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Arkwright & Granville in Open All Hours
Arkwright & Granville in Open All Hours

Press release -



On Saturday 22ndOctober, STAMMA will conclude their year-long campaign ‘No Diversity without Disfluency’ by delivering a petition calling for better representation of people who stammer in the media.

Signed by over 25,000 people, the petition will be delivered just after 12:00 noon to the BBC and ITV studios in Manchester and London. Joining the delegation at Broadcasting House will be members of STAMMA along with Patron Scroobius Pip.

According to a recent YouGov poll, 59% of those asked said they don’t know a character in a TV series or film who stammered and only 2% could name five characters. Sitting in the top five was Forrest Gump and Rain Man, neither of whom stammer.

The two shows named the most, by an overwhelming majority, were The King’s Speech, released in 2010, and Open All Hours, last filmed in the 1980s. For the post-King's Speech generation, only 30% of those aged 18-24 were able to name a character who stammered in film or TV, and 70% couldn’t think of anyone at all.

Stammering is used as a comedic device in two of the films and TV shows most commonly named in the poll: Open All Hours and A Fish Called Wanda. Open All Hours is still aired today, continuing to expose those growing up with a stammer to ridicule. Childhood is the time when most people develop their stammer - around 8% of children will stammer at some point.

STAMMA CEO Jane Powell said, “The poll shows just how badly the stammering community is served by our media. It is no wonder that people try and hide their stammer or face discrimination and being mocked because of how they talk. Most members of the public don’t know how to react to a stammer because it isn’t visible in our media. This is incredibly damaging".

She added “The media aren’t doing enough to reflect the lives of people who stammer. The King’s Speech and Open All Hours were created decades ago and neither present a relevant portrayal of people who stammer".

STAMMA is encouraging its members to take part in radio phone-ins over the weekend so that the public get to hear people who stammer talking - not being interviewed about their stammer, but to help the public become accustomed to hearing someone who stammers talk.

More Information

  • 59% could not name a character from film or television who has a stammer.
  • 41% named a character or an individual who they thought stammered, but not all those named do, or did, have a stammer.
  • 18% were able to give a second name; 7% three names and 4% gave a fourth.
  • Only 2% attempted to name five people who stammer.

The poll was conducted by YouGov between 12th-13th October. Total sample size was 2,061 adults. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

There were 98 characters listed or inferred; not all of them were characters who stammered and some were named individuals (like Jonathan Ross).

YouGov question
"For the following question, by 'stammer', we mean to speak or say something with unusual pauses or repetition in speaking. We do not mean the occasional hesitation which everyone experiences.

Please name up to 5 characters from films or TV series who have a stammer as part of their role. If you can't remember the character's name, please type the name of the film or TV series instead. (Please type one answer in each box below)."

Top 15 ranked responses, first character named: -

Character Film Number of citations Percent
King George The Kings Speech, The Crown 250 29%
Arkwright Open All Hours 166 20%
Ken Pile A Fish Called Wanda


Forrest Gump Forrest Gump 25 3%

Rain Man

22 3%
Jim Trott Vicar of Dibley 21 2%
Claudius I Claudius 17 2%
Gareth Gates X Factor 19 2%
Sam Dingle Emmerdale 13 2%
Professor Quirrel Harry Potter & The Philosophers Stone 11 1%
Mushy Educating Yorkshire 9


Cardi Brassic 6


Benny Crossroads 6 1%

Bill Denbrough

IT 6 1%
Frank Spencer Some Mothers Do Ave 'Em





Our Purpose

We exist to create a world that makes space for stammering. Where it's embraced as just a difference. Where no-one judges your stammer or the way you choose to deal with it. We’ll get there by bringing people together, whether they stammer or not, to propel a movement for change.

We will stand up for and embolden those who stammer, provide support and information, and challenge discrimination wherever we find it. We’ll fight for NHS speech and language therapy services for those want it. No matter how you talk, we're here for you.

Join us and help the public understand that stammering is not a sign of being drunk, dishonest, nervous or weak. It’s simply how some of us talk.


Jane Powell

Jane Powell

Press contact CEO +44 20 8983 1003
Neha Shaji

Neha Shaji

Press contact +442045824144 

Pritie Billimoria

Press contact Director Comms & Fundraising

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It's How We Talk

Founded in 1978, Stamma, the British Stammering Association is a national registered charity dedicated to creating a better world for people who stammer. Through its website:, helpline and backing of local meetup and self-help groups, the British Stammering Association provides information and support for people who stammer and those living, supporting or working with them. The BSA is a membership organisation with members taking an active role in the election of trustees and in the strategic direction of the charity.

Find out more at


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