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Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2006, 11:27 GMT
Disabled men do 'The Full Monty'
The Crippendales - Lee Kemp (centre) and, from left, James O'Driscoll, Andy Latham and John Irvine
The men were cast after answering an advert in a disability magazine
A group of disabled men who created a new take on the smash hit comedy film - The Full Monty - have been praised by a leading disability charity.

The Crippendales follows Hull man Lee Kemp, 34, as he puts together a group of men with various disabilities and gets them to strip at a hen night.

The film was launched at the Sheffield Documentary Festival this week.

Disability charity Leonard Cheshire said it hoped the film would positively influence people's views of disability.

The documentary is being screened at the New York Film festival on Friday.

It also features James O'Driscoll, 33, from Kent, Asif Khan, 35, from Hounslow, John Irvine, 42, from Kilmarnock and Andy Latham, 31, from Lancashire.

Sometimes laughing with people is the best way to get a serious message across
Ann Smyth, from disability charity Leonard Cheshire

Ann Smyth, from Leonard Cheshire, said: "This film shows that if someone has the urge to get their kit off as entertainment, it shouldn't make a difference that they're blind or in a wheelchair, as long as they're enjoying themselves.

"There is still a long way to go in reducing negativity and myths surrounding sex and disability, but films such as The Crippendales show societal attitudes are changing for the better.

"The fact that this film is gaining wide exposure at film festivals and screenings will help to positively influence people's views of disability.

"Sometimes laughing with people is the best way to get a serious message across."

Motorbike accident

Mr Kemp, a father-of-one who lives on Hull's Bransholme Estate, was a window cleaner before he was paralysed from the waist down in a motorbike accident 16 years ago.

He now works as a disability representative for Hull City Football Club and was recently runner-up in the Sexiest Man in Yorkshire competition.

Having been in a wheelchair for 16 years, Mr Kemp said he was most conscious about showing off his legs but stripping on screen had given him a new confidence.

The five men were trained by choreographer Jo King from the London School of Striptease.

The film was directed and produced by Havana Marking, who won funding for the project through the Channel 4 Pitch scheme for new talent.


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