Transcript of #12

Abnormally Funny People Show, Episode 12 

Presented by Simon Minty and Steve Best

intro

Welcome to the Abnormally Funny People Show, with your hosts, Simon Minty and Steve Best. This podcast is sponsored by Barclays. For more information please see our website, abnormallyfunnypeople.com. We hope you enjoy the show.

[playing music]

simon

Hello, and welcome to the Abnormally Funny People show, number 12. I’m Simon Minty.

steve

Hello, and I’m Steve Best.

simon

Well, Edinburgh’s looking good isn’t it Steve?

steve

It’s looking fantastic. Finally, you can come and see us live. From 6th to 31st August we’ll be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival playing at the Stand in the Square.

simon

All the information will be on our website, we’ll put that up pretty soon.

steve

And you can be added to our mailing list there too.

simon

Which is ever growing.

steve

It is, yeah. Lovely. So let’s introduce the guests. We welcome the return of Mr Paul Carter.

paul

Hello.

steve

Journalist, occasional stand up, as we’ll see later on, comedian, and someone who appeared on our live show in December.

simon

And we also have royalty, oh sorry, disability royalty, oh I mean… Well, it’s Baroness Jane Campbell, she’s a cross bench member of the House of Lords, she’s also the founder of Not Dead Yet UK and a long term campaigner on disability equality and human rights, and according to her Twitter she’s importantly, still alive.

jane

I am, hello.

simon

Welcome.

steve

And later on we have Robin Christopherson from AbilityNet, he’ll be here later telling us what’s new with technology.

simon

And Shannon Murray will be reporting from Los Angeles, including her visit to the expo there.

steve

As it’s our 12th show we also have someone on from our sponsors, from Barclays. We’re going to talk to them about what they’re up to in terms of customers and staff who have a disability.

simon

And we should say that we asked them, this wasn’t them saying can we muscle in. They’ve been very good, they’ve left us to our own devices.

steve

That’s very true, yes.

 

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simon

Let’s kick off with our regular little spot, the Moment of the Month. So, Jane, do you have recent stories, something that happened, your moment of the month?

jane

Oh, moment of the month. It always has to be I’m afraid at the Lords because that’s where I live now, it’s a big day centre as you know. I don’t get out much. Well, I sometimes get out, I went to Number 11 Downing Street and it was one of those receptions, you know, we have about three a day and you sort of turn up and bow to people, be nice and say the right thing and then go back to work. So this time I was at Number 11 with George, George Osborne, who is our Chancellor of the Exchequer, back to doing more chancellor-ing, and there were many guests there and there was a quite sweet guest who came up and asked me if I wanted a drink. And I thought oh, member of the catering staff, he had a pony tail, looked a bit… to be honest he looked as if he could do with a good scrub. But I thought, oh this is a nice chap and he then sat down and started talking to me and I thought oh dear, I think he really ought to go and help other people and ask them if they would like a drink.

Anyway, I was about to ask him whether he did catering often for George and he said, “Well actually I’m an actor.” I said, “Oh, do you do much acting?” you know, in a really patronising voice because he looked pretty poor and he said, “Oh yes I do. And I said, “Oh whereabouts?” and he said, “Oh mostly in Hollywood.” And I thought oh, he’s an extra. Anyway, we continued talking and he said he was moving over to England and going to Henley on Thames, and I said to him, “Oh it’s very expensive there and I don’t think you’ll be able to manage to get anywhere there.” And he said, what did I do and I told him and I said, “So, you do much of this sort of thing?” meaning catering, and he said, “Well I’m an actor and you know, I’ve just done a couple of films,” at which point my dear husband, Roger Symes, decided to bend down and whisper in my ear, “You know you’re talking to Orlando Bloom don’t you?” At which point I looked at him and I said, “Oh, so you’d like to come to the House of Lords? Well, any time,” and then went red and escaped basically.

simon

And even when your husband told you did you then know who he was or were you still a little bit perplexed?

jane

Well, he had to say Orlando Bloom, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, at which point I did twig on.

simon

But I can get it, because actors, especially if they’re actors, they might do catering work to supplement their income.

steve

Yeah, most people are waiters, yeah absolutely I’m sure.

jane

He looked definitely like he’d been sleeping under the arches that night to be honest.

simon

There are thousands of women who adore him, was he not handsome in a rugged sort of way?

jane

No, he was a bit smelly, he needed a bit of a shower.

simon

Well we’ve got the exclusive now.

jane

But don’t say anything will you?

simon

No, we only have…

steve

This is strictly between us, this is a private conversation this one.

simon

Half a million listeners will hear about it but I don’t think Orlando tunes in though.

jane

I’m at that age where I don’t know anyone’s name.

steve

Where is he now anyway? It doesn’t matter does it?

simon

He’s in Henley on Thames I think, he’s bought a house.

jane

He didn’t give me a kiss.

paul

I’m not surprised really. And you were probably relieved.

steve

That’s great.

simon

A heck of a moment of the month.

steve

Thank you very much. And Paul, what about your moment of the month?

paul

Mine contains a guy wearing camouflage trousers which isn’t exactly the same. People feel the need that they can just ask you questions. When you have a visible impairment people just feel that they can come and ask you stuff in the street.

simon

For the listeners, they might have heard you before but in terms of your impairment how would you describe it?

paul

Yes, I don’t have arms or legs below the elbow or the knee. I was stood at a crossroads, a pelican crossing, waiting to cross the road and a few other people around me, you know, as there is, and this chap stands next to me and he suddenly says to me, he says, “Are you type one?” and I didn’t know what he meant at first, I was a bit like, excuse me, because scary people turn me into a Victorian dandy, but I thought it was kind of gang slang or prison talk or something at first, I didn’t quite get it. And I said, “Sorry, what?” and he went, “type one?” And I said, “I’m terribly sorry, I don’t know what you mean,” and he went, “are you diabetic?” and I went “no,” and he was like, “ah, because my dad is and he’s only got one leg.” I was like, okay, right, and he suddenly walked off and I was thinking god, if this was diabetes I would have come off one hell of a sugar crash wouldn’t I?

steve

But have you worked out kind of answers to give them?

paul

Well it depends on the context, I’ve just started working with some new people and a lady came up to me a couple of days ago and she went, “Your legs…” because my legs are black, they’re a carbon fibre, people obviously can’t see them, and she went, “oh your legs, are they carbon fibre?” I said, “yeah, yeah.” She went, “oh, they’re just like my tennis rackets,” she went, “if ever mine are broken I could borrow them.” And everyone else on the desk had their head in their hands, they were like you can’t say that. And I was thinking but that’s great, I’d much rather that sort of interaction than this kind of complete sort of, well is it rudeness? I don’t really know how to…

simon

No, I mean I suppose presumably no one’s done the tennis racket, when someone’s trying to be funny and it’s quite new that’s really lovely, I quite like that.

