It is the latest must-see teen drama that has taken America by storm, and it has now hit British TV screens.
Gossip Girl, created by the producers of The OC and based on the best-selling novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, is set in the debauched world of over-privileged teenagers from New York's Upper East Side.
One of its central characters is Chuck Bass, the hard-drinking, playboy son of a billionaire, who has become a pinup for millions of teenage girls and the subject of feverish discussion on fansites.
Yet despite his convincing American accent, the actor who plays him in the ITV2 series is an unknown 20-yearold from Stevenage.
Unlike Chuck, who lives with his super-rich father in the New York Palace Hotel and attends a private school, Ed Westwick was brought up in a modest home in Hertfordshire and went to the local comprehensive.
He is the youngest of three brothers but, in contrast to Chuck, insists he was the "nice one" in his family.
"My brother Will was more of a devil," he says. "Though I was easily led astray."
To keep Ed out of mischief, his father Peter, a university lecturer, and mother Carole, an educational psychologist, sent him to Saturday morning drama school.
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