Norwich actress lands role in BBC show

A Norwich actress, who is refusing to let a severe visual impairment stop her having a successful career, has landed a guest role in the BBC television drama Doctors.

Gillian Dean, 31, of Springbank, in Lakenham, will been seen in the TV drama in October after being picked to play the role of blind woman suspected of a quadruple murder in the show.

Miss Dean, pictured, who filmed the episode in Birmingham earlier this month, said: 'I had not done any TV work before and it was a really good experience. Everyone was really welcoming and really friendly.

'I am looking forward to seeing the show when it is aired.'

Miss Dean was previously the venue manager of The Garage performing arts venue in Norwich before she decided to pursue a career as a professional actor a couple of years ago.

She has a genetic eye condition called Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy, but she is determined that this will not get in the way of her performing and she believes that in some ways it has actually helped her with her career. She said: 'I am severely sight-impaired, but it has actually helped me because it has improved my memory for remembering lines.

'Other people can hold a script in their hand and read while rehearsing, but I cannot do that so my brain has become accustomed to learning lines very quickly – after I read something two or three times it is locked in my brain.' Since launching her acting career, Miss Dean has worked with a number of touring companies including the Black Ram Theatre Company, the Crude Apache Theatre Company, the Visceral Theatre Company and Axis of Evil Productions.

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She will also be appearing in a horror film being shot in Norwich called The Power.

Miss Dean is also in the process of launching herself as a professional burlesque performer. She said that her act is in the classic comic burlesque style with a unique twist, and she said she plans to premiere her act at The Garage towards the end of the year.

'I have to take into account that my visual impairment is a degenerative condition, but I have been told that it is unlikely that I will go blind and I am going to take every opportunity I can,' she said.

Do you know somebody set for stardom? Call Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email

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