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ITV send disabled activist a non-accessible car

Barbara  Lisicki  being interviewed by Phillip Schofield and Josie Gibson on This Morning
Barbara Lisicki being interviewed by Phillip Schofield and Josie Gibson on This Morning Image credit: manchestereveningnews.co.uk

Phillip Schofield made an on-air apology to one of the guests on This Morning who appeared on the show to promote a BBC drama.

Disability rights activist Barbara Lisicki was being interviewed by Schofield and his stand-in co-host Josie Gibson, who was replacing Holly Willoughby after she tested positive for Covid-19.

Liscki was on the show to discuss BBC's drama, Then Barbara Met Alan, which tells the true story of how she campaigned disabled equal rights with her partner Alan Holdsworth.

Before discussing the programme Schofield issued an apology to the activist after ITV sent her a car which was not accessible.

"It's lovely to have you here," the host said to Lisicki. "I'm actually going to start not the way I planned to start this chat because I'm going to start with an apology. Reading you story this morning, there's parts of it I've never heard before and that's the important mission you were on and still are on.

"I looked towards the end of the interview and thought how much are we progressing and how much better are we getting and then I find out that the car company we use for this show - and we specifically asked them for a car that would enable your access - but we had to change the order of the show today because they didn't send a car you could get into."

Schofield added:  "So we still have a long way to go."

Lisicki replied: "It's one of life's daily ironies."  

Schofield then asked how she felt when she experiences similar situations.

"It's a frustration that all disabled people encounter,” Lisicki responded. “It's big stuff, it's little stuff but there's always a barrier to just being able to get on with following your plans or living your life."

The drama traced Lisicki and Holdsworth’s campaign trail and protests which eventually encouraged the government to introduce the Disability Discrimination Act in 1985.

Schofield asked if Lisicki was ‘sceptical’ about BBC making her story into a drama at first.

"I was surprised because I was expecting it to be just a regular talking-heads documentary,” Lisicki replied. “But the idea of a drama grew on me more and more and then I met Ruth [Madeley, who plays Barbara in the film]."

Gibson asked Lisicki why the BBC chose a drama over a documentary, Lisicki told the host ‘it wasn’t her choice’ but she was ‘delighted’ when the production company approached BAFTA award-winner Jack Thorne to write the script.

When Barbara Met Alan is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.