Danny Murphy – 13-year-old hopes for media career despite being the 5th generation of Deaf family

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Extracted from Chronicle Live – 4 September 2017 – By Ian Robson

Danny Murphy is a natural performer who is hoping for a glittering career in front of the camera – despite being the deaf child of deaf parents.

At 13 he has already co-presented a programme aimed at a deaf and hearing audience.

He has 25,000 followers on Facebook and has made comedy videos which have 1.5 million views on YouTube.

What makes Danny remarkable is that he has achieved all this despite his hearing problems.

On Danny’s Skits Video he posts jokes, parodies, vlogs and news and tries to do one a month.

Danny Murphy (13) with his mum Kelly, both of whom are deaf (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
Danny Murphy (13) with his mum Kelly, both of whom are deaf (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

They include his thoughts on sleepover movies without subtitles, deaf and blind pilots on a plane, and even deaf versions of the X-Factor and Star Wars.

Both his parents, Kelly and Charles, are deaf and he in the fifth generation of silent children on his father’s side of the family.

Yet Danny has a confidence in broadcasting that is remarkable for any boy his age.

And he has now been nominated in the Chronicle Champions Awards 2017 in the Young Role Model category. The category is sponsored by Stratstone Tyneside BMW.

We caught up with Danny at ITV’s SignPost office at Gateshead where he was filming for a second set of five programmes for CITV in the Mission Employable series.

The series, aimed at both a deaf and hearing audience, sees Danny try a series of jobs.

Danny, of Wallsend, had shone in an audition for the show where his expressive personality won over TV bosses.

Communicating through sign language interpreter Helen Dunipace, he signed: “I just love performing. I have no fear of performing. I really love it.

“By the time I was eight I ended up in a short film of skits and the response was that I had a genuine acting ability but I did not know what that meant.

“I can make my own videos and people from all over the world follow me on Facebook.”

Danny Murphy (13) who is deaf, yet has his own show on CITV (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
Danny Murphy (13) who is deaf, yet has his own show on CITV (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

Danny’s skill is such that he was invited to Slovakia where he was the main presenter to an audience of children and also taught workshops on using a camera and editing.

Mum Kelly is proud of her son’s achievements.

She signed: “I can’t believe what he has done but in another way I can believe it.

“When I look back to when he was small he took to the stage with such confidence.

“I am delighted but the confidence was there in him already.

“He was born confident and felt he can aspire to things even though he is deaf.

“He is the fifth generation of his family to be a deaf but to him it is normal.”

Kelly and Charles have three children but only Danny is deaf with his brother Ryan, 16, and sister Megan, 10, both able to speak.

Danny Murphy (13) who is deaf has been nominated for a Chronicle Champion Award (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
Danny Murphy (13) who is deaf has been nominated for a Chronicle Champion Award (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

Up to now he has attended a mainstream school but from September he will start attending the specialist Mary Hare School in Berkshire.

He was nominated by the British Deaf Association for the Princess Diana Roll of Honour 2017 for his work on mainstream TV promoting sign language.

British Deaf Association chair, Terry Riley, said: “This is a recognition of the achievements Danny has made in such a short time and he is an inspiration to all deaf children in mainstream school.

“Although he did not win the top award, the Diana Legacy Award, the fact that he is one of the few to get onto the roll of honour is in itself a great achievement, and all credit to Danny and his parents.”

Christopher Luke, producer of Mission Employable, said Danny was an inspiration.

He said: “There was a nationwide search for auditions and we knew straightaway that he was going to be fantastic in front of the camera.

“His personality is absolutely fantastic as is his connection with the audience.”

Danny’s ambition is to work in television or other media and he has made a great start.

Part of his responsibility on Mission Employable is to work out the right camera angles to convey the information viewers need clearly in British Sign Language.

His expressive face and natural presenting skill mark Danny out as a true role model for all children.

Extracted from Chronicle Live – 4 September 2017 – By Ian Robson


Ian Robson is a reporter who has been with Chronicle since 1978, writing news and features for the Chronicle Live and Sunday Sun.

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