Meet Years & Years’ Ruth Madeley

ruth madeley in years and years
ruth madeley in years and years Image credit:

If you haven’t heard of her just yet chances are before the 10 O’clock news tonight Ruth Madeley will be a household name.

You may have seen the rising actress when she landed a supporting role in Fresh Meat or her role in Scims which she wrote for Lime Pictures, but her career is about to take Ruth to the next level.

Madeley will be gracing our screens over the next six weeks in Years & Years, BBC’s new drama written by Russell T Davies, the genius behind Queer as Folk, Doctor Who and numerous more award winning television shows.

Years & Years follows the Lyons family set in 2024 which sees the repercussions of the world we are living in today, for example what happens if technological advances aren’t monitored properly…It’s quite eerie that we are actually writing this article the day WhattsApp urged users to update their software after the system was hacked last night!

The cast is extremely inclusive, there’s a gay couple, immigrant and a transhuman. There’s also a disabled member of the family and that’s where Ruth steps in.

Madeley plays the part of Rosie who has spina bifida – the same condition Ruth was born with. Her character is described as sharp and spirited with a cracking sense of humour which keeps the family together, but she holds a grudge against her father for walking out on them when she was young.

Ruth’s talent was spotted when she volunteered for the Whizz-Kidz charity, who arranged Madeley’s first wheelchair.

When the BBC contacted the organisation looking for a disabled actress her name was put forward and she landed her debut role in Fresh Meat.

She never thought her acting would materialise into a full-time career but when Ruth was nominated for a BAFTA for her part in BBC’s Don’t Take My Baby Madeley never looked back.

Despite the accolade she believes her real achievement was landing a non-disability specific role in ITV’s The Level. After being cast for the part Ruth said: there’s a long way to go, but I’m very excited to hopefully be a part of that change, where I can be an actress first and a disabled actress second.”

Years & Years is on BBC ONE, Tuesdays at 9pm and available to download afterwards on BBC iPlayer.