In BBC’s new comedy pilot Kirkmoore, Keron Day stars as David, one of the lead characters alongside Christopher John-Slater as Jack and Francesca Mills as Chloe, with the show set in a fictional school for disabled students. Kirkmoore is created by Andrew Bogle and produced by Fudge Park Productions (the company set up by the creators of The Inbetweeners), and the pilot is currently streaming on BBC iPlayer. Previously, Keron has played Scott in Missy Malek’s short film We’re Too Good For This, which saw him attend the premiere at the 2021 BFI London Film Festival, filmed for the new series of Sex Education, and he has worked on commercials including for United Nations and National Rail. Keron recently spoke to us about filming for BBC’s new comedy pilot Kirkmoore, starring as David in the show and working on short film We’re Too Good For This.
You play one of the lead roles of David in the new BBC comedy pilot Kirkmoore, can you tell us about the show and your character?
Kirkmoore is set in a fictional school for disabled people. It was created by and based off the experiences of our writer Andrew Bogle. Our show has a disabled majority cast, a deaf director and a disabled writer – which are all vitally important when telling disabled stories. I play David, who is an uptight teacher’s pet whose greatest desire is to become the first disabled Prime Minister.
Playing David is such a joy. It’s so cool I was able to play a disabled character that doesn’t adhere to the archetypes and stereotypes of disability. David has many hangups but these are not driven, directly at least, by his disability.
How was it reading Andrew Bogle’s script for the first time and what was David like to play?
The first time I read the script I actually laughed out loud, which is always a good sign! If it’s funny on the page, assuming I’ve done my job correctly, it will be funny on screen. It was also very apparent to me, upon reading Kirkmoore, that the script was written by a disabled person. There are nuances within it that can only come from an experiential perspective on disability. I think this is another reason why this show works so well, as there is a level of authenticity at all stages of production.
What was it like meeting and working alongside the rest of the cast and what was it like on set?
Of course, all of the cast were amazing, but I have to give a special shoutout to Fran Mills and Chris Slater. Throughout our week of filming, we were continually laughing and were often told off by our director for corpsing! As David was the most serious of the three friends, Fran and Chris took great enjoyment in trying to make me laugh when I was attempting to be very serious.
It was not lost on us how unusual it was to have as many disabled people as part of the cast as we did. It felt like significant progress and I can only hope that this is the start of more TV shows being commissioned.
How did you feel watching the completed episode and how has it been seeing the viewers’ response so far?
In the build-up to watching it, I was very nervous. When you do jobs on screen there is always an element of not being sure whether what you intended to do came across. I’m always my harshest critic. However, I was very happy with my performance, and the response from people has been amazing.
Who do you think will enjoy Kirkmoore and why would you recommend watching the pilot on BBC iPlayer?
Kirkmoore is produced by the people who brought you The Inbetweeners. So, if you enjoyed The Inbetweeners, Kirkmoore is the show for you.
We understand you worked on the new series of Sex Education, how did you find the experience on set?
As a result of the actors strike, I won’t go into too much detail about my Sex Education experience. That being said, if I was going to summarise the whole experience in two words, they would be: amazingly surreal.
How was your time playing Scott in the short film We’re Too Good For This and how would you describe your character?
Scott is always going to be important to me as he was the first character I played professionally. Scott was full of life and laughs. I loved how mischievous he was and playing a character who has a lot more confidence in disobeying authority than I do!
What was We’re Too Good For This like to be part of and what are some of your favourite memories from filming?
My overriding memory for filming We’re Too Good For This was how seamlessly BSL was integrated into the artistic process. We had members of the deaf community in both the cast and the crew, with several BSL interpreters on set. What I would stress is how normal it felt. So much so, the sets I worked on afterwards felt like something was missing as there was nobody using BSL. I only felt like there was a return to normal on the set of Sex Education, where we had cast members with interpreters using BSL.
How was it having the film premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in 2021?
Being at the BFI London Film Festival was an amazing experience. It was particularly special to be there with a film that had four disabled leads and one of the first (if not, the first) films at LFF to integrate BSL with spoken language. I hope one day soon I can be in another film that premieres at London Film Festival.
We understand you’ve worked on commercials including for United Nations and National Rail, can you tell us about these?
Filming the UN commercial was very cool. I was fortunate enough to work with Aleem Khan and Molly Manning Walker. The amount of time and care that went into that advert meant that it felt like on set we were making something of great significance, with a really important anti-ableism message.
When filming the National Rail advert, our filming location was The Victoria and Albert Museum, which was an amazing backdrop. As the Museum was hired out for us to film, it felt like being in the film Night at the Museum.
How did you get into acting and was it something you always wanted to do?
I could give you an entire essay on how and why I got into acting (don’t worry – I will save you from that). Essentially, I got into it as film and TV offers a platform to changing opinion on disability like nothing else. At school, there was a particular production that I wasn’t allowed to be involved in because, as a disabled person, I “didn’t fit the context”. This started me on the process of researching disability representation. Very quickly, it was clear to me that there has been a continued lack of and misrepresentation of disabled people. I saw much of the important conversation sounding diversity fail to include disabled people. Hence, I came up with my slogan that I have been using ever since, which is: diversity without disability, is not diversity.
How was it training with National Youth Theatre?
National Youth Theatre was the most inclusive drama training that I have ever experienced. Many years have passed since I did NYT, but I’m still in frequent contact with many of my friends from the course.
Have you been given any advice over your acting career so far that has stuck with you?
I’ve been given lots of advice, all of which I am grateful for and different bits come to me in different situations when needed. This being said, the piece of advice that sticks in my head the most is when somebody said to me “If you don’t believe it, why should we?”.
Do you have a favourite aspect of being an actor?
There are many, many things that I like about being an actor. If I were to select one, it would have to be the ability to tell stories that shift and shape opinion. Storytelling allows us to see the world through the perspective of others and this will hopefully broaden our horizons as people.
What are you hoping the next few months bring for you and do you have any projects coming up that you can tell us about?
At the moment, my overriding hope is that the strike can come to an end after successful negotiations, where all sides are happy and we can get back to telling stories.
Follow Keron on: