Transcript of #11

 

Abnormally Funny People April 2015 Podcast

 

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 abnormallyfunnypeopole.com. We hope you enjoy the show!

[Playing music]

SIMON

Hello and welcome to the Abnormally Funny People Show Number 11. I’m Simon Minty.

STEVE

Hello, I’m Steve Best.

SIMON

And we’re getting ready for Edinburgh.

STEVE

We are and we’ve actually got the venue confirmed. The stand in the Square, on the Square in Edinburgh. Lovely.

SIMON

Can you just say the stand in Edinburgh?

STEVE

We could say anything you want, but it’s the stand.

SIMON

I’m very excited about that. We’ll tell you more as we get closer to August, but hopefully you can come and see us. This month, actually, we don’t have a comedian on though.

STEVE

Oh that’s a good one!

SIMON

What?

STEVE

I’m a comedian Mr Simon Minty, as you remember?

SIMON

Mm-hm, mm-hm. It’s always good when we rehearse, isn’t it? That’s a very good point. I meant we don’t have a comedian on who’s a guest. Instead, though, we’re very excited, we’re very pleased, we’ve got two very well respected disability campaigners. Firstly, James Partridge, who is the Founder and Chief Exec of Changing Faces, which is an organisation that supports and represents people who have conditions or injuries which affect their appearance.

JAMES

Hello!

SIMON

Hi James.

STEVE

We also have Mr Phil Friend. Until very recently he was the Chair of Disability Rights UK. He’s now on the Board of the English Federation of Disability Sport. He also runs his own consultancy, advising organisations on how best to employ disabled people and serve them as customers.

PHIL

Hello there.

SIMON

And you know what? Both of them have OBEs.

STEVE

No way!

SIMON

This means, if you’re international and you’re listening to us, they’ve both received an award from the queen, being The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Does that mean you two can get into places that we can’t?

JAMES

Yes, I think so, don’t you?

PHIL

Well, my daughter can marry in St Paul’s Cathedral crypt, apparently.

SIMON

Is that crypt?

PHIL

Yeah, a crypt.

SIMON

Okay.

PHIL

I think that’s an unfortunate term!

STEVE

It’s close!

JAMES

The OBE, though, is a bit of a misnomer; it’s Other Buggers’ Efforts. That’s really what it stands for. I mean that’s how most people take it, I think, these days.

STEVE

I don’t. And did you both meet the Queen as well?

JAMES

Yes, I did.

STEVE

She’s very, very short.

SIMON

There’s nothing wrong with that.

steve

No, I mean small.

STEVE

Oh I see, I thought she ((0:02:22?))

JAMES

She had a very powerful handshake, is my memory of her.

STEVE

Really?

JAMES

Yes.

STEVE

It’s all the dog walking!

JAMES

It was very powerful.

PHIL

And riding the horses!

SIMON

In this month’s show we will talk with Phil and James about their work and their huge amount of experience. I kind of see you, although you’re not massively older than me, but I sort of see you as forefathers, or respected elders I think is a better phrase, isn’t it?

STEVE

You’re digging yourself there, Simon.

SIMON

Thanks a lot.

STEVE

So later on we’re going to speak to Robin Christopherson from AbilityNet; he’ll be later talking about technology, the newest things.

SIMON

And we have Shannon Murray, who you may remember from show three, and she’s now in LA, so we’re going to be catching up and seeing what she’s up to. At the very end of the show we’re going to read out your messages to us.

 

[Jingle: If you’d like to get in touch you can email us on podcast@abnormallyfunnypeople.com.

SIMON

So let’s kick off with ‘Moment of the Month.’ Phil, have you got a moment of the month?

PHIL

I’ve really been thinking about this and it’s extraordinarily difficult to think of something ...

Steve

Tell me about it!

PHIL

... that’s sort of funny or interesting or whatever. But there was a moment today, which Simon knows about, which really did tickle my fancy, which is that we’d met someone for lunch, he and I, and I pulled up, and Simon very kindly had found disabled parking spaces outside where we were going.

SIMON

Right next to St Paul’s Cathedral.

PHIL

Fantastic.

JAMES

Where’s he’s presumably allowed to park?

SIMON

Yeah, and me.

JAMES

And you too!

PHIL

And Simon had parked, and, very kindly, he’d left the space behind him so that I could park there because I have a tail lift on my van so I have to get out of the rear. So anyway, while I was beginning to go through the process of getting out, I noticed a flunky from the nearby hotel with a top hat and tails and all this, earnestly assisting Simon to get his wheelchair or his scooter out of the boot of his car, and Simon, I couldn’t hear anything, but was clearly trying to explain that this wasn’t necessary and he was perfectly alright, etc, etc. Anyway, that tickled me. What happened when we came back was that there was a new flunky, so the old one had gone off duty and the new one was now on duty, and the same process happened again! So whatever training Simon had given the first bloke didn’t work, because the second bloke hadn’t received it. So that was amusing, watching somebody try and help, and it’s happened to me.

STEVE

Do you tip him?

SIMON

No, I don’t tip him, although I do remember years ago being in Shanghai and I was trying to get my scooter in the back of a taxi and kind people came over and helped me. And then they stood there waiting for money and I said, ‘I’m not going to pay you for that.’ And they’re like, ‘You’ve got to,’ and I’m like, ‘But you volunteered,’ and there was this really weird conversation. The bit this afternoon, the second time when it was happening, and I knew Phil was sitting in his car beaming, so I sort of half looked up and he was sort of giggling away, but it’s very hard because these are people being very nice ...

JAMES

Yeah, absolutely.

SIMON

... and that’s his job, but, as you say, the problem was he just doesn’t know what to do.

PHIL

Well, it took you twice as long to do what ((0:05:22?))

SIMON

Exactly.

PHIL

And that was the point really.

SIMON

And I quite like the heavy lifting but it was faffing around.

PHIL

But even when I’m with you, I offered to take it out, but you’re already putting up the crane/hoist and you forget that you’re ready to do it yourself, and that’s the thing.

SIMON

Yes.

PHIL

It reminds me of that thing where a blind person arrives at a building and suddenly they’re disabled because everybody assumes. They’ve forgotten they’d got there without their help, do you know what I mean?

SIMON

Yes.

PHIL

They’ve arrived, they’ve done all that bit, and suddenly they’re helpless!

SIMON

Thank you Phil.

PHIL

Yeah, that made my day.

SIMON

Thanks for your deep research ((0:05:56?)) James, do you have a moment of the month?

