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(first ever american to be interviewed on london BBC NEWS)transcript below
Ouch Podcast 13: March 2007
Presented by Mat Fraser and Liz Carr
[sound of clinking]
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.
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.
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
LIZ: No, no but after a show, right which…
never happens, never, ever happens ever.
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: Did you say, “Sleep with you, you smooth
talker.” Ha, ha, ha.
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 email@example.com 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: 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.
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…
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: Yeah so you've got number two email.
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.
LIZ: Did he?
LIZ: [laughs] Exactly.
MAT: Isle of Wight, Carl, mate, just a small thing,
your disability is part of you.
LIZ: Don't get a bit radical, bit radical, bit radical,
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: 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…”
LIZ: [laughs] everyone wants to be a Peter White.
LIZ: Wouldn't it?
LIZ: Write it down we love him.
LIZ: We just met him in the café…
MAT: And this is Mat.
LIZ: We're calling up from the Podcast. We're live,
MAT: Mmm, this is all being recorded onto Podcast
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,
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: 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.
LIZ: … you know.
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?
LIZ: No I'm just checking [laughs].
MAT: No I was only playing a role to see…
MAT: Oh okay.
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
LIZ: Isn't it? Forget Lawrence Clarke.
MAT: Let's do it again in his style.
BOTH: [sings] Questionnaires.
LIZ: Oh yes.
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].
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.
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.
MAT: Okay I think we'd better wrap those us
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 firstname.lastname@example.org [clink]. Chin, chin.
LIZ: Have you noticed then?
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: Erm, fall over, drool, dribble.
ROB: Ha, ha, ha.
LIZ: Er no,no.
ROB: I'm at a dead loss then.
MAT: Think heroic, tragic but brave, disability.
LIZ: Ooh, hoo, hoo.
LIZ: Gor, haw.
MAT: Ah ha.
ROB: Oh no.
ROB: Oh no. What I'm going rock climbing?
LIZ: Oh we couldn't possibly say could we?
LIZ: But Emma's you know…
LIZ: [laughs] So we've got audio description…
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
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?
LIZ: Really, are you a fan of the Ouch Podcast?
STEPHEN HAWKING: Yes.
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
BRIAN: I just kind of go, “Yeah I've always
been like that, yeah, all me life,” [laughs].
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?
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 email@example.com, that's firstname.lastname@example.org. Mat.
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?
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: … 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…
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…
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...
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…
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.”
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: 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…
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: She became part of the discussion because you
were tapping on her shoulder going [click, click, click, click, click, click]…
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?”
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]
LIZ: … friends and family are with me all the
time, so you know, friends, partner, whoever, who know them, you know.
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…
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…
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.
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.
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: 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.
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: 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: 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: [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?
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…
EMMA: Okay one second, okay hang on. Rob, Rob, Rob,
yodel… yodel for us.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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
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.
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.
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.
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: 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…
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: Can we get you all, you know, to plug your own
website, shows, whatever because…
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: … 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
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.
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.