8 January 2024
2023 was an incredible year for our DDN talent

We are proud to represent and advocate for D/deaf, disabled and/or neurodivergent (DDN) talent.

We have recently celebrated some of our clients’ highlights of 2023 in recognition of UK Disability History Month on Instagram but this was only an indication of their many achievements.

Our clients are some of the most high profile and influential DDN people in the UK, so much so that Shani Dhanda and Victoria Jenkins were named as No 1 and No 2 on The Shaw Trust’s Disability Power 100 List of 2023. Mark Lane also featured on the list for his achievements in the entertainment industry.

In September, Shani received her honorary doctorate in 2023 from the University of Wolverhampton. Throughout the year, she also appeared as a consumer expert on BBC One’s Rip Off Britain as well as being a regular contributor on ITV’s This Morning. Last month, it was announced that Shani’s children’s book, No Horn Unicorn, will be published by HarperCollins in January as part of their Big Cat series of educational books.

2023 saw Victoria consolidate her position within the adaptive fashion industry as one of its leading experts and designers. In addition to putting on successful shows for her brand, Unhidden, at London Fashion Week in February and September, she was named on both the British Vogue 25 List and the Vogue Business 100 Innovators List. Victoria was also one of the fashion experts and lead designer on Channel 4’s The Unique Boutique.

Samantha Renke was awarded the Outstanding Alumni of the Year award from the University of Lancashire in July. In addition, Samantha co-hosted Series 1 and the Christmas Special of The Motability Lifestyle Pod and she made regular television appearances including on BBC One’s Sunday Morning Live and Channel 5’s The Jeremy Vine Show. She also continued her role as a Metro columnist and her event appearances included hosting at Happy Place Festival.

In September, Lee Ridley aka Lost Voice Guy added to his many accolades by accomplishing a lifelong dream of completing the Great North Run. He was featured across UK broadcast and print media, and raised valuable funds for Smile For Life, a charity he is a patron for. Lee was also one of the subjects of Sky Arts’ Celebrity Portrait Artist of the Year 10th anniversary episode and he attended ITV’s Pride of Britain Awards.

Adam Pearson’s short film, Dragon Slayers United, which he co-wrote and starred in, premiered at London Film Festival (Shani also played one of the main characters). The film was one of 6 produced in association with The National Film and Television School and Disney, created as part of the Star Imagine UK short film incubator programme. Meanwhile, A Different Man in which Adam stars alongside Sebastian Stan, was announced as having its premiere at Sundance Film Festival in January 2024.

Briony May Williams continued her successful broadcast career as one of the presenters of BBC One’s Escape To The Country and Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped: the Food Unwrapped Nordic Adventure special episode which Briony co-presented with Jimmy Doherty was nominated for a RTS Scotland Award. Briony is also one of the team of experts on BBC One’s Morning Live alongside Mark and Yvonne Cobb which won a RTS North West Award.

For Morning Live, Mark designed a budget-friendly show garden for RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in July. He also completed another successful year of being an ambassador for Stannah and supported the National Trust’s accessible and inclusive practices. Meanwhile, joining the Morning Live family in November consolidated Yvonne’s position as the UK’s most prominent, mainstream Deaf television presenter. She also co-hosted BBC Two’s See Hear and filmed a still-to-be seen appearance on a new ITV series.

Harriet Dyer performed her critically-acclaimed and award-winning show, Trigger Warning, at the Soho Theatre in April. In addition, Harriet performed her new show, Mother, around the country including at the Edinburgh Fringe, as well as appearing on Comedy Central Live for Comedy Central and Rosie Jones’s Disability Comedy Extravaganza for UKTV Play with a show-stopping set.

Ruben Reuter’s year was full of multiple award nominations and a win for his news reporting and presenting work. With his co-presenter Ruth Madeley, Ruben attended the Grierson UK Documentary awards as their Channel 4 documentary, Disability & Abortion: The Hardest Choice, was nominated for Best Science Documentary. For his Channel 4 News reports, Ruben was nominated for New Journalist of the Year at the British Journalism Awards, Young Journalist of the Year (National) at the Society of Editors’ Media Freedom Awards and Young Journalist of the Year at the London Press Club Awards. In November, Ruben won Journalist of the Year at the Sense Awards.

As a content creator on TikTok, Bella Roberts aka Bella Does Editing delivered outstanding content across for digital campaigns, and regularly worked with tech giant Adobe on a paid partnership basis. This year, Bella reached an impressive milestone of 300k followers, a testament to the reception she has garnered by not only sharing editing tutorials but also providing a glimpse into her life. A crowning achievement for Bella in 2023 was securing the coveted position of editing assistant at the BBC - a huge milestone in her post-production career.

In 2023, Sheridan Scott aka Forever Yours Betty saw an impressive growth in her social media following, collaborating with global brands such as Aperol Spritz, Gumtree and Instax whilst also launching her own bloomers’ collection, ‘Betty’s Bloomies’. Known for her statement style and dopamine-fuelled content, Sheridan continued to educate her followers about her lived experience of being neurodivergent.

Eliza Rain aka Disabled Eliza is one of our most recent signings who we are delighted to welcome to our roster. Eliza has previously partnered with a number of global brands including Starling Bank, Hitched and the RSC. Eliza's work as a digital content creator in the brand space reflects a commitment to diversity and inclusion as well as a dedication to celebrating and amplifying the LGBTQIA+ and DDN communities.

So, all in all, a highly memorable year for our clients, building the foundations for further success in 2024!