Shannon Murray

Actor, Writer, Broadcaster, Solicitor, Consultant

Shannon Murray began acting aged eight with the Anna Scher drama school. When she was 14, as a result of a diving accident, she became paralysed from the chest down and has used a wheelchair since then. In 1994 Shannon’s friends entered her into a UK-wide modelling competition, looking for a disabled model, which she won and from then signed with VisABLE People Agency. She has been modelling, acting and presenting since then.

Shannon trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, and has appeared in a number of dramas and soaps including Class, Silent Witness, Casualty, Holby City and Eastenders. In 2010, following appearances on Gok Wan’s How to Look Good Naked, Shannon modelled for department store Debenhams, becoming the first disabled model to feature in a high street advertising campaign.

As someone who acquired their disability as a teenager, Shannon is keenly aware of the specific issues around adjusting to disability while also growing into an adult. She speaks at schools across the country and mentors young people with acquired disabilities covering everything from socialising to body image to sexuality and relationships. 

Shannon is also a solicitor and disability consultant, and has been campaigning for better media representation for over 25 years. She has been an expert guest on numerous programmes including BBC News, Radio 4’s No Tragedy, No Triumph, 60 Minutes, Pioneers and Newsnight. She has also written articles about broader topics around disability for The Independent, The Conversation, Company magazine and others.

With highly sought-after expertise, Shannon has been a keynote speaker and moderator at events for huge household names including the BBC, Channel 4, Raindance Film Festival, and for organisations including the Metropolitan Police, Goldman Sachs, Network Rail and University College London Medical School. She currently divides her time between London, Dublin and Los Angeles.