Actress with disabilities on Coronation Street

Last night saw Cherylee Houston who uses a wheelchair, make her debut on the 50-year-old soap Coronation Street. As the soaps first full-time character with disabilities, Cherylee plays Izzy Armstrong, Kirk Sutherland‘s feisty new girlfriend.

Disabled actress Corination Street -

The 35-year-old actress has been in a wheelchair since the age of 23 after being diagnosed with the rare tissue disorder, Ehlers Danlos Type III hypermobility type. But this hasn’t stopped her pursuing an acting career; “attitudes are only just changing and TV is one of the last domains. There are nearly 10% of us in society, but hardly any of us on TV. I’m really proud to be joining Coronation Street and really excited too. But for me, more than anything, it is about being good at my job.”

Having previously started in Doctors back in 2003, Cherlyee has since been in The Bill, Holby City, Emmerdale and Little Britain. But after a brief appearance in Coronation Steret last month, character Izzy will now be a regular in the soap.

Disabled actress Coronation Street -

Coronation street has also seen previous characters with disabilities; deaf actress Ali Briggs played Freda the neice of Emily Bishop, and Ryan Connor’s friend Phil was played by wheelchair user Richard Sargent.

But Cherylee says getting people with disabilities included hasn’t always been easy for her; “there’s a fear of the unknown and a fear of saying the wrong thing. There are so many preconceived ideas about disabled people, but it’s a case of realising that we are just people.”

Well said!

Thankfully disabilities are increasingly being shown on TV- see the entertainment section to find out more.


May 24, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Entertainment.


  1. Cripz: A Webcomic replied:

    006 — Hulk SMASH!!…

    The subject of disabled characters and able-bodied actors has been coming up again and again over the past few days so Clara and I decided to do a little comic about Glee and our feelings on most movies involving characters with disabilities. This epis…

    • lizransome replied:

      I think it’s great how many characters with disabilities are appearing on mainstream TV. It’s not always a perfect representation, but at least we’re getting there, slowly but surely!

  2. Lela Tucker replied:

    Incredibly interesting article! Honest..

  3. Christian Staley replied:’s done it once again! Great read!

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