Cherylee Houston is an actress best known for playing the role of Izzy Armstrong in long running soap Coronation Street. Born in Lancashire, her love for entertainment has been evident since the age of seven after watching Annie and in her teenage years went on to perform in numerous school plays before training at the Arden School of Theatre in Manchester.
After graduating from Arden at the age of 23, Cherylee was diagnosed with the incredibly rare Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder. Since then she has used a wheelchair and became Coronation Street‘s first disabled character when she joined the show in 2010.
Her first TV role came in 2003 when she appeared in Doctors playing a girl with multiple sclerosis before further appearances in The Bill, Emmerdale and Little Britain where she was the girlfriend of wheelchair user Andy Pipkin, played by Matt Lucas. 2006 saw Cherylee take a role as one of the main characters in the BBC3 comedy I’m With Stupid, where she played Dorothy.
It was then in 2010 that she joined the cast of Coronation Street and made such a positive impression that she was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2010 Inside Soap Awards. Having had a number of highly powerful storylines over the years, she has established herself as one of the standout characters on the soap.
Cherylee is also a popular speaker at business functions, schools private events where she discusses her condition in greater detail as well as some of the issues associated with disability and TV. An inspiring character, she also has plenty of anecdotes to tell from the cobbles of Corrie and offers the opportunity to find out more about what goes on behind the scenes of such a large production.
To book Cherylee Houston as the after dinner speaker for your corporate event or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.
“It has been an absolute joy and pleasure to work with the actor and activist for disabled rights Cherylee Houston. Our paths crossed when I was looking for an inspirational speaker to get ITV News teams and senior managers to think about how diversity on screen and behind the scenes can enrich our newsrooms and output. Who better than the Coronation Street star who has changed perceptions of disability through the nation’s favourite soap? Cherylee was approachable from the time of initial contact and her speech was standout. Her passion and energy certainly had an impact on those attending. Cherylee had clearly considered our brief and her preparation for the event was evident despite her very demanding filming and charity schedule. The day before Cherylee had completed the Manchester 10k on a Segway to raise money for a charity that encourages confidence in people with disabilities and makes theatre accessible to all. Cherylee might have been in pain after the challenge but all she cared about was using her session to get her message across to our newsmakers, who of course are powerful in shaping the news agenda. The nation knows Cherylee for her brilliant depiction of Izzy Armstrong in Coronation Street but it is clear to see that this talented actor realizes she can use her fame and influence to give people with disabilities a voice. It was a pleasure working with Cherylee and if your organization is looking for someone who is across the diversity debate, to challenge perceptions and answer the questions you are frightened of asking make sure you invite Cherylee Houston.” – Sangeeta Bhabra, ITV News Journalist and ITV Diversity Champion, Organiser of the annual ITV Diversity Conference