Love Island celebrity Ron Hall to take over radio station for people with sight loss
The reality TV finalist who has sight loss in one eye, will guest edit RNIB’s Connect Radio for its 20th anniversary celebrations.
Winter Love Island star Ron Hall is to guest edit a UK radio station which has been supporting people with sight loss for 20 years.
Ron was the popular ITV2 show’s first ever contestant with sight loss when he reached the series finale in South Africa early in 2023.
The 25 year old from Essex will guest edit Royal National Institute of Blind People’s RNIB Connect Radio on September 20 as part of the station’s 20th anniversary celebrations. It’s part of a specially curated schedule of anniversary content throughout September.
The award-winning station in Partick, Glasgow, was established in 2003 to provide news, information, and entertainment to blind and partially sighted people. It now broadcasts to more than 90,000 people. Ron became an ambassador for RNIB in June 2023.
Ahead of entering the Love Island villa, Ron revealed that his retina detached while playing football as a youngster.
He said: “When I was about eight, I was playing football. I was in a match and I went down to head the ball, and the other guy went up with his foot and basically knocked me out and detached my retina.
“I was really obsessed with sport. Once I lost the sight, depth perception was the biggest issue. All of a sudden I was terrible at sport. But I just had to retrain myself to do it. I’ll never stop playing sport. There are too many benefits from it to not at least give it a go”.
Ron’s guest editor slot sees him give an in-depth interview about his sight loss and the impact it has had on his life, as well as taking part in some of the station’s popular games and quizzes.
He said: “If you are confident in talking about your sight loss, other people will be more confident about it. I don’t think it needs to be made into a big deal, it’s just part of me. It didn’t determine my whole Love Island journey. If you normalise it yourself, people tend to accept it.”
After a series of operations, Ron says his eyes were very sensitive to UV light and he found using multiple computer monitors in his work as a financial broker left him in constant pain.
He said: “I’ve worked in places where HR don’t want to deal with it [sight loss] and they don’t see you for the quality of the job you can do. Once people start accepting there are some great minds out there with sight loss they will find there are some amazing people they can recruit.”
Ron also talks about the challenges of becoming a social media celebrity and takes us inside his wardrobe to explore his love of fashion.
About RNIB Connect Radio’s 20th anniversary
The station started as a small internet radio station in 2003, borne of a partnership between RNIB and Glasgow City Council, with support from BBC Scotland. Now RNIB Connect Radio reaches over 90,000 listeners and its podcasts are downloaded over 20,000 times each month. Along the way the station has won a silver Sony Award (the Oscars for radio), now has 12 presenters with sight loss and broadcasts around the clock.
It plays an eclectic mix of music entertainment as well as vital information and topical interviews on sight loss issues.
The 20th anniversary schedule throughout September includes a series of Blind Leading Blind events featuring RNIB Connect Radio presenters with sight loss learning new skills including skiing, sail boarding and wrestling. There will be ‘Round Table’ panel discussions with celebrities including blind actor Ellie Wallwork and a series of guest editor slots.
* RNIB Connect Radio can be heard on 101 FM the Glasgow area, and elsewhere on Freeview 730 and online at https://www.rnib.org.uk/connect-radio/