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JROCK NITRO on london bbc news radio first ever american on there

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transcript below BBC NEWS RADIO AND THE JROCK SHOW (i am the first ever american on there)

Presented by Mat Fraser and Liz Carr
[Music]
[sound of clinking]
MAT: Order, order.
LIZ: The authentic sound of a Ouch Podcast mug.
MAT: Being tapped for the attention of our wonderful Podcast listeners. Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Ouch Podcast number 13.
LIZ: Mmmm.
MAT: Unlucky for some but lucky for you. The BBC’s downloadable disability radio show that knows you’re not an angelic antihero.
LIZ: Can you believe that we've been doing this show for a year now?
MAT: Oh it’s brilliant.
LIZ: If you've not listened to them all and you’d like to listen to some back, you can catch up, find us on the web at www.bbc.co.uk/ouch.
MAT: I can hardly contain my excitement at what’s going to come in this 13th Podcast. You know Liz everyone’s got their own show now haven’t they?
LIZ: Uh hmm.
MAT: A radio station for blind people starts in Glasgow this month, we’re going to be speaking to them and we've got two other disabled guests who broadcast themselves on US cable TV and internet radio. Here’s one of them now he's called Damon Fibraio.
[Music]
MAT: [laughs] We like him.
LIZ: Whey hey. We like him a lot.
MAT: Are you allowed to say the ‘B’ word on a Podcast? Mind you we said beadle so why not.
LIZ: We’ll be speaking to Damon later, looking forward to that.
MAT: Absolutely.
LIZ: This is a bit of a coup we actually have Professor Stephen Hawking in the studio…
MAT: You what?
LIZ: … to help us guess what’s wrong with our latest Veg, Veg or Veg contestant.
MAT: Oh fantastic.
LIZ: Isn’t that amazing?
MAT: Wow he's a legend.
LIZ: I know. I'm a bit ooh, in awe, anyway.
MAT:  And of course we’ll be hearing from Rob Crossan our visually impaired albinistic, go-getter, formerly of Front Magazine. Now we’ve sent him out of the studio again for a secret challenge that might push him beyond his boundaries, hey? Bit of a clue there.
LIZ: Bit of a clue.
MAT: He’ll be here in about 10 minutes.
LIZ: Now they wipe your arse but should you or your mates talk to them? I know controversial stuff as we discuss personal assistants later on in the show plus we’re playing out with music from Susan Hedges. Here’s a taster.
[music]
MAT: All of our shows are archived on the website and you can listen to them at any time, that being the nature of a Podcast. So all you've got to do is go to www.bbc.co.uk/ouch and download them onto your MP3 player or stream them onto the web, whatever the hell that means.
LIZ: So Mathew I have to ask you this.
MAT: Oh yeah what?
LIZ: What have you been doing this month? Hey, hey, I’ve not seen much of you it doesn’t feel like.
MAT: Well not in the last couple of weeks but prior to that we seemed to be welded at the hip, something like two conjoined Podcast hosts.
LIZ: Indeed, indeed because we kept being asked didn’t we to do talks…
MAT: It’s been a month of discussions and panels and symposiums.
LIZ: All about disability, disability in the media, disability comedy, what’s funny
MAT: We did a comedy symposium at the Leicester Comedy Festival. I was chairing and you were on the panel along with Steve Day and a couple of other people…
LIZ: Yep.
MAT: … and that was pretty good. I think we came to the conclusion didn’t we, that as long as disability, you know, this is, “Are we allowed to laugh? Is it offensive?” and all these questions and I think you were the one that said, and I think everybody agreed, that as long as you’re telling the truth and it’s reality that you’re portraying, no matter how cruel, you know, if you’re deriving comedy from it you should be okay.
LIZ: On the important stuff, yeah wheelchair broke down again, bit of toothache, but…
MAT: Oh no where did you have to go to get it fixed?
LIZ: I have to just tell you this.
MAT: What happened?
LIZ: I was chatted up recently in a… yeah I know.
MAT: What at the wheelchair place?
LIZ: No, no but after a show, right which… never happens, never, ever happens ever.
MAT: Why not? Well okay, go on.
LIZ: No, no, I think, you know, if you’re a male comedian that's fine, if you’re a female comedian, duh, forget it, you know, and so, but there I am and this guy sidled over, moved his chair over, very relaxed, arm back, you know and all that and he said, “So,” he said, “What do you do when you’re not being disabled?” [laughs]
MAT: Ha, ha, ha. That's one of the best chat-up lines I've ever heard.
LIZ: I know and then…
MAT: Did you say, “Sleep with you, you smooth talker.” Ha, ha, ha.
LIZ: [laughs] Just like, he was obviously really struggling because one of his next gambits was like he said, “So is England a good place to be disabled?” [laughs]
MAT: Was he British?
LIZ: He was Irish, shhh. So no  more what can I say? Hey-ho.
MAT: Did you er…
LIZ: Hey you know it’s time to move on I think.
MAT: Okay fair enough.
LIZ: Emails.
MAT: Emails, oh the wonderful medium of email. Hasn’t your life improved since the email?
LIZ: How did we survive without it?
MAT: I don’t know.
LIZ: What did you do without it?
MAT: How was it before we spent four hours a day just replying to each other?
LIZ: Do you get obsessive? I'm obsessive about it.
MAT: Yeah I have become obsessed.
LIZ: Totally.
MAT: It’s terrible.
LIZ: It’s an OCD thing I think, isn’t it? It’s kind of obsessive/compulsive.
MAT: Absolutely.
LIZ: You click to see if you've got any and then you read them and you  just click again to see if any have snuck through.
MAT: Yeah I know and you find then four hours later you look up and you've achieved nothing.
LIZ: I know. Well we’re going to look then at your emails. Thank you because you have written in. Remember to keep ringing… ringing us? You can still ring us but you can also contact us on ouch@bbc.co.uk and if your email gets read out, this is amazing, you will win one of our exclusive Ouch Podcast mugs [clink] as played at the top of the show.
MAT: Yeah I mean you can’t see them but that's what they sound like.
LIZ: Aren’t they fantastic? In fact we’re toasting our Yeah show with water in our Podcast mugs. [whispers] That's how cheap they are you know.
MAT: Good water though.
LIZ: Oh this is a nice email, let’s start with this one from Peter Abraham, London.
MAT: Nice name.
LIZ: I once saw Mat Fraser in a screen kiss, in a TV play, what a beautiful kiss it was. I’d give it to him for free.
MAT: Peter that's extraordinarily kind of you. What I will say is this, Peter, I'm heterosexual. I've never been publicly kissed a man before but I would be very willing to have an m-peck  snog with you if, if we can raise 1,000 for your favourite charity.
LIZ: [laughs] I can’t imagine there’s much you wouldn’t do for money. Ooh did I say that?
MAT: Here’s another one.
LIZ: What play was it? What’s he talking about?
MAT: Probably the one where I was snogging diminutive actress Lisa Hammond, in the BBC classic Every Time You Look At Me. We had fun. We snogged basically for about three days because they did all the kissing scenes back to back.
LIZ: Really? Was she good?
MAT: She's a good kisser.
LIZ: Really?
MAT: A very good kisser.
LIZ: Were there tongues?
MAT: No we were acting Liz.
LIZ: Well you know it could slip in. Just checking.
MAT: And moving on, mmm [laughs]. It didn’t slip in at any point Liz. So Dear Mat and Liz…
LIZ: Did anything slip in?
MAT: [laughs]
LIZ: Look I've got to ask these questions, the public wants to know. Did anything slip in while you were…
MAT: Ladies and Gentlemen, of the uninitiated to the acting profession, the craft, if you will…
LIZ: Look and how do you act a kiss?
MAT: Well you basically… you approach it in two ways. I always like… because it’s usually women that I'm kissing, and what with sexual politics, I usually like to say, “How would you like to approach this?” and they say either like…
LIZ: Oh yeah you’re so right on at this… I like to do this properly, oh, oh, oh.
MAT: Well you do, you don’t want to…
LIZ: Why don’t you just get your lips out and go for it?
MAT: Well that’s what I like to hear from them.
LIZ: Are you like that on a date with people? “How would you like to approach this?”
MAT: [laughs]
LIZ: Hah, hah, sexual politics are so important to me.
