Down Syndrome Actor Liam Bairstow Joins the Cast of ‘Coronation Street’
Britain’s longest running soap opera, Coronation Street, has cast its first actor with Down syndrome since the show’s debut back in 1960.
Actor Liam Bairstow, 26, will be playing the role of Cathy Matthews’ nephew, Alex announced the TV show in a celebratory tweet.
The show’s producer Stuart Blackburn states that although they found the actor through a workshop for actors with disabilities called Breaking Through, his selection for the role was based on Liam’s high quality of work.
“He’s going to be coming in as Cathy’s nephew,” said Blackburn. “It’s not some politically correct thing. We actually found there a really great actor with a wonderful sense of timing. The cast have been really enjoying working with him.”
— Coronation Street (@itvcorrie) August 11, 2015
Bairstow has been a member of the Mind the Gap, a disability theatre company, since 2009 and has also toured the country performing in a production of Treasure Island – so the actor is hardly a novice.
“I could never imagine leaving Mind the Gap,” Bairstow said prior to the discovery of his recent casting. “But if I did I would love to be on TV.”
Bairstow represents another victory in the movement towards realizing what a vital role people with Down syndrome provide in our community, and what they’re capable of in the professional realm.
Bairstow joins the ranks of actors like Lauren Potter, the sweet foil to Sue Sylvester’s evil ways on Ryan Murphy’s show Glee, and Jamie Brewer, who became well known for her role as Nan on American Horror Story: Coven, in proving the talent, drive and capability people with Down syndrome have.
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Bairstow represents another victory in the movement towards realizing what people with Down syndrome are capable of.