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EXCLUSIVE: Tim Renkow speaks out about the TV industry's "problem with representation"

Speaking exclusively to I Talk Telly, the star of BBC Three's upcoming comedy Jerk, calls on the industry to focus beyond just actors when tackling representation.

US comedian Tim Renkow was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at six months and moved to London when he was 22 to study creative writing and pursue a career in stand-up comedy.

In 2016, he was offered a BBC pilot, A Brief History of Tim, as part of the network's Comedy Feeds season which after positive reactions from audiences was later commissioned for a four-part series. Now known as Jerk, the series launches this Sunday (24th February) on BBC Three as a boxset.

In the series, Tim plays Tim, a slob who takes aim at life's easier targets when he should be chasing a job, a girl and that all important visa. The series also stars Lorraine Bracco, Sharon Rooney and Rob Madin.

During an interview with I Talk Telly, Tim admitted "there is a problem with representation on TV." pointing out that the industry "focusses on the actors" when "the real solution" would be "to get more disabled people and people from minority backgrounds behind the camera."

Expressing his disappointment at never seeing a disabled character on television who's "just a normal guy that just happens to be disabled." Tim is going some way to rectify that with Jerk which is hopes will allow viewers to realise that "Disabled people can be flawed in the exact same way that average people are flawed."

Singing the praises of Britain's Got Talent winner Lost Voice Guy and up-and-coming comedian Rosie Jones, both of whom have cerebral palsy, Tim described them as "really great" recognising that "what else is great is that their styles aren't the same."

"Even though they both have cerebral palsy, their point of views are very different. Which I think is the most important thing."

He went on to talk more about the comedy industry and how it is "full of oddballs, so everyone's connected on a level of wanting to say something. It's a really welcoming community and television should be the same."

"It's not about the amount of disabled people you see, they're all human and it's about the different stories they can tell and their different interpretations on how they see the world."

You can read the full interview on Friday 22nd February.

Jerk launches Sunday 24th February from 10am on BBC Three

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