profile image

Mik Scarlet

Successful broadcaster, journalist and musician

“My life started after I ended up in a wheelchair in my mid teens. Although I didn't know it then I had started out on the road to a wonderful and enjoyable life that so far has been with excitement and wonder. Of course there have been dark times, from actually getting used to being a wheelchair user at the tender age of 15 to fighting off various illness and infections and ending most recently in more major spinal surgery to fix my second spinal injury after a road accident, but like most people I battled through, with the support of my family and loved ones, and eventually rebuilt my life anew. I know I have been lucky as not many disabled people get the opportunities to become a TV presenter, working on shows such as From The Edge for the BBC, Shows for Thames TV on ITV and the kids TV show Beat That with Channel 4 (that one won an Emmy and Bafta nomination and was acclaimed all over the world), singing and playing in rock bands and acting in shows like The Bill, 2.4 children and Brookside, where I was the first disabled actor to appear in a UK soap (way back in 1991). I am now married to the wonderful Diane, who nursed me through my last surgery, and when I'm not writing or broadcasting I spend a great deal of my time campaigning for equality for disabled people. To get the full story visit my website or follow what I'm doing on my Facebook page.”

What Makes A Man A Man?

Back in 1981 my spine collapsed as a side effect of the cancer treatment I had 15 years previous. Luckily the cancer went into remission, and still has today, but no one had any idea what the future might hold.
15/11/2017 11:22 GMT

PIP: The Truth Is Out

The government claimed that PIP would be a fairer benefit which would help more disabled people and assist in the fight against fraud. From the outset however, disabled people raised their voices in concern, and ever since there has been a growing clamour of stories from people who have been failed by the new PIP assessment process... No matter how you spin the latest statistics, for those who the Personal Independence Payment was designed to help it's been a nightmare. Isn't it time that the voices of disabled people were listened to, and this failed benefit change was over turned?
17/09/2017 23:26 BST

I Am Proud To Be Called Disabled

<img alt="everybody banner" src="http://i.huffpost.com/gen/5399116/original.jpg" width="300" height="35" /> In a vlog with HuffPost UK for EveryBody, Mik Scarlet discusses celebrating his 52nd birthday after being told aged five he was not going to survive. He explains that being told you will die young and never knowing when you might die has made him seize the day and live his life to the fullest. Ultimately, he suggests that people should stop regarding disability as something negative as being disabled is something to be proud of.
29/08/2017 10:03 BST

My PIP Diary Part Four - The Stacked Deck

They are who PIP was designed to help. Yet we are thrust into a situation where we are having to fight to prove our impairments, battle to describe what that they mean to our lives and give out deeply personal and private information to anyone who asks.
03/08/2017 13:05 BST

Letting The Train Take The Strain

For a while now traveling by air has been becoming less and less attractive to my wife and I. The growing, if understandable, security procedures have made flying a real chore, especially as I am a wheelchair user. It was our last two flights that really put us off flying again. The first disaster was when flying home from our favourite city, Barcelona.
22/06/2017 13:31 BST

My PIP Diary Part Three - The Confusion Of The Assessors

How many people would just accept a lower award terrified at the chance losing the payments all together or requiring an infamous face to face assessment? The government claims PIP was introduced to make the process "fairer and more affordable". I think it's clear the emphasis is on affordable. So now I wait for another letter, to see what the outcome is of my challenge to the PIP decision.
15/06/2017 17:36 BST

My PIP Diary Part Two - The Battle Through Paperwork Mountain

I now am gripped by a fear that a benefit that ensures I can work, as it funds my car through the Motability scheme, may be taken away from me. With the horror stories of people with obvious impairments that equally make walking impossible losing their PIP funding it is a real possibility. Of course looking on the bright side, with my medical records having so many mistakes in them, I'm damn lucky I'm here at all!
06/04/2017 16:41 BST

Accessible Tourism, The Norfolk Broads Lead The Way

With my job as a broadcaster and journalist I am lucky enough to travel all over the country, but I've never been to the Norfolk Broads, despite always wanting to stay there. Whenever I saw the Broads it seemed idyllic but I was a little worried about the access for wheelchair users.
24/03/2017 12:09 GMT

My P.I.P. Diary - The Saga Begins

As I was helped out of the bath, I admitted to my wife how I was feeling and she hugged me. She told me I was not a burden, yet I can't under estimate how much beginning the PIP application process has impacted on my confidence and mental health
22/03/2017 08:18 GMT

Why Disabled People Aren't Always 'Nice'

During the row, which I still am incredulous about, the cyclist decried: "I thought disabled people were all nice", following my protestations that by blocking my exit from my car he was in fact discriminating against me. True story.
06/02/2017 16:07 GMT

Ticket To Ride? Well, Yes!

What may not be clear to those parents who flatly refuse to move is, if they do not act reasonably it may impact on their ability to use buses at all. Not all wheelchair users can travel by bus. If their wheelchair is too big or heavy they are barred from traveling.
25/01/2017 15:05 GMT

Christmas In Cardiff

As a wheelchair user Cardiff proves what is possible around the concept of inclusive design. It's so accessible for me that it's one of those places that means I can forget I live on wheels from the moment I arrive.
19/12/2016 13:39 GMT

Rebel Without A Home

Back in the 1980's I did what many had done before me, I left my small town and moved to London to pursue my fortune. I grew up in the industrial town of Luton in Bedfordshire and for most of my childhood I expected a future that was like my father's, to work in one of the many factories that dotted the town
17/11/2016 12:28 GMT

Are We All Disabled Now?

If we adopt a social model way of thinking, see our similarities rather than our differences, demand real change is required and that our voices are listened to then maybe we can start to rebuild a conscientious. Maybe we can stop the growing divides between us and come together to build a fairer, more inclusive world.
11/11/2016 12:33 GMT

Him - A Gentle Triumph

Time after time all areas of the arts focus on new talent and youth, ignoring the talent and knowledge of the older generations. Him demonstrates why this needs to change and that all of us, no matter our age, have something to gain from tapping this forgotten well of skill.
15/09/2016 14:18 BST

The Olympic & Paralympic Games? Excellence Divided

I am positive that combining the Olympics and Paralympics would create a truly inclusive event and would get more people to see the various sports, both in person and via the media, ensuring the we begin to see disabled people becoming global celebrities on a par with Usain Bolt and Mo Farrah.
05/09/2016 17:20 BST

Unlimited - Gold Standard Arts

I have long believed that disability arts have reached such a high standard that they now rival any other scene or movement out there. The Unlimited Festival, delivered by Shape Arts and Artadmin and funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales and Creative Scotland, will have something to delight everyone.
05/09/2016 14:20 BST