JAMES

Well yeah, I’ve got a moment of the month. This is very different really. We had an enormous gala last week, a gala dinner, 250 people, Rory Bremner came and hosted, fantastic acts, but we also had one of our champions, a woman called Karen Miles, agreeing to sing, and she is a classically trained fabulous singer, but we had really no idea how this would go down. So she came on the stage and hushed and the music started playing, and her voice just lifted up. It was fantastic! And the applause was brilliant. And then I came on the stage and said, ‘Karen Miles was told, as she was training, that with a face like that she had no future in the music industry. The music industry, are you listening?’ and the applause was deafening, because here is a woman who has a fantastic gift but has never been able to show it in any professional capacity. My moment of the month.

STEVE

That’s amazing. Why were you worried to start with?

JAMES

Well, because actually at a gala dinner you’re expecting funny-funny and Rory and there are acts and it’s all sort of fun, and she came on and she sang this this most beautiful aria.

STEVE

The thing is that music is so powerful.

PHIL

It’s a bit like Susan Boyle, isn’t it, when she appeared?

STEVE

But it’s impossible. I think as a comedian, I think it’s extremely hard to follow a voice.

SIMON

You knew she was a fabulous singer or you’d not seen her at this level?

JAMES

Oh no, no, I knew, but we had no idea how ...

SIMON

Yeah, the impact.

JAMES

... it would go across this huge ...

SIMON

And talking a bit about her because of her facial disfigurement, saying, ‘That’s it, you’re not going to be in the industry,’ but there’s a programme, and I think it’s worldwide now, The Voice on the BBC, where they have the auditions that the judges can’t see the singer.

JAMES

Exactly.

SIMON

And now you can get through the first round, but does it ...?

JAMES

She could, of course, participate in something like that, but her career has moved on and she’s doing other things. It’s just this sense that here is a voice of huge power and beauty being kind of side-lined and low expectations, ‘You couldn’t make anything of that.’ Anyway, it was a powerful moment.

SIMON

I get that kind of, as you said, not wasted talent, because I’m sure she’s absolutely fine and she’s in a fantastic show, but you’re like, ‘Well yeah, but could be doing more.’

JAMES

So much of the experience of facial disfigurement is of low expectations.

SIMON

And it’s someone else telling them?

JAMES

Correct, and that’s what we are challenging all the time, in parents, in people themselves, in their employers, in teachers, so it was a good moment.

SIMON

I’ve got goose pimples and I wasn’t even there. It’s a bit cold in the studio, isn’t it!

PHIL

It’s whenever you hear beautiful voices.

STEVE

So, Simon, your beautiful voice, what about your moment of the month?

SIMON

A serious and a funny one. Any order?

STEVE

Serious first.

SIMON

This was a lovely moment for me. I had two meetings and they were both on Horseferry Road in London. Unfortunately, they were four hours apart and I was like, ‘Oh man.’ So, to cut a long story short, I found myself at the Royal Festival Hall in between, which is, I don’t know, two miles away, something like that, and then I thought, ‘Oh I should get back into my car,’ and as Phil said, I had my fun and games putting my scooter in, but I thought, ‘You know what? I know the route, it’s not that far, it’s a nice day.’ So I scooted from the Royal Festival Hall all the way along the Southbank, over Westminster Bridge, around the Houses of Parliament, and then ended up at Horseferry Road. This sounds a little bit trite - and I’m getting a bit emotional - there was such a joy of just being out and about and not being in my car, just whizzing along the street. I mean there were too many people and it’s really hard on a little mobility scooter, but the principle of that freedom, and also there’s dropped kerbs everywhere, obviously, so I could go wherever I wanted, I made it, and I realised it took me 20 minutes to do this journey, which it would have taken me either longer in the car, because of putting the scooter in or traffic. And then I just scooted back and I suddenly thought, ‘I want to live bang in the middle of London and just get rid of my car and just scoot everywhere,’ it’s just really lovely.

PHIL

The dropped kerb thing, is that everywhere in big cities, do you think, around the world? Not the world, but Europe?

SIMON

US cities are very good and Paris is very good.

STEVE

And Barcelona is very good.

SIMON

So it’s a bit hit and miss. There are some other countries that are not so much.

STEVE

But London’s great.

SIMON

Absolutely. The other one was I was running a course which had disabled people on it and there was a lovely moment – and this is a personal development programme – and there was a moment where there was a wheelchair user lady who’d got into the lift, and because we were quite friendly by this point, this was a two-day course, I said, ‘Can I squeeze in there as well?’ and she said, ‘Yeah, yeah, sure,’ so I squeezed in as well. So we got to the floor where we were getting out and we realised that the way that I’d squeezed her and the way her angle was ...

JAMES

Oh no, not another one!

SIMON

... she couldn’t turn her wheels and so it meant she was really jammed right in that position and my scooter was jamming as well and I couldn’t get, because the doors were closed behind me. So she was doing these various manoeuvres and trying to get back and forth, back and forth, and eventually she sort of half got out of the wheelchair, but as she did her trousers got caught on part of the wheelchair and they dropped and she showed me her bottom! And I just went, ‘Oh!’ and she went, ‘Ah!’ and as we went out of the lift and went, ‘We shouldn’t have done that, should we?’

STEVE

Did you exchange numbers?

SIMON

We didn’t. It was a funny little moment, more than we were expecting. How about you? Steve Best, our token non-disabled person, what did you come up with this month?

STEVE

Well, it’s a bit like James and mine are kind of music related. Two of them really. I was doing a charity show, and we were talking about this last month, and I actually did a charity show this time, but it was actually for a friend who was running it, at the Comedy Store, and on the way home, Piccadilly Tube, there was a guy playing a fantastic electric guitar, but he didn’t have a full arm on the strumming hand, but he was just extraordinary, a really great player, and he reminded me of, do you remember Xander and the Peace Pirates?

SIMON

Yes.

STEVE

The guy, he played a guitar with a hook on the same hand and he was phenomenal, and this guy was great.

SIMON

What was he using?

STEVE

The one on the tube, actually I couldn’t quite see. I think he wasn’t using anything, just his arm, but Xander uses a hooky thing, I don’t know what it’s called really, the technical term for that. But I’ll put the link on for Xander but I can’t put the link on for the guy in the tube.

SIMON

And I need to spin it a bit, because that could creep, to me, into, ‘Oh how inspirational and how amazing, despite not having an arm he can still play it,’ but you’re a very serious guitar player ...

