AFTER 10 years of knocking on doors and pitching more than 80 projects, Horwich writer Chris Lunt got his big break.

The 43-year-old's hit ITV miniseries Prey had 5.5 million viewers on the edge of their seats last April and the father-of-two was hailed as a new star in the world of television by Bafta.

Named as one of Bafta's Breakthrough Brits in October, he is currently on an elite mentoring scheme and has his sights set on penning a future James Bond film.

He recently met Bond producer Barbara Broccoli at the franchise's Eon studios in London, who advised him to keep working and popping up on people's radar.

Chris said: "I'm a big fan of Bond and I told her I would love to write one of those one day.

"She didn't laugh me out of the room so that was nice.

"She's a really lovely woman.

"That's my goal, that's what I would love to do."

In the meantime, Chris has many projects to keep him busy thanks to the success of Prey — a three-part cop-on-the-run thriller, starring John Simm and Rosie Cavaliero.

Fans hope it will return for a second series but Chris is remaining tight-lipped.

He said: "If there was an opportunity, I would love to."

He added: "I've got two years of stuff in the pipeline.

"What's really nice is people are knocking on my door.

"I spent 10 years knocking on other people's doors.

"I had 80 projects turned down before Prey got made."

Chris is one of 18 Bafta Breakthrough Brits, a scheme devised to shine a light on the newest stars of film, television and games.

He said: "I'm still one of those until October.

"It's a programme that Bafta set up a couple of years ago and quite a few big names have been through it.

"Bafta is an enormous backer of new talent and they want to see diverse people from all kinds of backgrounds.

"They will get you in meetings that you wouldn't be able to get yourself.

"They say, who would you like to meet?"

Not only does it give emerging talent the chance to land work opportunities, but also to meet people they admire and who have inspired them.

As well as Barbara, Chris' wishlist included actor and comedian Simon Pegg, who he is meeting for lunch next week, and Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Sir Patrick Stewart, who he is also due to meet.

Chris, who describes himself as the biggest Star Trek fan in the world, said: "I doubt I would be a writer if it wasn't for Star Trek.

"There's nothing else I wanted to do.

"One of the questions I get asked is, what would you do if you were not a writer? I would be an unemployed writer."

While growing up, Chris would often write short plays but, upon leaving Rivington and Blackrod High School at 16, he spent eight years working as a lathe turner for an engineering company.

He said: "I always wanted to break into TV but I had no idea how.

"One day, I opened the Yellow Pages and phoned a company called ABC Television and went working with them as a sales manager."

While working for the Chester-based company, which made corporate videos, a lucky break took him to Prague to film a documentary after a cameraman fell ill.

He later landed a job with Manchester-based graphics company Red Vision, where he remained for a decade before taking redundancy and using the money to turn his attention to full-time writing — a gamble which paid off just as funds were starting to run low.

Chris is also working on a remake of classic 1960s spy show The Saint, as ITV has expressed an interest, but says the main character needs to be made relevant for today.

He said: "That's the thing we need to crack.

"It's not about taking Simon Templar and dropping him in London in 2016.

"There's got to be something else.

"It's not a pilot episode that's been commissioned; we are working on a script."

He has teamed up with Ed Whitmore, whose credits include Waking the Dead and recent three-part series Arthur and George, based on the real events of the relationship between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and George Edaljii — a man sent to prison for a crime he claims he did not commit.

Chris, who used to do amateur dramatics at Bolton Little Theatre, said: "Between us, we have got a good track record with ITV.

"We'll give it the best shot we can give it."

He is also working on a number of other projects, including writing a programme called Dreamland, set in Margate in the 1920s, and a new Hammer House of Horror series.

Prey, which was nominated for five Royal Television Society North West Awards last year, is up for a Bafta Craft Award in the Breakthrough Talent category, to be revealed on April 26.