paul

Yes.

simon

I remember we bumped into one of your friends, Steve, who’s a comedian and he walked up and I think I had a cigarette and he sort of said something like, “oh I won’t say that joke,” and I really liked that, it was something a bit different, so when they come up with a new gag it really works.

paul

Yeah. My other moment of the month is I seem to have completely forgotten how to get dressed but that doesn’t seem to be a disability related thing, it’s just…

simon

Why is that then?

paul

I’ve gone out wearing trousers with a pair of pants still in one of the legs, I did that last week, that was quite special, and I’ve gone out with my shirt inside out. My long suffering housemate now has to check that I’m actually dressed and correct before I leave the house in the morning.

steve

It’s not a drunken stupor or something.

paul

No, I think it’s just incompetence, I’m not sure where it’s come from.

simon

I have to ask you an inappropriate disability question now.

paul

Okay, yeah.

simon

So hang on, you said you had both sides of your pants or underwear on one leg, is that what you’re saying?

paul

No, no it was a pair of trousers that I was re-wearing. And there was a previous… This is an insight into my life.

simon

Oh got you. That’s a bit grim, that’s really grim. I wish I’d left it as it was.

paul

So do I!

simon

Thank you, Paul, good luck with that.

paul

Thanks.

simon

Thank you so much, Paul. Steve Best, our token non-disabled, do you have a moment of the month? You work quite hard at these don’t you to come up with something?

steve

Well it comes round to the month again and I think, oh I haven’t thought of anything and then I try and look around and see what’s going on, but this was related to my obsession and my love of magic this one. You know, how I love magic?

simon

Stay with us listeners.

steve

Yes, stay. I think male listeners will, I think the women will have switched off by now as we’ve mentioned magic, I don’t think they’re into magicians really or magic. I love sleight of hand with cards and I came across the guy, Richard Turner, from the US and he’s registered blind, I think from the age of nine, I think he had a complication with scarlet fever or something like that, but I’ve never seen anybody like it with sleight of hand as in just the best magician I think I’ve ever seen. So he’s got moves named after him and he gives demonstrations of how people cheat in casinos and card games and he’s got this kind of handlebar moustache and all this stuff, he looks like he’s from Texas and all this stuff. He’s blind, but he never mentions it at all to the audience, so he’s controlling cards and he’s dealing from the middle of the deck, the bottom of the deck, and he knows where everything is on the table as well. So he’s just extraordinary and I think it’s a cliché but he has this sense of touch with cards that the US card companies now are hiring him to design cards for them as well. I mean he’s an extraordinary guy, we’ll put a link to this because he does a whole act of how people cheat and he’s got this second deal it’s called named after him…

simon

Okay, now we’ve lost them.

steve

Yeah, I know.

simon

No, keep going, keep going.

steve

Well you just deal the second card rather than the first card but it’s just invisible, he’s got it named after him and he’s the only person who can do it, it’s called the Richard Turner Second Deal and I just can’t see it. So he turns the top card over to show you that he’s dealing the second card and you still can’t see him dealing the second card, it’s extraordinary.

simon

I was going to prod you a minute ago to kind of do that, because I know when you’ve talked before you’re like if they have a disability and they do something is that extraordinary but it sounds like the disability’s kind of incidental, if he’s doing things that no one else can do, but that can’t be linked to the blindness, he’s just a really skilled…

steve

Yes, I think he’s just done it from a very early age, he says he’s practised ten to 20 hours a day since he was ten or something.

paul

He sounds fascinating.

simon

He is, yeah.

steve

Well I just really get off on it, I was really amazed, but he actually learnt how to look at people for some reason to show that he’s not blind for some reason, I don’t know why actually, for that, and he’s sixth dan karate as well.

simon

He’s a bit annoying now actually.

steve

He is a bit annoying, yeah.

simon

I like it, that’s quite impressive, so we’ve got to look him up on YouTube have we?

steve

And his son’s called Ace as in ace of spades which has gone a bit weird, that’s very American for me. What’s yours anyway, Simon?

simon

I have a couple, one was linked to last month we had Phil Friend and James Partridge and Phil and I had this ongoing battle about he thinks he looks like an athlete because he’s a wheelchair user and I look like a clown because I’m short. So I did a talk at Brunel University about comedy and disability and it was lovely and then at the end quite a lot of people came up to ask me questions which is always a joy and makes you feel that you’ve said something interesting, and this one guy came up, a little bit like your Orlando Bloom, this was a slightly sort of messy guy, he was a little bit stubbly and a bit… Yeah, I don’t think he’d had a bath for a few days.

jane

Greasy pony tail?

simon

No, his hair was shorter.

steve

It wasn’t Bruce Willis was it?

simon

You know what, his description isn’t important, we don’t want to get in trouble here. Anyway, he came up, I would say he had an amazing manner about him, you know when some people just relax you and you’re comfortable, he was a very big guy, tall and broad, and he said, “I’m really interested about the whole concept of misfits,” and I kind of, you know, you can take that both ways, and I sort of said okay. And he’s a clown, he’s a professional clown, he’d even been on a week-long retreat with one of the most amazing clowns, a chap called Dr Brown…

steve

I went to see Dr Brown in Soho, fantastic yeah.

simon

And this guy I met said within three days he just collapsed because it was so intense, but I loved it and there was a sort of moment of kind of, he feels he’s a misfit and yet to all intents he’s just a straightforward regular guy but he thought I might feel I’m a misfit and I feel that less. But it made me smile just to kind of get the whole clown thing, it’s kind of following me a little bit scarily.

The other bit I had, I met with probably one of my oldest friends, in terms of the longest time I’ve known him, and he now lives in Chicago with his family, he popped over for a few days and I saw him. He has I think a ten, 11 year old boy who has some sort of neurological disability or what we might call a learning disability and we were talking generally and I asked him permission for this because I thought that’s a great story but you’re telling tales and he said go for it, he loves this podcast by the way. Yes, Russell, my friend, said one of the things that my son does is he doesn’t like using a male stand up toilet, he wants to go to the cubicle, so he always goes to the cubicle.

