Disabled actors have welcomed a new BBC scheme tha

first_imgDisabled actors have welcomed a new BBC scheme that aims to “shine a light” on experienced disabled performers, and discover and develop up-and-coming talent.The Class Act development programme will include an intensive three-day workshop and an opportunity to build contacts and showcase talents to professionals across the industry.Those selected to take part will be tutored in audition and camera technique, acting and business skills, and script and character work, and will have the chance to work with directors on scenes for their showreels.The Class Act programme is part of BBC’s efforts to support and raise the profile of disabled actors.But it is also part of wider efforts to increase the number of disabled people working across the BBC.Its target had been that disabled people would make up 5.3 per cent of all BBC staff by 2017, but the figures for March this year showed it had already smashed through that target, reaching 10.2 per cent (up from 3.7 per cent in 2014), while disabled people made up 9.6 per cent of those in leadership positions (up from 3.1 per cent).This means it has already exceeded its 2020 target of eight per cent.The 2020 target for portrayal of disability on-screen is that eight per cent of roles – including “some” lead roles – should portray or represent a disabled person, but the current figures will not be released until later this year.Three years ago, only 1.2 per cent of roles on screen portrayed or represented disabled people.Natalie Amber, a member of the deaf and disabled members committee (DDMC) of the performers’ union Equity, who herself plans to apply for the BBC programme, said she believed it was “a big step in the right direction”.She said previous BBC schemes, such as holding open auditions, had not helped disabled actors build up their skills, which the new programme should do.Amber had been forced to take five years out of the industry after she became disabled, and said she had since found it “very difficult” to find anywhere to practice acting to camera from a wheelchair.She said she hoped the programme would not be a one-off, and that future workshops would take place outside London.Amber – who appeared last year in the ITV thriller Paranoid and the BBC One drama Doctors – said it was difficult for disabled actors with support or access needs to take part in mainstream workshops, because they might need to pay for their own support worker or interpreter while the person leading the workshop might have never worked with a disabled actor before.She pointed out that the BBC was not the first broadcaster to hold such a workshop for disabled actors.ITV held a similar, but shorter, development workshop for disabled actors earlier this summer, based around its soap Emmerdale.And Coronation Street cast the disabled actor Liam Bairstow in 2015, after he was spotted through ITV’s Breaking Through Talent disability workshop.Amber said she hoped broadcasters and other parts of the industry would work together to improve opportunities for disabled actors.She said members of the DDMC were trying to “make our presence more widely known” and build their information resources, so “if people have any questions they have a place where they can come”.Cindy-Jane Armbruster, another member of Equity’s DDMC, also welcomed the new BBC scheme, but she said she was cautious about the difference it would make until she had seen its long-term impact.She said: “If it does make a difference, I would definitely like to see more of it. They need to keep at it.“I would like them to keep pushing for this, to keep being good allies.”She said she also hoped the initiative reached a “very diverse range of Deaf and disabled actors – diverse in terms of impairment, race/ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation, age, etc”.She said she was “very glad” that the BBC appeared to be making a “multi-pronged effort” to increase opportunities for disabled actors and the portrayal of disability on television, and that it was talking about casting disabled actors in roles not specifically written as disabled characters.Armbruster said efforts also needed to be made throughout the whole of the production process, to increase the numbers of disabled people working as writers, commissioners, casting directors and producers.She added: “This will hopefully lead to more interesting stories, and hopefully also widen the view of what disability looks like.”She said disability was “one of the most widely diverse characteristics” and it would be “exciting to see and celebrate just how different and individual we all are”.Alison Walsh, the BBC’s disability lead, who joined the broadcaster from Channel 4 in 2015, said: “On screen portrayal of disability is increasing on the BBC but disabled actors are still struggling to find a place – especially in roles not written specifically as disabled.“Although this scheme doesn’t guarantee work, it will provide training opportunities and exposure for new talent as well as established actors who have yet to have their ‘big break’.“Crucially it will provide a wake-up call to drama creators that they need to work harder to consider disabled acting talent for all productions – not just those with a disability theme.” Shane Allen, controller of BBC comedy commissioning, said: “It is crucial that we have more disabled people represented in our comedy output and bring through new disabled performing talent.“This is the most focused and practical way for us to unearth and nurture the talents out there who are looking for this career break.”Piers Wenger, controller of BBC drama, said: “This exciting new initiative will provide disabled actors with some of the finest training the BBC has to offer and give them the best possible chance to compete for opportunities.”To apply for the training programme, disabled actors should submit a self-taped audition that lasts two minutes or less.last_img read more