STEVE

I am.

SIMON

... and presumably you’re thinking your flamenco and your stuff that you play without a very good strumming hand is really difficult to do.

STEVE

I think with electric you could use a pick, but with me, classical guitar-wise or flamenco, you’d use all fingers on it, so it doesn’t really come into it that way. I think if he was playing classical guitar then ...

SIMON

So his is electric?

STEVE

Electric.

SIMON

With a pick?

STEVE

Yeah, he somehow was picking it.

SIMON

Yeah, so it sounds pretty easy.

STEVE

It was rubbish really!

SIMON

No, but that was my point, is he great because he was just playing brilliant music, or was it great because he didn’t have part of his arm?

STEVE

Well, I suppose both; it was great music, he was playing great music, and so if someone who had the full arm was playing it, I would think that was great music as well.

SIMON

Great.

STEVE

Yeah. Does that make sense?

SIMON

That’s music, great music.

STEVE

But the other one is music as well, and actually Alex, my wife, she put me on to this because she does some language impairments with people with Down’s syndrome and she put me onto this. There are people who are going into the Finish Eurovision Song Contest and they’ve all got learning disabilities and it’s a punk band, PKN, and hopefully we can have a quick listen to them now.

 

[Music by PKN played]

STEVE

So that’s kind of real punky music!

SIMON

Cor! It’s not your ((Arios 0:14:39?)) any more, James!

STEVE

But they’ve all got learning disabilities.

JAMES

You can hear the Arios, incidentally, on Facebook, on our Facebook page as well.

STEVE

Okay, we’ll link that. We’ll link in everything, we’ve got lots of links. But there was an article about these guys and someone was saying they all have Downs Syndrome, but Alex studies, there’s another syndrome called Williams syndrome and one of them has definitely got that, that Alex ((0:15:01?))

SIMON

I’m thinking about the live show and we had the theory that if you want to get your child diagnosed with a learning disability, take them to the theatre. We did that in the live show in September and that was a Williams ((0:15:13?))

STEVE

It was very convoluted when I did that. But I just think they’ve got a really great attitude and great music and they should get to the Finish entry.

SIMON

This was all over the BBC News. Did you see this, James?

JAMES

No, I didn’t actually, it passed me by.

STEVE

Did you see it?

SIMON

Yeah, yeah, yeah, there were lots of Tweets about it as well.

STEVE

Oh okay.

JAMES

I think I probably switched off at Eurovision, that’s probably why!

STEVE

But some of the countries do put in some great ...

SIMON

There is an autumn band called Heart and Soul, they’re in south London, and they play great music.

JAMES

I’ve heard them.

SIMON

This beautiful ((0:15:47?)) and there’s just a really cool set up. And the Fish Police is another one in the UK that do some good stuff. Again, I don’t know why I’m doing it this week, but were they great at their punk music, or do you think that learning disability bit affects your judgement and is there a bit of an, ‘Ah!’?

STEVE

It depends what kind of music you’re into. I mean I’m not really into this real punk stuff, but I really went for it. I’m not too sure, maybe there was a bit of both on that one, and they seemed to be playing their instruments really well, as well.

SIMON

With full arms?

STEVE

They’re all full arms, yeah.

SIMON

Last year’s Eurovision winner was that lady, Conchita, but she’s got a beard as well, can your remember that?

SIMON

Yeah.

PHIL

How fabulous.

STEVE

Is that a disability?

JAMES

Well, it’s an interesting question about is that a disfigurement, so a good question and I haven’t got an answer so far.

SIMON

Well thanks for coming on James, Chief Exec at Changing Faces.

steve

So beards are now a disfigurement?

JAMES

It’s an unusual appearance, certainly.

STEVE

But going back, some of the lyrics made me laugh.

SIMON

Yes, so here’s your story.

STEVE

No, no, not at all, because in Finish you can’t, I tried to learn the language a bit, start/finish, but it was too quick!

JAMES

Very good!

SIMON

That is one of Steve’s proper stage jokes and I can’t believe he fluffed it himself!

STEVE

It doesn’t matter! No comedians on this show! One of the links, ‘I had a coffee and I took a dump’, and that’s not a sensible lyric but it made me laugh, and then one of the lyrics, ‘I must eat pig food in a nut house. I’d keep my mouth shut or they will stab me.’

SIMON

Oh quite aggressive.

STEVE

That’s punk stuff.

SIMON

Yeah, they don’t care, those guys, they don’t care.

STEVE

Love it, I really do like it. Yeah, that’s great, check it out, we’ll put a link on.

SIMON

If it means the Eurovision is becoming a bit more diverse and a bit more interesting, then fabulous, yeah, good on them.

STEVE

Yeah, gets them out there.

SIMON

Great, thank you very much, Steve.

STEVE

Coming up next we will speak to James and Phil about their work and where disability sits in the UK today.

 

[Jingle: Find us on Twitter or Facebook by searching for Abnormally Funny People or using the hashtag AFP Show]

SIMON

Okay, so we’re going to have a chat with Phil and James, and I have to say, I do know both of them through an organisation we run together, called Dining with a Difference, so it means, despite them both being a little older than me – I did mention that, didn’t I? – and such respected people with their OBEs, I still will tease them completely inappropriately, and they don’t deserve it, that’s what I’m saying. James, you did mention in the intro a little bit about the organisation and what you’re doing. For those who’ve not come across you, why did you set it up, what was the reason and purpose?

JAMES

Well, Changing Faces, I set it up in 1992, really because I’d been through a really horrendous car fire back in those late teens and I lost my face and I lost quite a lot of other parts of me in the fire, and really trying to get back together again, to become a citizen and not a patient, took years, it took years. And with something like this, and there are many, many different causes of facial disfigurement, from an accident like mine, but from birth, from cancer treatments, from skin conditions, facial paralysis, all sorts of different reasons, loss of eye, and what I found was that the medical treatments and so on were brilliant in their own way, but actually they didn’t really solve a lot of my internal struggle or my social problems/issues, and I found that people around me were pretty terrified and not sure quite what to make of me. And the whole adjustment to living a full life took years and there was virtually no help.

STEVE

There’s no, with the treatment, any kind of counselling or anything that was offered?

