HE is a familiar face on Britain's best-loved soap.

Bradford actor, Liam Bairstow, grew up watching Coronation Street and became the first actor with Down's syndrome in the soap’s 55-year history when he landed the role of Alex Warner.

Liam plays the nephew of Roy Cropper's friend, Cathy Matthews. Viewers are used to seeing him helping to serve customers in Roy's cafe on the Corrie cobbles.


Liam, from Allerton, is an inspirational role model to support World Down syndrome Day - a global awareness day today (March 21) - which has officially been observed by the UN since 2012.

Each year follows a different theme - this year's is 'Leave No-One Behind' - Every single person with Down's syndrome should have the same opportunities as everyone else, in EVERY area of life.'

Supporters are encouraged to wear odd socks because chromosomes look like socks and people with Down's syndrome have an extra chromosome (21 in total). To get involved use the hashtag #LotsOfSocks on Twitter to share thoughts and support.

Liam's acting achievements are indicative of his determination to achieve his ambition and goals, and he is a real inspiration to others.

His career breakthrough came when he joined the Bradford-based learning disability theatre company, Mind The Gap which creates work for UK and international audiences. He is also involved with Leeds-based YAFTA (Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting).

Through acting, Liam has expanded his social life and met new friends. He says he loves different challenges too and hopes he can inspire others.


Liam's agent, Charlotte Armitage, the founder and MD of YAFTA which provides training from drama school trained teachers and experienced screen actors and also runs Acting for Screen, Film & TV Production and Screenwriting including the Acting for Screen course launched in 2015 for people with learning disabilities in collaboration with Mind The Gap, says: "Liam is a fantastic role model for any actor.

"He's always happy to inspire and support others who are trying to make it in this incredibly competitive industry. By Liam showcasing what can be achieved, we hope will encourage others who have a dream or desire to act, to get involved."

For more information, visit downs-syndrome.org.uk.