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Cerrie Burnell "proudly refuses to hide her disability"

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

Cerrie Burnell is a British writer, actress, singer, and a former television presenter for CBeebies, who has faced some adversity for her limb difference.

Keep reading to find out more about Cerrie!

Cerrie Burnell cbeebies British presenter author writer limb difference confidence tv

Meet Cerrie...

Cerrie Burnell was born with a congenital limb difference on her right arm. She had a prosthetic arm which her parents encouraged her to wear as "it would help with her balance, she would be able to use a knife and fork and, I suspect, fit in better with the other children at school", but she felt more comfortable without it. As a child she made this decision, despite others wanting to wear a prosthetic - for example drama teachers would encourage it to increase her job prospects. She feels that her disability has not been a problem for her and we agree!

Cerrie started out in the National Youth Theatre and then studied drama at Manchester Metropolitan University. After this, she landed some small roles on TV and then landed her current presenting role on CBeebies. Her more recent projects have included the BBC Two documentary called 'Silenced: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain', which focuses on "the origins of negative attitudes towards disability".

Despite her successful career, when she was presenting on CBeebies she faced many complaints relating to her limb difference and that it may be scary to some children, or that she was only there to fill minority quotas. Cerrie has faced the backlash by affirming that disability needs to be shown in a positive way, that it should be explained to young people, and that a disability does not define 'who you are' a person. Her stance on this matter can clearly be seen in this story from The Guardian, touching on how the disabled community experienced the pandemic, and how many of them felt 'shut away' during that time.

"I'm not going to restrict my own physicality because someone is uncomfortable with it – they're just going to have to deal with it."- Cerrie Burnell
Cerrie Burnell cbeebies British presenter author writer limb difference confidence tv
"We need more disability storylines that are based on truth, and more positive disabled icons." - Cerrie Burnell

Whatever others may say, Cerrie is a great inspiration to us and we hope she has inspired you to not care what others think!

Why not head back to our main blog page to hear more inspiring stories like that of Cerrie Burnell!

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