1. ITV Report

Cheltenham girl with cerebral palsy cast in drama alongside David Tennant

Lilac Jackson (front, centre) alongside David Tennant. Credit: Leila Jackson.

A little girl from Cheltenham whose parents were told she may never walk has managed the feat on her first day of school.

Lilac Jackson, who has cerebral palsy, walked to school last week - 18 months after having life-saving surgery.

Her parents raised more than £100,000 to fund the operation to achieve the four-year-old’s dream of being able to chase after her brother.

But she now looks set for stardom after being cast in Channel 4’s upcoming thriller Deadwater Fell, alongside Broadchurch actor David Tennant.

Lilac walking to school for her first day. Credit: Leila Jackson

Mum Leila said being on set is where her daughter is “meant to be”.

She absolutely loved it. It was, I can’t lie, it was quite overwhelming on the first day. I think I spent the entire morning crying my eyes out thinking ‘oh my God, we’ve gone from this little, scrappy 34-week-old baby who nobody expected to survive to here we are about to film scenes with David Tennant’.

And she walked on to set, we were filming on the beach that day and it was just where she was meant to be.

– Leila Jackson, Lilac's mum

Lilac Jackson, from Cheltenham, was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy soon after her first birthday - and doctors warned she would likely never walk or talk.

The condition is caused by brain damage during pregnancy or childbirth and it affects one in every 400 babies born in the UK every year.

Little Lilac walking on her treadmill at home. Credit: Leila Jackson

Leila said her daughter’s on-screen experience improved Lilac’s confidence and helped with her speech and language.

She said she hopes little Lilac will be considered for other roles 'in spite of her disability' in the future.