Ruth Madeley to star in new BBC Two drama about the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act

Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won (working title) tells the remarkable story of the campaigners who fought the battle for disabled civil rights in Britain.


Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won (working title) has been written by Jack Thorne and Genevieve Barr and will be directed by Bruce Goodison and Amit Sharma.


This one-off drama tells the remarkable true story of the people behind an irrepressible campaign of direct action that lead to significant steps forward in the battle for disabled civil rights in Britain.


The story is told through the eyes of Barbara Lisicki, played by Ruth Madeley, and Alan Holdsworth. Barbara and Alan are two disabled cabaret performers who met at a gig in 1989 and would go on to become the driving force behind DAN - the Direct Action Network, whose fearless and coordinated protests pushed the campaign for disabled rights into the spotlight.


Speaking about her latest role, Ruth Madeley said "To have the opportunity to play such an incredibly powerful character and tell such an important story is honestly a dream, especially within the context of disabled, deaf and neuro-diverse history."


"As soon as I saw the script I knew this was going to be something so special and I am couldn't be happier to work with Jack and Gen on a drama that deserves to be front and centre on screen."


Writer, Jack Thorne, added "Ruth Madeley is one of those rare actors who take scripts and turns them into something else. She does things with words and makes human and fragile, even the smallest thing like putting on a kettle."


"I emailed two people when I was offered the chance to tell this incredible story - one was Genevieve and the other was Ruth. We wrote every word for her and we love her and I’m so excited to work with her again."


And executive producer, Tom Pullen, said "It’s such a privilege to see Ruth and our incredible directing team coming together to bring Jack and Genevieve’s extraordinary script to life. Their combined creativity, talent and personal passion for the subject matter is certain to make this an unmissable film."


Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won (working title) will air on BBC Two