Loose Women Star Sophie Morgan Calls Out Ableist Headline Amid Strictly Rumours

Sophie Morgan
Sophie Morgan

Sophie Morgan

Presenter and disability rights campaigner Sophie Morgan has called out a tabloid newspaper’s “ableist” front page headline, after she was rumoured to be taking part in the next series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The Loose Women star said she was “not a wheelchair” in a social media post after The Sun ran a front page story on her rumoured participation on the BBC dance show under the headline ‘Cha Cha Chair’ on Saturday.

The 38-year-old, who has also presented coverage of the Paralympics on Channel 4, urged her Twitter followers to complain to the Independent Press Standards Commission about the newspaper’s headline.

″‘CHA, CHA, CHAIR….’ is this actually for real?” Sophie tweeted. 

“@TheSun we need to have a word. I am NOT a wheelchair. I am a PERSON who uses a wheelchair. WtAF.”

She added: “If u want to complain about this ableist headline PLEASE do so... PLEASE.

“We need to call it out & the more we complain the greater the chances are for the BRILLIANT @RachelCDailey to succeed in creating guidelines on how to report on disability CORRECTLY.”

Several disability rights campaigners have also spoken out about the shocking discriminatory comments made by some people on social media about the possibility of watching a wheelchair dancer.

Award-winning disabled ballerina, model and activist, Kate Stanforth, tweeted:  “It’s been announced that @bbcstrictly are going to have a wheelchair user this year. I’ve just sat, honestly close to tears, as I’ve scrolled through the ableist comments about how wheelchair users are not welcome on the programme but also in general society.”

And journalist and disability rights campaigner Rachel Charlton-Dailey said: “This is why I won’t believe the ‘announcement’ til I see it. Because the public reacts this way when it’s just mentioned that strictly are LOOKING to cast a wheelchair using celeb. Absolutely vile. Disabled people don’t need to prove our worth to you.”

Meanwhile, Paralympic wheelchair athlete David Weir told the Mail: “It’s a great thing for inclusion and it will be nice to see someone getting a platform and profile on a massive show like Strictly. It will certainly make me watch it. Ellie Simmonds was great last year and it was so good to see her doing a show like that.”

Sophie was recently in the headlines for campaigning for government legislation within the aviation industry with the aim of protecting the rights of passengers using wheelchairs.

Her RightsOnFlights campaign came after her £8,000 wheelchair was broken in transit on a British Airways flight.