"Emmerdale" star James Moore "didn't believe" he could establish himself as a disabled actor until he landed his role on the ITV soap.
The 42-year-old actor - who has ataxic cerebral palsy - won the National Television Award for Best Newcomer at the ceremony this week capping off an incredible few months for him but he admits his career journey has been a difficult one as a disabled performer.
Speaking to The Sun Online, he shared: "Honestly, it's enough to win an NTA anyway and to have the public behind it. But I think this means that we're doing great things for people with disabilities. We're getting more diverse in society and more open and more accommodating.
"However, we still need more disabled voices because I don't think that there are enough in public at the moment."
Admitting that earning a place at the National Youth Theatre was the confident boost he needed to commit to acting full-time, he added: "A lot of it I think was my own personal struggle, my own mental struggle. I didn't believe that I could do it - but it wasn't for lack of trying. But I got into the National Youth Theatre and found my agent and it was like a steamroller from that point."
James made sure he had a good time at the NTAs after-party and he was thrilled to get to meet many of the famous faces from television that he is a fan of.
He explained: "My friend and I had a few shandies. We kind of mingled with people. We met Paul O'Grady and he said congratulations, which was amazing. It was great wandering round and seeing someone you've been a fan of for years or been inspired by or seen on TV."