Thursday, March 6, 2008

BBC program will focus on models with disabilities

The Guardian reported March 5 that the BBC plans "to launch what it claims is the UK's first TV competition for disabled models with a BBC3 series that aims to find a fresh mainstream fashion face."

The show has the working title of "Britain's Missing Top Model." Eight women with disabilities will compete to become fashion models over a three-week period. A panel from the UK fashion industry will select the winner.

"Our intention is to empower both the women featured in the project and thousands of others, who shouldn't be invisible to the fashion industry just because they are disabled people," the show's creative director, Richard McKerrow, said in The Guardian. "We're also looking to challenge preconceived notions of beauty."

The show will appear on BBC3 in the summer. Disability Action Islington in London will act as consultants to the show, and the BBC's disability web site, Ouch!, will host a forum, video clips and blogs about the show, along with its usual disability themed content.

Disabilty Action Islington said in a statement: "Any programme which raises awareness of the barriers that society places in the path of disabled people wanting to pursue their chosen career, that has the ability to challenge negative stereotypes and encourage inclusion is a positive thing."