BBC Show changes life of Travis Smith, a teenager with autism

THE life of a teenager has been “transformed” thanks to appearing in a BBC show.

Travis Smith, from Griffithstown, in Pontypool, will be appearing on the second series of the BBC One show The A Word.

Travis, who went for an audition for My Land’s Shore yesterday [FR], said: “The A word is a drama about a family whose youngest son is diagnosed with autism.

“I play the character called Mark, whose mum is a friend of the family. Mark has autism and he is very similar to what I used to be like.”

Travis said he had to draw on past experiences when interpreting the role as there are times when Mark is aggressive or has a meltdown.

“Overall, it was awesome, I really enjoyed it,” said the 16-year-old. “It was such an honour to be chosen for the role.

“It has helped me realise I may have a bit of talent.”

Travis said he has wanted to do acting and singing as far as he can remember.

“There is nothing else that matters when I am acting,” Travis continued. “Just before I do it, I am petrified but, once I am singing or acting, I lose myself.

“When it is over, it is always disappointing.”

Travis said taking part in The A World has been his biggest role, calling it a “massive jump” as previously he was doing local youth theatre.

“The show is awesome, there are so many different layers to it,” he said.

Travis is also doing an apprenticeship with Able Radio, a national radio station based in Cwmbran which provides a voice for disabled people, helping them to develop skills.

Mum Deb Smith said that drama and singing has “transformed” Travis’ life.

“He has got so much confidence from it,” she said. “At The A Word, they told him he has to take more work.”

Travis, who was a runner up in the Voice of The Valleys, said the show is due to return to BBC1 in November.


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