BBC makes history with first-ever presenter of children with Down syndrome

BBC bosses have made history by hiring the first ever children’s TV presenter with Down syndrome, after 21-year-old George Webster made his debut on Monday.

Following his performance at the CBeebies house, the Leeds-born host spoke of his joy at making his debut, but also insisted that there is still an urgent need for greater representation of disabled people on television.

Speaking with the GuardianGeorge said, ‘I just felt really positive and excited and happy to get started. I think there should be a lot more representation, because we’re human too. Even though we are different, we should be treated equally.’

Pride: BBC bosses have made history by hiring the first ever children’s TV presenter with Down syndrome, after 21-year-old George Webster made his debut on Monday

George first appeared on the channel to make a video debunking the myths surrounding Down syndrome, before being recruited as a presenter.

Although he was initially slated to star as a guest host, his appearance was so popular that fans urged him to go full-time.

CBeebies producer Claire Taylor also spoke to the paper, saying: “We originally agreed that George would be a guest host, just to calm him down and introduce him to the CBeebies family…

“Actually, I quickly think we’re already looking at a Friday every other week, don’t we, George? And then I’m sure it will be a weekly slot, if not more.’

Hi, I'm George!  Following his appearance at the CBeebies house, the Leeds-born host spoke of his joy at making his debut, but also insisted there is still an urgent need for greater representation of disabled people on television

Hi, I’m George! Following his appearance at the CBeebies house, the Leeds-born host spoke of his joy at making his debut, but also insisted there is still an urgent need for greater representation of disabled people on television

Happy Days: George's mother told the publication,

Happy Days: George’s mother told the publication, “I was sniffling one minute and laughing the next. I just love his work ethic and his positivity. We always say George’s days are all 10 because that’s how he makes them.”

George’s mother told the publication, “I was sniffling one minute and laughing the next. I just love his work ethic and his positivity. We always say George’s days are all ten because that’s how he makes them.’

His appearance was widely praised on Twitter, with viewers’ parents praising George’s recruitment and debut.

Users wrote: ‘You know George Webster is a special person when he’s even praised by the legend of British children’s TV itself…

Happy days: Speaking to The Guardian, George said: 'I just felt really positive and excited and happy to get started.  I think there should be a lot more representation, because we're human too.  Even though we are different, we should be treated equally'

Happy days: Speaking to The Guardian, George said: ‘I just felt really positive and excited and happy to get started. I think there should be a lot more representation, because we’re human too. Even though we are different, we should be treated equally’

Huge congratulations to George Webster on his new performance and huge respect for CBeebies for hiring him – it’s a huge step for representation…

“So glad to see this. Good luck George! Not that you need it, you’re brilliant… Welcome George, well done this morning. Your smile and enthusiasm is so contagious and so are we Sparkling heart smoothies here, great addition to the team…

‘@CBeebiesHQ great example of equality in the workplace #inclusion’.

Happy: The CBeebies Twitter page shared a video of George being told about his job

Happy: The CBeebies Twitter page shared a video of George being told about his job

He was scouted for the role through his work as a Mencap ambassador.

Mencap’s official Twitter page shared a tweet congratulating George on his news, stating: “We are so excited to see our fantastic Ambassador George Webster become a presenter…

“Congratulations, George from everyone here at Mencap! You’re a brilliant role model, so it’s great to have the opportunity to introduce yourself to so many people.”

Sweet: His appearance was met with high praise on Twitter, with viewers' parents praising George's recruitment and debut

Sweet: His appearance was met with high praise on Twitter, with viewers’ parents praising George’s recruitment and debut

In his myth-busting video about Down syndrome, George said, “I call myself George because that’s who I am. Not Downs George. People with Down are not always happy…

‘People with Down syndrome have emotions and feelings like everyone else. They also do not ‘suffer’ from the condition. I have a great life…

‘It has been very positive. I liked going to school. I went to two local great schools. I have had support at both schools, which has helped me with my education. I have GCSEs and an A level equivalent in BTec sport, level 3.’

Happy days: The official Mencap Twitter page shared a tweet congratulating George on his news, stating: 'We are so excited to see our fantastic Ambassador George Webster become a presenter'

Happy days: The official Mencap Twitter page shared a tweet congratulating George on his news, stating: ‘We are so excited to see our fantastic Ambassador George Webster become a presenter’

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