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Ouch! Disability Talk Show


Every month, Rob Crossan and Kate Monaghan present the programme you didn’t know you wanted to hear. It's disability from a fresh angle featuring interviews, discussion and the occasional quiz. The (disabled) presenters dissect and analyse recent events with interest and a good dose of healthy humour.

Every month, Rob Crossan and Kate Monaghan present the programme you didn’t know you wanted to hear. It's disability from a fresh angle featuring interviews, discussion and the occasional quiz. The (disabled) presenters dissect and analyse recent events with interest and a good dose of healthy humour.
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Every month, Rob Crossan and Kate Monaghan present the programme you didn’t know you wanted to hear. It's disability from a fresh angle featuring interviews, discussion and the occasional quiz. The (disabled) presenters dissect and analyse recent events with interest and a good dose of healthy humour.




Jellyballs (Storytelling live part 2)

Comedian Joe Wells talks about the one time in his life that making eye contact with another human being wasn't uncomfortable. Recently diagnosed as autistic, he also explains why he has to block out men's voices by playing loud music in his headphones. Also on the podcast: Sarah Collins tells the story of the OCD moment where she strongly believes she's swallowed an entire packet of paracetamol. And Tom Leeds on how an accident obliterated all of his childhood memories until hearing an '80s...


This love story between two comedians with cerebral palsy will melt your heart

When we put three disabled comedians together round a picnic table we hadn’t banked on hearing one of the best disability love stories we’ve ever heard. We're a hard-bitten cynical bunch at Ouch sometimes but this was a beautiful moment from Spring Day about her relationship with BBC Three's one and only Jerk, Tim Renkow. The story packs even more of a punch when you find out about her history and how much fun they’ve been having as a couple ever since. Features the "catholic cure for...


Dear Janine - Please can I borrow your nipples?

Life can be a bit different if you're disabled or have a mental health difficulty, but sometimes it is just be plain hilarious. Andy Duffy, Sajeela Kershi and Janine Hammond take to the stage at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to tell true stories on the theme of Lost and Found. From Andy's missing wheelchair battery which almost sparked the evacuation of a London museum, to Sajeela's recent hearing loss which meant she mistook a rude, insulting man, for someone paying her a compliment. Reece...


Dear Mr Dead Head

Everyone in the theatre company Elektric Apple has a learning disability. Using important themes from life, like mental health, sexuality and loneliness, they tell stories in their own words. We sat down with actors Carl and John and their director Andrew Sinclair to talk about what they love most about performing and the message they want to spread with their productions. Presented by Niamh Hughes Recorded at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe - @bbcouch


The boffins who solve disability problems

If you are disabled and believe that a product to solve your problem doesn’t exist yet, listen up. A network of volunteer engineers are on-hand to help. When Sarah Stones realised leaning heavily on her left arm was taking its toll but couldn’t find a device to help, she reached out to Remap, a charity that makes bespoke solutions for disabled people. Engineer Akshaya Ahuja made her an armband with a pressure-sensitive alarm that would make her straighten up. About to go to market is an...


Living while dying

Living your best life when death is closer than you'd like it to be - that's what we're talking about on this month's long podcast. It's a very upbeat show about tricky disability stuff. Doctors told Lucy Watts she wouldn't make it to the age of 18 - she's now 25 and has survived sepsis 14 times. Her assistance dog Molly licks her hand three hours before any symptoms appear which gives Lucy time to get life-saving treatment. Her story about living while dying, growing up fast and realising...


Trust me, I’m a disabled doctor

An A&E consultant, a psychiatrist, and two junior doctors swap notes on being disabled in the medical profession. Emergency medicine consultant, Dr Cieran McKiernan, speaks on the perils of self-diagnosis. He lost his leg after failing to treat a blister which became a 5cm-sq hole in his foot. Trainee GP, Dr Hannah Barham-Brown's wheelchair means she's regularly mistaken for a patient, while Dr Emily Burns spotted one patient's 'diagnosis' of Query Malingering - a euphemism for faking it -...


'We bought a pub for our 12-year-old son'

In a week where a tweet about a London pub went viral after a member of staff told a customer “we don’t serve disabled people”, meet the Mathies. Ben Mathie loves live music but venue options are limited because he’s only 12-years-old and uses a wheelchair and venues are often inaccessible. He was a regular at gigs in the local pub, The Harrow Inn Freehouse in Boughton, Nottinghamshire, before plans were made to shut it down. Then, in an unexpected move to save Ben's favourite venue, his mum...


The rising stars of Eurovision who pulled out of the final

The Shalva Band were favourites to represent host country Israel at Eurovision but pulled out when the dress rehearsal was scheduled for Friday - the Jewish holy day of rest. The group of eight musicians, who all have disabilities, had been voted through on a national TV programme. Their popularity rose at the same time research revealed 90% of parents in Israel didn't want their offspring to attend after-school clubs with disabled children. The band released a campaign song called Open The...