MAT: No listen when you’re acting a kiss, you rent a little bit of yourself, the part that's playing the character, into actually “doing it for real,” – inverted commas, so that it sells well because the camera can tell if you’re lying. However, as actors, you’re not actually getting off on each other, or with each other, from the kissing. It’s a weird sort of in-betweeniness that I can’t really explain but suffice to say that if I was…
LIZ: No but it was actually just meant for a little, a little bit of comedy purposes but now it’s actually become a bit of a kissing master class…
MAT: [laughs]
LIZ: … and frankly it’s a bit boring.
MAT: Bit boring, bit ‘us’ off me.
LIZ: Yeah so you've got number two email.
MAT: Yeah, ‘Dear Mat and Liz…”
LIZ: [kiss]
MAT: “… I'm 24. I became disabled at 13,” (lucky number), “… and have never met another disabled person in my life. I kind of feel that if I talk to them or hang out with them publicly their handicapped life will rub off on me and make me look more special than I am. You two seem to hang out exclusively with disabled people and have totally immersed yourself in the world and I just don’t get it. Why don’t you just be normal? I want to see people… I want people to see me and not my disability,” Carl, the Isle of Wight.
LIZ: That explains a lot, the Isle of Wight reference.
MAT: Yeah.
LIZ: Mmmm.
MAT: My brother grew up on the Isle of Wight …
LIZ: Did he?
MAT: … and he was, I'm sad to say, the only gay in the village…
LIZ: [laughs]
MAT: … it was one of them. There was him and Marc Almond, as far as he was concerned.
LIZ: I love that line about, you know, when people want to just see you and not your disability. I think well [laughs] I mean have you seen us.
MAT: Do you look in a mirror?
LIZ: [laughs] Exactly.
MAT: You know, oh unless you’re blind…
LIZ: Mmmm.
MAT: … because, I…
LIZ: If you don’t see my disability you've probably got problems of a visual type I would think. It’s pretty obvious.
MAT: Isle of Wight, Carl, mate, just a small thing, your disability is part of you.
LIZ: [Gasps]
MAT: Sorry. Anyway next one.
LIZ: Don’t get a bit radical, bit radical, bit radical, but…
MAT: Why do you talk, “Bit radical, bit radical,” why are you suddenly talking like that, “My mother-in-law,” pure Les Dawson. Sorry, American listeners, he was a classic old style comedian.
LIZ: Yes.
MAT: [laughs] You’re doing some great pauses today.
LIZ: Sometimes when there's pauses I'm just looking at him across the studio in disbelief if you’re wondering. “Hello Mat and Liz, I love the Podcast. I have always listened to it. I am visually impaired, blind and studying radio…”
MAT: Oh yeah.
LIZ: “… I want to be a radio presented and I want to see if I could have some experience on your show as I am disabled…”
MAT: Dear, oh dear.
LIZ: “… I would like to know how it works for disabled people getting into the industry. It would be great to hear from you,” Rosie from Cambridge.
MAT: Do blind people ever want to do anything else than being in radio?
LIZ: No.
MAT: It’s as if they thing they can’t do anything else. Peter White what monsters have you created.
LIZ: [laughs] everyone wants to be a Peter White.
MAT: Can we get this woman’s number?
LIZ: Wouldn’t that be a great name for a band the Peter White Fan Club?
MAT: It would.
LIZ: Wouldn’t it?
MAT: Yeah. I love Peter White.
LIZ: Write it down we love him.
MAT: I am a fan of Peter White.
LIZ: We just met him in the caf…
MAT: But I think we should call this…
LIZ: … before we came in.
MAT: … no  hang on let’s call this woman’s bluff…
LIZ: … but I was just telling people, we just met him didn’t we? How showbiz did we feel?
MAT: Very.
LIZ: ... we’re having a coffee just before we did the show and Peter White turns up.
MAT: Look I'm…
LIZ: Erh…
MAT: … we’re actually going to get this Rosie on the line now.
LIZ: Are we okay.
MAT: Look she wants to get into radio let’s give her an initiation.
LIZ: Ooh. What are we going to advise her?
MAT: She’s student, yeah?
LIZ: She is a student.
MAT: So we could give her nutritional tips.
LIZ: [laughs]
MAT: I heard a very good one from my friend Lily Dumont which was…
[phone rings]
LIZ: Listen, listen 
MAT: ... always eat a bit of salad with the burger.
LIZ: Oh that’s good.
MAT: It’s a good tip.
LIZ: And the pickle.
MAT: Yeah.
PHONE: Welcome to the Orange Answer phone.
MAT: Ooh we can leave her a message.
PHONE: I'm sorry but the person you called is not available.
MAT: Why do they always get Moira Stewart to do the Orange Answer phones?
PHONE: Please leave your message after the tone. If you want to rerecord your message…
MAT: [sighs] We don’t.
PHONE: Press one…
MAT: Yeah thanks.
PHONE: ... at any time. [beep]
MAT: Hey, Rosie.
LIZ: Hi Rosie. This is Liz.
MAT: And this is Mat.
LIZ: We’re calling up from the Podcast. We’re live, kind of…
MAT: Mmm, this is all being recorded onto Podcast 13.
LIZ: You wanted some tips on getting into radio, hmm, obviously I can’t talk about sleeping with people because that would just be cheap.
MAT: Even though that’s how Peter White and Damon Rose got into their profession.
LIZ: For us it’s actually not true at all we just fell into it.
MAT: Yeah, literally…
LIZ: Didn’t we?
MAT: … yeah it was a hole called The End of your Career.
LIZ: I think there is something I’d say and that is that it’s harder than it looks. I know it just probably seems that we get in front of a microphone and just talk rubbish for two hours which is then edited down. Actually we talk rubbish for about six hours that's edited down to about one hour, don’t we?
MAT: Mmm, she's going to edit this.
LIZ: She is [laughs].
MAT: I would just say one thing, word of advice… let’s give her one bit of student advice, now you went to university. I hung out at a university…
LIZ: Mmm.
MAT: … all I would say is this, you know when people give you little pills on a Friday night at the bar, best if you don’t take them. Don’t take them Rosie, don’t take them. That's my bit of advice what’s yours Liz? 
LIZ: Do your laundry quite regular.
MAT: There we are happy university days to you darling.
LIZ: Sensible stuff there. No enjoy that.
MAT: And give us a message back maybe.
LIZ: Yeah do give us a call, you know, maybe we’ll get you into the studio sometime. I believe that you’re doing some student radio today. It’s your premiere so let us know how that went. Take care, bye. Eeeeeee.
MAT: That’ll make her year won’t it?
LIZ: Maybe she’ll play it on her show wouldn’t that be great?
MAT: Oh my gosh she will.
LIZ: Wouldn’t that be great. It’s like we can keep doing that, she can play our messages, we can play hers and it can be…
MAT: Aw.
LIZ: … you know.
MAT: Yeah.
LIZ: Great.
MAT: Gosh.
LIZ: Ooh I feel like an agony aunt now. I’d love to do agony aunt stuff.
MAT: You’d be very good at it.
LIZ: I would love to do that.
MAT: Dear Liz – I have erectile dysfunction…
LIZ: I haven’t… yeah?
MAT: … what should I do?
LIZ: Mmm.Have you?
MAT: No.
LIZ: No I'm just checking [laughs].
MAT: No I was only playing a role to see…
LIZ: Okay.
MAT: Oh okay.
LIZ: [kiss]
MAT: Shall we go on to item 3?
BOTH: [sings] Questionnaires.
LIZ: Yeah it’s our famous questionnaire segment.
MAT: That is the top jingle of the 21st century.
LIZ: Isn’t it? Forget Lawrence Clarke.
MAT: Let’s do it again in his style.
BOTH: [sings] Questionnaires.
LIZ: A tribute to Lawrence Clarke. Anyway we still have the Podcast questionnaire that you can link to.
MAT: You know all the questions like; what do you most like to see in a Podcast? What do you like most about being disabled? What do you like least?
LIZ: Oh yes.
MAT: If there was a rock band that we were making what would it be called.
LIZ: I love this – “Liz at Ch---, Copenhagen, Denmark,” however you pronounce that, “Disability Swapshop,” I love this, the impairment that she's got: cerebral palsy, impairment she'd like: something involving a feeding tube [laughs].
MAT: They are getting weird. Amy Kavanagh says that being disabled and all you must be very brave, what’s the bravest thing you’ve done lately? She says, “Caring for my concussed boyfriend.”
LIZ: [laughs]
MAT: Very nice of you must have been a student.
LIZ: What would you like to see on a future Podcast, bit serious this, “Just be careful about doing too much serious stuff about how we can manage our disability. You’re the only forum that's brave enough to keep taking the piss, don’t stop. Keep being funny, keep being political.” Thanks Jan Sutton in Norwich.
MAT: Okay Jan. Bert would like to see more cripple curling on future Podcasts, a new sport pushing us crips into other crips on ice. I like the sound of that.
LIZ: [laughs] Just love that and Jez Stirling from Hong Kong, ooo exciting. “Worse name that you’ve ever been called? Jeremy it’s my real name.”
MAT: [laughs]
LIZ: I rather like that but this, this is fascinating. He's not a cripple by the way, not a cripple at all but what’s annoyed him most recently – being presumed to have a disability, “Just because I wanted to show my support for a Podcast by answering an online questionnaire,” ooh okay. Tell us something we don’t know though. “Here in Hong Kong there are a large number of beggars with some extreme deformities.”
MAT: Good to know.
LIZ: Like that.
MAT: Okay well I've got Becky Dubarry whose favourite Podcast moment was Rob Crossan’s adventures in internet dating. “It was great. I almost blew coffee out of my nose. I had to cover it up with a round of hacking. The guy in the cubicle next to me peeped his head over to make sure I was okay,” what kind of cubicle was that Becky? Mmm.
LIZ: Nice.
MAT: Okay I think we’d better wrap those us don’t you?
LIZ: Let’s wrap it up. So don’t forget keep them coming, keep the emails, keep answering the questionnaires, they’re great we love them and send them to ouch@bbc.co.uk [clink]. Chin, chin.
[Jingle: The Ouch Podcast)
LIZ: Have you noticed then?
MAT: What?
LIZ: Well there’s something missing.
MAT: Oh there is indeed.
LIZ: There is isn’t there? There is. Where is he?
MAT: I don’t know.
LIZ: Where’s Mr Rob Crossan this month? Hello Rob.
ROB: Hello Liz.
LIZ: Hello there. Are you alright mate.
MAT: Hello Rob.
ROB:  Hello Mat.
LIZ: Oh we miss you.
MAT: Where are you mate?
ROB: I miss you too.
MAT: Where are you?
ROB: I’m in a beer garden in salubrious West London in Latimer Road.
LIZ: Rob have you got a sense of, er, what you might be doing this month?
ROB: No I've got absolutely no idea.
LIZ: Really?
ROB: Not at all. Well I was, yeah, I was hoping you would tell me sort of quite quickly and so I could…
MAT: Well we were hoping you’d like to take a guess. Here’s a clue: All disabled people must do this to prove their worth.
ROB: Erm, fall over, drool, dribble.
LIZ: Hmm, you do all of them most of the time particularly after being in the pub.
ROB: Ha, ha, ha.
LIZ: Yeah.
ROB: Play a special needs instrument so a Glockenspiel or the Kazoo?
LIZ: Er no,no.
ROB: I'm at a dead loss then.
MAT: Think heroic, tragic but brave, disability.
ROB: So do you want me to climb up Everest with an ostrich on my back.
LIZ: Ooh, hoo, hoo.
MAT: Uncanny.
LIZ:  Gor, haw.
MAT: Ah ha.
LIZ:  Unfortunately Central London doesn’t have too many mountains.
MAT: [hums].
LIZ: [sings] Lah, lah, lah, lah.
MAT: So you won’t be able to ford every stream Rob, however, we’re sending you to a Sports Centre where…
ROB: Oh no.
MAT: … they may have what we’d like to thing of as somewhat of a substitute.
LIZ: Mountain.
MAT: Oh yeah.
ROB: Oh no. What I'm going rock climbing?
LIZ: Oh we couldn’t possibly say could we?
MAT: Couldn’t possibly say. You might think that but we couldn’t possibly comment.
LIZ: [laughs] No we couldn’t. We want to leave the listeners hanging on in anticipation.
MAT: [laughs]
ROB: Oh I see what you did there.
LIZ: Like you might be later.
MAT: I hope you’ve got strong knuckles. Okay we’ll see you later mate.
ROB: I’ll see you later. Okay cheers, bye, bye, bye.
MAT: Ooh and hold on a second there when he's up the mountain he won’t be able to talk to us.
LIZ: [laughs] No, no.
MAT: Good job we've got Emma Tracey on the game then.
LIZ: But Emma’s you know…
MAT: Blind.
LIZ: Yeah.
MAT: Oh my gosh good point.
LIZ: [laughs] So we've got audio description…
MAT: So hold on there we've got an albino climbing a mountain while a blind woman tries to describe what’s happening. What’s she going to say? She’ll have to do it from all the auditory clues isn’t she?
LIZ: So then there's going to be somebody advising her.
MAT: This could be fun.
LIZ: We could have like 18 PAs advising.
MAT: Oh my God it’s going to be like a ((grey ice 17:42?)) show. So we’ll find out more about Rob’s rocky adventures a little bit later on.
[music]
LAWRENCE: No it’s time for Vegetable, Vegetable or Vegetable.
LIZ: It’s the Vegetable Quiz, one year old. We’re going to dissect vegetables and find out what’s wrong with them, kind of like radio doctors really, aren’t we and just as tactful.
MAT: Now for those of you who don’t know yet here’s how it works. We get a disabled caller on the line and Liz and I have to guess what’s wrong with them.
LIZ: No but this month in a celebrity first for our little radio game we’ve got Professor Stephen Hawking, I know, on the phone from his home to help us guess what’s wrong with our contestant.
MAT: I'm just going to have to leave the studio for a second Liz can you carry on?
LIZ: Yeah okay. I really can’t believe, to be honest, that we've got him. I'm absolutely thrilled. So yeah, okay, hello Professor are you on the line, hello Professor?
STEPHEN HAWKING: Yes. [whistling noise]
LIZ: Professor how are you?
STEPHEN HAWKING: I’m well thank you and you?
LIZ: Oh yeah we’re great thank you. It’s an absolute honour, absolute honour to have you help us with our quiz Vegetable, Vegetable or Vegetable. Have you heard it before?
STEPHEN HAWKING: Yes.
LIZ: Really, are you a fan of the Ouch Podcast?
STEPHEN HAWKING: Yes.
LIZ: Well that's fantastic. Well could you stay there a minute Professor I just want to speak to our contestant?
STEPHEN HAWKING: Yes.
LIZ: Hello Brian in Dublin.
BRIAN: Hello how you doing? How are you?
LIZ: Hello I'm fantastic. Now you've got to be very careful Brian don’t give away what’s wrong with you or we win by default and if you’re a listener you'll know we’re always winning…
BRIAN: [laughs]
LIZ: Yeah I know. So tell us a bit about yourself anyway.
BRIAN:  Oh God I work in an airline.
LIZ: Okay [laughs]. Okay.
BRIAN: I work in IT.
LIZ: Right.
BRIAN: So.
LIZ: And you live in?
BRIAN: I live in Dublin in Ireland….
LIZ: Okay fantastic.
BRIAN: Yeah quite close to the airport.
LIZ: Okay excellent and I think we’re going to get… well there he goes. Well Brian this is quite a different than what we normally do we’ve actually got Professor Stephen Hawking listening and joining in today. Brian have you got anything you…
STEPHEN HAWKING: Hello Brian.
BRIAN: Hello Professor how are you?
STEPHEN HAWKING: I'm good.
BRIAN: Good glad to hear you.
LIZ: So Brian…
STEPHEN HAWKING: Yes.
LIZ: [laughs] Have you got… little bit of a time delay there. Have you got any big questions maybe to ask our super brain today?
BRIAN: Oh God, what are you a professor in? What’s you official title?
STEPHEN HAWKING: Well…
LIZ: Are you okay? I think he's typing it out.
BRIAN: Ah okay.
LIZ: Actually it will take time. It could be quite a long game to be honest.
BRIAN: Okay I've got lots of time.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Actually I'm a famous physicist. Have you read my book…
BRIAN: I haven’t, I’d love to.
STEPHEN HAWKING: … A Brief History of Time? Available at all good bookstores.
BRIAN: Excellent I’d love to read that.
LIZ: Yeah maybe we can send one out as a… you know if you win…
BRIAN: I’d love that.
LIZ: … we’ll get you a Podcast mug and a book.
BRIAN: Excellent there's a challenge.
LIZ: Excellent. Well I'm going to read out the instructions, Vegetable, Vegetable or Vegetable, is a cleaver disability interpretation of the parlour game Animal, Vegetable or Mineral. In the game the two hosts at the Ouch Podcast have 90 seconds to guess what is wrong with the disabled caller on the line, by asking a series of fiendishly intelligent questions. The caller must only answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. It’s both classic and therapeutic. Now to take part in this intrusive and unpleasant game the rules clearly state that you have to be disabled, now Brian are you disabled?
BRIAN: Absolutely.
LIZ: Okay so bear in mind it’s going to be me and the Professor asking you questions. We've got 90 seconds on the clock. Remember answer only ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. The time starts now.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Are you made of string?
BRIAN: No.
LIZ: Have you got arms?
BRIAN: I have.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Do you go to Stringfellows?
BRIAN: No.
LIZ: Do you have legs?
BRIAN: Yes.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Do you like to watch the ladies?
BRIAN: I love to wa--
LIZ: Are you blind?
BRIAN: Yes.
LIZ: Are you blind?
BRIAN: Yes.
LIZ: You are?
BRIAN: But you’re half right.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Are you clinically dead?
BRIAN: No.
LIZ: So have you got something wrong with you as well as being blind?
BRIAN: Yes.
LIZ: Oh no…
STEPHEN HAWKING: Have you got a head?
BRIAN: Yes.
LIZ: Oh God, er, have you got eczema?
BRIAN: No.
LIZ: Dyslexia?
BRIAN: No.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Can you see eye to eye?
BRIAN: No.
LIZ: No, are you totally blind as a bat?
BRIAN: Yes.
LIZ: God do you know Damon is that why?
STEPHEN HAWKING: Motor neurone disease?
BRIAN: No.
STEPHEN HAWKING: It’s the best one you know.
BRIAN: No. I don’t have motor neurone disease.
LIZ: You've not even got a diagnosis that maybe you might have it?
BRIAN: No.
LIZ: It doesn’t run in the family?
BRIAN: No.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Are you rotting?
BRIAN: No.
LIZ: Okay, can you… do you use a wheelchair?
BRIAN: Yes.
LIZ: You use a wheelchair as well. Have you got arthritis?
BRIAN: No.
LIZ: Have you got ME?
BRIAN: No.
LIZ: Muscular dystrophy?
BRIAN: No.
LIZ: Cerebral palsy?
BRIAN: No.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Have you got the full use of your skin?
BRIAN:  Yes.
LIZ:  Parkinson’s?
BRIAN: No.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Narcoleptic?
BRIAN: No.
LIZ: Are you narcoleptic? Oh no dyslexia I've said that, epilepsy?
BRIAN: No.
LIZ: That's not why you’re in a wheelchair. Have you broken your leg?
STEPHEN HAWKING: Epileptic.
[buzzer]
LIZ: Oh no, okay I kind of got it, I kind of well…
BRIAN: You were half right.
LIZ: I'm half right, okay Brian it’s time for you to tell us what is wrong with you and put us out of our misery.
BRIAN: Okay then I have arthroporosis which effects my poor arm joints and my poor knee joints and that's why I'm in a wheelchair.
LIZ: But I've never heard of that. That's not fair.
BRIAN: Ah a new one for you.
LIZ: Brian what kind of questions do people ask you when they know?
BRIAN: Were you always like that? Is a big question people always ask me.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Do you get angry at normal people?
BRIAN: Do I what sorry?
LIZ: What did you say Professor?
STEPHEN HAWKING: Do you get angry at normal people?
BRIAN: No I don’t get angry I just laugh.
LIZ: [laughs] So you… I was going to say what do you say to them when people ask you, you know, “Have you always been like that?”
BRIAN: I just kind of go, “Yeah I've always been like that, yeah, all me life,” [laughs].
LIZ: [laughs] Oh bless them those questions.
BRIAN: Kids are the funniest.
LIZ: Yes.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Are you married?
BRIAN: I am.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Is she attractive?
BRIAN: Oh she's lovely, yes.
LIZ: Okay I think maybe… didn’t Stephen have a thing with his nurse or something?
BRIAN: Ah okay.
LIZ: Yeah that's nice.
BRIAN: Ah okay.
LIZ: Well Brian.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Yes.
LIZ: He did obviously, yeah. A little awkward at this point but Brian thank you, you've beat us yet again. You know what that means, not only do you get our anniversary Podcast mug but you also get, maybe a signed copy, I don’t know can Stephen Hawking write?
BRIAN: Oh I don’t know.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Yes.
LIZ: He can.
BRIAN: Excellent
LIZ: Excellent we’re learning a lot about Mr Hawking.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Quite slowly.
LIZ: Okay.
BRIAN: Okay excellent. Well thanks Stephen.
STEPHEN HAWKING: It took me a long time to write the book.
LIZ: Right Brian it’s been an absolute pleasure thanks very much there.
BRIAN: Okay thanks Liz.
LIZ: Take care. Bye-bye.
BRIAN: Okay cheers bye-bye.
LIZ: Stephen are you still there?
[grinding noise]
LIZ: Thank you it’s been an absolute pleasure.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Thank you.
LIZ: Thank you.
STEPHEN HAWKING: Too.
LIZ: My God. So remember folks if, er, you know, if you want to take part in the next Vegetable, Vegetable or Vegetable, anything could happen, you never know who will be guessing, then email us at ouch@bbc.co.uk, that's ouch@bbc.co.uk. Mat.
MAT: Oh God. [coughs]
LIZ: You would not believe…
MAT: Sorry about that.
LIZ: … you've missed the whole thing.
MAT: I’ve what?
LIZ: I had Stephen Hawking…
MAT: Have I missed him?
LIZ: Yeah while you were in the loo.
MAT: Oh I wanted to ask him some stuff.
[Jingle: bbc.co.uk/ouch]
MAT: Liz.
LIZ: Yeah Mat?
MAT: There's something I've wanted to ask you for some time but I've actually been a bit embarrassed to.
LIZ: Okay.
MAT: You know, you know when we meet, like socially and stuff?
LIZ: Uh huh.
MAT: And you've got your PA?
LIZ: Uh huh.
MAT: I never know whether I'm meant to say hello to them or not, you know. Like one time when I offered you a drink I quite mistakenly offered your PA a drink and she declined but with a kind of semi frown that made me think, ‘Oh God, have I done… was that inappropriate? Was that…’ What are the rules of engagement with a PA?  What do you do?
LIZ: She probably just she didn’t like you but…
MAT: Well I sensed that right from the beginning but no what I mean… I'm quite serious about this, you know, a lot of people… a lot of disabled people use PAs and a lot of people don’t know how to act with them, including other disabled people like myself.
LIZ: Probably some people as well won’t know what a PA is, actually, I'm just thinking…
MAT: Could you tell us?
LIZ: … you know cos, I mean, you know, people abroad will listen to us, so your traditional carers, aren’t they, you've got care assistants, personal assistants are seen by a lot of disabled people as being a much clearer term. It’s personal and it’s unique to you. They usually…
MAT: Right.
LIZ: … you know the difference between a carer and a personal assistant, I always think is, you know, carers put blankets on your legs and PAs will only put a blanket on your leg if you ask for it, kind of thing…
MAT: Okay.
LIZ: … they’re much more under your direction. You often pay for them say with direct payments or you give them the money. So you’re the boss but the difference, I think with a personal assistant is you are very much the boss. You tell them how you’d like things doing…
MAT: Uh huh.
LIZ: … and they assist you with the things you can’t do in your life and I… I mean yeah you're right, I mean, I've got… I have personal assistants 24 hours a day.
MAT: Yeah.
LIZ: So I have them always with me.
MAT: Right.
LIZ: And so no people really don’t know do they?
MAT: No.
LIZ: They don’t know.
MAT: And presumably it’s different for each, sort of working relationship?
LIZ: Yeah I mean that’s the only thing I'm going to say here…
MAT: But what’s your take on it?
LIZ: Okay, well all I can talk about is how I do it, yeah, definitely. I think for me, because I have somebody with me all the time...
MAT: Yes you do.
LIZ: … but they’re very much, as you’ve noticed, in the background.
MAT: Absolutely.
LIZ: Yeah, and they… that's their role. They know that from when they come to interview. There's no surprise. There's no, you know, all of a sudden…
MAT: So are these the rules of engagement that you set up?
LIZ: Yes absolutely, totally. So I will ask them, you know, at interview, I will say, “Okay, what kind of things can you do to respect my privacy? How will you do that at home and how will you do that when I'm out?” And I will… so I’ll ask them. “So say I'm in a pub or something like that what would you do so that I can maintain my privacy with my mates?” So I'm expecting them to say, and be comfortable with things like, “Well I’d go away and come back,” or “I’d sit at a separate table and come back.”
MAT: Uh huh.
LIZ: “Or I’d go and wait in the car,” some people have even said. You know I’d be waiting for them to be okay with that and then I’d think, “Okay well you’re on my wavelength,” because for me, if I'm with my mates, I need to be able to be me and for me I don’t feel I can if I've got people that I employ there.
MAT: Okay.
LIZ: You know I couldn’t be rude. I couldn’t talk personally. I always think for a friend, I mean you must find it, if there's somebody else there…
MAT: Well I was going to say from my perspective it, it’s fine and everything and one immediately, with you, knows immediately that's how the working relationship is and you respect that. However, because I've now known you, you know, because we work together a lot…
LIZ: Yeah, yeah.
MAT: … I'm actually getting to know them…
LIZ: Yes.
MAT: … and it’s got to the point where they are people, they’re not just PAs…
LIZ: Yeah, yeah.
MAT: … and I don’t know whether, I mean, clearly the working relationship stays the same and my relationship is with you and not them, you know.
LIZ: For sure.
MAT: However, like, er, what am I trying to say? Like the time we were in the car…
LIZ: [laughs]
MAT: … we went to Blackpool to do a gig together. We were in a car for five hours together and I know I was a little irritated because I’d had too much coffee and I'm sorry about that but…
LIZ: You were very, very amusing.
MAT: … but, in a way your PA became part of the discussion at one point and it was… I was like, “Oh so is this different or…”
LIZ: She became part of the discussion because you were tapping on her shoulder going [click, click, click, click, click, click]…
MAT: That's because she's from South Africa and I thought she was going to…
LIZ: … you know, “Can you speak that Erica?” [click, click, click] “Isn’t there a tribe in South Africa that speak like that? Do you know them?”
MAT: I was just ribbing her…
LIZ: [laughs]
MAT: … with a little bit of friendly racism.
LIZ: Yeah that's nice and she’d never heard of that particular dialect had she?
MAT: No but the point is…
LIZ: And now when you rang me the other day and, er, I said, “Oh yes Erica’s working today,” and he goes, “Give her a click-click from me.” [laughs]
MAT: So have I… okay well let’s use that as an example  have I crossed your professional engagement line there then?
LIZ: No. That feels fine. Yeah that feels fine.
MAT: Okay.
LIZ: Because it’s a bit like once you know the rules are there and you know people know the rules then you can relax them in a way. So you’re… you’re with me a lot of the time…
MAT: Yeah.
LIZ: … friends and family are with me all the time, so you know, friends, partner, whoever, who know them, you know.
MAT: Okay I'm going to…
LIZ: Go on.
MAT: … step it up a bit okay?
LIZ: Okay come on.
MAT: Let’s just… we’re going hypothetical now…
LIZ: Yeah, yeah.
MAT: … cos just for the record…
LIZ: Hmm.
MAT: … I'm very happy with my partner, how does it… well how does it feel for you…
LIZ: Yeah.
MAT: … and I would imagine that this feeds into every insecurity that a disabled person that uses a PA has, if somebody goes, “I fancy your PA. Can I ask her out?”
LIZ: They just die.
MAT: Okay.
LIZ: They just pretty much die.
MAT: What the PA has to die?
LIZ: No the friend yeah.
MAT: Right so that's crossing the line.
LIZ: [laughs] That's very much crossing that… can I…
MAT: I can completely appreciate that, of course I do, but how is one to know? I mean I know because I've been around disabled people with PAs for like a long time.
LIZ: All people… I mean people don’t… I think one thing you could do, I mean everyone will have insecurities, whether it’s a friends or a partner or whatever, of somebody asking your PA out or your carer, or whoever they are to you…
MAT: Yeah.
LIZ: … so we've all got those insecurities. How do you know? I think partly you give that off. So I think there's something about the two personal assistants that I have at the moment, they’re very… they give off this air of they are not there. They read, you know, if they were in here now they’d be sitting in the corner reading, minding their own business…
MAT: Yeah.
LIZ: … they would, of course, be laughing. They’re human beings, excellent people, yet one of the lines I give out, right, is that to me my personal assistants we’re friendly but we’re not friends.
MAT: Right.
LIZ: That said they’ve worked for me for like three or four years.
MAT: So you must have got to know them?
LIZ:  I know them really well but I don’t know their life stories.
MAT: So you don’t see them outside the professional engagement.
LIZ: No not at all and I think in some work environments that's the same. If this was any other job you know…
MAT: Well a personal assistant is a personal assistant. It’s used for work I suppose. So…
LIZ: But I think I'm quite, you know, saying this and I know that there'll be people going, “Oh my God,” because, I, you know, I get people think I'm a real bitch because of the way that I have personal assistants.
MAT: No I don’t think that at all.
LIZ: No but people do. You mightn’t but you know.
MAT: I do actually but…
LIZ: [laughs]
MAT: No I don’t.
LIZ: And some of us with do it differently and some people need their personal assistants with them all the time, don’t they?
MAT: Do you know any disabled people that use personal assistants in a very different way?
LIZ: Oh God yeah.
MAT: Like, well don’t name names but give me an example of somebody who does it differently.
LIZ: Somebody whose personal assistant would, you know, if we went out to the pub they would be joining in and there and talking about themselves and whatever and that just irritates me, you know, and I want to slap them, but you have to respect that, so like you’re respecting how I do it, you respect how other people do it, you know.
MAT: Isn’t that just human Liz?
LIZ: Isn’t that human? Mmm mmm [laughs].
MAT: I have to say I respect, I respect the way you’re doing it. I'm distracted. There's a man wandering round in the studio.
LIZ: Yeah shouldn’t we still be talking about the topic?
MAT: Oh God yeah we’re meant to be professionals, so that's fascinating Liz.
LIZ: You don’t sound like it.
MAT: Now what if I wanted a PA?
LIZ: Yeah. What would you… no I want to know stuff from you. So is it really weird for you the way I do things? Tell me about the outside perception and when you first met me and all of that, yeah.
MAT: Okay the first consideration is, okay I don’t understand the relationship and how I'm meant to fit into this, look and learn, stay quiet, watch, err on the side of caution, if in doubt leave it out.
LIZ: Yeah.
MAT: And after a few meetings with you everything that you've said about how you show out that working relationship becomes immediately apparent and you just fall into line. Having said that Lawrence, for example, Lawrence Clarke, you know listeners he's the one that does our idents and stuff, he's more, the PAs that I've met with him have more been the also chatting at the pub type, you know.
LIZ: Yeah.
MAT: And so because everybody’s got different rules there are no rules are there? So it’s an individual case and so you have to learn it with each person you have to learn it.
LIZ: I think that's it you don’t want your friends to be uncomfortable either but one of the things, when I've had people say, “Oh it must be awful,” you know, “You send them off and they’re not allowed to be part of things,” and I say, “Well you’re assuming they want to be part of my life. You’re assuming they want to hang round with you,” but I’d really like to know what other people do, how they do it, and what they find acceptable or not.
MAT: Well why don’t we round off this little section of PA discussion by asking the listeners.
LIZ: Yeah.
MAT: And the Podcast listeners and the actual website readers, you know, if they’ve got any, huh, I mean perhaps you'll get a few more offers of a different kind of personal assistance Liz.
