Deaf Muswell Actress awarded MBE

A deaf Muswell Hill actress has topped off a year in which she performed in front of millions of people from all over the world with an MBE.

Caroline Parker was given the award for services to deaf theatre and drama in the New Year Honours – an award which she says was completely unexpected but certainly welcome.

“I was very surprised when I read the letter [it arrived in November] and to this day was not sure if it was a hoax or genuine!” she told the Ham&High.


Ms Parker, 50, has built a reputation for herself as the UK’s best signing singer over the course of her 30-year career – which led to her being asked by friend Jenny Sealey to accompany Beverly Knight’s rendition of I Am What I Am at the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games this summer.

“I was delighted to be able to join my friend in such a venture and indeed privileged to be able to participate in what may be my biggest gig ever,” she said.

It was more than just a chance to appear before one of the largest TV audiences ever. It was also an opportunity to inspire other deaf performers.

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Ms Parker said: “In doing this as a deaf performer I hope other deaf people will gain the confidence to do what they are inspired to do in the performing arts. Not only this, but to inspire prominent people in the arts to employ deaf people alongside them to create wonderful things for society to enjoy.”