Ilkley-born actress Verity Mullan Wilkinson has won a best-actress award, playing the lead role in her very first film.

Verity, 22, pictured, scooped the top prize in the prestigious British Independent Film Festival annual awards ceremony in London’s West End last week.

The movie, Nobbly Carrot 7, tells the story of young love in the digital age. Verity plays Ruby, a fruit and veg market stall worker,whose lessons in life have come through YouTube videos and social media. She meets dishy DJ Vinyl Lionel on her daily deliveries and takes the unconventional route of trolling him through social media to win his heart.

Verity, a former pupil of St Mary’s, Menston, graduated from Manchester University last year and has played various stage roles but this was her first film.

“I still can’t believe I won,” she said. “I went along to the ceremony on Saturday night on my own. The organisers only had one ticket to give us between the whole cast and crew. I took the one ticket because I had been nominated so I guess I was just making up the numbers.

“When the nominations were read out, then my name was called as the winner of best actress – it was all a bit surreal. I had to make one of those speeches, thanking everyone.”

She added: “My interest in drama and acting came through Ilkley Operatic Society, playing Brigitta in The Sound of Music when I was eight. Then I joined Ilkley Upstagers where Gill Jackson and her team gave me so much support and encouragement. I have a lot to thank them for.”

The trailer for Nobbly Carrot 7 can be viewed at