Finally a mainstream drama has spoken up for disabled people like me, and our fears in this abusive political climate
While watching Silent Witness last night, it struck me that I’m old enough to remember Ironside, the crime fighter in a wheelchair, on TV in the 60s and 70s. As a disabled kid, I loved his van – I wanted that van. I never once thought about whether the actor Raymond Burr was disabled. Which he wasn’t, of course.
The first time I saw a disabled actor – an actual disabled person – playing a role was probably Sandy in the British TV soap Crossroads (also when I was young). Yet it remains a rarity, all these decades later, to see a disabled actor on TV, especially in a powerful role. So to have three disabled actors on prime time this week, in a long-running BBC drama such as Silent Witness, is a cause for celebration – and reflection.
The millions watching may see the abuse as melodrama. But let’s not forget Winterbourne View or Jimmy Savile