Film

A world without cinema is a world I don't want to live in

Heidi and James Carter are married and live in Coventry. They have a mutual love of film that they’re keen to share

Film illustration

Illustration: Big Issue / original images: Alamy

Heidi and James Carter are married and live in Coventry. They have a mutual love of TV and film that they’re keen to share.

Heidi: We normally go to the cinema on Saturday afternoons. 

James: We go to the Odeon in Coventry. It’s quite cheap and Heidi has a CEA Card [a national disability card scheme], so I get in free as her carer! And before we go, we buy sweets from Poundland. 

H: Because of my annoying new diet – I’m coeliac – the rule is sweets or a chocolate bar and a Diet Coke. 

J: Sometimes we get an Uber there, but we also get the bus because we are independent travellers.

H: A world without cinema is a world I don’t want to live in. 

Heidi and James Carter
Heidi and James. Image: India Whiley-Morton

We love all film – and are real Disney aficionados.

H: It’s hard to pick a favourite Disney film. I love them all. The last film we saw was Wish. Everything I love about Disney is in there. It needs to be a good story and have good songs. I love the music. I love the words. And whenever I watch Wish, I think about when I married James and my wish came true. 

J: Mine did too. We both love Moana. I like the crab who sings Shiny. And I like it at the beginning when Maui sings You’re Welcome. We get up and sing and dance. 

H: That’s why soundproofing for our house is top of my birthday list! Because we often stay home and watch films. 

J: We have got so many DVDs that we want to see and also have Netflix and Disney+. 

H: What I like about Disney+ is they also have other films like The Sound of Music. My favourite song from it is Do-Re-Mi. If you want me to calm down, you can sing that song to me.

This year’s big Disney releases are on our hit list.

J: We are excited to see Inside Out 2 when it comes out.

H: I loved the first Inside Out – it’s so emotional. And there is a new Moana film this year. We’ll also
go to see the new Lion King film before Christmas. 

Inside Out 2
Inside Out 2

J: Will it be the same people from The Lion King doing the voices? The trouble is, for me and Heidi, we don’t like change. We both get really stressed when things change. So we like to watch our favourite films a lot of times. And we look at YouTube videos of how they were made. We like to know everything about the films we like. When we were watching The Sound of Music, at the end they showed a clip of how they made it. 

H: I know Walt Disney’s birthday – he was born on 5 December. Last year I broke a world record for remembering the most birthdays in three minutes. The record was 25, and I got 70. I share a birthday with Tom Cruise – and it’s a Mission: Impossible to keep me quiet! 

J: I share a birthday with King Henry VIII. And Kevin De Bruyne from Manchester City.

One film we think should be made is our love story – which started in Basingstoke.

H: When I was born, my mum cried to my dad because she thought I would never get married. So we like proving people wrong. You need to see the people behind the chromosome.

J: We can cook and clean. And travel.

H: We have been married nearly four years now. 

J: It feels like 60!

H: I think it feels like a lifetime. James is my happy ever after. 

J: How we met is that I know Heidi’s mum’s cousin. She used to work in Mencap. And I’d seen Heidi on Facebook. I’d seen her campaigning videos too. 

H: When he googled me, he says he took one look at my face and fell in love. 

J: So I asked if it would be OK if I contacted Heidi.

H: He also asked my dad four times if he could marry me. Straight after the first date. 

J: In September 2017, we were thinking about how to meet and we found out that exactly half way between Weymouth, where I lived, and Coventry, where Heidi lived, was Basingstoke. So I asked my parents and Heidi asked hers. And they took us to Basingstoke. 

H: We went to Frankie & Benny’s. And when I saw him, he greeted me with flowers and chocolates. And he got me right in the heart. 

J: And as soon as we got there it was love at first sight!

H: I fell in love with my best friend. Then we had three weddings! Normally, people have one wedding. But it was lockdown. We did one but you could have 30 people. Then we had one at the church. And then we had a party. Our wedding was recorded and has had over a million views on YouTube. 

J: And the rest is history. 

H: I would love to make a film about our story. Our story should be a Disney fairytale. I would like to play myself in a film. And James could play himself.

Sarah Gordy in Ralph & Katie. Image: ITV

J: Tommy Jessop could also play me. He has been in Line of Duty. Me and Heidi are friends with him. And George Webster was on Casualty the other week. 

H: It’s very powerful to see a couple with Down’s syndrome on TV or in films. I’ve thought of someone who could play me – Sally Phillips. She would be great. Or Sarah Gordy, the actress from Ralph & Katie. I’d love to tell her how amazing she is. We loved Ralph & Katie – finally there was something positive about people with Down’s syndrome on TV. I was getting upset about only seeing negative stories.

J: It inspires me when I see people with Down’s syndrome on TV. Then I want to be like them.

H: I think you can do it, darling. I don’t normally watch Casualty, but if you are on it, I will. 

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