BOLTON actor Ruth Madeley is to star in a new BBC drama telling the true story of the people behind a campaign of direct action that furthered the battle for disabled civil rights in Britain.

Written by Bafta winner Jack Thorne and award-winning actor-turned-writer Genevieve Barr, 'Independence Day? How Disabled Rights Were Won', focuses on Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth, two disabled cabaret performers who met at a gig in 1989 and would go on to become the driving force behind DAN - the Direct Action Network, whose coordinated protests pushed the campaign for disabled rights into the spotlight.

Ruth, 33, from Westhoughton, was named as one of Bafta’s Breakthrough Brits in 2017. In 2016 she was also nominated for a 'leading actress' Bafta for her role as Anne Watson in the BBC Three drama Don’t Take My Baby.

In 2019, she played one of the key roles in critically acclaimed BBC One/ HBO series Years And Years.

And Ruth recently finished filming The Almond And The Seahorse alongside Rebel Wilson, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. She will next be seen in The Cleaner, a new BBC comedy series written by and starring Greg Davies.

Ruth said: “To have the opportunity to play such an incredibly powerful character and tell such an important story is honestly a dream, especially within the context of disabled, deaf and neuro-diverse history.

“As soon as I saw the script I knew this was going to be something so special and I couldn’t be happier to work with Jack and Gen on a drama that deserves to be front and centre on screen.”

Mr Thorne added: “Ruth Madeley is one of those rare actors who takes scripts and turns them into something else. She does things with words and makes human and fragile, even the smallest thing like putting on a kettle. I emailed two people when I was offered the chance to tell this incredible story - one was Genevieve and the other was Ruth. We wrote every word for her and I’m so excited to work with her again.”