What he also has a habit of is when he’s on his own he just starts talking to himself, so he said, Russell my friend would be going to the loo and his son would be in the cubicle and then this voice would come out and say, “Well, thinking about the weekend maybe we can have a little bit of time on the X-box or the PlayStation, I’m thinking Toy Story 3 might be enjoyable but what do you think?” And then the bit that really made me laugh is if you were sitting in the next cubicle and someone asked you that would you respond? Would you go okay, well maybe Toy Story 2 would be even better or something. It was just a joyous little story but I did get permission.

steve

But does he have a conversation with himself so would he answer those kind of questions or he would just put those questions out?

simon

I think it’s a monologue and I don’t think they’re always necessarily questions but they’re stuff that if I was sitting in the next cubicle I’d feel I’d have to respond in some way.

paul

I think it would depend what toilet I was in to be honest with you.

simon

Go on?

paul

I’m not sure I want to elaborate on that.

steve

We did a sketch with Liam O’Carroll didn’t we, someone was having a conversation on the phone on the train.

simon

Yes, and because Liam’s blind he doesn’t realise and just starts joining in the conversation.

steve

Exactly that.

simon

Watch that on YouTube.

steve

So coming up next we will speak to Paul and Jane about their work.

 

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simon

Jane, it is delightful for us to have you on here by the way and although I’ve only sort of known you as a friend the last few years I’ve known about your existence forever. I mean you have been around disability, disability rights, for so long.

jane

Yeah, yeah okay.

paul

I have to say it did come out as…

simon

My compliments…

jane

It’s my hundredth birthday this year.

simon

When you were part of the British Council of Disabled People, when was this?

Jane

Oh, that was, I’d just left Sussex University and I was kind of working at Radar, do you remember Radar?

simon

I do.

jane

And I was just about to be sacked by them for being unemployable and I bumped into somebody called Frances Hasler who worked at the Spinal Injuries Association and I was going, oh I don’t like it here and I don’t know why! They’re so weird to me and they’re supposed to be a charity who like disabled people but they don’t like me. And she said, come along and join BCODP and you’ll find out why.

simon

And when was this, mid ’80s, early ’90s?

Jane

That would be ’82, ’83?

simon

I mean I’m going to come on to this momentous change but I confess I think when I first was getting involved in disability in the mid ’90s BCODP and people like that scared the pants of me.

jane

They were pretty scary.

steve

For the listeners and for me you said B…

simon

We said it at the beginning, British Council of Disabled People, BCODP yeah and it trips off the tongue.

jane

And they were basically kind of the radical organisation of disabled people that challenged all the charities for and shouting out “nothing about us without us” and we’re going to speak for ourselves and piss off you lot.

simon

Was it piss on pity? Was that the words?

jane

Yes, I had the tee-shirt.

simon

I still use that.

jane

On the first march that was terrible ((?)).

Simon

I mean the thing is they were radical, scared the pants off me perhaps being a bit more sort of middle line or a bit more pragmatic.

jane

But they were very brainy, there was Rick Finkelstein, professor, Mike Oliver, social model, Peru.

simon

These are the authors of lots of disability books, yeah.

Jane

And they were bloody intelligent, bloody scary and all men until Rachel came on the scene.

simon

I’m trying to work out, how the hell did you then now find yourself in the House of Lords? Because from being radical and anti-establishment to suddenly being in the most sort of establishment…

steve

You can still be radical in the establishment though can’t you?

jane

Well I am.

steve

There we go.

jane

I call myself a fellow traveller, so I have all my principles but I know how to play the game of politics which is all about negotiation and playing the long game. And that’s really important. While the journey was weird, I mean you’re right, I was incredibly radical, I was quite a separatist in the beginning, I only wanted to be with disabled people, believed in 100% of disabled people for any organisation. We hated the big six as it was then, the RNIB, the RNID, Scope, Leonard Cheshire and Mencap.

simon

But presumably that made some sense in that if you were trying to break away from those big charity organisations that were run by non disabled people the fear was that if you had well meaning non disabled they’d kind of take over again.

jane

Well we needed to find our own identity and we were basically like the Women’s Movement, I mean it was a very similar trajectory because we needed to find out who we were and what we were campaigning for and why we felt so angry about what was the world around us. So I think it was an important time, like it was for women. Once we’d found out who we were and we had a plan and we fought for antidiscrimination legislation and civil rights we had a very, very firm focus and that really helped because it not only empowered us, you know, suddenly we run the problem that society was and it gave us a route map through liberation and we had some wonderful teachers. I mean without Rick Finkelstein and Mike Oliver’s development of the social model I think we would have been a lot less focused. But we knew what we wanted.

simon

There’s people I know who think I am radical but I don’t think I am radical.

jane

Do they?

simon

Yeah, absolutely, but not compared to some of that stuff or yourself. But then it sounds a bit weird and I’m doing a dodgy hierarchy but sometimes when I think about it if, how do I say it, I could get employment possibly and it is unlikely that I’m going to be in an institution and it’s unlikely that I’m going to need 24 hour care at the moment, it might happen, I’ve always wondered is some of that…? And you were saying we found out why we felt the way we were and what we wanted to change, so I identify with the social model but then there were other elements I’m thinking and if you have a more severe impairment or you are fearful that someone’s going to put you in an institution would I be much more radicalised, would I be more aggressive. Am I being simplistic with that or do you think there’s something in that?

jane

I don’t know, because the one thing I did find from the BCODP is that I felt I belonged for the first time, you know, I’d spent a year at Radar where I didn’t fit at all and couldn’t understand why and I didn’t have the means to kind of unpick that and understand it. And I went to a BCODP meeting and I heard Vic talk about the social model and suddenly it was like a huge lightbulb going on and that sense of relief that you’re no longer the problem and that society is gives you a great bond with the other people who were there in the room who felt the same.

simon

I had that moment too.

jane

I thought it was good. And I was bonding with people with all sorts of impairments. I mean I remember when I was at school, special school, being really embarrassed when I was out and about with my mum if another disabled person was in the street, I was going, quick, cross the road, I don’t want to be seen with them because you have that awful internalised oppression that makes you not want to be part of something that makes you very angry. And so you cite other disabled people as the problem, rather than understand it and refocus that kind of deep anger. So I guess that’s what really enabled us, the bond across the impairment spectrum.

steve

Is the organisation still going?

jane

Like the Women’s Liberation Movement and Spare Rib, that had its time, BCODP had a purpose at that time, now something new and more relevant for the world in which we live is kind of beginning to develop, largely through social media, but then we didn’t have social media, we gathered in day centres and windy halls and that’s how we got together and organised.

simon

I do know when I started to spend more time with other disabled people, particularly other short people like me there was this you got it and that was amazing. Have you experienced this, Paul? Is this something you’ve gone through?

paul

I mean my first experience of the social model was when I started working at Disability Now and I’d never really come across it before then, but I’ll never forget my first day walking in to Disability Now and we all went out for a team lunch and so there was me, a short person, someone who was blind, someone who was deaf, we had the full bag of impairments, it was quite spectacular.

steve

Was there a magician there?

paul

A couple of clowns, you know.

simon

Thank you.

