Archers' Jazzer wins disability media award
Blind actor Ryan Kelly, the voice behind Jazzer in long running radio 4 soap The Archers, has been honoured at the Ability Media International awards.
Dame Maggie Smith presented him with the gong at a ceremony in London on Sunday.
The AMIs are run by UK charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, and identify outstanding creative projects that encourage a more inclusive world for disabled people.
Ryan received the Tyzack award, a new addition to the AMIs, which recognises writers, producers and performers who 'transcend the stereotypical'.
Judges heralded Kelly as 'outstanding in his dramatic range, with immaculate comic timing and talent for harsh realism'. They praised The Archers' producers for their 'groundbreaking' decision to award him the part of Jazzer, a fully sighted character.
Other 2011 AMI winners include: The National Theatre, the historical portrait exhibition Reframing Disability, and dancer with no legs David Toole.
Writing afterwards for the Archers blog, Ryan Kelly said:
"A couple of months ago, when I was informed that I'd won an AMI award for my work in The Archers, I was totally gobsmacked. While I appreciated it more than I can say, I couldn't help thinking that the work is an award in itself."
Read the rest of Ryan's post about working on the soap and the complexities of learning lines as a blind radio actor, over on The Archers blog.
And you can find out more about the voice behind bad boy milkman Jazzer, in this 13 Questions interview from the Ouch! archives.