Mik Scarlet began his career performing in the rock bands, before being spotted by a TV producer in 1989. He quickly became one the UK's first disabled celebrities, presenting programs for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, and acting in shows such as Brookside and 2.4 Children. In 1992 the kids TV show he fronted Beat That won an Emmy and was nominated for a BAFTA. He was lead reporter for the BBC2 news magazine show From The Edge for 10 years, and worked for BBC Radio as reporter and DJ. At the height of his career he was involved in a car accident and broke his back for a second time, leading him to retire to undergo surgery to repair his spine.
Luckily Mik returned to full health and started up an access consultancy, advising business on how to advance inclusive practice. Mik became one of the UK's leading experts on inclusion, with a special focus on public transport, the retail and entertainment sectors and hospitality. Mik is currently working with Network Rail, London Underground and Uber training staff and management around best practice for the provision of service for disabled customers and employment of disabled staff.
In 2012, Mik returned to the media when he performed in the Paralympic Opening Ceremony and presented at the wheelchair rugby. Next he DJed on his own music program for Total Rock Radio, which ran for over a year, and presented occasional specialist music shows for BBC3CR. Since then Mik has appeared on various news and current affairs programs, such as The Wright Stuff, Good Morning Britain, This Morning and Sky News, both as a commentator and reporter. Mik also is an occasional reporter for C5 News.
Mik is happily married to the wonderful Diane and lives in Camden, in the heart of London.
Sometimes art can be beautiful and swell the heart, or it challenges and leads you to re-examine your world view, but on rare occasions it does both. When this happens you find yourself left almost a new person, seeing the world through new eyes.
I am not gong to write a tale of woe, or of rights and equality, or even of positivity and justice. No, it's Christmas time, and so I just want to wish everyone out there in Huffington Land a wonderful festive season and here's to an amazing 2015!
It's not just the big chains and shopping centre that is easy. Through out the city centre there are arcades of boutique style shops and restaurants, and pretty much all of these are equally accessible. Most of these are historic in nature and yet there has been great effort taken to ensure as many of them are as accessible as possible.
Last weekend I paid a trip to the seaside, to Brighton to take part in a literary event called Sea Changers. What struck me from the moment I arrived was how hard it was to get around in my wheelchair.
On a cold November night I fought my way through the twisting lanes of Brighton to the Fisherman's Vestry, part of the beautiful St Paul's Church, to take part in an intimate literary event which aimed to explore the connections between creative writing and campaigning.
A story on fashion is not my usual Huffington fair, but I actually started my writing career working for an alternative fashion magazine called Sinzine and studied fashion at college back in my New Romantic youth.
Please before you pass judgement on anyone's quality of life, stop and think. Don't just claim "I couldn't cope", as I really think you could. Pain, like many other trials in life, can be beaten. It can be medically treated and psychologically mastered, with help, and so we need to have a sensible debate on quality of life before we go any further down a road that may be very hard to come back from.
This weekend an incident occurred that reminded me of what is is to be disabled in the UK in the 21st Century. I have been disabled since a few weeks after birth, having been born with cancer, but started using a wheelchair full time at the age of fifteen after a complication caused my spine to collapse.
The piece revolves around the concept that when trying to confront the issue of talking to disabled people the advice is always negative, always a list of "don't"s and rarely "do"s. Mr Hoge then states that most of these are the opinion of the authors and then gives a list that he states are things "you can say to someone with a disability".
The irony of Lost In Spaces is that the phase that I think best describes it is Triumphing Over Tragedy, a phrase that every disabled artist will have had printed about them at some point and one that Ms Penny rails against during the show
I felt more than privileged as I found myself sat in the front row behind members of Julie's family for this performance and hearing their laughter and tears enabled me to know the depth of truth and reality behind the portrayal of the various characters, and how rooted in real life Let Me Stay is.
The show took shape after a meeting with a defrocked Buddhist monk, ironically named Mr Rong, who felt his disability was a direct result of bad karma incurred during a past life. This shocked Ms Cunningham and kick started a search for the truth behind faith and disability.
The Dinner Party Revisited is a live art performance piece created by the enfant terrible of the disability arts scene, <a href="Katherine Araniello" target="_hplink">Katherine Araniello</a> that builds on her past works using video and performance art to challenge society's view of disability. If that sounds serious and worthy boy are you wrong.
It's actually a really big thing reaching this age. I was born with a cancer called Neuroblastoma and my parents were told that I had a maximum life expectancy of five years. They took me home and tried to enjoy the short time they though they had with me...
After spending a day at Putteridge High School meeting the students and the committed staff members, I am sure that the Inclusive approach to education really works. Putteridge does have two special needs groups, made up of children of all abilities and impairments, but the goal is for those students to enter the mainstream classes eventually.
Today the Supreme court ruled against right to die campaigners Paul Lamb and Jane Nicklinson in their latest attempt to change the current laws on assisted suicide, and I must admit I am relieved. I know that might sound heartless, and there are many voices who cry about their suffering and choice, but a recent stay in hospital made me realise that there is a wider issue behind the assisted suicide debate.
Last week the House Of Lords debated Lord Faulkner's Assisted Dying bill. The bill argues that that people with six months or less to live should be able to call on the medical profession to assist them to die, as an act of mercy for those who are suffering...
As a professional actor of 25 years, since being the first disabled actor to appear in a UK soap back in 1991, and the chair of the actor's union Equity's Deaf and Disabled Members Committee I know all too well just how high the standard of talent is within the disabled acting community.
How can society understand we disabled people can have amazing, happy, fulfilling lives if all they see is coverage of the joy of being cured? I know from my own life, and the lives of so many of my disabled friends, that being disabled is no barrier to a rich life and I just wish the media showed that too.
14/04/2014 12:44 BST
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