paul

And we went out and I remember walking three paces behind because I’d come up through mainstream school and all the rest of it, I’d never really been surrounded by that many disabled people, I came in it from sort of the opposite way and I was a bit like oh god, this is a bit weird. And it took a while for me to realise that we were all…

simon

We have a lot in common rather than a lot of difference, yeah.

steve

But everybody came in the opposite way I take it, I mean they all seemed to be isolated until you met other people with disabilities, is that what you’re saying?

simon

Yes, but don’t forget Jane said she went to special school and then rejected it.

jane

And I hated disabled people.

steve

Oh I get you, so you came through the mainstream.

simon

You’re still like that a bit aren’t you? Still a bit like that?

jane

Pretty much.

simon

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Joke, joke.

paul

But I mean the thing about the social model, it’s so interesting to hear you say about a lightbulb moment because I’ve heard so many people describe it exactly like that. And I was at a talk three or four weeks ago with the wonderful Phil Friend who I know was on your show last time round and he was giving the talk and it was with about nine or ten other disabled people and they were all younger disabled people, a lot younger than me, and you could see on their faces that they were all like oh yeah, this is really interesting. And I think sometimes I think we make the mistake that we all sort of get it and understand it and inherently know what it is and forget that people sort of outside of the movement don’t necessarily know about it.

simon

I think also, and don’t get me wrong, it was a joy but there’s also a bit of a as you get to know it you spot there are problems with it too and we haven’t got a better replacement. Steve’s saying this is the best podcast ever.

steve

I’m thinking of quips to make and I can’t say that.

simon

I’ve only done one question today so I’m going to…

jane

What do you mean there’s something wrong with it? It’s wonderful.

simon

Well you said it here.

paul

Jane’s sending Simon daggers right now.

simon

My worry, it was designed as you already said by men in wheelchairs who were academics sort of 40 years ago.

jane

No, but then the women came in and developed it.

simon

Well that’s the thing but it still needs development, I think there’s a sort of balance and it didn’t for me allow for things like I do get pain and I do get discomfort and it was almost like… No, this argument but…

jane

No, but that’s a given.

simon

It’s a bit woolly round the edges.

jane

But we just don’t focus on the impairment, we focus on things that can be fixed by other people and that they should be doing. We’re not the problem, we shouldn’t have to do all the fixing.

simon

But we’re allowed to have our own problems as well? Because we weren’t sort of allowed.

jane

Well that’s the movement.

simon

Well no, but it was dogma for a while, you weren’t even allowed to be critical of it, you would get sort of thrown out of the game.

jane

Yeah, that was pretty radical, the radical fringe.

simon

Yeah.

steve

Sorry, critical of?

simon

Of the concept of the social model and if someone sort of said well hang on, I’ve got a problem with it or I don’t get it it was almost a bit of dogma, it was our bible, you couldn’t question it.

jane

But everybody has personal issues, whether that be pain, bereavement, desperate unhappiness because of that.

steve

Nothing to do with disability sometimes.

jane

Yeah.

simon

It can be, that’s my point, it should allow more for the individual experience rather than…

Jane

Well I was always a bit more of a liberal and there was a political dimension to the disability movement, because you had the trade unionists, largely from Manchester coalition, and you had the southerners like me who was into independent living and getting support that means that you get out there and be part of the world.

steve

But sometimes isn’t it the case when a movement like that happens that you have to have a strong kind of dogma as such so that people are together and then you can kind of dilute it slightly.

simon

Maybe that’s part of the maturity of it because the fear of criticising it when it was making that change and enlightening so many people, it was scary to criticise it but maybe as we’ve got more mature we kind of go well hang on, we should be able to question it.

steve

Which sounds like what’s happened because it’s disbanded as such, or not disbanded but then something else comes in to take its place.

jane

Well there are now other issues that are basically based on the social model, like independent living or employment or human rights work or the UN convention. People gather around those issues and it’s gone pretty much on to social media stuff. There are huge Facebook campaigns on something like assisted dying for instance and people want us to do that, whereas at the time of the BCODP we were doing the whole of society.

simon

I still love it, it’s still a lightbulb moment, I haven’t seen something better, that’s the point.

Jane

Oh that’s a relief.

simon

I’m going to try and whizz it right up to date. So you’re in the House of Lords…

jane

I am.

simon

Yes, thank you very much, have we said that six times?

paul

She’s going to have you locked in the Tower at this rate.

simon

Is it accessible, that’s the question?

jane

Well we’ve got a prison.

simon

No, I sort of know the answer to this and I’m going to sort of lead it a little bit forward, but because you’re a trail blazer and because you break down doors and barriers and so on there was the issue around you having to make a speech but your voice not being strong enough.

jane

Oh yes, the day I ran out of puff.

simon

What happened with that or what did you have to do?

Jane

Well it was about three years ago that I realised that I was going to need someone to help me finish my speeches, as I just ran out of puff and started going blue.

steve

How long are the speeches generally?

Jane

Well they can be anything from about seven or eight minutes to about 14, 15 and to be frank it’s terrifying. You go on the floor of the House of Lords and give a speech every word is going to be in Hansard the next day and on the telly, it’s scary. So that combined with lack of lung power I was finding it really increasingly difficult so I said that I would need a personal assistant with me in the chamber to one, help me swallow water and stuff to help me carry on but also to eventually finish my speeches. Oh dear, that was going to break a 1795 standing order that no commoner is allowed on the floor of the House, only peers of the realm, and now that I’m not a commoner, you commoners…

simon

Thanks for that group bonding there.

Jane

They basically said no, that was going to mean that you can’t change convention and it wouldn’t be fair on the others. I thought okay, well basically after five meaty ((?)) meetings and going to the floor of the House it took two and a half years, I can now take a person into the chamber, but I have to tell you, the first couple of committees it was a big fat no.

steve

As a commoner that just sounds absolutely ridiculous, that’s things that really do annoy me.

simon

I’m not interested in your view as a commoner, Steve.

paul

It does seem absurd doesn’t it?

steve

It does, I just can’t get my head round that.

paul

Well that was going to be one of my questions, I was going to say, did anyone actually have any resistance to it? But obviously if you had two committees saying no then…

jane

Oh yes, absolutely.

paul

That’s extraordinary.

jane

Well one was everyone.

steve

But was it only historical, were there any other reasons? I don’t understand.

Jane

No, they also said that if I had it then others would want it.

simon

Well in offices when someone says I’ve got a really bad back can I get a different chair, they go no, if you get it they’ll all want one, and then they do it in the House of Lords?

jane

Absolutely.

steve

But that’s what I mean, that really doesn’t…

jane

But the main objection was that nobody reads out their speeches which of course is a big fat lie because most people do and it’s supposed to be a debate.

simon

In theory you’re thinking on your feet and so the fact is you’re showing that it is prepared sometimes.

