BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007, 15:09 GMT
Aardman creatures get Welsh voice
Peg the Hedgehog and Sheila Morgan
Sheila Morgan features as the voice of Peg the Hedgehog
Disabled people from Cardiff have lent their voices to new animated characters created by Aardman, the team behind Wallace and Gromit.

Residents from the Leonard Cheshire home in the Radyr area provided voices for plasticine disabled animals as part of a campaign to tackle discrimination.

The Creature Discomforts adverts are based on the popular Creature Comforts series.

The characters, who include a dog in a wheelchair, will appear from next week.

Peg the Hedgehog, Tim the Tortoise, Brian the Bull Terrier, Slim the Stick Insect, Flash the Sausage Dog and Spud the Slug can be seen online and in print adverts from next week and in a TV campaign for the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity from January.

The characters feature in four animations, with each of the short films ending with the message: "Change the way you see disability."

Brian the Bull Terrier and Kevin Gillespie
I don't believe anyone when they say you can't do that because you are in a wheelchair
Kevin Gillespie, aka Brian the Bull Terrier

Three residents from Dan-Y-Bryn Cheshire Home in Radyr - part of the Leonard Cheshire Disability network of homes - were recorded for the campaign.

Ian Wilding provides the voice for Tim the Tortoise, Sheila Morgan voices Peg the Hedgehog and Kevin Gillespie features as Brian the Bull Terrier.

Mrs Morgan, 73, is originally from Dowlais, Merthyr, and has lived at Dan-y-Bryn for 19 years after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the central nervous system, at the age of 37.

She said she was hoping the campaign would educate people about the issue of disability and Leonard Cheshire Disability.

"I would like people to realise that people who are disabled and in wheelchairs are still capable of rational thought and would be pleased to be spoken to as if there's nothing peculiar," she said.

Respect

"I find that people are helpful in opening doors. But if I am sitting in the reception at Dan-Y-Bryn, people often walk past me and ask who they can speak to. You wouldn't be in reception if you couldn't give information.

"I'm not much of a TV watcher so I had never heard of Creature Comforts. We were shown a preview of the episode.

"I thought it was rather nice and it gets the message across which is the point of the whole thing.

Tim the Tortoise and Ian Wilding
Ian Wilding has provided the voice of Tim the Tortoise

"My daughters are really amused by it all and my sisters are as well. They're looking forward to seeing it."

She added: "Disabled people don't want your pity, we just want your respect."

Mr Gillespie said: "I don't believe anyone when they say you can't do that because you are in a wheelchair. My standard reply is 'Watch me!'"

The campaign coincides with the publication of the Disability Review 2007, commissioned by Leonard Cheshire Disability,.

It shows that almost half (45%) of disabled people in Wales who responded to the UK survey believed their quality of life would worsen over the next five years.

The report also found that a fifth of respondents in Wales felt the quality of treatment they received from GPs was not up to scratch.

Vanessa Bourne, Wales and west regional chair of Leonard Cheshire Disability, said: "We want people to change the way they see disability, to think and act differently and to make a positive difference to the lives of disabled people."

Leonard Cheshire Disability supports over 21,000 disabled people in the UK and works in 52 countries.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Clips of the new Aardman characters in action



SEE ALSO
Aardman creatures fight prejudice
12 Nov 07 |  Entertainment
Wallace and Gromit return to TV
02 Oct 07 |  Entertainment

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific