Charlie Swinbourne



I am an award-winning filmmaker, writing and directing¬†dramas, comedies and documentaries with a difference – they’re made in sign language. Find out all about them here.

I am also a journalist, writing for publications such as the Guardian and BBC Online, and editing The Limping Chicken, my own news and opinion website.

Much of my work focuses on Deaf culture – drawing on my experiences as a Deaf person who grew up in a Deaf family, while also being part of the mainstream world.

I’ve appeared in the media discussing¬†Deaf issues¬†on ¬†BBC Breakfast News, BBC World Service, BBC Trending, ¬† Watchdog,¬†BBC London, on the BBC Ouch podcast, the Abnormally Funny People Podcast, and on¬†Radio 4.

DSC04533Writing and directing

I’ve written and directed a number of award-winning¬†dramas and comedies featuring Deaf characters in sign language.

My latest production is Deaf Funny, the world’s first TV sketch show in sign language. Check out episode 1 here and episode 2 here.

Last year, I¬†directed my first documentary, called Found, about Deaf people finding the Deaf world and I’ve just made a follow up about Deaf people who came here from abroad, called Found in the UK.

In 2014, I wrote and directed the half-hour comedy Four Deaf Yorkshiremen go to Blackpool which aired on Film 4.

The same year, I wrote and directed The Kiss, an award-winning 7 minute short which was selected for Bradford International Film Festival and has since won international awards.

I also wrote the award-winning half-hour dramas My Song (2011) and Departure Lounge (2009) for the BSL Zone,  the UK Film Council funded Hands Solo (2009) mini series The Fingerspellers (2010) and two shorts that gained over 200,000 views each on YouTube: Coming Out (which won an ITV Writers award in 2008) and my directing debut, Four Deaf Yorkshiremen (2007).


I am the Editor of¬†the world’s most popular Deaf blog, ¬†The Limping Chicken¬†(where I broke the worldwide story of the¬†‘fake interpreter’).

I’ve written for the¬†Guardian, the Mirror and¬†BBC Ouch,¬†and¬†I’ve¬†appeared on ¬†BBC Breakfast News, BBC World Service, BBC Trending¬†and on¬†Radio 4.