An actress has called herself a pin-up girl for those with Down’s syndrome after landing a role in a major TV series.
Sarah Gordy, from Lewes, plays Lady Pamela Holland in the hit BBC drama, Upstairs, Downstairs.
Despite receiving international attention for her starring role the 30-year-old remains committed to her charity work in Sussex.
Miss Gordy, who has previously appeared in Casualty and Peak Practice, plays a pivotal role in Upstairs, Downstairs, as the long-lost sister of central character Sir Hallam, played by Ed Stoppard.
Her character has been hidden away in a mental asylum because of the shame her Down’s syndrome would bring on the family.
Miss Gordy said she relished the chance to challenge attitudes towards the syndrome.
She said: “I know what it was like back then for Pamela and I cry for her. It makes me sad to compare it with my life.
“I don’t see myself as a campaigner for Down’s syndrome in my career. I play characters and that is what I love. But I do work with disabled charities and like to think I can help people.
“I get a lot of messages from people in America who are fascinated by this character and her experiences. It seems like I’ve become a bit of a pin-up girl for Down’s syndrome.”
Miss Gordy works with The Oyster Project, a Lewes-based charity run by disabled people for disabled people, and works at the town’s British Heart Foundation shop.
Despite having years of experience in TV, Miss Gordy said she was star-struck by her famous colleagues.
She said: “The first day on set was quite daunting but over time people like Keeley Hawes and Ed Stoppard stopped being famous faces and become friends. I loved working with them.”
Next up for Miss Gordy, who went to school in Crowborough and then South Downs College in Lewes, is radio play Resurrection which airs on April 6 on Radio 4.
She said: “I am hoping my character will return for a third series of Upstairs, Downstairs. It is a different challenge to the radio and stage work I’m doing at the moment because I’m generally not saying much. Very often it’s harder to do a scene where you’re not required to say much. It puts the pressure on.
“But I couldn’t be happier and am so pleased I have been given this opportunity.”
Upstairs, Downstairs is on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.