LIZ: [laughs] Okay that would be great. I mean I do think one thing to say I think you change. I think that, you know, the personal assistant’s relationship is one, I've employed PAs now since the very early ‘90s so it’s like over 15 years and who and how I do it is totally different now and when I began I thought, ‘I want them to be mates, because it will be great fun. They’re with me all the time. It will be like having permanent friends and we can do anything.’ Absolute recipe for disaster. Recipe for disaster because telling your friends they’re not doing things properly, or asking your friends to do things, you know, you think about them don’t you?
MAT: Well I've long not agreed with, you know, sometimes you do have a friendship with a working relationship but I’d prefer to keep them separate because they can become very confused.
LIZ: So you know you change, things change, I’d be interested in how other people do things but I'm really glad you asked , thank you, anyway because a lot of people are…
MAT: You know I actually wanted to have this discussion…
LIZ: You were nervous weren't you?
MAT: Yeah I’ve actually wanted to have this discussion ever since I've known you and it’s really weird that we’re doing it on air but it is right, probably right for the Podcast.
LIZ: Yes because there's other people, I'm sure, thinking it.
MAT: And I would like a personal assistant.
LIZ: Yes.
MAT: And any suggestions…
LIZ: I’d hate to think of what kind of things you’d want them for Mat.
MAT: Any suggestions as to what I might need them for are most welcome.
[Jingle]
LIZ: Earlier we sent Rob out to climb a mountain. So let’s see how he's doing now.
MAT: Yeah are you there Rob?
ROB: Yes I'm here.
MAT: Are you beyond your normal boundaries?
ROB: [laughs] I can’t even see where the boundary was in the first place.
LIZ: Where are you actually now Rob?
ROB: I’m in a climbing centre I’m sort of on top of the West Way in West London.
MAT: Ha, I know it, I know that place. Oh brilliant.
ROB: I am so annoyed you've made me do this.
MAT: [laughs]
LIZ: Oh bless.
MAT: Tough luck mate now have you got an instructor there? I blooming hope so.
ROB: Pardon?
MAT: Have you got an instructor with you?
ROB: I do I have an instructor, yes, he's called… it’s Ben isn’t it? Is that right? It’s Ben yeah. Would you like to speak to him?
MAT: We would yeah.
LIZ: We want to make sure you’re in good hands.
ROB: Okay.
BEN: Hello.
LIZ: Hello Ben. This is Liz from the Ouch Podcast. Hello.
BEN: Hello.
LIZ: So you've got our Rob there. What are you going to do with him?
BEN: What am I going to do with him?
LIZ: Yeah.
BEN: I'm going to coax him up the wall roughly…
MAT: How big is it?
BEN: It’s roughly 15 metres high.
LIZ: Okay.
MAT: Oh my word.
BEN: Yes he’s going up what looks like a chimney, an open chimney so he's got three sides to play with.
MAT:  How many have you lost?
LIZ: Yeah.
BEN: How many have I lost?
BOTH: Yeah.
BEN: None to date. Where’s a bit of wood? None to date.
LIZ: Okay.
MAT: And you've worked with albinos before yeah?
BEN: I beg your pardon?
MAT: And you've worked with albinos before?
BEN: I've worked with albinos before.
MAT: Okay, no problem.
LIZ: Oh really. That's a perfect qualification. Let’s get back to Rob then. You take care of him alright?
BEN:  I will do here’s Rob.
MAT: He's like the SAS guy from Beyond Boundaries.
LIZ: He is, he's like Ken. Yeah so are you… weren't you the one that wanted to go on Celebrity Beyond Boundaries Rob?
ROB: But I didn’t say that.
LIZ: Yeah.
ROB: In a moment of drunken career desperation I might have.
LIZ: Yeah.
MAT: Do you feel a little daunted by the prospect ahead of you mate?
ROB: Well I've got to be quite honest and say well I had a gin and tonic beforehand so I'm feeling slightly numb and so it should be okay but if this is my last appearance then maybe you should get the adverts out.
LIZ: So come on, get on with it now. We’d like you to start climbing.
MAT: Can you pass the phone to Emma?
LIZ: Yeah.
ROB: Okay then I’ll put you over to Emma, alright?
LIZ: Bonne chance.
MAT: Yeah up you go mate.
LIZ: Nice knowing you mate, bye.
MAT: On his way.
EMMA: Hello.
MAT: Hello Emma.
LIZ: Hello Emma.
EMMA: Hi Mat, hi Liz.
LIZ: Is this your first time vocally on the Podcast.
EMMA: I believe I said, “Be Jesus,” on the Christmas one.
LIZ: Oh excellent.
MAT: It’s lovely to have you back. Listeners, as you know, Emma Tracey is our superb researcher and it’s nice to hear her dulcet Irish tones isn’t it? To be sure.
LIZ: It’s lyrical, lyrical. I bet you’re a good singer?
EMMA: I have been known to stand up in a pub every now and again.
LIZ: I bet you have, yeah.
MAT: Now this is going to be a little odd because we need you to describe what’s happening and yet you’re a blind woman.
EMMA: Yeah so that's a bit of a challenge. It’s kind of beyond my boundaries as well as Rob’s.
LIZ: Wow this is really…
MAT:  Well come on it’s tragic but be brave.
LIZ: We could… if only there was a film crew there, do you know what I mean?
MAT: Oh my God would it win an award?
LIZ: It would, three series.
EMMA: I've got a video on my phone but I don’t think I have enough battery unfortunately.
MAT: Well how are we… can you just grab a passer-by maybe and get them to describe to you what’s happening and then you can tell us?
EMMA: Well okay.
MAT: You might just stick your arms out and whiz round and you’ll hit someone.
LIZ: Just find someone, shout out.
EMMA: Well all I can find is my access worker for the day, Fidelis.
LIZ: Fidelis.
MAT: Fidelis ay?
LIZ: Beautiful name.
EMMA: She's from St Lucia so she could help me.
LIZ: Do we know… we want to know if he's up the wall. He could be right up it now.
EMMA: Rob. Rob where are you?
ROB: I don’t know.
LIZ: Where’s he gone? [laughs]
MAT: He sounds like about a mile away.
EMMA: He was a bit sick.
MAT: No wonder gin and tonic and boxer shorts.
LIZ: Serves him right.
MAT: Okay well get… what was your friend called from St Lucia?
EMMA: Sorry?
MAT: What was your person called from St Lucia.
EMMA: Fidelis.
MAT: Could you get Fidelis to tell you what’s happening and you can tell us?
EMMA: Fidelis what’s happening?
FIDELIS: He's climbing down now.
EMMA: He's climbing down and he's leaning back.
LIZ: Can you.. can you shout out to him? How does he feel up there?
EMMA: Rob, Rob, come back up.
LIZ: Why is he coming down?
EMMA: He's come back down.
LIZ: Go up.
MAT: Tell him he needs to go all the way to the top.
LIZ: We want 15 metres worth. This is BBC budget, 15 metres or nothing.
EMMA: Yeah well he's actually going up it quite quickly but then when he goes up there he seems kind of wrecked. So he’s climbing up now. Tell me exactly what he's doing Fidelis?
FIDELIS: He's climbing up.
EMMA: Yeah but what kind of motions is he making?
LIZ: Is he doing it fast? Is he like Spiderman?
FIDELIS: He's relaxed.
EMMA: He's relaxed.
LIZ: He's relaxed.
EMMA: He seems relaxed yeah. I don’t believe it though.
MAT: I think he's just unconscious, just hanging from the rope.
LIZ: Is he in a harness? Is he in a big harness?
EMMA: And you know the way our Rob can cover up these things.
MAT: Yeah. Could you get him… we need proof that he's actually up there. Can you get him to yodel like Tarzan or something?
EMMA: Okay one second, okay hang on. Rob, Rob, Rob, yodel… yodel for us.
ROB: Yodel?
EMMA: Yes.
LIZ: Yodel.
ROB: [howls]
MAT: [laughs] This is really surreal.
LIZ: He sounds like he's howling like a banshee. Emma, Emma, can you ask him… tell him to describe what he can see from up there.
EMMA: Rob, Rob, what can you see from up there?