JanE

Yes, well I just said look, I’m not asking for it all the time, I’m happy to take questions because anyone can stand up and interject but then of course there’s convention, one has to give way.

simon

But isn’t there the law as well, there’s no discrimination which takes priority?

jane

Well, not in the House of Lords.

simon

It doesn’t apply at all?

jane

No, sovereignty you see. Laws don’t apply for us.

steve

So you’ve got to become the Queen basically.

jane

Yes, I’m working on it.

simon

I said we’ve got royalty. You have done something that I’m so envious of, amongst all the things that you’ve done you’ve been on Desert Island Discs.

paul

Can I say, me too.

simon

Which is a BBC Radio Four programme where the person goes on and talks about their sort of favourite eight pieces of music and gets interviewed. And it’s a very revealing interview. How was that and how did you choose? I couldn’t choose eight songs, that would be so hard.

jane

Well it was difficult, I mean it really is difficult. In the end I decided I wouldn’t choose pieces of music that I loved, only one, but the rest I chose because they reminded me of different parts of my life, and that worked very well.

steve

Which is often what happens on Desert Island Discs I find, I’m a bit of a fan of that, people do do that don’t they, memories?

Jane

Yes and when they play it, because they actually play it in the studio and you’re going oh!

simon

That must be so emotive.

jane

And they got me to say anything, I would have revealed anything.

simon

Well if it reminds you of great stuff or even sad times, and music’s so emotive.

jane

Yeah, and they did it so well. And they do their research on you, so they could say now, Jane Campbell, didn’t you say on such and such a date blah, blah, blah and you go, oh well yes I did. I ended up revealing all. I did get into a bit of trouble with my mother but I won’t tell you why.

simon

Oh well we can listen to it can’t we? Thank you, we’re going to pause for a moment, Jane, we will come back to you and hear from you in a moment, but…

steve

We’ve got Mr Paul Carter in the studio. I have to admit that I watched your documentary for the first time, Half Man Standing, because stand up comedian-wise I was very intrigued by it and I can’t believe I haven’t watched it before. I thought it was great, I really did enjoy it.

simon

What was it, just for those who haven’t seen it?

steve

Okay, so Mr Paul Carter, he should explain himself but the way I’ve got it was that you decided for whatever reason to do a stand up set but you gave yourself just two weeks to get to the Comedy Store. So you had two weeks to do a set at the Comedy Store?

paul

That’s right yeah, but there was a big sort of twist if you like in that I set a limit on myself that I wasn’t allowed to do any material about disability or sort of anything that referenced myself in any way.

steve

You spoke to Steve Day and Mark Dolan. Steve Day is one of our Abnormally Funny People and Mark Dolan, who I know actually as a stand up, they both said you’re mad, what are you doing!

paul

Yeah, they both said I was crazy. I mean it was a conscious thing because we wanted to try sort of a little social experiment if you like, we wanted to screw with the audience a little bit and we wanted to see whether they would expect me to do that kind of material and following from that, whether they would still find it funny if I didn’t do that kind of material.

steve

Yes, I think it’s a tough thing to do because if you were a stand up of ten years and you had a disability and you wanted to do that and try it out, but you had given yourself such a hard time really.

paul

Yeah, it was tough, it was really tough.

steve

And it was very funny watching you do your bit to camera at night and you were just so…

simon

Were you scared or…? What am I doing?

paul

Yes, what am I doing, tired, all of the emotions, Simon, it was all of them.

simon

You just need to be on Desert Island Discs, I’d have cried for you as well. But it was good, I thought a lot of stuff came out of it as well and you did kind of mention it, you’ve got to get the elephant, I mean there’s a bit of stand up where you kind of…

paul

Yes, we kind of wanted to. I mean that was Mark’s suggestion and I have to say I couldn’t have done it without Mark Dolan, he was incredible, he was superb, the best mentor I could have asked for, apart from yourself.

steve

Yeah, you didn’t ask me.

paul

We kind of agreed a sort of a compromise that we’d hint at it at the beginning and we’d maybe lead the audience down the path that we thought we were going to go down that route and then we veered away from it.

steve

Yeah, just to set it up.

simon

We’ve got a little clip, is it worth us just having a little listen?

steve

Of Paul Carter stand up. Yes, let’s have a listen to his stand up.

paul

Oh god.

 

[clip]

It’s a difficult issue. One night we were sat there watching a programme about kid’s cartoons and old toys and things like that. Does anyone here remember He Man? (shouts of yes) Yeah, love He Man. It was only when I started to try and explain He Man to an Australian who’d never seen it before that I realised that He Man is the gayest thing that ever existed, right. (laughter) It really is, you think about it right, he travels the universe wearing nothing but tight underpants and what looks suspiciously like a pair of Ugg boots, he’s got long blond well-conditioned hair, he masquerades as a prince, and this is absolutely true right, I looked this up before I’d even written this part, this is absolutely true, there is a character, a villain, in one of the He Man episodes that is called Fisto. (laughter) This is absolute god’s honest truth, I’m not making it up, and Fisto, Fisto lives in Fisto Forest which sounds suspiciously like a fetish club in Romford that I’ve been to on more than one occasion.

steve

Simon teases me about it now but I’ve gone into Middlesex University and I do a teaching thing with the drama students who do a module on stand up comedy and they take three months and all this stuff and then they have to do an eight minute piece and I seriously thought, I mean I don’t want to be patronising, but I thought you did fantastically well.

paul

Thank you.

steve

I really do think you did really well. And just one more thing, you haven’t done any more since then or wanted to do it? I mean Simon did it for the Edinburgh Festival ten years ago and you did your stand up and you were absolutely bricking it as they say, technical term, and you did it and you really enjoyed it and then you didn’t do any more after that really. I mean you do your speeches and all this stuff and other bits and pieces but not pure stand up.

simon

No, and I think I’ve said many a time, I did the Edinburgh run, so you do it every night for a month and say that was 30 nights, 27 were horrific and scared the pants off me every day, the last three were  joy, suddenly I found my voice, I was comfortable. I did more gigs with Abnormally Funny People but you’re right, I never went on to the circuit, I never tried to make a living of it.

steve

But Paul doing just the one, it wasn’t even a build up to, you know, do you have the desire to do it again?

paul

Do you know what, I’ve been asked that question a lot and generally what I’ve said and it’s still true now is that I’ve not been banging on doors asking to do it again, I haven’t been ringing up clubs and going can you book me, but if someone was to ask me to do it again I’d think about it. Does that make sense?

simon

It was very positive.

steve

Well you didn’t get the bug.

paul

I loved it, it was an incredible experience and I’m not saying I wouldn’t ever do it again but it was kind of a bit stale. Because we were doing it for the documentary it felt like it was its own little self contained thing and I mean who knows, I mean there’s a possibility I might be doing something similar in New York at some point, we’ll see about that, but that’s still up for discussion.

simon

Well I hope we get to see you again on stage, that would be awesome, and well done, I mean it is a big scary thing to do. Ideally you’d get your PA or someone to speak, as Jane does in the House of Lords.

paul

Brilliant idea!

simon

And then you’d get less fear but it’s your material, I’m quite happy with that.

paul

That is a brilliant idea. There’s a sketch in there somewhere.

steve

Jane was nervous about coming onto here weren’t you, onto the podcast?

jane

Oh it’s worse than speaking in the Lords.

steve

Is it?

jane

Oh yes.

simon

But you’re relaxed now aren’t you?

jane

But it is, you know, you know what you’re going to say in the Lords.

simon

Okay, so next up we are going to get some technology news from Robin Christopherson from AbilityNet and we’re going to hear from Shannon Murray who’s making it big in Los Angeles.

steve

And we’ll speak to Helen White who’s from Barclays and is our sponsor to see what they’re doing around disability.

