2020 has been a difficult period for everyone but there has been added frustration for those working across the film and TV industry.

For Westhoughton actress Ruth Madeley the last 12 months have been a sharp contrast to the previous year which saw the 33-year-old enjoy rave reviews for her breakthrough performance in BBC drama Years And Years and blaze a trail for wheelchair users on screen.

“It has been horrendous for so many people in my industry,” said Ruth. “I was very fortunate that I’d scheduled a break just as lockdown started so I was content until the anxiety kicked in and I started thinking that I was never going to work again.”

Thankfully the BAFTA nominee, who was diagnosed with spina bifida six weeks before she was born, is back on set again although she can’t reveal what she is currently filming.

“Acting is very tactile and you have to be close to each other,” she said. “You have hair, make-up and costume fitting so social distancing is almost impossible so I take my hat off to every single person who made sure it was safe again.

“I was very nervous but it is lovely to see the industry start moving again.

“Theatres have had it hardest and we are all apprehensive but if this year has taught me anything it is how innovative people are and how we adapt so I’m confident things will continue.”

One thing Ruth did manage to film before lockdown was new BBC drama The Watch which is based on one of Terry Pratchett’s much-loved Discworld novels.

“We filmed it in Cape Town and it was an absolute joy to work on,” she said. “It’s completely different to anything I’ve ever done before – it’s really out there with a bit of madness and the supernatural and I really hope people love it.”

Ruth appears alongside Richard Dormer (Game Of Thrones) with publicity shots showing her sporting quite the haircut.

“It was mega,” she added. “I really wanted to keep the dreadlocks.”