ROB: Lots of strange sea-shells hanging out of the wall.
EMMA: Can you hear that?
LIZ: No.
EMMA: He said, “Lots of strange sea-shells hanging out of the wall.”
LIZ: How high is he, how high is he?
EMMA: I don’t think he can see the ground. How high are you?
ROB: I don’t want to know.
EMMA: Don’t want to know. Can you see the ground?
ROB: No.
LIZ: Tell him to look down. Tell him to look down.
MAT: Tell him not to bother, let’s face it he's visually impaired.
LIZ: Oh yeah.
MAT: Yeah. Okay look we’re going to come back to you later but that’s really good. Keep Fidelis with you because I think we’re going to need his skills. The three of you are working very well together, the four of you.
EMMA: It’s a her.
MAT: I'm so sorry.
LIZ: [laughs]
MAT: Your lovely lady from St Lucia and you and Rob and his very manly person.
EMMA: Okay do you want to speak to him, he's on his way back down?
LIZ: No keep him up there and we’ll come back to him later.
MAT: Keep him up there yes., no. Good luck.
[Jingle]
MAT: Usually when you see a disabled person on telly it’s in a documentary about them, sometimes from a bit of a weird perspective maybe.
LIZ: But with all this new technology, more media outlets, disabled people are grasping the reins and broadcasting themselves.
MAT: With us today are three people doing just that. Steven Scott is a presenter on Insight Radio, a new FM radio station in Glasgow for blind people. Damon Fibraio, also blind, is a shock-jock with his own weekly internet radio phone-in out of New Jersey and Jason Anton, who has Friedrichs Ataxia hosts a monthly public access TV show from his couch. Hello everyone.
ALL: Hello.
LIZ: Let’s start with you Steven. I want to know, your station’s about to go on air, can you tell us a bit about it? What’s it called? What are you going to be doing?
STEVEN: Well basically what we are is, we are Insight Radio, and what does that mean? Well quite simply we are a radio station for blind and partially sighted people. It’s an interesting idea because most people argue that every radio station is for blind and partially sighted people but our station’s slightly different and there are a number of areas that we cover that allow us to be different. For example, we’re not a commercial operation so we have the opportunity to go into a lot more depth and detail. For example, just a simple thing like newspapers. We have the chance to go into newspapers in depth, talk about newspapers, actually read newspapers and describe the pictures in them. That's just one example of what we’re about.
LIZ: And how often, you know, are you broadcasting all the time? What are your hours of operation going to be?
STEVEN; Well at the moment we’re broadcasting online, on the internet.
LIZ: Okay.
STEVEN: And we’re actually… we’re just about… we’re going under a name change at the moment. As you said we’re called Insight Radio that will be our FM name and at the moment we’re called VIP On Air but we’re changing over to that at the moment but, as you say, we’re going to be moving onto FM. We’ll be currently broadcasting between 8 in the morning and 5 at night and hope to continue that.
MAT: Okay well Steven good luck with that. I'm just going to bring in Damon now. Now Damon listening to your show you do the kind of polar opposite of Steven I think. For the listeners we’re going to play a clip now of your show, okay, here we go.
[clip]
MAT: Whoa okay.
LIZ: Okay yeah. Damon…
DAMON: I forgot that I said that.
MAT: So Damon tell us a little bit more about your show, although I think we've got the flavour.
DAMON: Well it was inspired by other radio personalities that I listened to growing up and the general idea is like the name of the show suggests, it’s no holds barred, anything could happen, I mean we get a lot more raucous and rowdy and violent and dirty that what you heard in that clip but it’s not geared just to blind people, although a blind person does run it and there are some other blind people on staff who do other shows.
MAT: Okay.
DAMON: But it’s just a way for me to be creative in my own way I guess and I mean I do discuss my visual impairment on the air but it’s not the total…
MAT: It’s not all about your visual impairment.
DAMON: Yeah I mean we try and include everybody but I want everybody that's out there that listens to know that I am a disabled individual and that this is, you know, this is what I do.
MAT: Cool, you’re kind of rewriting disability for all the people who assume all the rubbish.
LIZ: Fantastic.
DAMON: Yeah whether it’s bad or good remains to be seen.
MAT: [laughs]
LIZ: Jason you go by the name J Rock on your TV, yeah?
JASON: Yeah Liz.
LIZ: Right we don’t have much access TV in Britain so is it a bit like Wayne’s World.
JASON: I heard I was like the first American so I just want to say thank you for that.
LIZ: Okay.
JASON: Basically it’s just, you know, comedy and entertainment.
LIZ: Okay well we’re just going to listen to a clip here so we know a little bit more about it.
JASON: Sure go ahead.
[clip]
MAT:  Well quite spacey.
LIZ: I was going to say. Jason.
MAT: Are you on drugs?
JASON: That's a sort of Kids In The Hall sort of sketch.
LIZ: And what else because we don’t have Kids In The Hall really. I have heard of it but we don’t have it in the UK. So can you give us an idea of what you do on there. It sounds a bit surreal.
JASON: Yeah it’s basic comedy. I love entertaining people and, you know, there's entertainment and there's J Rock entertainment where 49 celebrities have called me at home.
MAT: Why?
JASON: Thank you.
MAT: No but I'm asking you J Rock why have 49 celebrities called you at home? What’s the deal with the celebs?
JASON: Well basically to grab attention for the show.
MAT: Like endorsements.
JASON: They love helping people and they love helping me,. So I brought them to the show and if you look at my ratings you'll know that it’s helping.
LIZ: Okay.
MAT: Okay who’s the most famous person you've had endorse?
JASON: The most famous person is probably going to be a WWF Wrestler. He put me in his book. His name is Mick Foley and the book is called Mick Foley The Hardcore Diaries.
MAT: Okay well we've never heard of him.
LIZ: Who’s he, who’s he?
MAT: I've heard of Dan Severn, speaking of no holds barred and I was pretty impressed with that not that any of the other listeners will know but listen if you could get, if you could get, J Rock, the most famous English person to endorse who would it be? Who would you like? We’ll see what we can do.
JASON: Oh probably Regis Philman.
MAT: Regis Philman who’s that?
LIZ: I have no idea. Oh doesn’t he do breakfast.
JASON: He's a talk-show host.
MAT: Okay well we’ll see what we can do J. Okay.
LIZ: Okay.
JASON: Yeah.
LIZ: Steven and Damon I want to know, you know, are blind people obsessed with radio is that why you’re doing it?
DAMON: Well I don’t think it’s so much an obsession although I know a lot of people who do it.
LIZ: Yeah.
DAMON: But I don’t know that it’s an obsession. It may well be that we all need just something to do. I don’t know.
MAT: [laughs]
LIZ: You see our producer is blind and all the researchers are blind and one of the main radio broadcasters on the BBC, Peter White, is blind. Just a bit of a coincidence maybe but yeah. Steven what do you say to that?
STEVEN: Well I don’t know. I don’t think people, blind people are necessarily obsessed with radio in that sense, not at all. I think that, I mean for example at Insight Radio we give people a chance to come on air in the most fully accessible studios in the country and allow people to, you know, get themselves on air and try it out and see how they get on and give them a chance to give them that break which I think they find difficult to get elsewhere. I don’t know if Damon agrees with that.
DAMON: Well I think if you can be enough of an obnoxious pain in the butt, you can probably get on radio anywhere just so they’ll shut you up.
LIZ: [laughs]
MAT: I mean guys the point is that we’re here doing this, you’re doing what you do and I would maybe suggest that it’s probably because none of us can do it in the mainstream. Does it bug you that there aren’t more disabled people in the mainstream?
STEVEN: Well from my point of view, I mean, I've worked in mainstream radio for about five years. I'm partially sighted and I don’t know if that makes a difference, maybe Damon will come in on that one but from my own point of view I've never really had any problem, as such. I think it’s, I think Damon’s absolutely right it’s how much you push yourself that makes the difference and you really have to. I mean I was told at school, very simply, you will never work in radio and I was told that by my guidance teacher.
LIZ: Oh you know what they’re like.
MAT: We know guidance teachers and career officers don’t we? You should have heard my one. So J Rock do you want to get, you know, would you… what’s your ultimate ambition J-bo, do you want to be the new Jay Leno or what?
