Cerrie Burnell

Actress, singer, playwright, children's author, and television presenter

One of the few visibly disabled presenters on television, Cerrie Burnell's story is one of amazing positivity and tenacity. Born without a right forearm and hand, Cerrie has never let her disability hold her back. Cerrie attained a place on the BBC Talent Fund, run by the BBC, Channel 4 and the Actors Centre, introducing directors to disabled talent. Cerrie's talent was evident and it was not long before she was offered television parts in 'Holby City', 'EastEnders', 'The Bill' and a regular role in 'Grange Hill'.

Soon after having her first child, Cerrie landed a presenting job on BBC pre-school channel CBeebies and with her warm and friendly demeanour, she proved to be a natural. However within a month of beginning, Cerrie began to attract some negative comments from a minority of parents regarding her disability. Refusing to hide away, Cerrie appeared on a number of television shows in order to share her story and in doing so gained widespread public support.

Naturally endearing Cerrie has become a well respected and recognisable face. She was named in The Observer's list of the top ten children's presenters of all time earning a favourable comparison with veteran television and radio presenter Valerie Singleton. Cerrie also featured in The Guardian's list of the 100 most inspirational women where she received praise for 'tackling disability head on'.

Proving her versatility as a presenter, Cerrie joined Channel 4 for its coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Presenting from pool side, Cerrie covered all of the Paralympic swimming events. She has also recently appeared on BBC current affairs debate show 'Newsnight' joining a panel of experts to discuss ''positive'' eugenics.


Outside of television Cerrie is regularly invited to host a number of award shows and live events including Radar's People of the Year Awards, the AMI Awards, the National Diversity Awards, hosting various storytelling events at some of the country's leading literature festivals and the main stage at children's festival Lollibop.


A keen supporter of charity, Cerrie spends much of her time working closely with a number of organisations close to her heart. She is an Ambassador for children's charity Coram and has most recently become an ambassador for Booktrust.  Alongside this, Cerrie is a Fellow for the Foundling Museum for whom she has worked on several projects including a drama workshop for disabled children and organising and curating her own photo exhibition 'Baby Love'.