Rob Burrow hailed after ground-breaking TV appearance

BEST-SELLING author Tom Percival praised Rob Burrow after one of his stories was read by the Rugby League legend on a popular television programme.

The eight-time Super League title winner and former England and Great Britain international, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019, read ‘Tilda Tries Again’ as the CBeebies Bedtime Story.

CBeebies is the BBC channel targeted at children from two to six, and Burrow’s Bedtime Story aired on Saturday, which was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The 40-year-old became the first person to read a story on the programme using a computer, which he now controls with his eyes to speak. The computer recreates words in his own Yorkshire accent.

‘Tilda Tries Again’ tells of how a young girl finds her world turned upside down, with things which were once easy becoming incredibly challenging, and explores how she can discover a new way to approach her problems and believe in herself.

Burrow was joined in the CBeebies studio by his wife Lindsay and two of their children, seven-year-old Maya and three-year-old Jackson, who directed from the TV gallery.

“The reading by Rob was so powerful and will do a huge amount to raise awareness of Eye Gaze technologies,” said Percival, who has become known for his uplifting stories celebrating diversity and encouraging children to be themselves.

Burrow said: “I used to love reading to my own children as part of their bedtime routine.

“I was so excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to read a CBeebies Bedtime Story.

“Reading and literacy are so important. It doesn’t matter what your disability is, reading is accessible to everyone. 

“Anyone can enjoy reading and develop a love of books and bedtime stories, just like me and my family.”