JAMES

No, there wasn’t in those days. Today, it depends on where you’re treated. There are some very, very good psychological services attached to cleft, lip and palette clinics, for example, but if you happen to have a skin condition, you’re not going to get referred to anybody, or, probably, if you have a head and neck cancer, or, if you’re lucky and you’re treated for burns in a clinic where they happen to have a psychologist, but it’s very hit and miss. What our goals were really were to invent new empowerment, but also, very, very importantly, challenge the culture in which we’re living, because you can’t do one without the other. And so our campaign is for what we call face equality, like race equality, face equality. It means treating people fairly. And, therefore, it’s slightly infringing on ‘disability’ because we are not arguing, by and large, for adjustments in the form of physical alterations, we’re asking for head-set change.

SIMON

Yeah, but I know because I know you, and, in fact, disfigurement was covered under the original definition of disability under what was the then DDA in 1995 in the UK. And to a certain degree, when I was growing up, you could argue I was someone who was short, but I could move around and I had a lot of independence, but the difficulty I had wasn’t a physical impairment that was preventing me, or handicapping me, to use other language, ...

JAMES

Correct.

SIMON

... it was how other people treated me that was the real limit.

JAMES

Exactly.

SIMON

So if you build people’s confidence back up or they manage it themselves, or whatever they need, then, in theory ... mind you, they’re still going to face some of that, though, aren’t they?

JAMES

Well that’s the problem, and the problem is that the prejudice is endemic and probably unwitting. People don’t understand that they’re carrying around a series of assumptions and stereotypes that stigmatise me.

STEVE

Because I expect people’s first impressions, when someone sees someone, that they have an impression that ...

JAMES

Instant reactions, and almost without thought the evidence is that nine out of ten people who meet me will probably consider that I’m not going to have a very successful life, it’s unlikely I’m going to have a happy life, it’s unlikely I’m going to have a decent job, it’s unlikely that I will be good to be with, because looking like ...

SIMON

Well the last couple is some evidence, isn’t it?

JAMES

I know, but this is why it’s worrying to be talking to people like him!

SIMON

He’s pointing at me!

JAMES

But the point being that those instinctive assumptions, stereotypes, need to be challenged, and it’s not helped when the media are persistently attaching evil and villainy and those unpleasant traits to scarring and to disfigurement. So we are now in the business of trying to draw attention to those types of lazy shortcuts.

STEVE

Is anybody in the entertainment industry highlighting this or coming out and doing stuff?

JAMES

It’s very hard to find role models. There’s a guy called Adam Pearson, who you may have seen staring with Scarlet Johansson.

SIMON

I know Adam.

JAMES

And you know Adam, he’s a great champion and has done some very strange things on Beauty and the Beast and things like that, but there are people like him who will start to appear more and more in public consciousness and challenge these effectively low expectations or distorted views.

SIMON

The bit that I’ve found since knowing you, and I’ll bring you in as well here, Phil, but since knowing you, James, and this might sound a bit clunky and it’s not meant to, but now I spot a lot of people with facial disfigurement, and whether that’s footballers or pop stars, there are lots of people with very minor or subtle, and a lot of the time it never gets mentioned.

JAMES

Yeah.

SIMON

Now there’s a real dilemma here, and perhaps, Phil, you’ve had it in your campaigning, where you don’t want to make that an issue because they’re being very successful at what they do, but, at the same time, they are being successful so you want to use them as role models.

JAMES

Correct.

SIMON

So you’re dragging them into something.

JAMES

Yeah, we have a campaign website called What Success Looks Like. The famous management team line, if you go on a management training course, ‘So what does success look like, guys? Come on, tell us?’ Well, we’ve taken that, because the ‘looks like’ is a powerful phrase, and we’ve got lots of stories on that site, whatsuccesslookslike.org.uk, and we’re trying to get those sorts of characters to tell their stories, because we need to change, particularly among parents and young people, the thought that, ‘Wait a second, my child can, looking like this, be a successful A, B, C, D and can have a happy relationship and will become a successful person in their own rights in whatever their field is.’ Those are still yet to be achieved, I think.

SIMON

Extending the serious question, is there art work and are there paintings of people? There are people who are short who have featured in art, and is it the same?

JAMES

Yeah, well, there are ‘famous people’ and probably the most well known in Britain is Simon Western, and then there’s Katie Piper, the acid survivor.

SIMON

But this is all very modern, there’s not like renaissance paintings?

JAMES

Well, actually, most people who want to be painted had themselves and their faces transformed, so in smallpox days, if you look at Elizabeth I, you see that her face is entirely white with cake that eliminated any of the pockmarks.

SIMON

And then it was called Paint Shop and now we have Photoshop and that was the equivalent of the day?

JAMES

The same process.

STEVE

Airbrushing I suppose, yeah.

JAMES

Yeah, and, clearly, the likes of Holbein and all of the famous painters were at pains to try to make people look as good as they could. We’ve got a very interesting selection that somebody did. They went through the ages and they could find very few people who were actually portrayed with the full facial disfigurement, and of course some of the kings of England had hook noses and they were obviously villains because of that. Well, hold on!

STEVE

This might be a very naive and maybe a trite question, but with the severe, I mean you said skin conditions, like teenagers ...

JAMES

Psoriasis.

STEVE

... and what about somebody with severe acne?

JAMES

It’s very severe. I would call that a disfigurement, without any doubt.

STEVE

Fine, I just wondered, because as teenagers you’re kind of developing as well, and hormonal.

SIMON

Steve, were you once disabled? We’re trying to get you in somehow!

JAMES

I think the key question here is how the person feels themselves and how they feel they’re treated by others, just because of the way they look. Well, the word ‘just’ there, it’s not just, it’s unfair.

STEVE

So with something like acne, I don’t know what the proportion is but it seems like quite a big proportion of teenagers do have that.

JAMES

Oh yes, and there are treatments, some of them are really painful, some of them are very dangerous in mental health terms, but they can be very effective, but our view is that actually just to offer the treatment, without helping people adjust psychologically and socially, is an inadequate process.

STEVE

That’s great. Mr Phil, we’ll move on to you, Phil. I’ve known you, as I’ve said, through Simon Minty for quite a long time actually. Unfortunate! But that’s my first question to you. You had a business together and now Simon and I have a kind of semi-business together, and how do I put this? How hard was it to work with Simon Minty?

PHIL

Oh it was a nightmare, as you well know!

STEVE

I want you to say it!

PHIL

It was fabulous, I mean seriously, it was a lot of fun.

SIMON

That shocked me! You’ve shocked me!

PHIL

It came at a moment, really, where I was finding it really tough to be on my own and I was with people every day, but I wasn’t with anybody that I could share the stress. I was getting to a point where I was looking to merge with somebody or sell or something, and Simon just happened, at that point, to suggest that he could be that partner.

STEVE

Did you argue? You do argue a lot, though, don’t you? You have to argue a lot.

PHIL

We argued. I’ll tell you when we argued the most and the most viciously, and was over what to do about managing staff. We rarely argued about the direction the business was going or the ideas we had for developing new products, or all that kind of thing, but where we had most difficulties were trying to resolve serious staff issues, and I think Simon took one view, I took another.

STEVE

I remember Simon, because Simon used to come to stand-up gigs with me and all that, so we used to talk about it, but you did have some hard start and some absolute problems.

PHIL

Absolutely, and I think the thing that mattered more than anything, and I don’t know whether Simon would agree with this, but my view is that the reason we never bust up over it was because I really liked him and I trusted him.

STEVE

That’s our problem though!

PHIL

But I thought Simon was wrong about his direction, and that didn’t mean I didn’t like him.

STEVE

That’s true.

PHIL

He was very passionate about his view and I was very passionate about mine and I think he understood that too.

SIMON

I heard it but ...

PHIL

We sort of found our way through it, which is I just walked out and sold the business!

STEVE

That’s where it’s going!

SIMON

Just for clarity, you sold your half!

PHIL

Yeah, I’m sorry! That’s correct!

STEVE

We’re going to move on now. So you stepped down as Chair of Disability Rights UK after more than six years. So what would you say were the big changes when you were there?

PHIL

Well, I did ten years in total, because I did six years at RADAR and then we merged with two other organisations, so it became Disability Rights UK, so I did three years with them. The biggest changes? Oh God, where do you start? I mean there have been serious changes. There have been massive. We were talking at lunchtime today about some of those. I mean the fact that I went up to Manchester, and this is not unlike Simon’s story about going round London, I went up to Manchester on the train, which I could do unassisted, got off the train, got on the Metro, went out to Media City, got back. I did all of that without even thinking about it, and 20 years ago I couldn’t have done that.

STEVE

Because of?

PHIL

Well, the accessibility, the whole thing was just accessible. And I think we all think like that no, in the cities. I think rural communities have a very different experience, but I think in the cities we’ve come to expect that we can – and I’m only obviously talking as a mobility impaired person and I think James’ points about facial disfigurement, I bet you the progress has been much slower in some ways there than we’ve seen with accessibility for people with physical impairments of one sort or another, so that’s massive. I think attitudes have shifted and I think employers, where I spend most of my time, many of them now get it. Some don’t, some still think they’ve got it when they haven’t.

STEVE

Is there some frustration? Because I remember Simon saying that there are kind of cycles where either the people who get it, they move on and go somewhere else, and then it kind of all starts again.

PHIL

Yeah.

STEVE

But then I suppose there’s a very slight shift, it does get better, but in small stages?

PHIL

Yeah, and I think what you’re doing is you’re relying on someone that you’ve met, who’s become passionate about the issue, who then moves to a different place and gets passionate about it there, so the word spreads. Yeah, I think that’s how it goes.

STEVE

And generationally, we’re incremental a little bit.

JAMES

Well no, I was just wanting to add, Phil, and I’m sure you meant this, but the IT revolution has been phenomenal for disabled people and over the last 20 years we’ve seen colossal changes.

PHIL

Well, the iPhone is only seven years old. If you think about the apps.

JAMES

But I mean it’s not just the iPhone, it’s the whole transformation of the way we communicate, Facebook, laptops, and so on, and the accessibility of all of that to disabled people; I think that has been transformational.

PHIL

Well, I think it’s been a bit of a two-edged sword. I mean I agree with much of what you say, but I think we might hear from Robin later on, as a blind person, how good is some of this stuff?

JAMES

Still a way to go.

PHIL

Yeah, but I don’t disagree with your fundamental point and I think IT has made huge differences to people. I think the other thing, the point was what have I seen change? I’ve seen us acquire rights, I’ve seen us acquire positions in society, and James was talking about that earlier. I think the scary news, is that going to be sustained? Because I think at the moment what we’re seeing is a serious attack on welfare provision for disabled people, and now I’m talking about people who really do not have any choices, they are living on benefits because they have no choice but to, and their lifestyles and their life options are, I believe, getting much more difficult. So someone like me, who can swan off to Manchester and jump on a train, etc, I don’t even think about it, we’re now talking about people who can’t leave their own homes and who are in a very different place. And I think, in a sense, that’s what I was most passionate about with Disability Rights UK, was trying to not forget that group. It’s very easy to think that everybody’s doing well because we are, and actually there are a lot of people who are not doing very well at all.

STEVE

And the government of the day tries to paint that picture?

PHIL

Of course they do.

STEVE

Because it’s finances as well.

PHIL

It’s not largely remembered but there were 13 attempts before the 1995 Act, it took governments ((all persuasions 0:34:11?)) to bring rights legislation in and they all failed. So this isn’t a party political statement, this is governments, and we know we’re in a recession, we know things are tough, but it really galls me when I watch welfare rights being dealt with, but I’m watching other people earning huge amounts from the city or whatever else, and I know it’s a political statement but it’s not fair, that is not right.

STEVE

And the English Federation of Disability Sport, you’re on that now?

PHIL

Oh yes. Well, it’s not true.

STEVE

Is it?

PHIL

As a wheelchair athlete!

JAMES

Here we go! This could go on for some time!

SIMON

There was a moment once when Phil and I were running the business, and we didn’t fall out over this although we should have done. I can’t remember exactly but maybe it was about stereotypes of perceptions or how people react to us, and Phil using a wheelchair, and even then, he must have been mid/late-50s or something, and he said, ‘The difference between you and me, Simon, if someone looks at me, they look at think athlete.’

PHIL

Gold medallist!

SIMON

‘And if they look at you, they think clown.’ ‘You what?’

PHIL

But it was true.

SIMON

No it wasn’t!

PHIL

Hang on, the difference between us is that I did play sport and I have got medals, which he refuses to acknowledge.

SIMON

And I have, unfortunately, not done any clowning, so I’ve kind of let my people down!

PHIL

The serious point is that since the Olympics, Paralympics, and the idea that disabled people should be more active and be more involved and the local community and that kind of thing, when I was at Disability Rights UK, we did a lot of work around participation in sport, which is not the same thing as doing it.

JAMES

Absolutely.

PHIL

So it’s kind of being a scorer at a match, maybe, or just taking your children along. I have four kids.

SIMON

Oh, if we’re bringing children maybe we could get a clown in or something, so I’d get back in!

PHIL

Well, there’s always an opening for you, I am going to work on this!

SIMON

That’s why I’m so pleased you’re on the board, Phil.

JAMES

A serious line here.

STEVE

But very quickly on the Paralympics, I think we’ve had this kind of conversation before with someone else, because we did a Paralympic show and there was so much enthusiasm and so much going on, and has that carried on? Do people, not still remember, but what’s the word I’m looking for?

PHIL

The legacy.

STEVE

The legacy, there we go. Is it still working? Are people still remembering it? Is it still going on?

PHIL

Well, the evidence from participation says no, the numbers are dropping, but I listened to that show and one of the things that I remember being talked about on the show from the legacy point of view was the attitudinal shift that happened, that when you saw the swimmers with various impairments coming in the water and people were no longer phased by that kind of difference. In some ways it’s a bit like the facial disfigurement point, it was so commonplace that disabled people, and think Simon said it in the show, that he’s not stared at in quite the same way as he was before, so I think that has shifted. But I think in terms of the legacy of people doing sport and so on, there are concerns that that’s not had the impact that maybe it should have done really.

STEVE

But do you think that’s the same as the abled-bodied Olympics as well, in the sense that after the Olympics everybody is really enthusiastic about it as well.

PHIL

Mm, it’s like everyone plays tennis after Wimbledon.

STEVE

Exactly, yeah.

PHIL

I don’t know is the honest answer, but I think there are concerns amongst the Federation, certainly in sports bodies, that disabled people seem to be not picking up the batons and whatever in the way that was hoped.

STEVE

Can they pick up the batons?

PHIL

Exactly, that was the point. If the batons were accessible they could pick them up.

STEVE

Yeah, exactly.

SIMON

I reckon your guy in the underground with the guitar, he could pick up a baton. He can pick up a tune. He’s brilliant.

STEVE

Is there a link there?

PHIL

No, not really.

STEVE

Dining with a Difference, how about that then? I remember you were doing a video thing for your promotional thing ...

PHIL

It wasn’t just a ‘video’ ...

STEVE

It was a great video.

PHIL

... it was real class!

STEVE

I didn’t say it wasn’t real class, that was the medium ...

SIMON

Explain what it was for those who have no idea what we’re talking about?

PHIL

I don’t know what I’m talking about either!

STEVE

But you were putting together a little promo three-minute clip or something to show people what Dining with a Difference was really about and I was taking some pictures and you’d made a cake and you were talking about what you were doing over making a cake, which was actually a fantastic cake in the end, wasn’t it?

JAMES

Delicious.

STEVE

It was very good.

PHIL

Well, James was the only one that tried it! I didn’t try it!

STEVE

But I remember some amazing stories that have happened with Dining with a Difference.

PHIL

I think there have been some fun stories, yes, certainly! Dining with a Difference was about trying to promote the idea.

JAMES

Is about, is about, and not was.

STEVE

Is about. God, you just can’t get the help! Is about helping senior players, mainly, see disability in a different way, keeping it simple, that’s what it’s about, and so you do it over dinner, a glass of wine, and you do it over some nice food. And I think over the time James will have certain stories. The one I always remember is the story of the guy who came along and he was a shop fitter for one of the big companies and he sat through the dinner, consumed too much wine, and began to say exactly what everyone was thinking but was too afraid to say. And it got pretty hairy at points because he was really giving it large on what he thought of disabled people and where they should be and all this kind of thing.

PHIL

Obviously very negative.

STEVE

And a lot of it was very clumsy, some of the langue he used was extraordinary! But what really was interesting was that he was kind of articulating stuff that we all know people think but don’t say, and so there was some fun and games to be had over that. I think we cut back on the wine after that!

SIMON

There’s a skill and an art, because if you have a one-to-one with someone like that, or if it is a training course or something, because if someone’s had quite a lot to drink, plus you’ve got other diners there, trying to steer that conversation, it’s quite through choppy waters.

PHIL

Yeah, what’s good is that the three of us, I mean obviously Simon’s involved as well, and each of us sits at a different table and we look after the people on our table, so you get opportunities to have more private conversations, which works terribly well. I mean I think the whole format is a really good format, it clearly does show when you get people in the room. I mean Barclays, the Chief Executive of Barclays came to one of our dinners and he came in like a rabbit in the headlights, he’d never been near this subject really. He sat with us, he broke bread with us, he’d talked about the issues with his senior team, and from that moment onwards was a complete convert and did an enormous amount to shift the disability debate, and that was the whole objective.

STEVE

Even sponsoring our podcast.

SIMON

And thanks for sponsoring the podcast.

PHIL

I think it would be interesting to do an audit trail to see how we got you where you’ve got.

JAMES

That is the important point, that actually if we go back through the history of dining over the last 50 years ...

PHIL

Have we got time?

JAMES

No, and thankfully we haven’t, but you would find quite a lot of people and organisations who can remember back to the moment that they held a dining, because actually things changed after that, because our argument is if the leadership get it, then lots of other things happen, but if the leadership are just being given, ‘We ought to do this,’ rather than really get it ...

PHIL

They’re not going to pass it down.

JAMES

... they’re not going to do it and they’re not going to leave a legacy either.

STEVE

What’s changed in the last 20 years? One of them is this sort of thing. We wouldn’t have been doing this. I know the technology’s available now, but Barclays sponsoring podcasts on disability topics that are funny 20 years ago? No, it wouldn’t have happened. So we’ve seen a big shift and I think dining has played it’s part.

SIMON

Interestingly, Phil and I had lunch, and we’ve always mentioned that before, and the person there was talking to someone in Vienna and they’d shown a Barclays advert which used Chris McCausland, the blind comedian, and the people said, ‘We’re not ready for that. We couldn’t do the comedy and disability.’ There’s still, clearly, sensitivity and it’s back to laughing at and laughing with.

JAMES

Well, when we went to France we had dinner in Paris and it was great fun, but you could sense that the Paris office of this organisation were ((0:42:28?)), ‘That’s awkward that’s painful.’

steve

I thought Shannon mentioned it too, about the difference between onscreen disability and so on, and I think Britain is ahead of a lot of places in that, this sort of thing; I’ve not come across this anywhere else in the world.

