Soap star Sonny swaps small screen for legal life
Soap star Sonny Flood has swapped the small screen for the courtroom – and he could not be happier.
Hollyoaks fans will certainly be more familiar with the fresh-faced Sonny as his alter ego, Josh Ashworth, whose infamous storylines included attempted murder, drinking and joyriding.
But away from the Channel Four cameras, Flood’s burning ambition for centre stage has led him towards a budding career as a barrister.
The 26-year-old has just started his Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) with us at BPP University Law School’s site in Manchester – a career he’s dreamed of pursuing alongside his talent for acting.
“I always wanted to study history first at undergraduate level and then pursue the Graduate Diploma in Law,” said Flood, a former litigation paralegal with Squire Patton Boggs.
“But because I didn’t go to university until I was 22 due to my acting jobs, I decided that now was the right time to pursue law completely.
“I like the complexity, intricacy and detail of law. I like solving problems and thinking of ways through them.
“Couple those aspects with the soft skills that the law requires as well as the ‘theatrical’ side of being a barrister, I see it as a really fulfilling and rewarding profession.
“I’m really enjoying it at BPP University Law School. I’ve learnt a lot since starting in September and I definitely know this is the right career direction for me.”
Mark Keith, BPTC Programme Leader for BPP University Law School in Manchester, said: “I first met Sonny when I, along with a colleague, undertook a mock interview with him prior to him starting the course.
“Sonny struck me as someone who had the potential to be an excellent barrister. He not only has the intellect but also combines it with a commercial edge which is necessary at the Bar these days.
“Sonny is committed, hard-working and personable so is great to have on the course. I am sure he will do very well on the course and at the Bar thereafter.”
Flood, who has also starred in Cold Feet, Doctors, Casualty and Heartbeat, is in good company too when it comes to television personalities boasting a legal background.
The likes of comedy legend John Cleese, chat show host Jerry Springer and funnyman Bob Mortimer all have law degrees and varying experience.
And Blackpool-born barrister-to-be Flood, who has been acting since the age of 10, can see exactly why entertainers find comfort from the legal profession.
“Acting and the law both require a certain amount of confidence. In both professions you have to be present, portray and provoke emotions and reactions,” Flood said.
“It’s also defined by hard work and that’s something you need to be prepared for both in acting and the law.”
When it came to choosing where to continue his legal education, Flood said he was particularly drawn to BPP University Law School – especially its links to over 60 law firms – and the importance it placed on its advocacy training.
“I felt BPP University Law School was right for me. They were helpful, professional, clear and approachable. The first impression I had of the staff was great and everyone was very welcoming,” added Flood, from Lancashire.
Having only been part of BPP University Law School since September, where does legal eagle Flood see his education soaring to?
“I hope to gain a good grounding for the profession and to be ready for a chosen career,” he said.
“Acting-wise, I’m still an actor but I’ve bigger things to concentrate on now. I’d never say never to a return to acting, however, I’m really happy where I am right now.”