BRADFORD Coronation Street star Liam Bairstow is a new ambassador for Mencap.

The 30-year-old, who has Down’s Syndrome, was the first learning disabled actor to land a role in a British soap. He has played Alex Warner in Coronation Street since 2015.

Liam, from Allerton, is a member of Manningham-based theatre company Mind the Gap - one of Europe’s largest theatre companies for learning disabled people. He said: “I'm very excited to be an ambassador for Mencap - I love all the work they do. They do so much for people with a learning disability and I'm very proud to be a part of it.

"I hope that by being an ambassador for Mencap I can help raise awareness of learning disability and show that people with a learning disability are just ordinary people."

There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap helps them to live their lives the way they want, by fighting to change laws and improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. The charity also supports families and carers of people with a learning disability.

Mencap said: "People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability."

Liam said: “Down’s Syndrome is not a negative world. It’s a beautiful world. I am proud and happy of who and what I am. Having Down's Syndrome has not held me back, and I believe everyone should be treated the same and be able to achieve their dreams.”

In a recent interview with the Telegraph & Argus, Liam's mother, Josie Bairstow, said she still pinches herself when she watches him on Coronation Street.

Liam joined Idle theatre school Stage 84 when he was five and took part in Rock Challenge while a pupil at Haycliffe School in Bradford. He later went to Shipley College, and joined Mind The Gap. Over the weekend He performed in the company's huge outdoor production, Zara, at Piece Hall

* Watch a video of Liam at

For more about Mencap services call 0808 808 1111 (Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm) or email