Role model Danny Murphy signs his way onto the big screen

He may have been born unable to hear, but that certainly didn't impact his ability to perform.

Danny Murphy is only 15. But he's already co-presented a children's TV programme, gained thousands of international followers, toured the US, won awards and completed filming an international movie.

To celebrate Deaf Awareness Week, 6-12th May, we're highlighting our very own deaf role model from the region.

Danny was born deaf and has used hearing aids throughout his childhood. His first language is British Sign Language and second is spoken English.

His parents, Kelly and Charles are also deaf, making Danny the fifth-generation of deaf children on his father’s side of the family.

Danny grew up in Wallsend, Newcastle, with his parents and siblings but has since moved to London, to attend Mary Hare Boarding School in Newbury. He's currently completing GCSE's in English, Maths, Science, Media, Drama, ICT, Geography and also BTEC Business Studies.

We reached out to Danny and his mother Kelly, who says he's looking forward to coming back and visiting the ITV SignPost studios, for a brand new project DareMaster.

  • We asked Danny a few quick-fire questions:

Tell us about the most exciting project you've worked on so far?

"I would say... The Parts You Lose feature movie from Hollywood. Because I got to experience acting in a Hollywood movie! It’s really cool for me! The crew and actors are wonderful."

Do you think there are enough role models for children who are deaf or hard of hearing?

"I think there are rarely role models for deaf children for 2019, but now, [because of my work] I've heard there is lots of children started being actors and editing movies."

What advice would you give to children who look up to you?

"I would say, it doesn’t matter who you are, just achieve your dreams! It doesn’t matter if it’s tough. Remember always be yourself."

What are your plans for the future?

"My future plan is making the movie, act in another feature movie and then direct as well!"

It's lights, camera, action for Danny Credit: ITV SignPost

In 2017, Danny won The Diana Award after being nominated by the British Deaf Association. The award, created in 1999 in memory of the late Princess Diana, celebrates the outstanding achievements of young people.

It is amazing to be here. I am so excited. I couldn’t wait for today! I’m very proud of achieving this and for being a role model to other children.

Danny Murphy accepting the Diana Award nomination in 2017
Danny has presented programmes on CITV Credit: ITV SignPost

Three years ago Danny took his talents to social media, uploading his own comedy videos, which are released online every month. Views on his YouTube channel have peaked the million park.

Danny's Skit Videos Facebook page has over 40,000 followers.

  • What's next for Danny?

Well, he's been very busy Stateside. Danny was cast in his first feature film 'The Parts You Lose, which is due for release this summer.

The American thriller stars Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul as a fugitive criminal who befriends a deaf boy. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Scoot McNairy also star as Danny's parents.

He's been learning American Sign Language to help him prepare for the role.

Danny Murphy has a leading role in children's tv programme Mission Employable

But it's not just the big silver screen Danny is looking to conquer. His growing fanbase is spreading further than the UK - and there's no sign of him slowing down yet.

You, or your kids, might recognise Danny as one of the stars of CITV's Mission Employable. A children's TV programme where agents of the Mission Employable Agency go behind-the-scenes across some of the most important industries out there as they try their hands at various professions, and must face the everyday challenges that each job entails.

Danny works closely with the ITV SignPost team, at their production house in Gateshead. SignPost pride themselves on being a team "with diversity in their DNA", using the skills and talents of their diverse crew to produce high-quality broadcast content for Deaf and mainstream audiences. Check out the work they do, by clicking here.

If you want to get involved in the conversation online to celebrate deaf role models on social media, include the hashtag #DAWrolemodels2019.