 

[Jingle: You can contact us by email, podcast@abnormallyfunnypeople.com]

simon

So we have Helen White who’s joined us, she’s from Barclays Bank, we’re going to be speaking to her in a moment, hi there Helen.

helen

Hello.

steve

And we have Mr Robin Christopherson on the line now from AbilityNet talking about all the technology news. Hello Robin.

robin

Hello there.

steve

So your first bit of news.

robin

Well, with the warm weather that we’re all enjoying I think most people are thinking about their summer holidays and so I’ve got a couple of things related to getting in shape and communicating when in foreign climes. So the first thing I wanted to talk about were a couple of apps that you can get on your smart phone, these apps are available on all the main platforms. The first one’s called PaceDJ which is all one word, PaceDJ, and people with disabilities often find it hard to choose a good workout system for them, there are lots of apps that kind of take you through different seven minute workouts etc, but often you either can’t see what they’re doing on the screen or you have a physical disability and it’s kind of difficult to follow.

So very much in the theme of doing your own thing, PaceDJ just scans the music on your phone and it orders it in order of beats per minute, so what you do is you can dance in your chair or you can be on your rowing machine if that’s what you do or you can go out for a job, basically what it is it it just chooses the right speed of music for you, so often when you’re doing a workout you have a fast piece of music followed by a slow one and it can really throw you off your stride. So have a look at PaceDJ and it basically allows you to choose the tempo of the music that will suit whatever your preferred and accessible mode of working out and exercising is. Pick a nice slow song if you just want to go for a walk.

steve

It doesn’t work on your heartbeat does it, so if your heartbeat speeds up?

robin

There is another one called Pacemaker, that’s available on all platforms, and if you have a connected device like a Fitbit or something that can monitor your heart, Apple watch, then what that does is you can set a target heart rate and if you want a really strong work out then set a high heart rate and then it will choose music that will help you get there. So if you’re not quite high enough with your heart rate then it will make the music that it plays you next a faster tempo.

steve

It doesn’t finish on the Funeral March does it?

robin

Yeah, the last one is like a flat line unfortunately, yeah.

simon

You could also use this for mood music if you want a whole load of songs that have all got the same sort of tempo, it could be not just for moving about but just mood.

steve

You’re just going on a different line, Simon Minty, a romantic line I feel.

simon

I’m not, I’m just thinking if I want, yeah, something. Could it be done for that as well?

robin

Yeah, I mean I suspect that you’ve got lots of romantic music on your iPhone there, so just choose a nice slow beat and you’re away.

simon

Oh I can’t believe it, it was a really innocent question, I was just thinking I’d want something a bit slower, or even… Oh, anyway. I like the sound of that, Robin. Your second item, what else have you been thinking about or discovered this month?

robin

So still in the theme of going on holiday a lot of people are sort of facing exams coming up in the immediate future and if there’s a language requirement that you have then there’s a couple of really interesting developments. One is, everyone uses Skype, there is now an app called skypetranslate.com is where you can get it and it’s by Skype obviously, and it’s Skype with a twist where you can specify, well you put people in your contacts and you specify what their language is. So if they’re in Germany and they speak German then that’s part of the profile in the contacts list and when you call them using this Skype Translate app then you speak, it then translates it into German and is spoken out at their end in a synthetic voice in German and vice versa. So it’s like real time language translation, all language barriers have now completely disappeared.

steve

So could this be used romantically, Robin? That’s amazing, but I remember talking to you before about something like that, similar technology that sometimes, because it’s real time it’s quite hard to translate it in real time. So have you tried it? Does it actually work?

robin

I have and it uses Google Translate so it’s not perfect but very, very useful if you have to have a conversation with somebody and everybody uses Skype so it’s an incredibly convenient way of trying to bridge that gap.

steve

I mean that’s very good for businesses as well isn’t it? I mean that’s not only just a…

simon

I was thinking that, but obviously it could be a bit risky as well because if it isn’t perfect and you start saying the wrong words and whatever you could get into real trouble, particularly legal stuff and so on. Jane Campbell who’s here Robin, you were shaking your head, do you not use Skype?

jane

No, we still use quills.

simon

At the House of Lords, yes okay.

jane

We write letters.

steve

And carrier pigeons.

simon

But personally do you use Skype?

jane

Yes.

simon

Well there you go. Well you’re right, Robin, everyone’s used it at least once.

steve

Well she speaks ten languages so she doesn’t need it.

robin

Have you got time for one final quick one?

simon

Yes of course.

robin

So Duolingo which you probably all know about, it’s an app again on all the different platforms, free, and this is how you can tell whether your translations have been accurate or not because this is actually learning the language proper so that when you go away on holiday you can actually do the courteous thing and speak in their language. Duolingo, for everyone that uses it knows that it’s absolutely fantastic and the good news is that like the other apps that I’ve mentioned it’s completely accessible. So if you just search for Duolingo it’s the best and free way of learning another language.

steve

Fantastic, I mean it used to be so expensive to do that in days gone by. That’s great, thank you very much, Robin, great to hear from you.

robin

Thanks guys.

simon

Thanks Robin.

steve

Cheers.

simon

And we’re delighted to have Shannon Murray who is resident in LA calling us in, Shannon. How are you? And I hear you’ve been to an expo there?

shannon

I have, good morning everyone. I’ve been to the US equivalent of Naidex which I’m sure some of you are aware of, over here it’s called the Abilities Expo, and it was held at the LA Convention Centre a few weeks ago.

simon

And this is loads of sort of stuff that can be useful for differently disabled people?

