Cherylee Houston is an actress who is best known for playing Izzy Armstrong in Coronation Street. After years of misdiagnoses she was finally diagnosed with Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome at the age of 24 by which time she was already at drama school. Upon graduation no agents were prepared to take her on as they didn’t think there was a future for an actress who used a wheelchair. After doggedly writing to casting directors and starting her own theatre company she began to break through into television, appearing in amongst others Holby City, The Bill, Doctors, Emmerdale, I’m With Stupid and Little Britain, before landing the role of Izzy in 2010.
She helped to set up DANC (the Disabled Artists Networking Community) @danc_manc which helps to connect performers with disabilities with media professionals and change industry practices and accessibility. Her charity, Triple C (www.tripleczone.org), has been instrumental in getting arts based education for disabled children into schools, and has produced tangible results. The Bee Vocal choir that she helped to create in order to bring people with mental health issues together, performed at Wembley Stadium this month to launch A Heads Together Initiative. She has spoken about disability issues at the Labour Party Conference and on television, and was nominated for a Manchester Woman of the Year Award in 2019.
She stars in the series Tinsel Girl, a fictionalised version of her own experiences, which is about to broadcast its fifth instalment on BBC Radio 4.