Emmerdale actor James Moore has said he does not listen when people make negative comments about his disability, and that he is living his “best life”.
Moore, who has cerebral palsy, also said he hopes his character in the soap, Ryan Stocks, gets a love interest because disabled people are “desexualised”.
The 26-year-old joined the ITV programme last year, and won the Best Newcomer prize at the National Television Awards this week after a public vote.
He told the Daily Mirror that to “get that recognition is amazing”, but he is “still not used to it”.
He said: “People have been saying they’ve been inspired by my story, and that means the absolute world to me.
“It is great that people out there will understand more about disability. I hope I can bring about a more positive attitude about disabled people.”
Moore said he did not have the “best time at school” and that he “struggled socially”, adding: “I used to get comments from people about my walking.
“I just took it on the chin.”
He said “every now and then something like that still happens”, and that he recently heard a derogatory comment about himself while using his wheelchair.
“People make comments and people ask me how I deal with it, and I say just don’t listen,” Moore said.
“You have to have belief and confidence in yourself and not rely on the acceptance of others. I’m loving what I am doing.
“I’m getting great feedback from people, I’ve won this wonderful award – and I am living the best life.”
Moore, whose Emmerdale character is the long-lost son of Charity Dingle and also has cerebral palsy, added: “I’d love to get a girlfriend on the show.
“Disabled people are desexualised and you don’t see them having a love interest. So that would be a really exciting if it were to happen.”