shannon

Exactly, it generally is a mix of things that are targeted at healthcare professionals who are buying in bulk for hospitals or care homes, but also a lot of it’s for disabled people who want to go and choose and try before they buy themselves. And that as one of the things that I really noticed, one of the first differences as soon as I arrived, that Naidex always seems to have a larger majority of healthcare professionals who are attending, whereas the Abilities Expo is very much more the disabled people themselves going in and trying things out. I don’t know if that’s to do with the healthcare system out here that maybe they have more say because of the way insurance works, I don’t know, but there was definitely a lot more disabled people themselves at the Expo.

steve

Was it also to do with kind of just other things that we’ve just had Robin Christopherson on talking about, apps and other gadgets that people can use? Was that the case as well, or as you say…?

shannon

There was a little bit of that, there was a lot more social media presence but it was very much try things out, so there were lots of different wheelchairs, there was a team of very glamorous girls who were doing dance routines in the chairs, there were miniature therapy ponies which I adored and I really wanted to try and take home but couldn’t.

simon

Hang on, miniature therapy ponies? I have come across this, miniature therapy ponies. So is to help your wellbeing?

shannon

They’re adorable!

simon

It’s working.

shannon

They’re pretty much the same size as a chunky Great Dane and very gentle and these ones in particular were aimed at helping children with autism, very, very calm and you know, in a huge convention centre with people kind of running round going, “oh my god, ponies!” but being very, very cool. And they had little glittery horse shoes as well which I thought was a nice touch.

simon

We were talking a little bit earlier on in the show about that kind of sense of unity that you can get when you hang out with some other disabled people. You were saying there were more disabled consumers there rather than the healthcare, did you feel a bit more empowered maybe? Did you feel it was a bit more aimed at you rather than something here?

shannon

Very much so, very much so, and stopping at stands you were definitely the priority, not somebody who might be working for an organisation that might buy a hundred beds or something and it was very much you were able to try things. There was also a lot more exercise equipment that was easy to use, particularly… sorry Simon, I’m going on about wheelchair users, but for wheelchair users there was a lot more exercise equipment which I’ve never seen before. There was also some bedroom aids as well, they were very interesting but I did complain that they were all very much targeted at the male market, not the female market.

simon

Is that a euphemism, bedroom aids?

shannon

I think that point needed to be made, it’s only to facilitate easier things for men, not for women.

simon

Oh now all of our minds are racing. So I’ll bring everybody in, so Baroness Jane Campbell…

steve

I’m just thinking of the pony now.

jane

Oh no.

simon

It’s gone downhill. Very interesting, that’s curious that it seems to be a bit male dominated. Paul, Jane and Helen, I’m not going to ask you about that, you’re looking really shocked now, have you been to any of these expos? Do you go to these things?

paul

I have, I was just going to say – hi Shannon – I was just going to say…

shannon

Hi Paul.

paul

I was going to ask because Naidex here, my experience of it in the past, I haven’t been to it for a few years, it was always very white medical hoists and, you know.

jane

Occupational therapists everywhere.

paul

Yeah, and all that white plastic, that horrible clinical stuff everywhere. But I mean they’ve got ponies so they win already.

simon

Did you buy anything?

shannon

I didn’t but I made some friends, I was asked if I wanted to enter the Miss California but I kindly declined so the tiara was very tempting, but I did decline that offer.

paul

You didn’t bring a pony back?

shannon

No, I didn’t, but I’ve made friends and I might go and try it. They’ve got big ponies too that you can ride and I haven’t ridden in years so I might go and check that out and if I do I will of course let you know.

simon

So slightly moving on, now I obviously think that you’re there to make it big in Hollywood and all that stuff and you have said there are other reasons, but how is work? How is acting? How are you feeling there?

shannon

I’ve been to a few classes out here, I’ve gone and had head shots, it’s all very much like a big machine out here where you tick certain boxes before you start getting to other levels, so I’m just kind of doing that and also just finding my feet. It was a big move and things like getting a flat tyre in my first month was slightly unexpected, so I’m going to have to find a dealership that can fix my chair. And just all the little things of finding out where your local base is and what’s around and what’s accessible.

steve

We’ve got an in with Orlando Bloom if you want one.

shannon

Brilliant, great, I’ll take that!

simon

Anything else from you Shannon? It’s lovely to hear from you, but anything else? Any other little snippets or things we need to know about?

shannon

No, so far there’ve been a couple of tremors while I’ve been here but I haven’t actually felt any yet so I’m feeling quite quake safe.

simon

Wow, well good luck with that.

shannon

That puts things into perspective doesn’t it?

simon

Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for that little downer at the end.

steve

Well thank you very much Shannon Murray, we’ll speak to you again.

shannon

Thank you, brilliant, look forward to it. Take care guys.

simon

Good luck, take care. So now we have Helen White, Helen works for Barclays Bank who are our sponsors on the podcast. You’re actually just called Barclays now aren’t you?

helen

Yeah, pretty much.

simon

I knew that as I said it, but thank you for coming in, and we’ve asked you in just to speak. You’re doing some great stuff around disability, and well you work for them, how do you think they’re doing in terms of employees who may have disabilities?

helen

Yes, well this is kind of my area of expertise I guess because my day job is IT accessibility, so that’s kind of all around how we’re making our systems accessible on the inside. We can't really function as a bank and serve people with disabilities if the people that work for us that have disabilities can’t use any of our stuff. So it’s quite a key area and I’m quite pleased that we’re one of the first banks to be kind of really looking into that. So along with that side of things we’ve got a really good colleague disability network called Reach that I work quite a lot for and I’m the mental health lead for that network, so I do lots of events around mental health and lots of prodding of people to kind of get things improved, it’s like a sort of constant flow of networking and trying to promote what we’re doing into the rest of the bank.

simon

I think this is a bit of a, I don’t know, game changer. Twenty, thirty years ago, to find a disabled person in an organisation, unless it was really obvious, and even then they might not identify it, there’s so many networks with big organisations now and disabled staff are saying I’m happy to be part of it, and for their own wellbeing as well as the organisation’s. And yours is thriving?

helen

Yes, it’s really thriving, we’ve just done a mental health campaign that went on for 12 months and the amount of people that have come to the network and joined up and then been able to contribute massively to what we’re doing, it’s really positive and it’s kind of surprising because I’ve come from a non-corporate background, gone into a corporate world, and found a little niche for myself to be really active in what I believe in and that’s one of my passions. So I feel like we’re doing really well as an organisation.

simon

I mean I’ve known you before and you’re kind of quite active around mental health, or as you quite rightly say, it’s mental illness, but we all call it mental health because it’s a bit easier. What’s your sort of background experience on that?

helen

I’ve got borderline personality disorder which is a very oddly named gremlin I suppose, not really a gremlin, but it’s one of those more severe ones that nobody really knows much about. If you’ve watched the film with Winona Ryder, ‘Girl Interrupted’, that’s supposed to be about that. But you kind of get a whole package of things, so eating disorders and depression, anxiety, a big kind of package of stuff that all lumps together and they don’t really know what to call it. So for some reason they call it that.

