Page last updated at 19:48 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 20:48 UK

Disabled character for EastEnders

Albert Square
Proud's character is said to be a little snobbish

A disabled actor is to join the cast of EastEnders, it has been announced.

David Proud, 26, who uses a wheelchair, will be the first disabled actor to have a regular role on the show.

He will play Adam Best, an Oxford University student who comes to Walford to stay with his mother, Manda, during the holidays in the BBC soap.

EastEnders' executive producer Diederick Santer said he would be playing an "interesting, but possibly irritating character".

Santer said: "I'm delighted to welcome David to EastEnders.

"He's a fine young actor with a wonderfully dry comic delivery. I'm sure he, and his character Adam, will be strong additions to EastEnders."

In recent years there have been a number of guest characters with disabilities, and the show has also told the story of Jean Slater, who suffers from bipolar disorder.

Santer added: "But this is the first time we've had a regular adult character with a visible disability played by an actor with a disability. It's about time."

Proud's character is said to be self-possessed and a little snobbish, with a low opinion of his mother's boyfriend, Minty.

He said: "I am delighted and honoured to be joining such a talented cast. I'm very excited and looking forward to bringing the character to life."

The announcement came as Jana Bennett, BBC's director of vision, launched an online directory of disabled actors, comedians and performers.

Proud will make his Albert Square debut later this year.



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