Archives for May 2009

SEE HEAR - Wednesday 27th May, 1pm BBC2

Andy Richards - Vision | 11:12 UK time, Thursday, 21 May 2009

On this week's programme, we meet professional deaf musicians who tell us about how loud music has seriously damaged their hearing. The British hip-hop band N-Dubz were forced to cancel three gigs on their recent UK tour when their lead-singer Dappy was diagnosed with hearing damage, while Paul Gray - a former bass player with The Damned - has suffered from serious hearing problems for fifteen years. And hearing damage is not just an issue for pop musicians - we also speak to William Morton, a flute and piccolo player for Covent Garden's Royal Opera House orchestra who has also experienced problems. We also hear the latest from the Association of British Orchestras about their plans to tackle the issue.


Also in the programme, we follow Memnos on a trip to Cornwall where he learns to ride the waves at the first surf school in the UK to offer lessons in BSL. Along the way he visits Newquay's world-famous FistralBeach to get some top tips from Deaf surf star Harry Hilliar, who is preparing to compete in a surf competition in Hawaii.


We also have the latest instalment of Memnos's 'Stories Behind the Signs', looking at some of the most controversial signs in BSL.


To watch this programme on the iPlayer, click here. If you want to have subtitles, just press the 's' on the right-hand side of the bottom bar that appears after you have pressed play.


The British Tinnitus Association


Big Blue Surf School



SEE HEAR - Wednesday 20th May, 1pm BBC2

Andy Richards - Vision | 14:36 UK time, Friday, 15 May 2009

On our next programme, we revisit the GallowayWildlifePark near Dumfries in Scotland, which is the UK's first and only Deaf-owned wildlife park. Owner John Denerley is a lifelong animal-lover, and had always had ambitions to operate his own park. His 27-acre property is now home to 150 animals - including lynxes, peacocks and a maned wolf - and attracts around 30,000 visitors each year. John speaks to See Hear about how he set up the Park, and his fears about how swine flu might affect the business. He also explains how a pair of red pandas escaped from their enclosure earlier this year, and how one of them is still at large!


Also this week, Radha chairs another Cultural Review, discussing the latest developments in Deaf Theatre. She is joined by top Deaf actress and cabaret performer Caroline Parker, and Steven Webb, the Artistic Director of DRoots Theatre. They discuss the merits of captioning and interpreted theatre, as well as roles for Deaf actors in mainstream theatre and Deafway's latest production 'Shadow'. They also examine the work of Deafinately Theatre, a Deaf-led theatre company that uses BSL as its primary language onstage.


Memnos also presents another instalment of his 'Stories Behind the Signs', discussing the range of signs used for city names in the UK.


To watch this programme on the iPlayer, click here. If you want to have subtitles, just press the 's' on the right-hand side of the bottom bar that appears after you have pressed play.

SEE HEAR - Wednesday 13th May, 1pm BBC2

Andy Richards - Vision | 10:57 UK time, Monday, 11 May 2009

On this week's programme we'll be reporting on the UK's first signed Islamic prayer service, which was held last month at the East London Mosque in Whitechapel, London. Deaf worshippers had been unable to participate fully in the Friday services, where so much depends on being able to hear the words of the Imam's sermons. The charity Al-Isharah has not only organised for the service to be translated into BSL each week, but also for additional Koran classes to be signed for the benefit of Deaf children. See Hear spoke to several Deaf Muslims and their families - including the Ismails from Thamesmead - who attended the launch and have already been feeling the benefits of the new service.


We've also been finding out how the recession has been affecting the business ventures of Deaf entrepreneurs. We catch up with Andrew Thomson, who won an Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his online interpreting service, Paul Neal, who set up an interpreting and employment agency in 2005, and John Kilpatrick, who recently tried to open a BSL Café Bar in Derby. The report also discusses some of the significant barriers facing Deaf entrepreneurs when they consult with business advisers and banks.


Also on this week's programme, we'll be visiting the Museum of London, which is keen to find Deaf people to share their memories of what life was like in the capital during World War Two. They want to film peoples' signed memories over the next few months.


And - in our latest instalment of Stories Behind the Signs, Memnos will be looking at how new signs have been created over the years because of changes in technology.


