Ben dons a dress for TV Match of the Day

Cross dresser Ryan Chelford, aka Ben Batt, talks through tactics
Cross dresser Ryan Chelford, aka Ben Batt, talks through tactics
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A popular Wigan actor played a hilarious cameo role in the new series of the satire comedy W1A.


W1A returned this week with the third series involving BBC head of values Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville) and the rest of the staff working at Broadcasting House.

In the first episode, which aired on Monday, BBC bosses attempted to thwart a cross-dressing footballer’s allegations that he had been discriminated against because of his sexual preferences, with a last-minute appearance as a pundit on Match of the Day.

Describing it as “one of the funnest jobs I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of” Ben Batt was called on to play the footballer, Ryan Chelford, and appeared alongside the real Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer on the show.

Ben, whose dad is the town’s well-known estate agent Alan Batt, is enjoying a hugely succesful year with roles in some the country’s top TV blockbusters including In The Dark.

Years ago Ben suffered an injury on the rugby field and decided to follow his second dream - to become an actor.

He packed his bags, tand went to London’s School of Music and Dramabut left early after being offered a major part in a show titled The Edge of Love a decade ago. Over the years, Ben has appeared in a host of television productions including Scott and Bailey and Shameless.

In W1A the two football legends struggled to keep straight faces as Ben dressed in a very feminine fashion talked his way through tactics from a featured game.

As for other celebrities making cameos, Claudia Winkleman, Jeremy Paxman and Brian Cox are due to appear as themselves.

Paxman and Cox will be seen in episode four shooting selfies of themselves to help promote a new initiative - BBC Me.

W1A is on BBC2 on Mondays at 10pm.