Line of Duty star Tommy Jessop answers fan questions with Mencap

BBC One’s Line of Duty captivated the UK over the last seven weeks, and star of the show Tommy Jessop has answered fan questions.

Credit: BBC Pictures

Actor Tommy Jessop, who has Down’s syndrome, portrayed Terry Boyle in the fifth series of the crime drama and returned to reprise his role during the most recent sixth season.

Now, the star has done an interview with learning disability charity Mencap about what it’s like to appear on of the biggest shows on television.

BURNING QUESTIONS

In the interview, Tommy answers all our burning questions from who is his funniest co-star and what he would keep in his freezer (fans of the show will recognise this reference!).

Discussing being the first person with Down’s syndrome to appear in a BBC-prime time show, Tommy says: “This shows what they are truly capable of because I really do want people to believe in us.”

CELEBRATE

Tommy’s depiction of Terry Boyle has been hailed by fans of Line of Duty and beyond.

“We celebrate Tommy’s incredible work because he is challenging outdated notions about what people with a learning disability can and can’t do,” enthuses Edel Harris, chief executive of Mencap.

“And we hope that someday soon it becomes commonplace to see people with a learning disability in all our favourite TV shows.  It should not seem remarkable, but completely accepted.”

PARLIAMENTARY GROUP

Following on from his time on Line of Duty today (11 May 2021) it was announced that Tommy has backed the launch of the new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Down’s syndrome. The group will be launched at the inaugural meeting set to take place in Westminster tomorrow (12 May 2021).

The new group has been established to raise issues affecting people with Down’s syndrome and their families and carers, as well as to promote equality and respect at all stages of life, to campaign for equal access and support in all areas of life and to highlight the innate worth of people with Down’s syndrome and the contribution they make.

“I welcome the new All-Party Parliamentary Group for Down’s syndrome,” comments Tommy. 

“I hope this will raise awareness of people living with Down’s syndrome and who we really are so that we really do have a voice to speak up for ourselves and other people.

“I want to see people with Down’s syndrome treated equally with others before and after they are born. We are the only group of people in the UK where people try to end our lives before we are born just because we have Down’s syndrome. This is not fair. It scars our lives and causes mental health problems.”

APPG members will be supported by the newly-formed Down Syndrome Policy Group in the Secretariat role. 

The policy group is comprised of interest groups and individuals with Down’s syndrome, therefore linking the parliamentary group to others with knowledge of the issues important to the wider Down’s syndrome community.

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