JASON: I want to just be heard you know. It’s, you know, we have that, you know, I just want to be heard basically and JR TV has helped me out a lot in my life and basically I've been with them for four years now.
MAT: Okay.
JASON: And they’ve been helpful ever since I've known them til now and basically what I'm doing is good, clean entertainment.
LIZ: Oh no.
MAT: Well good, clean entertainment, over to you Damon.
LIZ: Yeah Damon.
DAMON: Yeah sorry I was sleeping through that last thing. Oh really, oooh.
MAT: Hang on blind fight, blind fight, blind fight.
LIZ: No he's not.
DAMON: There are different ways of…
MAT: Can’t you guys go and do Celebrity Blind Wrestling?
LIZ: No he's got ataxia, Frederick’s ataxia or whatever.
MAT: Well okay could you…
LIZ: This is impairment wars isn’t it?
MAT: Impairment Wars.
DAMON: I wouldn’t want to hurt any you know.
JASON: Well we’re wrestling entertainment.
MAT: You’re very kind.
JASON: They like good, clean attention and that's what they get.
MAT:  I prefer a bit of the old ultimate fighting championship myself but there you go.
DAMON: But from my perspective I just like causing chaos and mayhem. I mean to answer your previous question there are a lot of blind people I've heard broadcasting who should not be 10 feet near a microphone.
LIZ: [laughs]
MAT: Where are you out of Damon? What town are you… you’re in New Jersey.
DAMON: Yeah New Jersey.
MAT: Okay I'm coming to New York in April can I come and say hello?
DAMON: Sure why not?
MAT: Okay.
DAMON: If you can endure the abuse sure.
MAT: Oh no I can endure it.
LIZ: Actually he can, you know, he can, he can.
MAT: I’ll bring a shotgun yeah.
LIZ: Damon can you ever get on mainstream? Is that what you want because I don’t think a lot of the stuff that you’re doing and some of the stuff that we do, you know, I don’t know that we could ever make it on mainstream.
DAMON: There are, there are programme directors across the land who would go into cardiac arrest if they heard two minutes of my show.
LIZ: Yeah.
DAMON: And I worked in college radio, when I went to college, naturally, and I got fired like three times and we were clean back then and I would not want to be on FM radio. I wouldn’t want to go back to that cess pool of corporate BS and…
MAT: [laughs]
STEVEN: Thanks.
LIZ: Thank you from the BBC [laughs].
DAMON:  Sure. If anything I want to be on satellite radio like XM or Serious which is what we have here in the United States but, you know, whether I can pull that off or not remains to be seen. I mean we get… we generally get a good buzz about the station and the show itself. We get over 150 listeners every Wednesday night.
LIZ: J Rock how many people watch your show at the moment?
JASON: Well roughly it goes to over 150,000 now.
LIZ: Wow.
MAT: So you’re winning at the moment.
LIZ:: Winning and do you want, you know, do you want to be on mainstream TV is that your… or what’s your hope for the future?
JASON: Well basically to get on network TV would be a dream come true for me.
MAT: Would you appear naked.
JASON: Huh?
MAT: Would you ever appear naked?
JASON: No.
MAT: Fair enough. Okay.
LIZ: Can we get you all, you know, to plug your own website, shows, whatever because…
MAT: Don’t forget a lot of our listeners are going to immediately want to know what your shows are all about.
LIZ: Our listeners you know are used to listening to stuff on the internet and that's how they listen to the Podcast so come on let’s start with Jason.
JASON: Okay what do you need?
LIZ: We need you to plug your show. Can we watch it, can we listen to it over here?
JASON; Well there is a website for the audio.
LIZ: Okay give us that detail.
JASON: It’s jrocknitro.tripod.com.
LIZ: Damon tell us how to listen to your show.
DAMON: Well it’s very easy I keep the website simple because people don’t have much of a brain so it’s www.nhbradio.com, NHB stands for No Holds Barred.
MAT: Yes.
DAMON: NHB radio if you have a strong stomach and two brain cells or less, you'll fit right in.
LIZ: Steven to finish.
STEVEN: Well if you want to listen in it’s very simple all you do is you go to www.viponair.com . We’ll be changing our name to Insight Radio and we go on air on FM in March 101, in Glasgow.
LIZ: Well good luck when you go on air and to everyone thank you, fantastic stuff. Good to hear we’re not the only ones out there.
MAT: Yeah keep doing what you do guys.
DAMON: Thank you.
STEVEN: Thanks very much.
LIZ: Thanks for your time bye bye.
[Jingle]
LIZ: Earlier on Rob Crossan climbed a mountain. [sings] High on a hill stood a lonely  albino, yodel-ay-hi, yodel-ay-hi, yodel-ay-hi-hi. Are you there Rob?
ROB: [laughs] Yeah but I'm thinking of hanging up quite frankly.
LIZ: [laughs]
MAT: So listen do you still have the full use of your legs or did you fall?
ROB: I didn’t fall at all you know what…
MAT: [sighs]
ROB: … I asked my instructor for some feedback and he said I was really, really good and I then asked him to stop being so, kind of, condescending and give me a proper able-bodied person’s assessment and he still said I was really good. So either he's a brilliant liar or I genuinely really do have ability at it.
MAT: Oh you passed.
LIZ: Yes I know you haven’t got the eyes but you've got the body haven’t you. I mean there’s nothing unable about your body.
ROB: I feel that I came, sort of saw and conquered anyway and it was marvellous I got 45 feet up at the end I climbed right to the very top and I was told that I had cat-like agility.
LIZ: We were told that you felt a bit sick the higher you got. Is this true?
ROB: Well the trick is just not to look down and the guy actually sort of wound my up a little bit by asking me if the air was purer up there…
MAT: [laughs]
ROB: … and so in a fit of peak I said, “Yes,” and I realise now that he might have been taking the piss.
LIZ: How many times did you actually go up there?
ROB: Pardon?
LIZ: How many times did you actually get up there?
ROB: Oh only once.
LIZ: Really?
ROB: What do you take me for?
LIZ: Well you had an hour. We paid for a full hour.
ROB: Did you.
MAT: I would say that you are now a proper disabled person. You've gone beyond your boundaries…
LIZ: Yes.
MAT: … you were tragic but you've proved that you’re brave. Well done.
LIZ: Well done Mr Crossan.
ROB: Well I'm a bit of a have-a-go hero. I'm one of those disabled people that actually deserves interviewing.
MAT: I'm going to cry.
LIZ: I know, I know. You've triumphed over the tragedy of your life.
ROB: I know if these eyes could weep and sadly they can’t.
MAT: Aw, his eyes are barren ladies and gentlemen.
LIZ: They are.
MAT: Okay well look I think you ought to take young Emma Tracey back to the pub and take a couple of shots because you deserve them.
ROB: No sorry I'm on a keep fit buzz now. I’m on an organic fruit buzz and herbal tea. Mat I'm ashamed of you.
MAT: [laughs]
LIZ: Have a gin and tonic on the rocks [laughs]. Okay?
ROB: [laughs] Okay I will do that speak to you later.
LIZ: See you next month Rob.
MAT: Our very own Chris Bonnington goodbye.
LIZ: Bye.
ROB: Bye.
[Jingle]
MAT: Well Podcast 13 came and went and nobody got injured nice one. You see I always said it was a lucky time for the pagans. Podcast 13 was produced by Damon Rose, Researcher was Emma Tracey, Assistant Producer Lisa Devlin, Studio Manager was Jo Hutton and with thanks to Rob Crossan and guests.
LIZ: If you want to email us then do so on ouch@bbc.co.uk and remember if we do read your email out you get an ouch Podcast mug wherever you are in the world.
MAT: Playing out this month we have Susan Hedges, a visually impaired singer/songwriter from Liverpool. Her influences are Green Day and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Susan and her band can often be seen at festivals across the UK and they previously played at the Liberty Festival. Actually they were brilliant. I was there that day. Check out her website to find out where you can see her next on www.susanhedges.com.
LIZ: The track we’re going to hear today is called Charlotte’s Web, nothing to do with the current movie or spiders but she says it’s about women who take life and men on their own terms so enjoy it. We’re going to be back next month, a few days before Easter weekend.
BOTH: Goodbye.
[Music]

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