Sex education's George Robinson nominated for BAFTA Breakthrough award

Sex Education’s George Robinson, 24, who’s up for a BAFTA Breakthrough award became quadriplegic at 17 after breaking his neck on Stamford School rugby tour and took on role to show disabled people aren’t all ‘saintly’

  • George Robinson, 24, from Nottingham, plays show’s first disabled character
  • Broke his neck at the C4/C5 level playing rugby with schoolmates in South Africa
  • After 10-months in hospital he returned home but was left partially paralysed
  • The budding actor joined the hit Netflix series’ second season as Isaac in 2020 

Sex Education star George Robinson has been nominated for a BAFTA Breakthrough award six years after becoming paralysed during a school rugby tour. 

Nottingham-born actor George, 24, was left quadriplegic aged 17 after breaking his neck at C4/C5 level – the vertebrae that make up essential parts of the spine – while playing rugby in South Africa in July 2015. 

He pent ten months in hospital before returning to the UK in a wheelchair having lost mobility in his legs, arms and hands. 

After his injury, George, who attended the £17,400 per year Stamford School in Lincolnshire, decided to pursue a career in acting and last year starred as Isaac in the second season of the hit Netflix show. 

The actor, who is the show’s first disabled character, said he wanted to subvert ‘saintly’ expectations by playing a ‘flawed’ villain who thwarts Maeve’s potential romance with Otis because he wants her for himself. 

After his injury George decided to pursue a career in acting and last year starred as Isaac in the second season of Sex Education. He is pictured alongside Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley in the hit Netflix show

Sex Education star George Robinson was left quadriplegic aged 17 after breaking his neck at C4/C5 level while playing rugby on a school tour in South Africa in July 2015

The 24-year-old spent ten months in hospital in South Africa (pictured) before returning to his Nottingham home but had lost mobility in his legs, arms and hands and is now wheelchair bound

Now, the budding young actor has been nominated to win the talent initiative, previously known as Breakthrough Brits, which has been running in the UK since 2013. 

As part of the Bafta Breakthrough programme, recipients receive global networking opportunities, access to career coaching and skills development support, as well as one-to-one industry meetings and roundtable sessions. 

The 36 participants, 24 in the UK and 12 in the US, were selected by a global jury which included names like broadcaster and former barrister Afua Hirsch, Irish actress Niamh Algar, comedian and Jerk star Tim Renkow, with Ade Rawcliffe as the breakthrough jury chair.  

After his life-changing injury in South Africa, George underwent overnight operation (he is pictured in hospital in South Africa) to fix a metal plate into his neck to stabilise his spinal cord

Following a stay in hospital he was flown back to the UK where he was admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where he underwent intensive physiotherapy

After his life-changing injury in South Africa, George underwent surgery to fix a metal plate into his neck to stabilise his spinal cord. 

Following a stay in hospital he was flown back to the UK where he was admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for intensive physiotherapy. 

George now lives independently with a personal assistant who helps him cook and perform tasks around the house and he uses a wheelchair which has been fitted with powered wheels to help him move around freely. 

The actor has spoken candidly about the reaction his performance in Sex Education as received. 

‘The feedback I’ve got from within the disability community is that it’s really refreshing to see someone who is so comfortable within themselves and not questioning their existence,’ he told the BBC.  

And he’s expressed how the Sex Education script not only included him as a disabled actor, but made sure his experience was reflected in the show. 

One scene where Isaac is carried up a flight of stairs at a party particularly stood out in the show, with George highlighting that is was important to show that disabled people can be themselves and take on challenges when they arise. 

‘Often people don’t necessarily know what to say just because they haven’t got that experience. But if they see it on screen that changes. More and more these days we learn about society from TV and media,’ he said. 

He added he hopes the role of Isaac, and the increasing representation of the disable community on screen will help disabled people to accept themselves and convey their life experience to others. 

Robinson told Vogue that he talked with the Sex Education writers in order to shape Isaac’s character after his own life experience. 

And he added that he’s witness a change in the way disabilities are represented on-screen. 

‘Not every story with a character with a disability is centred around their disability and not every single moment is spent in this existential angst,’ he said. 

Now, the budding young actor has been nominated to win the talent initiative, previously known as Breakthrough Brits, which has been running in the UK since 2013

He went on to say that he is glad Isaac has storylines in the show that are not about his disabilities.  

George always had an interest in acting, but admitted he questioned whether it was the right career path to follow after his injury. 

‘I was involved in acting when I was younger, always taking part in school plays. I wanted to pursue it further’, he told Back Up Trust. 

‘But after I had my injury, I was questioning if it was right for me. I was unsure if I wanted to put myself out there as an actor. 

‘But I re-evaluated myself, and realised that I needed to get out there again as a disabled actor. 

In May, he told the student paper Cherwell that his injury made him more ‘insular’ and that drama became an escape.  

He revealed he was extremely excited to get the Sex Education role and had to have a chemistry read with Emma Mackay, would plays Maeve.  

In 2019 the actor took to Instagram to reveal the progress he had made since his injury, sharing two photographs taken 12 hours apart, one before his accident and the other in hospital. 

He wrote: ‘Four years ago my life took a slight detour. The first two pictures were taken 12 hours apart. Since then I’ve come so far and learned so much about myself. 

‘I’m so grateful to my family, friends and everyone else who has supported me throughout these last 4 years’.

Source: Read Full Article