Drama & soaps

The Makaton Language Programme is being used increasingly more within mainstream TV.

EastEnders on BBC 1

Our most recent collaboration has been with the popular BBC soap EastEnders, a storyline demonstrating how the use of Makaton, can support someone with sudden hearing loss, to communicate with their immediate world, during a frightening and challenging time.

Emmerdale on ITV 1

Zanna with actors from EmmerdaleThe TV soap Emmerdale introduced a new character. Marlon and Rhonda were advised their son will be born with Down's syndrome and the couple decide to go ahead with the birth and support their baby. Their son ‘Leo’, uses Makaton to communicate on and off screen. Storylines show how life isn’t much different for him and his Mum to anyone else in the village, it depicts different characters learning and having a go at Makaton to communicate and include Leo, as he grows up.

Emmerdale’s upcoming Down's syndrome storyline. 

Although we work in collaboration with the show on occasions, we do not have any influence over their storylines. Our role is to support the actors in the use of Makaton as and when required. 

We value the amazing work that has been achieved to raise awareness of Down's syndrome over the years, and it is this constant effort from supporters that has pushed meaningful discussion into mainstream conversation, and allowed previously ignored communities to have a voice and to be included.  

The Makaton Charity is fully committed to helping to extend this voice through our sign and symbol work, enabling more people to have a voice regardless of their age, culture or needs. As a result of this storyline, we have linked up with the Down’s Syndrome Association, who have offered to support anyone affected by this storyline, by calling 0333 1212 300 or emailing [email protected]. More information can be found on their website