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Ruby to appear in new BBC drama

Ruby who is 19 and has biliary atresia will be seen in BBC’s forthcoming drama, Kidnapped, which is based on real life events. Here she explains how it came about.


I’ve always enjoyed drama and when I was younger I used to attend drama classes such as Stagecoach and Starlight. I did a lot of theatre shows which were great fun. Unfortunately the incident that sticks in my mind is auditioning late for a part in the Year 6 play, due to a hospital appointment and then not getting the part! It really upset me at the time. I wish I could go back and tell myself that it would all work out – just because one teacher didn’t believe in me, someone else would. But of course these things are a huge deal when you are ten.


I haven’t done drama clubs in recent years but I have done modelling and pageants and two years ago, I signed with an agency to get work as a supporting artist. This has resulted in me getting work in Hollyoaks and then a little while ago my agency suggested me to the BBC for a walk on part in this new drama. I play a news reporter. Although I’m only in one scene, it was an exciting step for me because it was my first speaking part.

I don’t particularly want to go into acting as a career. I’m currently doing animal biology at college which I really enjoy and I’m planning to go to university this year to study mental health nursing (I was inspired by the nurses at Birmingham Children’s Hospital!)  But I love being a supporting artist and I’m going to carry on with it when I go off to university  It’s a great part time job and fits in well around studying.


I haven’t always felt this positive. When I was younger, the physical and mental aspects of my liver condition took their toll on my physical and mental health. In year 8. I had missed so much school I started to be home schooled which meant not doing drama and I think missing so much school affected my confidence.

But going to college has definitely been a positive experience. My course leader, head of department and the welfare officer are all so supportive and I’m head of my class. This, coupled with the opportunities I have been given through my agency mean I am in a much better place. My physical health is good at the moment and my anxiety is a lot better than it was.


I really appreciate the opportunities which have come my way lately and the support I get from those closest to me, especially my best friend Jasmine, boyfriend, Martyn and my family. Living with liver disease can be hard but I try to push myself every single day to be the best version of myself and achieve as much as I can.

If I had any advice to other young people who live with a liver condition, it would be find the thing you enjoy doing and pursue it and surround yourself with as many positive people as you can.

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