Liam Bairstow makes World Down Syndrome Day appeal
21 March 2019 - 1:00 PM

Liam Bairstow makes World Down Syndrome Day appeal

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Liam Bairstow has encouraged people to "follow your dreams" as part of a World Down Syndrome Day appeal.

The "Coronation Street" actor - who became the first person with Down syndrome to secure a lead role on the ITV soap in 2015 - admits he was "overwhelmed" when he first joined the show as Alex Warner, but he now feels "part of the team" and has made some "really good friends" on the programme.

He told the Yorkshire Evening Post newspaper: "When I first went into "Coronation Street" it was quite overwhelming, I couldn't believe I was there.

"It's been great from the start, though - I feel like part of the team and have made some really good friends.

"I'd say to anyone who is reading this and wondering if they could do something similar, never give up, keep trying and fight for your dreams. I believe in you."

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Liam is represented by the Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting (YAFTA), as is "Emmerdale" actor James Moore - who has Ataxic cerebral palsy - and managing director Charlotte Armitage is "hugely proud" of the pair.

She added: "What's really important about Liam and James is that they are both showing that acting is a viable career pathway for people with disabilities."

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James - who plays Ryan Stocks on the ITV soap - regularly encourages other disabled actors to follow their dreams by tweeting out inspirational messages.

Last night (20.03.19), he wrote on Twitter: "I feel like there's a lot of negative stuff going around so I wanted to do a positive tweet for disabled people everywhere- it's not what we can't do but what we can that matters.

I CAN drive.

I CAN act.

I CAN work.

Let's work together and overcome this stigma. #DisabilityRights (sic)"

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