Panel Discussion

WFTV Online: Working with Disabled and Creative Talent

3rd August 2020 18:00

Monday 03 August | 18:00-19:00

In this panel chaired by Liz Tucker, WFTV Award Winner Cherylee Houston is joined by actors Melissa Johns and Ruth Madley in a positive action led conversation to explore effective strategies for employing and casting disabled writers, directors, producers, actors and other creative talent.

All three of the panellists have led highly successful careers and they will draw both on their personal experiences,  also on what they have learnt from their own organisation Triple C, which was set up to address the problems disabled people encounter accessing and participating in the arts, so that we can develop effective solutions to ensure that broadcasters and  other creative organisations create a truly inclusive workplace.


Cherylee Houston
Credit: Dave Benett

Cherylee Houston has played Izzy Armstrong in Coronation Street for ten years, and recently completed her fifth season as the lead character in Tinsel Girl on BBC Radio 4.

She set up the organisation Triple C three years ago to address the problems disabled people encounter accessing and participating in the arts.  DANC (the Disabled Artists Networking Community) is another key Triple C initiative, which in less than two years has begun to have a real impact on the employment of disabled artists. The group now runs regular events at popular arts venues in Manchester and London and is a strategic partner with the BFI.

Melissa Johns is an actor in both TV & Theatre and co-creator of TripleC & DANC. She plays lead role Hannah Taylor in BBC one’s upcoming drama LIFE written by Mike Bartlett.


Ruth Madeley is a 33 year old  BAFTA nominated actress from Bolton and was also named as one of BAFTA’s Breakthrough Brits in 2017.  She is best known for her lead role in the BBC/HBO show Years and Years written by Russell T Davies, Starz US supernatural series The Rook and Jack Thorne’s BAFTA winning drama Don’t Take My Baby – for which she was nominated for Best Lead Actress.

Ruth has also presented her own BBC Two Horizon documentary Spina Bifida & Me, which examined medical advances for babies diagnosed with the disability. Her theatre credits include shows at The Old Vic and The Donmar Warehouse. And in 2020, Ruth completed filming for the new BBC America show The Watch.

This is an event for all women working in the film and television industry and is open to WFTV members, please log-in to your WFTV account to watch the recording of the event.

If you are not a member and would like to join, membership costs just £100 + VAT/yr for those living within the M25, and £50+ VAT/yr for those living outside of this area, please click here or email