Pioneering soap opera star David Proud hopes his first book will help pave the way for other disabled actors to reach the small screen.

The 34-year-old, who played Adam Best in EastEnders, was born with spina bifida and requires the use of a wheelchair.

His new book, The Art of Disability, has REACHED NUMBER ONE IN AMAZON’S THEATRE CHARTS as well as topping the social sciences charts.

David, from Peterborough, admits his inspiration for going to print was one of his own boyhood heroes.

He said: “I was inspired to write by Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson – my mum purchased her book for me when I was growing up and it was empowering to read about the life of someone else with spina bifida.

“I have since met Tanni Grey and continue to be inspired by her work.

The Art of Disability is a handbook about disability representation in media.

“I hope it will help to increase opportunities for disabled artists in the film and TV industry and reduce the fear of getting things wrong.

“I wanted to pass on a decade of experience to help others.”

David’s acting breakthrough came in the children’s television series Desperados.

He went on to appear in hit television shows Best of Men, Siblings and No Offence.

David was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2011 for his charity and campaigning work. He was also listed in the Shaw Trust Power 100 Most Influential People with a Disability in 2015.

The Art of Disability features many contributions from leading industry figures and provides advice for film and television companies on working with disabled artists. It book was support by The Arts Council.

The authoritative guide also offers invaluable advice for budding actors.

David, who is a voting member of BAFTA, added: “As well as compiling my own knowledge for The Art of Disability I also engaged leading industry figures in the subject of disability representation.

“I am honoured that so many people agreed to be part of it.

“I hope The Art of Disability shows that representing disability in Film and TV is completely achievable if you engage disabled people in every process.”

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