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Viewers praise Michael Sheen BBC interview

michael sheen and an audience of members with learning disabilities, autism and neurodivergent conditions

A one-off BBC interview with Michael Sheen and an audience formed of disabled interviewees has been praised by a number of viewers who applauded the show and its concept.

Friday night’s The Assembly saw 35 people with autism, learning disabilities or neurodivergent conditions asking the Welsh actor probing questions about his acting career and personal life. 

After the programme viewers took to social media congratulating on how Sheen interacted with the audience.

One of the members, Leo, stumbled at first to find the correct words, but after a little while he managed to ask Sheen about the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and if their shared same heritage is why their work resonates so strongly; the actor answered in detail saying it was a “fantastic” question.

The actor was also praised for his “masterclass” in how he treated people with “respect and kindness”.

Elsewhere on social media one viewer was moved by how much support Sheen gave behind disabled people being included in the arts.

‘Just been watching @michaelsheen in the #TheAssembly. What a truly wonderful, humbling & moving piece of telly. His honesty and humanity shone through when discussing how people with autism (and other visible/invisible) disabilities should have same opportunities in the arts,’ wrote Fritha Malcouronne [@NomadicWriter]

Many viewers were moved to tears, especially towards the end when the programme concluded with a rendition of The Beatles’ Here Come The Sun.

‘#TheAssembly was brilliant, it made me laugh and shed some tears. The way Michael answered each question, he was so sweet and patient. God I love this man. Michael Sheen you're a treasure,’ wrote Chio [@achtungchio]

There were more tears from Daisy B [@deebee_now] but the viewer clarified the water trickling down her cheeks were those of happiness.

She posted the message: ‘#TheAssembly heavenly TV. Tears of joy. THIS is a beautiful reminder of our humanity and open hearted connections, thank you to all involved, what a lovely contribution to the world’

Despite the Michael Sheen interview scheduled to be an on-off for The Assembly, its producer Michelle Singer told Variety  representatives of "really significant named talent" are "very up for being available should we move to series".

[ The Assembly is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer ]

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