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.
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
Andy Piley (Chairman of Fleetwood FC)
Carl Fogarty (Former World Superbike Champion)
Chris Chittall (Eric Pollard in Emmerdale)
Chris McCausland (Blind comedian)
Christine Walkden (TV Gardener)
Dame Vera Lynn
Dennis Skinner MP
Gerald Jackson (Presenter BBC Radio Lancashire)
Glenda Jackson MP
Henry Blofeld (cricket commentator)
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)
Roy Dotrice (actor)
Simon Grayson (Manager of Preston North End FC)
Sir Steve Redgrave
Sir Terry Wogan
Sir Tim Rice
Stephen Mawhinney (Head of News, BBC Radio Five Live)
Steven Croft (Lancashire cricketer)