Happy Valley star James Norton reveals hidden TV costume detail due to health battle



James Norton has explained how his life-threatening health condition often means costume designers often have to adapt his outfits when appearing on stage and TV.

The Happy Valley actor, who plays murderous villain Tommy Lee Royce on the BBC series, has type 1 diabetes and sometimes has to inject himself with insulin up to 15 times a day.

He once branded the condition as a "complete b***h" when opening up about life as a diabetic to fans and admitted his diagnosis was "traumatic" due to the fact he is "a terrible hypochondriac anyway".

Speaking in 2019, James revealed how he has to plan ahead when shooting scenes for TV shows like War and Peace, Happy Valley and Grantchester.

james topless filming granchester
James Norton often strips off in his roles when not playing Happy Valley villain Tommy Lee Royce ( ITV)

The star, who is tipped to be the next James Bond, explained how he always has a glass of orange juice to hand on film sets, just in case his blood sugar drops too low.

He continued to reveal that if he's doing a scene without his top on, there'll be a glucose monitor stuck out of sight on his bottom.

"Being in a play is complicated because I might be on stage for up to an hour-and-a-half," James explained. "If it's a period drama I'll ask the costume designers to create a hidden pocket where I can stash some sugar tablets."

James Norton in Grantchester topless
James doesn't let diabetes ever hold in back when it comes to his career ( KUDOS FOR ITV)
James with a glucose monitor
The actor pays privately for a device that helps monitor his glucose levels ( BBC Radio2)

"Then, if I start to feel shaky, I'll improvise: I'll wander upstage, throw three dextrose tablets in my month and then carry on with the scene. I've lost count of the number of times I've done that."

James has previously discussed how type 1 diabetes affects him on a daily basis, emphasising that "being diabetic does not hold you back".

Type 1 diabetes is caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin, which in turn causes blood sugar levels to rise. Around 400,000 people in the UK are thought to have the lifelong autoimmune condition.

"I have to inject every time I eat carbohydrates – up to 15 times a day, with 5mm needles you use discreetly," James explained to The Times in 2020.

james holding two insulin pens
James often uses his platform to educate his social media followers about diabetes ( BBC Radio2)
james on a red carpet
The actor wants the government to make new technology available to all on the NHS ( Dave Benett/Getty Images for Her)

"Also, I have this device called a Dexcom, a subcutaneous glucose monitor that Bluetooths my phone and tells me what my sugars are. Before, I had to draw blood from my finger."

James usually wear the device on his chest, but "on days when I need to bare my torso, I attach it to one of my buttocks" the star told the MailOnline in 2019.

He added: "As an actor, I'm constantly changing costumes. Sometimes I have to do a scene naked, with my top off, or wearing tight clothes.

james naked with back to camera
James cleverly hides his monitor when filming nude scenes ( FameFlynet.uk.com)

"I don't want to be attached to two pieces of equipment."

James pays for the glucose monitor privately, with the device costing him around £160 a month, but the actor passionately believes everyone who needs one should be able to get one on the NHS.

He admitted he is "painfully aware" many diabetes don't have access to the monitor and stressed how the Health Secretary should understand how important it is to invest in new technology that could actually save the NHS millions of pounds in diabetic care down the line.

"It's extraordinary not to have to think about my blood sugar levels until my phone beeps. It's given me the chance of living a completely normal life," James added when discussing the device.

james filming happy valley
James never lets his condition hold him back ( BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire)

Taking to Instagram for World Diabetes Day in 2022, the Happy Valley star shared an impassioned post with his followers in a bid to raise more awareness of the condition.

Posing alongside his two insulin pens and Dexcom sensor, which monitors glucose in the blood, James captioned the snaps: "Today is World Diabetes Day.

"It’s a day to raise awareness about diabetes. But also to simply show some love and support for all the diabetic warriors out there.

"At its best, our condition is a constant faff. At its worst, it’s a complete b***h that can be potentially life-threatening on a daily basis, if it’s not looked after properly.

James in a suit
The actor is tipped to be replace Daniel Craig and become the next 007 ( BBC/Cuba/Nick Wall)

"These two insulin pens I’m holding, as well as the @dexcom sensor on my bum, keep me alive every single day."

He added: "You have no idea how valuable these small devices are to us T1s, and how grateful I am to live in a country where we have free access to this type [of] medicine and tech.

"That said, a cure would be nice. So go visit @jdrf_uk to see how you can get involved. And then go find a diabetic and buy them a Diet Coke."

*James is a JDRF Ambassador, an organisation committed to researching new in diabetes technology and treatment and laying the foundations for a cure. JDRF has a range of resources – and live virtual events – for people affected by type 1 diabetes.

Read More

Read More

Read More

Read More

Read More

CyberSEO.net - ChatGPT autoblogging and content curation plugin for WordPress