EVEN if you don’t know the name, anyone who’s a fan of good TV knows Sara Lloyd-Gregory.

The Ammanford-born actress has been dominating the small screen for some time now, effortlessly bridging the gap between Welsh language drama and major network series.

From Belonging and Thorne to roles in two of S4C’s most important recent dramas, Sara has established quite a name for herself.

Anyone who saw S4C’s Alys earlier this year will know it’s a well-deserved reputation.

In a role written for her by the acclaimed Siwan Jones, Sara played Alys, a single mother who moves to a small village to escape her past.

Alys was Sara’s first lead role and her performance as the strong and non-compromising mother impressed, so much so that there are rumors of a Welsh Bafta for both Sara and the show. As Sara has been working since 16, perhaps it’s not too much of a surprise to those who have been watching her career.

Yet, until the age of 16, her ambition lay in dancing.

"I studied ballet from the age of three," says Sara, 24. "But when I got to Gorseinon College to study performing arts I found myself taking more of an interest in drama."

At 16, Sara was cast in Way of Life, a film about racism based in Swansea. For a first job, it was a big experience. The film went on to win several awards, including a BAFTA.

Roles soon came thick and fast and by the time Sara had graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, she had already built an impressive CV.

Since then TV credits have included Y Pris, Con Passionate, Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Being Human as well as a recurring part in Belonging as the troubled, self-harming Nadine Weaver.

A highlight for Sara was bagging a part in Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, as the dark and seductive Carys.

"Torchwood was amazing," says Sara, who currently lives in Cardiff. "It was brilliant to be working with creator Russell T Davies and the cast were incredible. I had a lot of fun playing Carys who seemed to spend a lot of time snogging people!

"In fact, I do spend a lot of time playing dark characters but I like that. It gives you the chance to challenge yourself, to let loose and push yourself."

Alys was another challenging character and a pressure of a different kind.

"I didn’t know at first it had been created for me but it was my first lead role and it was such an honor to have this role created for me by Siwan.

"She is such an incredible talent," explains Sara, who adds there are plans for a second series.

Another high point was playing Juliet in the Wales Theatre production of Romeo and Juliet and it is to the stage Sara has currently returned to as part of a new adaptation of John Godber’s uproarious rugby play Up and Under.

Recent performances have included Pontardawe, Swansea and Carmarthen.

"I’m loving it," says Sara, who plays a fitness instructor trying to knock a local rugby team into shape.

"It’s a very funny, very current play. I’m having so much fun with my character and the cast are brilliant to work with."

Funny is something Sara knows. Her father is Adrian Gregory, of the popular Gregory Brothers, and she grew up watching their performances from the wings.

"I definitely think being surrounded by it because of dad and my uncle Paul gave me a huge interest in it all," she says. "I grew up watching them perform and I suppose it meant that acting tends not to faze me too much now.

"And I don’t think friends back home in Ammanford were too surprised by my career choices either."

It hasn’t escaped Sara’s attention that Ammanford seems to be building a reputation for producing acting talent.

"There is something about Ammanford," says Sara, who grew up with Alex Roach and counts fellow actors Simon Watts and Aled Pugh as friends.

"It’s a confidence thing and maybe a culture thing too. I remember how I was encouraged by my teachers at Ammanford Welsh School.

"And there is a huge support round there, you only have to look at how many people turned up to watch Ammanford play at Cardiff last year to see how close a community there is.

"And there’s no rivalry between any of us either, we all keep in touch with what everyone is doing."

If Sara sounds proud of being from Ammanford it is because she has a genuine love for the town.

"I’m always coming back to visit," she explains. "I’ll go and watch the rugby with Dad and catch up with friends and family.

"Ammanford is a big deal for me and even though I live in Cardiff and travel around for work I still think of it as home, definitely."

So it seems a visit home will be on the cards once her current tour is over and while Sara says she has no immediate work planned, she definitely has ambitions.

"I’d like to go to Los Angeles and see what that would bring," she says. "And I’d love to do more Torchwood or Doctor Who.

"My character didn’t die so she could be brought back. Maybe I should give Russell T Davies and call and ask him!"