To watch this programme on the iPlayer, click here. If you want to have subtitles, just press the 's' on the right-hand side of the bottom bar that appears after you have pressed play.






Andy Richards - Vision | 15:26 UK time, Friday, 8 May 2009

Deafinitely Theatre are looking for young deaf people to take part in a summer drama project in London! To be part of the project you need to be aged from 14 to 24.

The project will give 60 young deaf people the chance to spend a week learning drama skills, creating a play and performing it at the end of the week at a central London theatre!

YouTube video

You can see all the information in BSL (with subtitles!) on this YouTube video, featuring the deaf actor, David Sands.

North and South Groups

The project is funded by London Councils and there are two groups.

The first group are based north of the river - they will do the project from 20th-25th July. People who live in these areas can take part: Hillingdon, Ealing, Harrow, Barnet, Camden, Islington or Hackney.

The second group are based south of the river - they will do the project from 27th July - 1st August. People who live in these areas can take part: Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Sutton, Croydon or Bromley.

What happens on the course?

From Monday to Friday, there will be workshops in acting and performance, before having a dress rehearsal - which is a practice performance - on the Friday night. On the Saturday night, the play will be performed at a central London theatre!

How to join

If you would like to join, or just to know more, please email

SEE HEAR - Wednesday 6th May, 1pm BBC2

Andy Richards - Vision | 11:29 UK time, Tuesday, 5 May 2009

On this week's edition, we look back at the remarkable career of 86-year old Lord Jack Ashley of Stoke, the UK's first Deaf MP, who retired last month from the chairmanship of the All Party Parliamentary Disability Group. We catch up with him at his home and at the House of Lords to discuss his tireless and inspiring work on disability and equality policies, and chat with family and work colleagues about his memorable achievements.


We also look at new research from Sandwell Medical Research Unit in the West Midlands, which indicates that Deaf people are at a higher than average risk of strokes or cardiovascular disease because basic health promotion messages are not being communicated effectively. We find out what steps doctors and patients can take to minimise the dangers.


We also go behind the scenes of the new programme Wicked!, part of the BSL Zone on the Community Channel, and speak to the presenters and programme makers. We also hear from the BSL Broadcasting Trust about their future plans for Deaf programming.


And - in our latest instalment of Stories Behind the Signs, Memnos looks at how developments in political correctness have affected some of the signs we use.


To watch this programme on the iPlayer, click here. If you want to have subtitles, just press the 's' on the right-hand side of the bottom bar that appears after you have pressed play.


Andy Richards - Vision | 13:37 UK time, Friday, 1 May 2009

To see a British Sign Language video clip created to inform the Deaf community of the current status of the potential pandemic, click here.


Andy Richards - Vision | 13:25 UK time, Friday, 1 May 2009

An exciting short film has just gone into production, which will hopefully premiere at the London Film Festival in the Autumn. Written by Charlie Swinbourne (Coming Out, 4 Deaf Yorkshiremen), and directed by William Mager (Stiletto, Waterfront, The Association), it is being funded by the UK Film Council's Magic Hour scheme.

The details of the film itself are still under wraps at the moment, but the producers are now searching for the best deaf acting talents out there to take part. They are looking to fill the roles below, with auditions held in the next couple of weeks. Filming is scheduled to take place in mid-June.


The star of the film. A 25-35 year old Deaf man, BSL/SSE user. He's a typical man on the street, but with a hidden talent which has changed his life.

Vernon's ex-girlfriend. A 25-35 year old Deaf woman, BSL/SSE user. She works as a businesswoman. She is independent, strong willed, and direct - with a warm heart.

A grass-roots Deaf man, BSL/SSE user, late 40s to early 60s. A man of simple pleasures, who embraces the deaf community. He'll often be found down the local deaf club, helping to run the bar.

A Deaf woman, BSL/SSE user, late 40s to early 60s. A woman who always wanted the best for her son Vernon - she's proud of him but at the same time wants more for him. She'd like to see him settle down.

If you would like to audition for any of these roles, please email

Your email needs to include:
- A recent photograph of yourself.
- A list of your recent acting credits or an attached CV.
- And a short description of why you'd like to audition for the part.
- If you have any examples of your work online, please include links.

The producers have said that they will read all emails we receive, and will invite shortlisted people to audition.

The producers would like to receive all applications by FRIDAY 8TH MAY.

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