August 07, 2012 Gossip

Peterborough actor David Proud can soon be seen back on TV in a new BBC drama.

He’ll be appearing in The Best of Men, alongside stars Eddie Marsan and Rob Brydon in a story which tells the true story of the birth of the Paralympic Games and its visionary creator Dr Ludwig Guttmann.

David, from Whittlesey, who has spina bifida and who starred in EastEnders as Adam Best will play a character called Jeremy in the drama which airs on Thursday August 16 at 9pm on BBC Two.

“I remember coming out of the audition for The Best of Men and really wanting it,” David told ESP. “The story of Dr Guttmann is so close to my heart I just wanted to be part of bringing it to life. I actually got the phone call telling me I had got the part on my birthday this year and I remember thinking it was getting a birthday present from my Nan as I know she has always watched over me like a guardian angel.”

The Best of Men tells the story of a talented neurologist called Guttmann who back in 1944 arrived at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and against the odds transformed its Spinal Injuries Unit into a place of miracles, hope and determination.

Eddie Marsan plays the inspirational Dr Guttmann who rejected the general view that paralysis was a terminal condition and brought in a revolutionary new philosophy – to get all his patients to live full and useful lives. Sport was his big idea and he used it to help build physical strength as well as self-respect.

Rob Brydon plays Sergeant Wynn Bowen, a Welsh soldier with a large personality, whose life is forever changed after he is paralysed and admitted to Stoke Mandeville under the care of Dr Guttmann.

The local actor appered in the second series of ITV’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl in 2008 and became well known for his part as Adam Best in EastEnders. In The Best of Men David Proud plays Jeremy, who he describes a quiet character, far removed from previous characters he’s played.

“He is recovering throughout the film and I did have to prentend to be asleep in some scenes and did accidentally nod off on one take,” David revealed to ESP. “The director had to come and wake me up – he did compliment me on being very method!”

In the summer of 1948, Guttmann held the first national athletic event for disabled athletes, which took place on the same day as the opening ceremony for the 1948 London Olympics. David says he’s excited to be a part of telling this amazing story.

“Although you don’t see much of Jeremy I think I am more proud of this than anything I have done to date. Dr Guttmann’s work on rehabilitation changed the lives of disabled people forever, I was born into a world of possibilities because of his legacy. To come full circle and be able to honour him by telling his story is a very emotional journey.”

It doesn’t stop there for David though, as a few weeks later you can catch him in an episode of Doctors on Monday September 10 and he’s working hard on several projects so we’re sure we’ll be telling you more about this local actor in future.

Photos: Top image Andy Vernum @ Studio One.