SIMON

There’s a little interesting bit about Paris, we all travelled at the same time. However, we were all on different carriages of the train because of accessibility needs, so we couldn’t all squeeze together at that point. Then, when we got to the other end, there was the one wheelchair accessible access actually in Paris, ((0:43:04?)) must be more, but we got it. And so Phil got in, and then I had to undo my scooter and pack that in, then James got in it, and we were all crammed in the back of this taxi! And I thought, ‘Hang on, we’re quite serious, successful business people and we’re jam-packed,’ and then we’d had the whole train journey miles apart from each other.

STEVE

But that’s the clown thing, there are always so many people in a clown car!

SIMON

Yeah, but James and I looked at Phil and went, ‘What an athlete, what an athlete!’

JAMES

Exactly, ‘How did he get in here?’ But there are those moments, and we can’t think back, there was one where a guy that was sitting on the table suddenly left and he just disappeared. And he came back about half an hour later and I said, ‘Sorry, are you okay?’ And he said, ‘No, I just had to go and call a contract to a halt until I made sure that it was disability fully accessible.’

PHIL

So he was working on that at the time?

JAMES

Yeah, and he said, it was £1.5 billion, probably, ‘And we stopped it, just stopped it there and then,’ and it was only because one of the pads had not got the disability dot on the five and somebody couldn’t locate the middle of the pad.

SIMON

We have what we call lots of penny drop moments on Dining with a Difference and that was the £1.5 billion moment! Dear oh dear!

JAMES

But you can go to those machines and you can go and you can find the little number, so it’s great. Little legacies.

STEVE

Fantastic, lovely, thank you very much guys.

 

[Jingle: Have a question or a comment? You can also text us or leave a voicemail on 07756 190561]

SIMON

Hi there, Robin. We have Robin Christopherson from MobilityNet. Lovely to have you back. Just to let you know we’ve got Phil Friend and James Partridge with us. Phil’s a huge fan of technology, by the way. So Robin, your first bit of news?

ROBIN

Well, the first thing I want to tell you about is a really natty app that’s actually in public beta at the moment and you can get involved if you wish. Basically it helps people with a hearing impairment in group conversations, so people who have hearing loss are often able to lip read when they’re in a one-to-one situation, although some people do find that challenging, and obviously people can sign to each other if the other person is a signer. But what this app does, and it’s called Transcence and you run it on your phone and the other people in the group run it on their phone as well and it listens for everybody who speaks and it detects who’s speaking closest to whichever phone it is, and all of these conversations, all of the speech, is recognised in real time, so there’s no long delay as it’s processing the information, it’s like real-time voice recognition. And all of these conversations come up on the screen on the phone of the person with a hearing impairment in different coloured bubbles, each colour relating to one of the people in the group, so the microphone can tell who’s speaking and it can bring that person’s speech up in real time on the person’s screen.

SIMON

This sounds amazing, Robin. You know on YouTube they do automatic subtitles and they’re pretty ropey, they’re generally not the same, and how about quality? That’s probably why it’s in beta, is it?

ROBIN

Partly, although it is using a very sophisticated and real natural language engine, so it has to be done with internet connectivity at the moment because the processing is being done on the servers elsewhere, but it is very quick and it’s pretty much instantaneous.

STEVE

So moving on, have you got a second bit of tech there?

ROBIN

So the next thing I want to talk about is straight out of science fiction. These are contact lenses that are kind of binoculars at the same time. A group of US and Swiss scientists at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, recently in the States, they demonstrated the prototype of these contact lenses. Now they’re not aimed at people with a vision impairment primarily, they’re defence funded, so you could imagine that they would be used by soldiers in the field, but they were demonstrated at this society meeting with people with a vision impairment in mind. Basically, what they do is they can magnify your vision up to nearly three times, so 2.8x magnification and they literally just zoom out so that you can see things much more closely. So you can imagine that for people with a vision impairment this would be absolutely fantastic. At the moment, you wear them with a pair of glasses and the glasses don’t do the zooming, that’s in these little 1.5 millimetre thick contact lenses. All the glasses are doing is they’re watching your eyelids for a definite conscious blink, not just the subconscious blinks that we’re doing all the time but for a definite blink, and that uses that as the trigger for zooming in or out nearly three times magnification.

STEVE

Very clever, yes.

ROBIN

So it’s straight out of science fiction and hopefully straight on to our irises in the not too distant future.

STEVE

That’s great to hear from you and we’ll put all those links up. We’ll get the links from you and put them on the website so everybody can find all these gimmicks. Thanks very much.

ROBIN

Thanks guys.

SIMON

Cheers, Robin.

 

[Jingle: If you’d like to get in touch you can email us on podcast@abnormallyfunnypeople.com]

SIMON

Now we are going to have a lovely conversation with Shannon Murray. Shannon was on one of our earlier shows last September and you then were just about to finally qualify as a lawyer, and now that you have, you went off to Los Angeles to get into acting. How’s it all going out there? This is a big old move.

SHANNON

Yeah, I moved five weeks ago, so it was the end of January when I came out here. It was a little bit of a shock to the system I guess. I’d been planning it for a while but it’s only really once you move somewhere that you realise what you’ve jumped into. The first few weeks were spent living in a hotel in Santa Monica doing a lot of house hunting, which was surprisingly easy for the wheelchair aspect, the difficult bit was the fact that my brother has quite a large dog and a lot of landlords have very funny rules when it comes to dogs out here! So we finally got somewhere, we moved in three weeks ago. It’s brilliant so far.

SIMON

Are you there on your own or is your brother already there, or did you both go out to find fame and fortune?

SHANNON

My brother has lived in San Francisco for the past 13 years and he fancied a change so he came down to LA, so we’re both down here in LA.

STEVE

And is he in the acting world as well, or is he doing something else?

SHANNON

He does a mixture of things. He’s a mixologist and a model!

STEVE

A mixologist, what’s a mixologist again?

SHANNON

It’s a bar tender that specialises in making cocktails.

STEVE

Lovely, I like that!

JAMES

I can’t believe that!

STEVE

And in terms of disability, is there differences between the two countries?

SHANNON

Oh massive, particularly in California access is much, much better than it is in London. In London, there is so much planning that has to be done, the forethought you have to put in in going to certain places to check if they’re accessible. Here it’s just standard, it’s part of the American Disabilities Act, the legislation is quite tightly enforced when it comes to access. Pavements are flatter, there are dipped curves where you want dipped curves, and there are harsh penalties for parking in a disabled bay. It’s so much easier to be independent here.

