Following the entertainment theme, EastEnders (the BBC’s flagship drama) announced that it has cast a wheelchair user as a character to be featured on the show for the first time, who will begin on the soap later in the year, which is one of the extensive measures the BBC is taking to increase the profile of disabled actors and performers.
The casting was announced yesterday, as well as the BBC launching a new online directory of disabled talent along with starting a UK-wide search for new disabled actors and performers for drama, comedy and children’s shows. David Proud (born with spina bifida) will play this new EastEnders character, Adam Best, and David has previously appeared in ITV2’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl and CBBC’s Desperados.
Diederick Santer, the EastEnders executive producer said, “I’m delighted to welcome David to EastEnders. He’s a fine young actor with a wonderfully dry comic delivery, playing an interesting – and possibly rather irritating – character. I’m sure he, and his character Adam, will be strong additions to EastEnders.
“…This is the first time we’ve had a regular adult character with a visible disability played by an actor with a disability. It’s about time.”
According to the BBC, the new online directory of disabled talent will be available to in-house and independent production teams, and BBC Vision said that they want to “authentically reflect the lives of disabled people on-screen.”
What a wonderful opportunity this would be for disabled people, who are trying to start their on-screen career. Also, having more disabled actors and performers to portray characters on TV and film is good for audiences to see because it would give audiences a chance to embrace the various types of disabilities in the mainstream and showcase disabled people’s talents; and I also think that the UK could be the leader in disability casting to bring our many talented disabled people to the international spotlight.
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By Sulaiman Khan