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What happened to Melissa Johns' arm? Celebrity MasterChef star's story

Melissa Johns will be seen cooking up a storm on BBC’s Celebrity MasterChef. Viewers may wonder what happened to her right arm.

She joins Katie Price, Dion Dublin, Joe Swash and Will Kirk in the third week of heats, which includes several tests, like the Street Food Challenge.

For those who may not know Melissa’s story, Reality Titbit has explored what happened, and how the contestant advocates for disability rights.

Celebrity MasterChef | Trailer – BBC Trailers

Celebrity MasterChef | Trailer – BBC Trailers

What happened to Melissa Johns’ arm?

  • Melissa was born without a right forearm and hand.

In 2018, her smartphone was hacked and intimate photos were released.

Melissa used the situation to speak out against body shaming and combat taboos around disability, sex and body dysmorphia.

The experience inspired the BBC Radio 4 drama In My Own Skin, written by Debbie Oates with the Celebrity MasterChef star, and starred in by her.

She has slated the government for “forgetting about disabled people” as she “physically couldn’t manage to open the packing” in a Covid-19 test.

Melissa is a disability activist

The BBC star is an ambassador for disability in the arts, and advocates for better representation of disability on and off screen and stage.

She was selected as Alumna of the Year 2019 for the University of Essex & East 15 Acting School for her work disability advocacy in the arts.

And that’s not all. Between 2017 and 2020, she has won and been shortlisted for several awards, including:

  • JCI’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons in the U.K
  • Shaw Trust’s Power List – U.K’s 100 most influential disabled people
  • JCI’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World
  • Shortlisted for Positive Role Model Of The Year Award in the National Diversity Awards.
  • STRICTLY: How old is Rose Ayling-Ellis? She is first deaf contestant

Melissa Johns: Acting career

Melissa is most known for playing Hannah Taylor in Mike Bartlett’s BBC One drama Life and Imogen Pascoe in Coronation Street.

She trained at East 15 Acting School and since graduating, has worked across media platforms, from TV, to theatre and radio.

During her time at East 15, she was one of the first disabled actors to win the Laurence Olivier Bursary Award.

In 2019, Johns was selected as one of 21 actors for the BAFTA Elevate programme. Other TV credits include Jo in Sky’s I Hate Suzie, Beth Fennel in FLACK, Sky’s In The Long Run, BBC’s Casualty, SILK and Doctors.



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Celine is a journalist with over five years of experience in the media industry and the chief staff writer on Reality Titbit. After graduating with a degree in Multimedia Journalism she became a radio newsreader and reporter, before moving into her current role as a reality TV writer.