The team behind a groundbreaking episode with a deaf director, writers and actors discuss how it came about and what it means for the industry…
- John Maidens A profoundly deaf, award-winning director with credits on shows such as Father Brown and Holby City, and co-chair of Directors’ UK’s Disability Working Group
- Charlie Swinbourne Screenwriter with credits on series such as EastEnders and Moving On, and an RTS Yorkshire Writer award recipient for 2018 sketch series Deaf Funny
- Gabriella Leon Actor with moderate/ sever hearing loss who plays Casualty’s first regular deaf character, Jade Lovall
- Dafydd Llewleyn Writer and producer working on BBC shows such as Pobol y Cwm and Casualty
Long-running BBC soap Casualty made history on 11 July 2020, when the 36th episode of its 34th series aired. It was the drama’s first episode after a pandemic-enforced six-week break and the first in British television history to be written and directed by deaf people, with a largely deaf cast.
The storyline, which featured nurse Jade (Gabriella Leon) meeting her birth mother for the first time since she was three, was groundbreaking and demonstrated what the deaf community can deliver on and off screen. The team behind the episode, which was nominated for a Rose D’Or, reunited at the recent online Creative Cities Convention to discuss its production and impact, as well as the future of disability representation in television.