Actor Tommy Jessop, who has Down's syndrome, backs Bill to help others

Line of Duty actor Tommy Jessop, who has Down’s syndrome, says some people ‘think our lives aren’t worth livingand their words ‘scar for lifeas he backs a Bill to give more practical support to people with the condition

  • Tommy Jessop, 36, from Hampshire, spoke to Radio 4’s Today programme
  • 俳優, with Down’s syndrome, is backing a Bill to help people with the condition
  • He said it is time for people with Down’s syndrome to have more opportunities
  • Said they should no longer be ‘hidden away’, dismissed, or underestimated
  • 職務 actor Tommy Jessop, who has Down’s syndrome, has called for greater opportunities for people living with the condition and says it is time to stop being ‘hidden away’.

    Jessop, 36, from Hampshire, who played Terry Boyle in the hit BBC 犯罪ドラマ, said it was ‘depressingto be underestimated because of the condition, 言って: ‘Some people think that our lives really are not worth living. They are absolutely wrong.

    The actor spoke to Radio 4’s Today programme this morning as he backed the Down Syndrome Bill being brought before the House of Commons by Tory MP Dr Liam Fox.

    Actor Tommy Jessop, 写真, who has Down's syndrome, has called for greater opportunities for people living with the condition and says it is time to stop being 'hidden away'

    Actor Tommy Jessop, 写真, who has Down’s syndrome, has called for greater opportunities for people living with the condition and says it is time to stop being ‘hidden away

    The Down Syndrome Bill would mean the establishment of a Down Syndrome Act and will be the first of its kind in the world.

    The Act would improve the provision and outcomes for all those living with Down syndrome in England.

    This will encompass, amongst other areas, maternity care, 教育, health and social care and employment.

    Experts have noted people with Down’s syndrome are living longer, with many of those with the condition now outliving their parents. As a result there needs to be greater all-round support offered throughout their lives.

    Speaking to BBC journalist Martha Kearney, whose brother-in-law had Down’s syndrome, Jessop said: ‘Some people think that our lives really are not worth living. They are absolutely wrong. I really do love my life. I’ve had really brilliant support with my career and also with living a really healthy life.

    Jessop, 36, from Hampshire, who played Terry Boyle in the hit BBC crime drama, 写真, said it was 'depressing' to be underestimated because of the condition, 言って: 'Some people think that our lives really are not worth living. They are absolutely wrong'

    Jessop, 36, from Hampshire, who played Terry Boyle in the hit BBC crime drama, 写真, said it was ‘depressingto be underestimated because of the condition, 言って: ‘Some people think that our lives really are not worth living. They are absolutely wrong

    ‘I also want all people living with Down’s syndrome to have support from people who believe in them. Not just families, but teachers, 医者, nurses and employers too. This Bill can really make this happen.

    ‘People label us, saying we cannot do things. That is really depressing. It also scars us for life.

    彼は続けた: ‘We have waited long enough to be treated equally. It is time now for people living with Down’s syndrome to have the same chances in life as anyone else and not get hidden away.

    Jessop made his TV debut in Holby City and became the first actor with Down’s syndrome to play a leading role in a primetime TV drama when he was cast in the BAFTA-nominated Coming Down The Mountain opposite Nicholas Hoult.

    He has also appeared in Casualty and Doctors, landed roles in critically-acclaimed short films, and is the first professional actor with Down’s syndrome to play Hamlet, in a performance that Sir Mark Rylance hailed as ‘phenomenal’.

    The Down Syndrome Bill, co-sponsored by cross-party MPs, has been introduced as Dr Liam Fox’s Private Member’s Bill.

    Dr Liam Fox said: ‘I am thrilled to bring forward a Bill to deal with the issues faced by those with Down syndrome. My aim is to deal with three main areas. The first is to de-stigmatise Down syndrome.

    ‘The second is to ensure that current provision of services is improved. The third is to look ahead and deal with future issues, such as long-term care, in an era where, 初めて, many of those with Down syndrome will outlive their parents.

    How pioneering actor Tommy Jessop has blazed a trail on screen for others living with the condition

    Jessop made his TV debut in Holby City and became the first actor with Down’s syndrome to play a leading role in a primetime TV drama when he was cast in the BAFTA-nominated Coming Down The Mountain opposite Nicholas Hoult.

    He has also appeared in Casualty and Doctors, landed roles in critically-acclaimed short films, and is the first professional actor with Down’s syndrome to play Hamlet, in a performance that Sir Mark Rylance hailed as ‘phenomenal’.

    Tommy’s acting career has been supported by parents Jane and Edmund and his brother William, a documentary filmmaker who once said: ‘Tommy can’t really tie his own shoelaces, but he can stand on stage and break your heart.








    Line Of Duty marked the return of character Terry Boyle, a man with Down's syndrome who is ruthlessly exploited by an organised crime group. But it is the actor who plays Boyle who has everyone talking, with Twitter users praising the performance by Tommy Jessop (写真)

    Line Of Duty marked the return of character Terry Boyle, a man with Down’s syndrome who is ruthlessly exploited by an organised crime group. But it is the actor who plays Boyle who has everyone talking, with Twitter users praising the performance by Tommy Jessop (写真)

    ジェーン, a former marketing executive, discovered their youngest son had Down’s syndrome on the day he was born.

