The BBC has appointed Cerrie Burnell as its first disability ambassador in one of three new disability-focussed roles. As part of a specialist disability team, based in Salford, it will develop, deliver and champion the BBC’s disability agenda as part of the broadcaster’s wider diversity strategy.

Burnell is joined by new creative diversity disability lead, Kay Ashton MBE, and project manager of Elevate, Nichola Garde. Burnell, Ashton and Garde join the BBC’s creative diversity unit, led by June Sarpong, the BBC’s first director of creative diversity, and will work closely with Allan MacKillop, the BBC’s Diversity & Inclusion Disability Lead. Actress, author and former CBeebies presenter Burnell will work with commissioning and production teams over the next 12 months to champion authentic on-screen portrayal of disability.