Award-winning soap actor James Moore has told fans not to feel sorry for him because he has cerebral palsy.
The 26-year-old Emmerdale favourite beat EastEnders' Ricky Champ (who plays Stuart Highway) and Corrie’s Alexandra Mardell (better known as Weatherfield’s apprentice hairdresser Emma Brooker) to bag the National Television Award for Best Newcomer earlier this week.
But despite winning over legions of admirers since joining the ITV soap as Charity’s secret son last June, a small minority of trolls claimed James only won because he was a 'sympathy vote' candidate.
However, it is clear the Ryan Stocks actor may be even stronger than his most ardent supporters imagine after he shared a defiant message with his thousands of Twitter followers.
He urged fans: "Please don't feel sorry for me. I'm not struggling, I haven't had a hard life especially not for the past few years."
Emphasising he does not wish to receive any special consideration, James explained to his followers that those living with disability are not necessarily down on themselves because of their conditions.
I think more does need to be done.
"I'm happy," he continued.
"Having a disability doesn't mean we're unhappy, or we need sympathy.
Please don’t feel sorry for me. I’m not struggling, I haven’t had a hard life especially not for the past few years.I’m happy. Having a disability doesn’t mean we’re unhappy, or we need sympathy.I’m independent, strong and confident and anyone who knows me knows this. Love ya❤️
— James Moore (@jamesmooreactor) January 24, 2019
"I’m independent, strong and confident and anyone who knows me knows this."
However, while modest James continues to count his blessings, he did recently call on TV bosses to do more for disabled performers.
He told reporters backstage at the NTAs: "Emmerdale and soap in general is brilliant in really raising the bar, but I think more does need to be done... casting people always are looking for ability, gender and race.
"It should be based on talent and being the right person for the role."
- Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays
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