AS ten-year-old Madeleine Salvage played innocently in a stream, little did she know she would be the inspiration for a modern version of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland.

Now, four years later, Madeleine's image will be seen across the country as the star of a new edition of Lewis Carroll's classic story.

Madeleine, now 14, of Farm Road, Hove, had no idea she had been spotted by illustrator Helen Oxenbury.

She had been playing in the stream at the wedding party of former Coronation Street actress Eva Pope, a friend of her actor father Neil.

Mrs Oxenbury said she knew as soon as she saw Madeleine, with her long slim arms and legs and long, blonde hair, that she had found the new Alice and asked some friends to take photographs.

Miss Pope, who played barmaid Tania in the soap, recently telephoned Neil to tell him about the book, which comes out in October.

Madeleine, a pupil at Priory School, Lewes, said: "I'm really excited and it's quite flattering to be known as the new Alice In Wonderland.

"I was really surprised. I had no idea that the photographs were being taken, so it's quite a shock."

Madeleine is a big fan of the classic story about the little girl's adventures in a land of white rabbits, shrinking potions and Mad Hatter's tea parties.

She said: "I've got the books and the video and even played Alice in a play when I was


Dad Neil, 45, said: "She looks very different now. She's not quite so blonde as in the original photograph, adolescence has darkened her hair, but she's still recognisable as the girl in the picture. I am proud of her. She didn't really do

anything but she was a

muse in a way - she set

off an idea in someone's head."

Mrs Oxenbury said: "I had been struggling

to come up with

a modern Alice because

her traditional image is so strong.

"But as soon as I saw the girl by the stream

I knew I had found

the new Alice.

I watched her playing with some balloons

and on the swings -

her movement was so free."

Neil will join his daughter in the limelight in October when Mike Leigh's new film, Topsy-Turvy, comes out.

He features as a bassoon player in the film about Gilbert and Sullivan, the world-famous writers of comic operas.

Neil, who has had parts in Casualty and The Bill, is also working on a new screenplay about twin towns in England and Europe.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.