Monday, May 24, 2010

The next step in bendy world domination

I admit it, I'm an Eastenders girl through and through. Something about the melodramatic drudge of life in a fake East End Square really appeals to me. Possibly because my life always looks good in comparison. Corrie (Coronation Street for the overseas readers) has never been my thing, despite years of efforts by my wildly successful university mooting partner to convert me. I'm not sure what makes him so obsessed with Corrie that he records it to watch on his return from business trips but whatever it is, I'm about to find out.

It was exciting when Eastenders introduced David Proud to play Adam Best, their first full time wheelchair using actor, but nothing could beat the excitement of discovering that Coronation Street are introducing a full time female cast member who uses a wheelchair.....because she has the Hypermobility type Ehlers Danlos Syndrome! The writers have decided the most sensible option is for the character to share Cherylee's real life disability so there will be a full time bendy roaming the streets of Coronation Street.

Cherylee Houston is 35, but like most people with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome looks younger than she is. She will be playing the part of Izzy Armstrong, a love interest for Kirk Sutherland. Cherylee first appeared in Corrie some months back but I'm afraid I was too busy watching Eastenders to notice. Cherylee has the characteristic EDS facial appearance, which of course makes her a bit of a looker too.Cherylee has already appeared in other TV shows such as 'Doctors' and 'I'm with stupid'.

The only downside I can see is having to become addicted to another soap opera!

Copyright of the above image belongs to The Daily Mail


alhi said...

Oh wow, i didn't realise she has EDS. I was a but suss when Corrie introduced her because of the cobbles. Having been in a wheelchair over cobbles, I can state that it is not pleasant.

Do you know if she can walk at all? The reason I ask is that I have a friend who is paralysed from the waist down and I noticed in Corrie that Izzy, when in the pub, gets out of her chair and sits in the booth with the other characters. My friend never does this. I think if they are mirroring the real life disability then they would do well to show her as able to stand, walk very short distances and get from chair to booth.

This probably sounds as if I'm nitpicking but I'm not: I just think the writers would be doing so much good in showing the world that there are unseen disabilities of varying degrees that sometimes/predominantly require the use of a chair/stick/crutches, but that the person is not faking it if s/he suddenly stands up and walks a few steps unaided!

Looking forward to seeing a few pics on the mattress in use:DDD

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Alhi: A car over cobbles is bad enough, the mere idea of a wheelchair is enough to make me dislocate! I can't remember where I read it, but Cherylee was quoted as saying something about the show putting boards down over the cobbles to assist her in filming.

I would guess that she can walk a little, perhaps in the same way I'm mobile...ok ish to pootle about my home & immediate environment with dislocations, not ok outside that. Different ppl with EDS have different ideas about how much wheelchairs should be used so it varies dramatically. I think most w/chair users are part time users so I agree with you, it'll be good to see her moving around naturally for her, which would include not always with a wheelchair.

It's all very exciting though!

Yes, mattress pics will be forthcoming ;) If I haven't had a huge toddler style meltdown about it being all of 20 minutes late that is!

alhi said...

I thought they would put boards down. Realise it's for her own safety and health but I'm wondering how true to life it is that she would keep visiting Kirk as opposed to him leaving the street and visiting her somewhere less dangerous!

but it's excellent to see it.

Rebecca said...

I'm loving having her on the show. It's about time we had some more diversity there. (Don't get me started on the LGBTIQ issues in the soap).

I write for a Corrie blog:

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Alhi: Cherylee Houston seems pretty feisty and outspoken about disability issues so I'm sure she'll keep the writers and producers on the right far as it can be with a soap opera!

Rebecca: Hello! I'm going to have to start watching it now. I'll check your blog for a current synopsis ;)
I know what LGBT stands for, but what is the IQ on the end?

Lankylonglegs said...

Although I rarely watch TV at all I think Corrie deserves a mention for bringing EDS smack bang into the forefront. I'd love to see Docs deny all knowledge of it after that story gets under way.
About flippin' time too!
Jo x

Rebecca said...

Hello! IQ is Intersexed and either Queer or Questioning - the internet can't seem to agree.

I linked to this excellent post here because Izzy just talked more about her disability in tonight's episode.

If you see any posts on this subject and feel that our language is ableist/otherwise offensive, please do let us know.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

LL: Yes, I hope it's going to change things dramatically. Fingers crossed eh?

Rebecca: Hiya, Thanks for that explanation and linking here. I just want to say how much the effort you're making to use the right language is appreciated. Mistakes happen but if the intention is good it's always easy to sort out :) BG

carrieb said...

I really hope that the condition is at least mentioned more. It would be great if 'Izzy' had some issues with pain and fatigue like most of us do.
I'v talked about our new bendy celebrity in my blog too

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