The challenge of being a teacher with Tourette's

Natalie Pearson is a primary school teacher and one of a few in the world to also have Tourette's syndrome. Tourettes causes her to swear, sometimes in class, and also jerk her body - but she says her students and colleagues have embraced it The science teacher was diagnosed with late-onset Tourette's syndrome at the age of 21 and believes a traumatic rape at university was the trigger. Natalie's story was originally heard on the BBC's Multi Story podcast. Presented by Becca Bryers....


'I realised not everyone has to be a Paralympian'

From being a working class disabled person to waiting for that brown envelope to arrive for your benefits reassessment. This show, recorded in front of a live audience, moves from one emotion to another. Comedian Jackie Hagan describes how she went from feeling she had to prove she could still do everything and more, after having one leg amputated, to realising she didn't actually have to become a hero. Performer Conor A has fibromyalgia, an impairment usually associated with women. He...


What’s the beef with McDonald’s paper straws?

Getting rid of single-use straws is a simple way to reduce plastic waste...unless you're one of the thousands of disabled people who rely on them everyday to drink independently. From bamboo to pasta, glass to metal, there's a variety of alternatives already out there, but do any of them actually work? After a petition emerged this week calling for McDonald's to reinstate its plastic straws because the paper versions go soggy, Esther Weber, The Times political reporter and daily straw-user,...


Sex, with these hips?

Have you ever been lost in a passionate moment only to realise your hips are about to dislocate? Well, Xandra Lee has been in that precarious place more times than she'd like to remember and set about writing a sex and relationships manual for people with 'dodgy hips'. Diagnosed with hip dysplasia as a teenager, she quickly realised there was no information out there - medical or otherwise - for safe, painless sex, especially if, like her, you are a younger person. So, she set about changing...


The artist who believes he’s a zombie

Martin O'Brien has lived beyond his life expectancy twice - first at the age of five, and then again at 30. He was born with the life-limiting disease, cystic fibrosis. Now aged 31, he identifies as a Zombie - half-dead and half-alive - which he tries to convey through his physical artwork - he even spent his 30th birthday in a morgue, for art's sake. Sometimes controversial, he talks about how he uses the sexual, and consensual, practice of BDSM to illustrate life with a chronic illness and...


Deaf Poets Society (Repeat)

London poet Raymond Antrobus was thought to be dyslexic with severe learning disabilities, until his deafness was discovered at the age of six - this week he won the Ted Hughes Award for new work in Poetry (hence why we're repeating this fab interview). At school, the hearing kids taunted him because he had to sit at the front to hear the teacher, and deaf kids called him a "baby signer" because he came to British Sign Language late and wasn't as proficient as the rest of them. Later,...


This disabled comedian is a Jerk

After years on the circuit, American comedian Tim Renkow has just released his first TV series - Jerk. The BBC Three show follows a "heightened" version of Renkow, who has cerebral palsy. TV Tim is "too lazy" to sort out his own visa, so instead he plays on and uses his disability to mess with people and take advantage of every situation. Tim reveals to BBC Ouch how much truth was behind the sitcom, how he got The Soprano's actress Lorraine Bracco to play his mother and what it was like to...


The gig emergency that made music accessible

Suzanne Bull loves live music. But after several accidents, including getting crushed at a gig, she wanted to challenge venues that weren’t accessible to her and other disabled music fans. Taking matters into her own hands she started up Attitude is Everything in 2000 - a disability-led charity that aims to improve Deaf and disabled peoples’ access to live music venues. Since then, she’s been made an MBE and was included in Music Week's Women in Music Roll of Honour. Suzanne tells BBC Ouch...


Disabled People Are Hot

We already knew it anyway, but the hashtag #DisabledPeopleAreHot has gone viral - about time too. People from around the world have been rocking their best looks and posting them proudly on social media for everyone to see. Originator of the hashtag, Andrew Gurza, gives us the lowdown on his hope for the movement, the 'merch' he's going to get made for it and how it's a lot more than just a flash in the pan trend. Presented by Emma Tracey with Niamh Hughes. Subscribe now in BBC Sounds or ask...


My daughter has my disability and that’s OK

"A kick in the gut" is how Actor Jack Binstead describes his initial response to news that daughter Daisy has osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bones) like him. But now he thinks differently. Pippa Bolton and husband describe themselves as having learning disabilities - Pippa joins us to talk about the six month fight to be allowed to bring her daughter Rain home from hospital. They now have two children and no involvement from social services. When Eliza Hull realised she wasn’t being...


Why the hashtag #ThingsDisabledPeopleKnow went viral

The hashtag #ThingsDisabledPeopleKnow has gone viral in the last few days. Started in America by Imani Barbarin a week ago, it's got tweeters from all corners of the disability community and globe sharing those annoyances disabled people know, but which might never occur to anyone else. We hear from Imani about why she started it in the first place, why Damon thinks people break wind in his presence and whether this could be a #MeToo moment for the disability community. With Damon Rose, Emma...