The glee on little Frankie Porter’s face is clear to see. Dressed as a glistening blue bauble, he jumps with excitement as the audience bursts into rapturous applause following his school Christmas show.
It’s not his real one though.Frankie is one of the near-sixty children who have taken centre stage in this year’s Sainsbury’s Christmas advert The Big Night.
The five-year-old, from Horbury, is represented by Zebedee Management, a specialist modelling agency which aims to raise the profile of disabled babies, children and adults in the fashion and advertising industries.
Frankie, who has Down Syndrome, joined the agency in March, the same weekend his family was told he also has type one diabetes.
Mum Vicky said: “It has been really nice to have something positive to focus on. It can be so easy to get bogged down with things going on so it’s really good to have something positive to focus on that he enjoys.
“He’s really sociable, he just loves the camera. He really enjoys it. You can tell when he gets there and he is all smiles.”
Since launching in February last year, Zebedee has championed diversity, helping the near 300 people now on its books become stars of film, television, advertising and fashion.
Zebedee cofounder Zoe Proctor said: “Disabled people should be fairly represented. They have a lot to offer like any person in society.
“Disabled people just want to be seen out there as the norm, not tokenism.”
Zoe set up the Sheffield-based not-for-profit talent agency with sister-in-law Laura Johnson, a social worker from the city, with the hope of “redefining the perception of beauty, disability and diversity.”
Vicky Porter, Frankie’s mumIt’s really good to have something positive to focus on that he enjoys.
But Zoe acknowledges there is still a long way to go. She said: “We want to be seen as a main go-to agency, not just an agency that represents disabled talent. We just want to be up there with the big players.”