Royle Family star Ralf Little takes a break from filming in Birmingham city centre yesterday, where he was acting in a short film aimed at showcasing hot new talent.

He was filming at Broughton Works in George Street for the new BBC Birmingham project, Brief Encounters.

Small Things is one of a series of ten short dramas from up-and-coming writers being shown throughout the year on BBC 1.

The project aims to give new writers an opportunity to develop their scripts with the help of experienced mentors, including Willy Russell, Russell T Davies (Dr Who) and Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice).

The low- budget 15-minute plays are in production at BBC Birmingham's new drama village in Selly Oak.

Small Things, by Melanie Martinez, tells the story of a couple, Simon (Little) and Natalie (Emma Rydal) who have just moved in together.

Their move goes swimmingly until Natalie wakes one night to discover they have a small visitor.

When Simon chooses to sleep rather than catch the rodent, an argument begins which grows to such proportions that the rat threatens to tear the household apart.