    ‘My first reaction to finding out Tommy had Down’s syndrome, which was on the very first day, だった “why has God sent him to us?”,’ Jane recalled in William’s 2013 short film about his brother, Tommy’s Story.

    ‘But I was also very worried for his older brother, that this would affect his life. I always thought people would look at me differently as well. But of course, none of these things turned out to be true.

    ウィリアム, who has made two films about his brother and produced sperm donor documentary 25 Siblings And Me, explained how growing up they were ‘just like any other brothers’.

    Tommy first appeared on screens as a supporting character in a 2007 episode of Holby City

    Tommy first appeared on screens as a supporting character in a 2007 episode of Holby City

    に 2012, Blue Apple Theatre's production of Hamlet toured 12 theatres and garnered celebrity attention. Sir Mark Rylance praised Tommy's 'to be' speech as 'phenomenal'. 写真, トミー, 右から2番目, with the cast including his then girlfriend Katy

    に 2012, Blue Apple Theatre’s production of Hamlet toured 12 theatres and garnered celebrity attention. Sir Mark Rylance praised Tommy’s ‘to bespeech as ‘phenomenal’. 写真, トミー, 右から2番目, with the cast including his then girlfriend Katy

    ‘We played football together, or on the climbing frame, or cricket,’ he recalled in a 2014 インタビュー.

    ‘I know my Mum was worried at first about how having someone like Tommy for a brother would affect me, but actually I don’t remember it ever being an issue.

    ‘I now realise that Tommy is an incredibly strong, bonding force in our family. We’re all still very close, and I love spending time at home.

    Tommy’s flair for acting was evident from a young age.

    ‘Tommy wanted to perform from when he was very little,’ Jane told the Daily Express.

    Tommy's big break came in 2007 when he was cast in the BBC1 TV adaptation of Coming Down The Mountain, a radio play by Mark Haddon which focuses on the relationship between a boy with Down's syndrome and his resentful brother. 写真, Tommy with the cast

    Tommy’s big break came in 2007 when he was cast in the BBC1 TV adaptation of Coming Down The Mountain, a radio play by Mark Haddon which focuses on the relationship between a boy with Down’s syndrome and his resentful brother. 写真, Tommy with the cast

    The feature-length film, co-starring Skins and X-Men star Hoult as Tommy's brother, was nominated for a BAFTA and an Emmy award. 写真, Jessop and Hoult in the film

    The feature-length film, co-starring Skins and X-Men star Hoult as Tommy’s brother, was nominated for a BAFTA and an Emmy award. 写真, Jessop and Hoult in the film

    ‘He loved making people smile and laughed a lot himself. His junior school did wonderful plays and Tommy always had a role. Then as a young teenager he took part in a mixed-ability drama group.

    Once he aged out of youth theatre, ジェーン, who is chairman of her local branch of learning disability charity Mencap, found there was nothing suitable for her son locally and decided to start her own theatre group in 2005.

    Blue Apple Theatre, based in Winchester, ハンプシャー, casts adults in their 20s and 30s with learning disabilities in shows, giving them acting opportunities they wouldn’t have elsewhere.

    Tommy’s big break came in 2007 when he was cast in the BBC1 TV adaptation of Coming Down The Mountain, a radio play by Mark Haddon which focuses on the relationship between a boy with Down’s syndrome and his resentful brother.

    Tommy Jessop with his documentary filmmaker brother William Jessop at the International Emmy Awards in November 2015

    Tommy Jessop with his documentary filmmaker brother William Jessop at the International Emmy Awards in November 2015

    The feature-length film, co-starring Skins and X-Men star Hoult as Tommy’s brother, was nominated for a BAFTA and an Emmy award.

    ‘Tommy took me to the Baftas,’ Jane said. ‘Seeing Tommy relaxed, smiling and professional on the red carpet in front of the flashing cameras, was amazing. I had no idea from his early days what a great life he would have.

    ‘Tommy used to be pretty shy but now he is far less so and has a good circle of friends. I wanted him to have a chance on stage and now he is a very powerful performer.

    The film served as a launchpad for Tommy, who has since appeared in short films Fighter, Innocence and Little S**t. He has also landed guest lead roles in BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Plays including an episode of Stone with Hugo Speer.

    He played the lead in The Climb opposite Warwick Davies, and had a cameo role in The Archers.

    に 2012, Blue Apple Theatre’s production of Hamlet toured 12 theatres and garnered celebrity attention. Sir Mark Rylance praised Tommy’s ‘to bespeech as ‘phenomenal’.

    William made a documentary, Growing Up Down’s, about the rehearsals for the play, while also capturing Tommy and his co-stars reflecting on love and life with Down’s syndrome.

    Tommy has also appeared in short films Fighter (写真), Innocence and Little S**t

    Tommy has also appeared in short films Fighter (写真), Innocence and Little S**t

    He starred in the production alongside his then girlfriend Katy, although the pair split up during filming.

    ‘Tommy and Katy started going out during the filming and Katy was his first-ever girlfriend,’ William said in an interview about the film.

    ‘The scene in the documentary where they are breaking up is so powerful. Because I know Tommy so well, I don’t see him as someone with Down’s. I just see him as Tommy, but it was moving for me to see how mature he was.

    Line Of Duty is undoubtedly Tommy’s most high profile gig to date.

    He first appeared as Terry Boyle in one episode of series 5, but was a much bigger presence on screen in the most recent series. The character first appeared in the first series, に 2012, but was played by a different actor, Elliott Rosen.

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