Funny, Passionate, Creative… and Disabled? You Should 'Be on TV'!

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BBC Three is looking for disabled viewers to share their creativity, humour and talent by applying to take part in Be on TV, an initiative which finds new presenting talent and is linked to Britain's Missing Top Model

Fronting the campaign will be Disability Bitch who will be helping viewers better understand issues around disability and encourage debate. She will also urge disabled people to think about putting themselves in the limelight.

BBC Three is looking for disabled viewers to share their creativity, humour and talent by applying to take part in Be on TV, an initiative which finds new presenting talent and is linked to Britain's Missing Top Model; a ground-breaking new series which explores whether disabled models should and could be better represented in the beauty and fashion industries. Its all part of BBC Three's The Beauty Season in July.

A BBC Learning campaign runs alongside the TV series on BBC radio and online at bbc.co.uk/missingmodel. It provides a forum for debate about the many issues raised by the show and also introduces Disability Bitch to the wider world as an animated character. She already enjoys cult following on Ouch! - the BBC's award-winning disability website - and is known for her irreverent commentary on disability issues. She will interview the models on her online show, as they are eliminated, and will encourage disabled viewers from all over Britain to send their submissions to BBC Three's Be on TV.

Disability Bitch invites disabled viewers to say something about themselves; is there something they'd like to get off their chest or a unique insight they'd like to share? This is a great chance to do it.

Be on TV already gives any BBC Three fans the opportunity to get their face on the web and the telly, and the channel would like to encourage more disabled viewers to take part. Viewers are asked go to the website, make a short video and upload it.

There are two types of video viewers can make:

  •     Introduce a show: send in a 15 second clip introducing Britain's Missing Top Model in their own inimitable style
  •     Tell us their views: upload their opinions in clips of no more than 45 seconds.
  •     What do you think about the media's representation of disabled people?
  •     Is fashion and getting the right clothes a big concern for you?
  •     What are your thoughts on 'beauty'?

Clips can be submitted online or direct from a mobile phone at bbc.co.uk/missingmodel/beontv. All will be showcased online and the best clips will have a chance to be seen on BBC Three.

Viewers can see the models' own 15 second 'Be on TV' clips for inspiration by logging on the website.

Damon Rose, Ouch! producer, commented: "Fronting the campaign will be Disability Bitch who will be helping viewers better understand issues around disability and encourage debate. She will also urge disabled people to think about putting themselves in the limelight."

For more information, please contact Hinda Smith or Zaireen Iskandar at immediate future on 0845 408 2031/ 07855 795 024 or on hinda.smith(at)immediatefuture.co.uk / zaireen.iskandar(at)immediatefuture.co.uk

Notes to editors:

  •         Starting in July, BBC Three's The Beauty Season bbc.co.uk/bbcthree goes behind the gloss with a collection of programmes designed to challenge conventional notions about beauty. With young people feeling under increasing social pressure from the images of beauty and perfection they see around them, this thought-provoking season questions what it means to be beautiful - and exposes the truth behind the apparently perfect images we all see on a daily basis. The Beauty Season features the six-part Britain's Missing Top Model and also a series of high-profile documentaries - presented by well-known young female stars - that challenge mainstream notions of beauty and highlight the serious social pressures young people feel under to conform.
  •          For more information on how to 'Be on TV' and submission guidelines go to bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/beontv/rules
  •          Ouch! is a website from the BBC that reflects the lives and experiences of disabled people. It has regular columns, features, quizzes, a monthly near-cult podcast, blogs and a community message board. 99% of its contributors and the majority of the team that produce the site are disabled
  •     The Missing Model campaign has been produced by BBC Learning which delivers campaigns which build on the popular interest generated through broadcast programmes and encourages people to take part in an activity which allows them to learn new things. BBC Learning sits within BBC Knowledge and provides specialist learning content, formal and informal, for children and adults.
  •     There are currently only a very small number of disabled models working in mainstream modelling, such as Brazilian model Brenda Costa who's deaf and was recently quoted talking about her career, saying: "I'm a fighter and I think it's important for other girls to know they shouldn't give up on their dream just because they are a bit different." (Sunday Mirror).
  •     2.5 million people in the UK are of working age and claim Disability Living Allowance. - 2005 Department of Work and Pensions Statistics
  •     Charity Scope have stated that if disabled people (who have a combined spending power of some £80 billion) were to see a disabled model promoting a product would be more likely to buy that item.

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Zaireen Iskandar
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