simon

But you have this question of when did you declare yourself as a disabled person publicly? I mean also working for a big organisation, was there not a bit of hesitation around that?

helen

Yeah, I didn’t say anything when I first joined the bank, it was only when we started doing the campaign and they were asking people, well we were asking people to come forward to share their personal stories and I thought well, might as well just go big or go home, so I decided I was just going to reveal all in a film. Yeah, so I hadn’t really said anything to anyone before that point, so yeah, I think it probably came as a surprise to some people.

steve

I like the phrase, go big or go home, I like that. This is the big question though, this is the big question, we’ve obviously grateful of course, but why do you think Barclays, the big financial services, sponsors our podcast? What’s going on there?

simon

Disability and comedy.

helen

Yeah, it’s a funny one isn’t it? I think because it’s unique in terms of the sort of platform, I don’t see other banks sponsoring disability podcasts and I think we are aware that we’re trying to connect with real people to get what we’re doing to be aligned with what real people actually want and how their experience of the world is. So comedy is something that connects with everybody and you can laugh at yourself as well, especially as someone with a disability I do a lot of laughing about mental health, oddly enough. So I kind of think it’s really fitting that we sponsor this because it’s about real people and real stuff. We’ve got a big drive to become the most inclusive, accessible go to bank, it’s just part of that really.

simon

Jane, any thoughts?

jane

Well, I’m really pleased because one thing that was very absent in the disability movement for a long, long time was the mental health community, it was very kind of physically disabled orientated and then the kind of people with learning difficulties started to kind of come in to the movement and only really in the last, I’d say five years, are beginning to embrace mental health as part of our kind of brother and sister sort of network. So I’m thrilled and of course you do now have a minister for disabled people that they announced who’s interested in mental health and I think that might be the first one who’s openly done something, so there you are.

helen

Yes that’s going to be positive.

jane

I’ll ring him up tonight.

helen

Okay yeah, have you got his number?

jane

Oh, of course.

simon

Paul?

Paul

I think it’s great, I agree with what Jane says, I mean I’ve experienced mental health myself and I think for me the biggest thing over the past sort of two or three years it’s an awareness as well, it’s not just a togetherness, it’s the fact that people in the wider community actually get it a little bit more and are willing to engage with the issues I think, it’s not something to be scared of and to run away and hide from and not to talk about any more which I think is a really positive thing.

jane

And we can’t really shout inclusiveness if we don’t include people with mental health.

simon

Thank you so much, Helen. We’re going to just ask what you are all up to. So Jane, what’s next on the agenda for you?

jane

Well I’m about to go back to school in our first term and today I can say exclusively to you that we will be running a select committee on the Equality Act and this will be a post legislative scrutiny committee on the Equality Act as it affects disabled people. Hurrah! And some of us managed to get the Liberals to put this forward as their voice for the term and it went through the usual channels which is like all three parties when they negotiate what select committees they’re going to do and ours will start in June. And we’ll be taking evidence from disabled people and their organisations to see whether the Equality Act is aggressively developing equality for disabled people and access attitudes etc, or whether we’re at a standstill or whether, even worse, we’re going backwards. I’m very excited about this.

simon

And I’ve got to stop myself from trying to give you some evidence right now, I mean I’m so pleased you’re doing that and school obviously, everyone looked and then they realised you were talking about the House of Lords again.

jane

Well it’s really a cross between Hogwarts and Eton.

simon

Goodness me. We’re trying to think of different gags now.

jane

Many wizards.

steve

And Mr Paul Carter, beat that.

paul

Every time I have to follow.

jane

Sorry.

paul

I’m working on a couple of films at the moment, neither of which I can particularly say a great deal about at this moment, it’s always the awkward thing with television because I don’t want anyone to go off and nick my ideas, but I alluded to it earlier, there might be something happening on the stand up front in America, we might be revisiting that film Stateside in some capacity. I’m talking about that at the moment so I shall keep you posted.

steve

Great stuff, marvellous. Marvellous, marvellous.

simon

And Helen, you can speak in your personal capacity or Barclays stuff that is coming on the horizon.

helen

Well I do need to say that Barclays has a Beacons project going on so it’s an accessibility feature for customers who when they register with an app they can then come into a branch and the branch will get certain information about their accessibility requirements. So it’s quite an interesting new project but we’re looking for people to kind of help us pilot it so it’s at barclays.co.uk/beacons. There are ten branches that we’re running it at for this pilot and so if people are interested in helping us to progress that that would be great.

simon

It’s a proximity one isn’t it?

helen

Yeah.

simon

I want to kind of scoot past my local branch and sort of go in near the door and then whizz off again so I keep beeping up, they think I’m coming in but I’m not really.

helen

Ah but you can choose whether you want to, you could go in there and not have any of it.

simon

So you put it on purposefully?

helen

Yes.

simon

Okay, nice.

helen

So there is obviously an element of choice.

steve

You sound like you’re doing wheelchair Knock Down Ginger kind of thing.

simon

Very good.

paul

Making childhood games accessible, I like it.

helen

But yes and then personally I’m doing a lot of blogging for mental health, I’m going to go and visit Jane at school hopefully.

simon

Very good.

jane

I’ve got a new friend.

helen

Yeah.

simon

Jane’s very good at finding friends, you will not believe how busy you will be very soon.

helen

That’s good, I like busy.

simon

I’ve read your blog, we’ll put a link up on the website so that will be cool, great stuff.

steve

That’s great, thank you all, thank you for coming.

helen

Thanks.

 

[Jingle: If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard please leave us a review or a rating on Audioboo and iTunes]

simon

Okay, before we go we’re just going to read out a few emails and tweets that we’ve heard from all you lovely people.

steve

Becky from Texas says I enjoyed listening to the latest show, the atmosphere felt very comfortable, like you were in my living room.

simon

Maybe we’ve got an idea for a tour there, we should be touring people’s living rooms, Steve?

steve

The podcast straight into the living room, that’s a good idea that, Simon.

simon

Very nice. Angela from Ohio, it’s very international at the moment, she loved show number nine which had Liz Carr and Matt Fraser. We talked about their original Ouch podcasts and she’s now gone back and found all the early shows that we were talking about.

steve

Thank you for all of you who stayed in touch, we love hearing from you, it really does make our day.

simon

You bet. You can find out how to contact us via our website, abnormallyfunnypeople.com.

steve

You can also see some comedy clips for Barclays on there.

simon

We’ll have all the links up to the various things that we’ve talked about and you will find the transcript for this show as well as some photos, other bits and bobs and obviously about Edinburgh.

steve

And thanks to our producer this week, it’s David.

simon

And thank you to all of you for listening.

 

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