Pilot comic lands TV role

Denford to appear in deaf soap opera

Comedian Harry Denford has landed a role in a TV soap opera for deaf people.

He takes one of the few hearing parts in the BBC series Switch, which starts in October

A pilot of the show was screened in December, and proved popular enough for another eight episodes to be commissioned.

Denford plays Eddie, one of the two villains in the series.

He said it was a challenge appearing opposite actors who were speaking in sign language.

"On set, we agreed among ourselves that as soon as their hands stop moving, that would be my cue," said Denford, who is also a pilot.

He also had to watch his hand and facial expressions to ensure they matched what he was saying.

The first episode will be screened again on October 5, followed by the new instalments.

The show, which deals with relationships at home, at work and within the wider deaf community, stars up-and-coming deaf actors, including Umesh Valjee, Ramon Woolfe, Bora Tukenmez and Diana Martin.

A spokesman for the BBC's See Hear strand that broadcasts the soap said of the pilot: "The response was overwhelming. Never in the 20-year history of the programme had we ever shown something that captured the imagination of our viewers quite like this."

Published: 29 Aug 2002

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