Actor, Writer, Director, & Consultant
David Proud is an English Actor, Writer, Director, and Consultant. He was born with Spina Bifida and uses a wheelchair. He only began his career in TV during his early twenties. His first professional acting role was as a wheelchair basketball player in the children's TV series Desperados. David is most well known for playing Adam Best in BBC’s EastEnders. David has just appeared as series regular in ITV/Netflix Drama Marcella starring Anna Friel.
Although David wanted to take drama at university, he did not believe it would be a viable career due to his disability and instead went to work as a benefits administrator for the Department for Work and Pensions. David was picked by BBC producer Ewan Marshall to play one of the leads in the 2007 CBBC series Desperados, a children's drama starring the Paralympic wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan. Since Desperados, He co-presented an episode of the BBC Three documentary series Mischief, 'Is it cos I is Black', in 2007. He appeared as the character Blake in the second series of ITV's Secret Diary of a Call Girl in 2008.
David has worked with British independent film director and producer Justin Edgar on eight films. As an actor he played Scott, a geeky paraplegic who makes a behind-the-scenes documentary following a group of other disabled film students, in the 2007 feature film Special People. Graeme in the 2011 Feature Film NFA (No Fixed Abode). Holocaust victim Ernst in the 2008 short Hunger House, and Sam in the 2013 short film For Your Own Good.
David made History in 2009 becoming the first regular disabled actor to appear in the BBC prime time continuing drama, EastEnders.
With funding from Screen South SEEDA and the national lottery David filmed his writing debut in 2011 with Wheels of Fortune, while filming the production team trained 10 physically disabled children in the art of film making. In 2012 David wrote FriendZone, his debut play. A story of a hopeless romantic trying to avoid the friend zone and win the heart of the girl he loves, the play was first performed at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. Later in 2012 David appeared in the BBC Drama Best of Men and as guest lead in an episode of BBC Doctors.
In 2013 David wrote and produced two short films. Awkward Turtle was picked up by the online channel SBTV Comedy. The One That Got Away, a film inspired by the works of Charlie Chaplin, has played at notable international disability film festivals. In the same year David joined 104 Films working as their Development Producer and Head of Social Media. He attended the Film London Audience on Demand course and Production Finance Micro Market on behalf of 104 Films and secured funding for the feature film “The Marker”. For 104 Films he worked on the multiplatform release of We Are The Freaks in 2014. As Producer and lead actor David filmed iWitness, the second feature film from writer/director Steve Rainbow. David, now an independent film maker, still works with 104 Films but as a freelance artist.
David is currently developing several projects with writer Paul Viragh for Television and Film.
David was listed in the Shaw Trust/Channel Four Top 100 Power List as one of the most influential disabled people of 2015, 2018 and 2019. David was one of 20 Disabled artists in focus for Channel 4’s year of disability 2016, and works as a disability consultant for the British Film Institute.
David is a full voting member of the Film and Television chapter of BAFTA.
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