TV drama ‘Don’t Take My Baby’, about a young person with muscular dystrophy, has won a BAFTA for Best Single Drama at this year’s BAFTA Awards in London.
At the beginning of 2015, BBC Three made contact with Muscular Dystrophy UK – the charity for people living with muscle-wasting conditions – as they were making a drama featuring a lead character called Anna who had Minicore Myopathy Muscular Dystrophy (MMMD).
The drama would tell the story of a young disabled couple who have a baby together but are constantly and intensely supervised by social services, who are concerned the couple cannot look after the child due to their physical disabilities.
BBC Three wanted to find a young person who had MMMD who could tell actress Ruth Madeley about living with MMMD.
Laura Bizzey who has MMMD agreed to visit Ruth on set and said: “Ruth and I chatted for a long time about the role she was playing and I tried to give as much detail about how MMMD affects me on a day-to-day basis and told her about any other restrictions I have that could be portrayed in the character.”
Following on from the BAFTA win, Laura said: “I sat watching the BAFTAs with my fingers tightly crossed, hoping that ‘Don’t Take My Baby’ would win the BAFTA for best single drama. When it came to their category and DTMB was read out as the winner, I was elated!! So, so incredible and well deserved!!
“A truly great drama, created by an amazing team of people – I am so so proud that all their hard work has been acknowledged and that people have been able to see not only the quality of the acting and production, but also the raw truth of what disabled parents have to deal with when they have children.”
Muscular Dystrophy UK is delighted that big channels and programmes are recognising the need to put rare conditions at the forefront of stories, but more still needs to be done around diversity in the media. Jack Thorne, who wrote Don’t Take My Baby, highlighted the problems that exist in his acceptance speech.
“We’re having a wonderful debate about diversity at the moment and trying to sort out the problems in our industry, and the sector that seems to get missed out quite a lot of the time is disability. The cuts to access to work are making it very difficult for theatre, film and TV companies to employ disabled talent and that’s wrong and that’s got to change.”
To find out more about muscular dystrophy, visit www.musculardystrophyuk.org