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JAMIE Foster has joined Bradford BullsThe winger

first_imgJAMIE Foster has joined Bradford Bulls.The winger has signed a one-year contract after Saints agreed to release the 22-year-old.Foster burst on to the scene in 2010 when he made his debut against Toulouse and went on to score 34 tries and 341 goals in 53 appearances for the club.But he fell down the pecking order in 2012 and went on loan to Hull FC to gain valuable first team experience.Jamie said: “I really enjoyed my time at Saints and I am thankful for the opportunity they gave me. I would like to thank the fans for their support.“Now, I am looking forward to joining the Bulls and working with Francis Cummins.“I know I’m a good player and I know I can score tries and kick goals and I’m looking forward to getting my head down and producing the form that I know I’m capable of.“Working with new people will be good and hopefully bring out the best in me. When i got the opportunity at Hull, it was a case of kicking on again and hopefully the same thing can happen again at Bradford.”We will have an in-depth interview with Jamie on his time at Saints next week.last_img read more

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FOREIGN Exchange trading company AFEX welcomed rug

first_imgFOREIGN Exchange trading company AFEX welcomed rugby league and rugby union players to their offices in London for a charity trading day to benefit Rugby League Cares and Restart Rugby.Saints Jon Wilkin and Mark Flanagan were at the event.AFEX are partners of the Saints and sponsor the front of our shorts.You can see the video here.last_img

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This season has been one of the most memorable in

first_imgThis season has been one of the most memorable in living memory with Head Coach Justin Holbrook marshalling his team to an incredible 21 wins from 23 regular season games.The team have dazzled the Betfred Super League with their attacking flair and style as well as their grit to win some nail-biting and hard-fought clashes.It leaves them on the verge of their first League Leaders’ Shield since 2014, with a Grand Final appearance a very real possibility.The team have delivered on what our Members wanted … entertainment and a winning mentality fitting of the Saints’ famous name. We can say well and truly we are SAINTS AND PROUD!As we look towards 2019, we want to continue with this ethos.Our squad has already been strengthened further with the additions of NRL stars Joseph Paulo and Kevin Naiqama to complement our already strong core of experienced players and young guns.We want you to continue the journey with us in 2019, so we have again expanded your exclusive Membership benefits, including for the next Generation of Saints fans – our Junior Members.You can also make your Membership a simple monthly payment with our very popular Direct Debit plan. Each season lots of fans take advantage of the plan to pay for their Membership over ten months to spread the cost.Alternatively, you can also take up an eight or six month package later on in the off-season.For example a West Stand renewal for an adult would equate to just £25.06 per month.An adult and child in the Family Stand would be just £27.49 per month.Your Membership covers all Saints’ Betfred Super League home games and to discover Benefits, Prices and more here www.saintsrlfc.com/membershipsWe are Saints and Proud#saintsandproudlast_img read more

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First Team Match

first_imgThe boss previewed the game yesterday declaring the Tigers as a “dangerous” side and he knows despite the six wins out of six, his Saints players will need to be on top of their game if we want to maintain our 100% start to the new Super League season.Holbrook will select his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Joseph Paulo, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Dom Peyroux, 19. Matty Lees, 20. Jack Ashworth, 21. Aaron Smith, 23. Lachlan Coote. —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————Castleford Tigers 19-Man Squad 1. Peter Mata’utia, 2. James Clare, 3. Greg Minikin, 4. Michael Shenton, 5. Greg Eden, 6. Jake Trueman, 8. Liam Watts, 9. Paul McShane,  10. Grant Millington, 11. Oliver Holmes, 13. Adam Milner, 14. Nathan Massey, 15. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 16. Junior Moors, 17. Alex Foster, 18. Matt Cook, 25. Tuoyo Egodo, 32. Jordan Rankin, 33. Chris Clarkson.,1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Joseph Paulo, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Dom Peyroux, 19. Matty Lees, 20. Jack Ashworth, 21. Aaron Smith, 23. Lachlan Coote.last_img read more

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