10 Nov Meet Sophie Morgan: The TV Presenter and Disability Advocate Paving the Way to a More Equal World
Sophie Morgan (36) is a British TV presenter, author, disability advocate, artist, and keen adventurer living in London.
In 2003, Sophie, then eighteen, was paralysed from the chest down in a car crash and since the day she left hospital, as a permanent wheelchair user, she’s worked tirelessly to change perceptions of disability. Today, she is one of the most influential disabled leaders in the country.
As an ambitious young woman, Sophie was eagerly awaiting her adult life beyond her teenage years. But, on the day she received her A Level results, instead of stepping into her future, a terrible car crash sent her life in a very different direction. This forced her to rediscover herself in a completely different body, meet the depths of human resilience and grapple with the setbacks of paralysis. Coming to understand people’s prejudice and perceptions of disability, Sophie developed an unwavering desire to challenge society’s ablest culture, educate others and be a leading voice for equality.
As one of the only female TV presenters with a physical disability worldwide, Sophie is already radically redefining representation of disability – most recently joining ITV’s Loose Women as a guest-panellist. She is best known for presenting the London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Sophie also fronted her own Channel 4 series Living Wild: How to Change your Life and led ground-breaking documentaries such as Dispatches and Unreported World. Sophie is also proud to be a content board member for Ofcom, the UK’s regulatory body for broadcasting.
Off screen and on the airwaves, Sophie hosts and is executive producer of the podcast Equal Too: Achieving Disability Equality. Featuring stimulating conversations around key issues surrounding disability, the series sets new standards for how we think about and discuss the subject.
This incredible journey from a life-changing accident to leading female presenter will see Sophie publish her debut book, Driving Forwards in March 2022. A strikingly honest, unflinching and powerful memoir, Driving Forwards details the events of Sophie’s life so far but is far from a typical story of triumph after tragedy. The book explores how she’s managed to adapt to her situation and strives to illustrate how adversity is an opportunity to find empowerment, purpose and resilience. The book doesn’t hold back the truth about the reality of living with paralysis as a young woman in an ableist world. Identity, purpose, sex, love, meaning and motivation are all themes in the book – taking readers on a ground-breaking journey like no other.
Outside of broadcasting and publishing, Sophie is a campaigner, consultant and ambassador for various organisations and charities across the globe. For Human Rights Watch which is headquartered in New York, she’s a member of the Special Advisory Committee, while for Leonard Cheshire she’s a Global Ambassador for Women’s Rights and Inclusive Education. She also holds the position of Patron for Scope and Back Up, both of which are charities working to make society more equal for the disabled.
Sophie’s quest to smash the stereotyping that prevents people with disabilities from being truly seen is only just beginning.
Sophie Morgan comments: ‘I strongly believe we have to create the changes we want to see in the world. This is why I’m set on disrupting as many spaces as possible to show that disabilities do not have to dictate the trajectory of our lives, contrary to common belief. One of the first TV programmes I ever did was Beyond Boundaries alongside Ade Adepitan, trekking in the Nicaraguan jungle, where I learnt early on that we are only as disabled as our environment makes us. I’m therefore determined to be at the forefront of changing society’s perceptions and expectations of disability, so there’s never a question of access, only ever attitude.’