last Thursday morning.

Ashna, who lives with her parents in Brighton Hill, said: “It was really cool. I was up against some really good people.”

The 18-year-old actress plays the role of Shamshad Dalal, who is the younger sister of one of the main characters, and she has already started filming a second series of Indian Summers in Malaysia.

The programme, which was Channel 4’s most expensive costume drama ever, focused on the lives of British expats in India in the early 1930s, and its cast includes Julie Walters, Nikesh Patel, Jemima West and Henry Lloyd-Hughes.

Ashna will return to Malaysia after her exams, and hopes to go to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama after she has finished college.

Gladstone Makazhe, business manager at McDonald’s at the Basingstoke Leisure Park, who presented the award, said working on the programme was “a tremendous achievement for someone so young”.

The runners up in the category were the founders of the Concrete Sketchbook and All Our Own Work galleries, which have appeared in several shops in Festival Place over the past year, and the Basingstoke Voluntary Action Big Music Project, which gave 10 young people from diverse backgrounds a chance to play music.