The first blind character in British soap history is joining Emmerdale this spring.

Lizzie Lakely – played by actress and stand-up comedienne Kitty McGeever, who is herself blind – is set to cause uproar with the locals after arriving in the village on community service for a petty crime conviction.

Tagged to ensure she doesn’t break her curfew, she soon creates all kinds of confusion by hiding the real reason for her arrival in the village.

Kitty, who lost her sight at the age of 33 after an illness, says she hopes the character will help to counter prejudice against blind people:

“I’m thrilled to be joining Emmerdale as Lizzie and delighted that the show is challenging stereotypes in this way,” says the star, who joins the show in April. “Lizzie spells trouble from the word go and will be causing all kinds of strife in the village.”

Series producer Gavin Blyth now hopes the character will go on to become one of Emmerdale’s most entertaining locals:

“She’s forthright and fun and she will soon prove that she isn’t afraid to manipulate circumstances to her advantage,” he said. “She will no doubt ruffle feathers and make friends in equal measure, and we are looking forward to seeing how the Emmerdale residents react to that.”

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