Celebs lend their voices to help the blind

The Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Society for the Blind has been providing help and support to blind and partially sighted people for more than a century.

Tuesday, 16th December 2014, 5:00 pm
Tony Scarborough and Ross Morgan from talking newspaper for the blind with ex-Tory minister Edwina Currie
Tony Scarborough and Ross Morgan from talking newspaper for the blind with ex-Tory minister Edwina Currie

Part of their remit is the production of a talking newspaper for their members providing a recorded digest of news and views from local newspapers and magazines.

News tended towards the run-of-the-mill, but that has all changed as the producers of the talking newspaper set themselves the task of interviewing as many celebrities as possible in 2014.

Most were conducted on the phone but some were face-to-face.

Emails were sent to agents up and down the country and at first the response was disappointing.

However Talking News employee Ross Morgan and volunteer Tony Scarborough persevered and now they have a collection of nearly 50 interviews with actors, singers, sportsmen and women and politicians online and available to their members.

Ross said: “Bringing the big names to the talking newspaper has been a dream come true.

“When I first heard that I would be interviewing Sir Terry Wogan, well I couldn’t believe my luck”

Tony added: “Last week we interviewed 97 year old Dame Vera Lynn.

“This completes 43 interviews we have conducted with interesting and famous people this year, mostly by telephone.

“I’ve been taken aback by how friendly and approachable all these famous people have been

“In particular, the fantastic hospitality we were shown when we visited Edwina Currie and her husband at their Derbyshire home. They even treated Ross and I to a pub lunch.”

The list of people interviewed by Ross and Tony reads like a copy of Who’s Who.

It includes Noel Edmonds, Richard Madeley, Terry Waite and Sir Steve Redgrave.

These interviews are now being made available to other Talking Newspapers throughout the country.

The interviews have proved a huge success with listeners to the talking newspaper who get the chance to hear exclusive chats with well known figures.

Judith harrison, community services manager at N-Vision, the firm which produces the talking newspaper, said: “The additional content of the interviews being carried out by Ross and Tony, one of our valued volunteeers, has brought an extra dimension to the service.

“The range and quality of the celebrities who have agreed to be interviewed has generated a great deal of interest among our clients.”

All the interviews can be listened to at https://soundcloud.com/n-vision-tn

The celebrity interviewees

Alfie Boe

Alan Bennett

Andy Hamilton

Andy Piley (Chairman of Fleetwood FC)

Ann Widdecombe

Bill Kenwright

Carl Fogarty (Former World Superbike Champion)

Chris Chittall (Eric Pollard in Emmerdale)

Chris McCausland (Blind comedian)

Christine Walkden (TV Gardener)

Clive Anderson

Dame Vera Lynn

Dennis Skinner MP

Edwina Currie

Gerald Jackson (Presenter BBC Radio Lancashire)

Glenda Jackson MP

Gordon Burns

Gyles Brandreth

Henry Blofeld (cricket commentator)

Hugh Dennis

Jethro (Cornish comedian)

Jimmy Armfield (Former captain of Blackpool Football Club and England)

John Challis (Boycie in Only Fools and Horses)

Karl Oyston (Chairman of Blackpool FC)

Mike Lindup (member of 
Level 42)

Nicholas Parsons

Noel Edmonds

Paul Carrack

Paul Daniels

Peter Alliss

Peter Hitchens

Richard Madeley

Roy Dotrice (actor)

Simon Bates

Simon Grayson (Manager of Preston North End FC)

Simon Weston

Sir Steve Redgrave

Sir Terry Wogan

Sir Tim Rice

Stephen Mawhinney (Head of News, BBC Radio Five Live)

Steve Davis

Steven Croft (Lancashire cricketer)

Terry Waite

Virginia McKenna

Warwick Davis