Last year, Alex Brooker was swimming in the cold waters of Lake Windermere, struggling to reach the shore. The comic and TV presenter began to hyperventilate and cry behind his goggles. “I can’t do it,” he pleaded repeatedly as he thrashed around. “I felt extremely disabled for the first time in as long as I can remember because my body just wasn’t doing what I wanted it to,” he says over the phone from his home in London.
As has become the norm for Brooker, the entire ordeal was captured on camera and televised as part of Channel 4’s charity reality show Sink Or Swim. Brooker was born with hand and arm deformities, and became a leg amputee at 13 months old. He rose to prominence with self-deprecating takes on his disability during the Friday night topical chatshow The Last Leg, which began as part of Channel 4’s coverage of the Paralympics in London. He is one of the few disabled faces regularly seen on British TV, but it has only been over the past year that he decided to confront his disability without the jokes, leading to a new documentary on BBC Two this Sunday.
Read the interview in the Guardian.
[This piece was published on 02/07/20]