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ART news update – March 2021

Latest news updates and highlights include:

  • Shani Dhanda and Samantha Renke were named in the Top 10 of The Shaw Trust’s 2020 Power 100 List of the UK’s most influential disabled people – Adam Pearson and Lee Ridley were named in the Top 100. Shani was also named on the BBC 100 Women List of 2020 and as one of the most influential women in leadership of 2021 by The CEO magazine.
  • Jamie Hale won the Evening Standard Future Theatre Fund Award for directing and theatre making. Jamie is writing a drama script for a broadcaster and their play, Not Dying, has been optioned by a production company. Jamie’s poetry pamphlet, Shield, was published by Verve Poetry Press.
  • Laura Lexx’s book, Klopp Actually: (Imaginary) Life with Football’s Most Sensible Heartthrob, was published in hardback, ebook and audiobook in September. She also made her debut on Mock The Week (BBC Two) as well as appearing on the Christmas Special. She appeared on Fred At Stand (BBC Radio 4) and Breaking The News (BBC Radio Scotland).
  • Lee Ridley announced that he is searching for his Geordie accent. He was interviewed on This Morning (ITV), The Steve Wright Show (BBC Radio 2) and ITV News amongst others as well as being featured in The Times. Lee also appeared on Live at the Apollo: Access All Areas (BBC Two), The Now Show (BBC Radio 4) and the Britain’s Got Talent Christmas Spectacular (ITV) in December. The paperback of his book, I’m Only In It For The Parking, was published and his new tour, Cerebral LOL-sy, which will start in Spring 2022 is on sale. The 3rd series of Lee’s sitcom, Ability, has recently been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In November, Lee hosted The 13 Million Club on BBC Radio 4 which was a showcase of disabled comedians.
  • Samantha Renke and Briony May Williams appeared on How To Spend It Well At Christmas (ITV).
  • Samantha also appeared on Morning Live and Sunday Morning Live both on BBC One as well as The Disability Paradox (BBC Four) and Word Of Mouth (BBC Radio 4). She continues to write her regular column for the Metro.
  • Briony appeared on the Christmas and New Year specials of Food Unwrapped (Channel 4) and has recently fronted campaigns for Holland’s Pies, Dr Oetker, RSPCA and Tesco.
  • Mark Lane continues as the gardening expert on Morning Live (BBC One) and he is presenting his own show, Love Gardening With Mark Lane, on QVC. Mark’s book, Royal Gardens Of The World, was also published and he is fronting a campaign with Stannah as their gardening expert.
  • Aatif Nawaz appeared on The Good, The Bad & The Unexpected (BBC Radio Scotland).
  • Jamie MacDonald appeared on Breaking The News (BBC Radio Scotland) and the Christmas and Hogmanay specials of Raiders of the Lost Archive (BBC Scotland).
  • Adam Pearson was interviewed by Sally Phillips on Sunday Morning Live (BBC One).
  • Michael Chakraverty’s podcast, menkind, which he co-hosts with Mark Watson, was launched with guests including Tom Daley and Alistair Campbell. Michael now has a regular column in the Metro and he co-writes the Guardian’s live blog for The Great British Bake-Off with Scott Bryan. He has also collaborated with Waitrose, Now TV, Quaker Oats and Dr Oetker. Michael has filmed a series of baking videos for Netflix’s The Most which are available to watch on Netflix’s YouTube channel.
  • Aaron Simmonds launched his podcast, The Silliest Superest Heroest Podcast, which has audio transcripts available for some of the episodes with more being added.
  • Richard Butchins presented the BBC Four documentary, The Disordered Eye, and he also made the BBC Two documentary, Targeted: The Truth About Disability Hate Crime.
  • Benny and Jazzy created a post for the BBC’s main Instagram account entitled ‘Talking Deafness’ as part of the BBC’s Disability Paradox social media campaign.
  • Jo Coffey made her first appearance in a recurring role in Eastenders (BBC One). Her script, Vulnerable, has been selected by Hot Coals Productions for their Talking Bodies series.
  • Cerys Bradley, Juliette Burton, Richard Stott and Aaron Simmonds performed at the Leicester Comedy Festival in association with NextUp Comedy. Juliette and Richard also performed online shows in association with the likes of the Museum of Comedy, Theatre Deli, Greenwich Theatre, East Riding Theatre.
  • Richard Stott filmed his show, Right Hand Man, for NextUp Comedy which will be released soon.
  • Georgie Morrell has started to host her own show, Sounds of the Silver Screen, on RNIB Connect Radio.
  • We are delighted to have signed Niall Aslam and Paddy Smyth.