One of the UK’s leading campaigners for the fair representation and inclusion of disabled people in TV and Film was announced as one of the most influential people with a disability in the UK at a reception at the House of Lords on Tuesday 8 October.
The Shaw Trust Power List 100 is an annual publication of the 100 most influential or inspirational disabled people in the UK and is the only one of its kind. Newcastle-based Kim Tserkezie attended the special celebration for being included in the prestigious list. She has worked in broadcast media for over twenty years, with a career spanning comedy, documentary and drama. Kim has worked a huge number of roles within the industry from acting and presenting to production.
Kim got her first break as a presenter for BBC’s Disability Today and From the Edge, often writing and producing her own items. From 2002-2005, Kim played Penny Pocket in BAFTA award winning, Balamory, a role that won Kim an award from Whizz Kidz for representation.
After Balamory, Kim frustratingly found that, as a disabled actor, she was rarely given the chance to play ‘characters,’ only ‘medical problems’ and “stereotypical views of disability”. This led Kim to set up her own production company, Scattered Pictures. Since 2013, the company, based in Kim’s home city of Newcastle Upon Tyne, has developed projects which share under-represented perspectives and promote emerging talent in the North East.
Kim believes “real change will happen when fair representation exists throughout the whole creative process on and off screen, from writing to directing right through to commissioning”.
Kim is writing and producing screen projects with leading production companies including BBC Studios, IMG Productions and Seven Seas Films. Recently, Kim played the lead role in Obsession, a short drama film funded by BFI Network, currently screening at film festivals. Other acting credits include Boy Meets Girl, Wolfbood and feature film Bliss. In 2016, she played the lead role in Lodger, a sitcom she also wrote, at BBC Salford Sitcom Showcase. Last year, Scattered Pictures received its first BBC radio documentary commission, Migrants Mean Business, which Kim presented. Another is now in production.
Jon Peck, Development Executive, IMG Productions said: “I am absolutely delighted for Kim. As an actor and presenter, she is phenomenally talented in front of the camera. As a writer and producer, she is extraordinarily talented behind it. But what is particularly special about Kim’s work is her motivation and focus. Every project she works on has the same driving force: to find ways of making the world a better, more accessible and inclusive place. By achieving this across the staggeringly varied range of projects she works on, Kim proves time and again, that there really are no excuses. With creativity and the right expertise, everything you work on, however big or small, has the potential to provide opportunities for people and places, create change and have a truly positive impact in ways you may not think are possible. Whatever you are working on, Kim can help you transform it into something far more powerful than you imagined it could be.”
Regarding the list, Kim said: I am so surprised and thrilled to have made this list featuring so many incredibly talented disabled people whose work I admire. If my work and my inclusion on this Power list encourages even one young disabled person to follow their dreams and ambitions, then that will please me no end. Huge thank you to Shaw Trust and everyone who nominated me.
Kim is a full member of BAFTA and a board member of the Royal Television Society North East and the Borders. She has chaired events on diversity at BFI’s London Film Festival, and wrote the semi-autobiographical children’s book The Wheelie Wonderful Life of Millie Monroe.