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Deaf actress learns to sign in Glaswegian for hit BBC comedy Two Doors Down

Deaf actress Sophie Stone had to learn to sign like a Glaswegian for her role in hit BBC comedy Two Doors Down.

Sophie, 38, who’s originally from London, said British Sign Language – BSL – has dialect influence, slang and phrases of its own from region to region, just like an accent.

There were experts on set and a friend even gave her some Glaswegian insults he’d picked up from deaf clubs as a teenager.

But Sophie said she was careful to make sure the words she used worked for her Louise.

In the show, now on its fourth series, her character has a run in with Michelle’s nightmare neighbour Cathy.

But when the cameras stopped rolling, she said Doon Mackichan – who plays Cathy –was quick to apologise for her character’s behaviour.

She said: “Doon’s best friend is deaf who also coincidentally happens to be a woman who taught me acting at children’s drama groups – very small world. So she was actually very lovely and apologetic about Cathy’s behaviour.

“We had a great few scenes together and negotiated how we were going to do them for the best effect.

This was an honour for me as I’ve loved her work for a long time. Smack The Pony was my ultimate comedy fix in the 90s.

“Female sketch shows were the best back then – so punk. I’m glad they’re possibly bringing it back. She was brilliant to work with and I hope I get to again some day.”

Sophie said research shows sign language can be influenced by
various factors including history, religion and education.

She said: “We all wanted to get it right so we had a couple of deaf people from Glasgow and qualified translators who supported this research and kept an eye on the process and editing.”

Sophie also worked closely with Joy – sister of Hollywood star James McAvoy – who learned to sign for the episode.

Sophie said: “Joy was an absolute riot to work with, she was so committed to the role and studied hard.

“Joy is such a generous actor, so warm and funny and incredibly professional on set. We instantly got on, which made it very easy to have believable chemistry as life-long friends in our characters. That’s always what you hope for as an actor. Everyone was a dream.”