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Saturday 25 November 2017

Disabled TV star in diversity plea

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

BBC children's presenter Cerrie Burnell wants more people with disabilities to be cast in strong storylines on television to challenge perceptions.

The CBeebies host, who has only one hand, said she was in a "lovely and powerful" position -- in her high-profile television show -- to highlight diversity.

A number of parents complained after Ms Burnell, who stopped wearing a prosthetic arm at primary school, first appeared on the children's channel as a host back in 2009.

"There were some of the parents who objected because I think they felt it raised difficult discussions with their children regarding disability. There are not enough disabled people on television," she said yesterday to highlight her involvement in next month's two-day Disabled Drivers of Ireland conference which runs alongside a free Access, Care and Mobility Expo at Dublin's CityWest Hotel.

"That needs to change. I'm at the forefront of that change. It is a lovely and powerful position to be in. It is an industry so based on looks and it is difficult to proceed whoever you are," she said.

"We've got to keep writing good storylines reflecting real issues including disabilities and other types of diversity."

Irish Independent

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