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Saturday 20th April 2019

Emmerdale's James Moore speaks out about casting disabled roles for soaps

This comes after CW cast Perry Mattfield as a blind woman in their upcoming drama

James Moore says disabled actors "will always" be the best choices for disabled characters.

The Emmerdale star - who has ataxic cerebral palsy - has spoken out after Perry Mattfield was cast as a blind woman who is the only witness to her friend's murder in CW's upcoming drama In The Dark.

Taking to Twitter to voice his opinion on the matter, James said: "Yet another show casting a non disabled actor in a disabled role.

"At the end of the day- the product will suffer. The best actor to play a disabled part will always be disabled themselves. The difference is in life experience. No matter the character."

His comments come after the show's bosses claimed they "immediately" searched for a blind actress for the role, before deciding to cast Perry "because she was the best actor for the role".

At the end of the day- the product will suffer. The best actor to play a disabled part will always be disabled themselves. The difference is in life experience. No matter the character

Soap star James - who won the National Television Award for Best Newcomer earlier this year - has previously opened up about the challenges of life as a disabled actor, and said while the situation is improving, there is still a lot of work to be done.

He said at the time: "Honestly, it's enough to win an NTA anyway and to have the public behind it. But I think this means that we're doing great things for people with disabilities.

"We're getting more diverse in society and more open and more accommodating.

"However, we still need more disabled voices because I don't think that there are enough in public at the moment."

James won the National Television Award for Best Newcomer this year (Credit: ITV)

He also urged fans not to "feel sorry" for him because of his disability.

He explained: "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. (sic)"

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