SIMON

We were just talking about me doing a little whiz along from the Royal Festival Hall to the Houses of Parliament in Horseferry Road, and I loved it because it was just so great and so easy, but you were saying then you can go into every venue or restaurant as well as.

SHANNON

Yeah, pretty much you know they’re going to have a disabled toilet. There’s the odd one or two if it’s a particularly old, small building, they might not necessarily have an accessible loo, but on the whole, the logistics, it’s much, much easier. I’m not saying everything’s perfect, don’t get me wrong, America has its own issues for getting around. And for house hunting, if you’re looking for an apartment with wheelchair access, you go into an estate agent and you ask to just see the apartments that have wheelchair access and they send you apartments that are just wheelchair accessible. It’s not like they’re up to medical standard or something, but each apartment block, the car parks will have disabled bays. I have my own allocated space downstairs, I can get round my apartment and it’s totally flat in and out. These are the kind of things that are impossible to find in London.

SIMON

James was about to ask you a question but I’m not sure he can be heard.

JAMES

Well, I was going to ask Shannon if it was something that is very apparent and impressive in the cities, if you go to the small towns in America, whether it’s a different situation.

shannon

Based on my own experience, I’ve got family that are in different towns and I’ve stayed with them, whether it’s Florida, Texas, Southern California, and I’ve generally found the access there to be great as well. In New York it’s more hit and miss, but New York is architecturally very different to a lot of the states.

SIMON

So you’re going over there to presumably developing your acting life/world/work? Isn’t that why everyone goes to LA?

SHANNON

It’s why a lot of people go! For me, it was I wanted to be somewhere with better weather, with better access. I’ve taken a year out from work and I wanted to see what happened if I came out here.

SIMON

So now you’re not putting yourself under pressure?

shannon

No.

SIMON

That’s great.

shannon

I’m not naive, the acting gigs for disabled people out here, it’s questionable as to whether or not America is really paying much heed to disability on screen.

STEVE

Less so or more so than England?

shannon

I think less so. I think England is actually more advanced when it comes to disability on screen. I’ve spoken to a few people out here and it’s ironic that they love celebrating the fact that Glee has a disabled character, and it’s like, ‘Yeah, but the actor isn’t actually disabled! Can you not see the difference?’ and I haven’t seen much disability on screen yet. Obviously they celebrate a lot of other diversity, which they seem to be doing incredibly well and there’s a lot more ethnic diversity on screen, which is brilliant. And they say, like the big networks are making a move to increasing disability on screen, but I’ve yet to see evidence of it and I don’t really think that the character in Glee is essentially something to be celebrated as their disability representation.

SIMON

I’m guessing you haven’t got your cable connected yet, because once you get HBO you’ve got Breaking Bad, you’ve got disabled characters, you’ve got Game of Thrones, disabled characters.

shannon

Well yeah, Breaking Bad is great but it has come to an end, so you do need something else, and obviously my hero, Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones ...

SIMON

My hero.

shannon

... yeah, my hero!

SIMON

No, he’s my hero!

shannon

My hero! Tyrion Lannister is the greatest disabled character of all time: he’s sexy, he’s funny, he’s brash, he’s confident, and he’s cocky. He’s just brilliant for that!

SIMON

All of those characteristics you could epitomise in a role and you just need the right role to come through the door.

STEVE

I thought you were going to say, ‘That’s me all over’ for some reason!

shannon

Yeah, Simon does think he is the Dinklage!

SIMON

It’s so lovely to speak to you Shannon and I’m sorry about all the technology stuff, we’ve had problems trying to link up.

shannon

That’s quite all right.

SIMON

And thank you f or being so patient. Can we have a chat with you next month and see how you’re getting on?

shannon

Yes please. I’d like to give you a little insight into my experiences at Disability Expo over here, although they call it Inability Expo, but it’s the US version of Naidex. I’ve got quite a few stories from that to share with you.

SIMON

Brilliant, we will look forward to it. Thank you so much, it’s good to speak to you.

shannon

With pleasure, thank you.

SIMON

Thanks Shannon, good luck.

STEVE

Thanks Shannon, bye.

 

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

SIMON

Well, we’re coming to the end of the show I’m really sorry to say, but a big thank you to Phil Friend and to James Partridge for being our guests. Before you go, what are you up to now, Phil?

PHIL

I’ve just bought a new camera, which is really annoying Steve.

STEVE

I love cameras!

PHIL

And I’m going to learn how to use it, that’s one thing. But I suppose my big thing is getting into the English Federation thing and seeing what’s going on there and seeing what I can do to help there.

SIMON

Yeah, we asked you some hard questions, bearing in mind you’ve only just been co-opted on to it.

PHIL

Yeah, I’m new, but I have been an athlete, as you know, all my life, so it won’t take long!

STEVE

And James, what are you up to?

SIMON

If only this was a video cast he could see my face!

PHIL

One day we’ll have that!

JAMES

I’ve got a really interesting thing to go to on Thursday/Friday/Saturday of this week. I’m going to a conference laid on about the impact of the real breakthroughs in facial surgery that happened in the First World War, so it’s a centenary of those events and I’m going to speak about the concept of fairness for people with facial injuries. So that’s going to be a very exciting, big conference in Exeter.

SIMON

That sounds very interesting.

JAMES

I can give you the links.

SIMON

That would be great, we can put them up. Thank you to both of you, and as I said, you’re good friends of mine as well so it’s been great to have you here.

JAMES

A pleasure to be here.

 

[Jingle: Find us on Twitter or Facebook by searching for Abnormally Funny People or using the hashtag AFP Show.]

STEVE

Thank you everybody who’s staying in touch with us. We love hearing from you whether it’s via Twitter, email or phone.

SIMON

Yes, thank you so much, and last month we had Mat Fraser and Liz Carr, the former hosts from BBC Ouch, and it was so great. And Damon Rose, who is the editor of the Ouch podcasts, as well as all the Ouch stuff, dropped us a line. I think it would be great to get him and Emma Tracey on the show at some point.

STEVE

That would be great, absolutely.

SIMON

I think so. Well, if you want to contact us, we’ve mentioned all the other ways, but you can always go to the website and everything is there, that’s abnormallyfunnypeople.com.

STEVE

You’ll find the transcript of the show there as well as the photos and other bits and bobs with all the links.

SIMON

Thank you so much to our producer, Harry.

STEVE

And thank you all for listening.

 

[Music played]

 

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