Jeremy Irvine has revealed that he landed his breakthrough role in Stephen Spielberg’s War Horse thanks to a fake showreel.

The 22-year-old actor, has admitted that he became so desperate to get his first big acting gig that he resorted to hiring cameras and filming a showreel and pretending it was professional work to agents.

He said: ''I was making show reels with my friend - this is basically how I got War Horse. I spent a year making this four-minute thing, and I went around agents telling them it was professional work.

''Looking back, it's embarrassing, but I made lots of clips. I did a bit of King Lear, I did a few other scenes from things with different costumes, and made it look as though I'd done a load of work!''