Budding stars are being warned to avoid agencies that say they can secure them parts on programmes such as Doctor Who.
The UK's Department of Trade and Industry has published advice to help would-be entertainers and models avoid unscrupulous outfits, and names Doctor Who as a prime example of the type of show that rogue casting agencies make false promises about.
The information campaign follows cases where agencies have advertised casting sessions in local newspapers then used hard-sell tactics to take payments on false promises about success and stardom.
Employment minister Jim Fitzpatrick, pictured, said: "Most agencies are reputable and will tell you that the entertainment industry is tough to break into.
"Beware of anyone who promises to make you a star overnight. If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Our advice is designed to help stop rogues turning people's dreams into nightmares."
Listed among the DTI's top tips for aspiring models and entertainers is the following:
"Beware of adverts claiming to provide artists for popular TV programmes like EastEnders or Doctor Who. Directors for these shows usually use agencies and individuals they have used before."