RNIB Connect Radio is giving listeners a lift with three new shows launching in time for Spring.
The additions to its line-up are a programme dedicated to wellbeing issues, a regular interview show where special guests share their key musical inspirations and loves and an weekly hour of urban music,.
Later this month (15 February), award-winning blogger Holly Tuke will join forces with Paulina Kuchorew to debut the regular Happy Hour, which mixes chat and music with a focus on sight loss, mental health, mindfulness and overall wellbeing. “Oxford English Dictionary defines wellbeing as “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy and – with the help of guests – each episode will focus on the different aspects of our wellbeing, from discussing exercise as a means of supporting our mental health, to in-depth conversations about learning to accept sight loss,” Holly explained.
Also to launch in February (23), Tracks of My Life, presented and produced by Toby Davey, will feature special guests, including Maria Oshodi, artistic director and ECO of Extant, Britain’s only theatre company of and for visually impaired performers, Joanne Roughton-Arnold, the visually impaired Opera Singer as well as chef Jo Parsons. They'll be telling the stories of their life through an eclectic mix of music tracks.
Toby, who has sight loss and is a medal-winning sailor for Great Britain at national, international and world blind sailing championships, will be asking his guests to tell us about the musical landmarks in their lives, including the first track they can remember hearing, the first track they brought, a number of tracks that mark moments in their life and the final track; a track they would like to pass on to give people hope for the future.
Urban Flex, an hour long show for Friday nights, launches on 19 February and, presented by Birmingham-based musician Nicki Kelly, it promises “the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be in urban music.”
Nicki, who lost her sight in 2007 when her optic nerves were damaged, says music gets her through difficult times.
“I want to share the music I love – from Aretha, Mariah, Beyonce, Timbaland to Justin Timberlake,” she says. “Anything with big voices and I love my hip hop, my rappers and rapping. I can beatbox so you never know what might happen. The best music is distinctive and authentic; my show will reflect that. I have a weakness for cheesy pop music too so there will be a few surprises.
“It’s simple really, I want listeners to feel that they really get to know me,” says Nicki. “I hope they’ll feel they can get up and dance and even, if they want to, they can sit down and cry. Above all, I hope they’ll be able to have a laugh and enjoy the hour. RNIB has been brave enough to give me this show so I’m going to make the most of it. That might even mean sharing some dodgy jokes!”
Yvonne Milne, Station Manager, said: “We couldn’t be more excited about bringing such a diverse range of music, information and ideas to the airwaves. These new shows will be a great addition to our regular favourites and they are so different, there is bound to be something for almost everyone."