Tommy Jessop

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Tommy Jessop (born 19 January 1985) is a British actor. He is the first actor with Down syndrome to star in a prime-time BBC drama.[1]



Tommy with brother William

In 2007, Jessop starred opposite Nicholas Hoult in the feature-length BBC drama Coming Down the Mountain.[1] The writer Mark Haddon said Jessop was the inspiration behind the project.[2][3] Jessop's performance was widely praised,[4][5] and the film was nominated for a Television BAFTA for "Best Single Drama",[6] before winning the RADAR People of the Year Human Rights Media AWARD 2008.[7] Jessop made his television debut in Holby City,[8] and has also appeared in Casualty,[9] Monroe and Doctors. His dream is to appear on EastEnders.[10]

In June 2015, he appeared in two 'Blue Badge' specials of Off Their Rockers on ITV.

In 2019, Jessop plays Terry Boyle in series 5 of Line of Duty.


Jessop is a founding member of award-winning integrated company Blue Apple Theatre, and has appeared in all their productions to date. In 2010, he played Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream.[11] In 2011, he was the Mayor in Gogol's The Government Inspector. In May 2012, Jessop made history when he became the first professional actor with Down Syndrome to play the title role of Hamlet[12] in Blue Apple's touring production. He also played the role of Terry Boyle in series one of BBC drama Line of Duty.[13] In March and April 2013, Tommy played the role of Bobby, a victim of hate crime in Living Without Fear, Blue Apple Theatre's touring production about disability hate crime.[14]


Jessop frequently collaborates with his brother, the writer and filmmaker William Jessop. In 2007, the brothers made the broadcast documentary Tommy's Story for Community Channel (UK). William filmed Tommy behind the scenes of Coming Down the Mountain and Holby City, and was shortlisted for Best Newcomer at the Grierson Awards 2008.[15] In February 2014, Jessop was one of the stars of Growing Up Down's, a documentary about Blue Apple Theatre's touring production of Hamlet that William produced and directed for BBC Three. The film was described as "BBC Three at its very best" [16] and in November 2014 won the Creative Diversity Network Award for Most Groundbreaking Programme.[17]


Jessop has starred in various radio productions for the BBC, including an episode of the series Stone with Hugo Speer in 2010, and the one-off play The Climb opposite Warwick Davis in 2011.[18] On 10 April 2013, Tommy appeared in an episode of The Archers, playing Callum Longfield.[19]


  1. ^ a b "Coming Down the Mountain".
  2. ^ Rampton, James (2007-08-30). "Mark Haddon: First he tackled Asperger's, now the writer is putting Down's syndrome in the spotlight with a new drama". The Independent. London.
  3. ^ Osborn, Michael (2007-08-31). "Haddon Debut Captures Teen Crisis". BBC. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
  4. ^ Wollaston, Sam (2007-09-03). "Last night's TV: Coming Down the Mountain". The Guardian. London.
  5. ^ "Enduring such a mountain of anguish". HeraldScotland.
  6. ^ "BAFTAs - 2008 nominations". The Guardian. London. 2008-03-18. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
  7. ^ "BBC programmes win RADAR awards". 2 December 2008.
  8. ^ "Down's syndrome actor's TV debut". BBC News. 2007-08-22.
  9. ^ "Actor Tommy to star in Casualty". Daily Echo.
  10. ^ "Newcomer Tommy eyes EastEnders role". 23 August 2007.
  11. ^ "Blue Apple tackles the Bard". Hampshire Chronicle.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2013-02-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Terry Boyle". Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  14. ^ "Living Without Fear to tour - Entertainment Focus". 2013-03-02.
  15. ^ "4docs". Archived from the original on 2012-02-09.
  16. ^ "Growing Up Down's: Why you should watch". 3 February 2014.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Another starring role for Tommy". Hampshire Chronicle.
  19. ^ Episode, cast list for the week (retrieved on 2013-04-11)

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