Actor Daniel Radcliffe hired a medical specialist in a bid to conquer his upcoming West End role as a disabled orphan.

The Harry Potter actor will return to the London stage later this year (13) to star in The Cripple of Inishmaan, in which he plays Billy, a young man who suffers from a degenerative muscle disease.

Although the character's illness is not specified in the play, Radcliffe enlisted the help of a multiple sclerosis (Ms) expert in a bid to learn how he could portray a person living with the condition without permanently damaging his own body.

He tells Britain's Daily Mail, "I've been working with a consultant trainer who helps people who have multiple sclerosis, because Billy - the boy I play - is crippled in his legs and his back has gone. I wanted to find a way of conveying his illness in a manner I'd be able to perform every night.

"If you do these things the wrong way, you can end up with serious back or walking problems. It's not actually specified what's wrong with Billy. But reading through the play, it seemed that multiple sclerosis might be closest to what he has."

Martin MCDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan opens for a 12-week run at The Noel Coward Theatre in London from 3 June (13).