Keynsham Talking Newspaper team 'thrilled' to welcome Bill Bailey as patron

February 01 2019
Keynsham Talking Newspaper team 'thrilled' to welcome Bill Bailey as patron

A Keynsham charity has announced that comedian Bill Bailey has become its patron.

The popular comic, who regularly appears on TV, has lent his support to Keynsham and District Talking Newspaper, which provides a weekly audio news service to around 100 visually impaired people living in Keynsham, Bristol, Bath and further afield.

Bill was born in Bath, grew up in Keynsham and went to Bath’s King Edward’s School. He is a classically trained musician, going on to receive an associate diploma from London College of Music. 

His stand-up career has seen him perform around the world and he is often seen on our TV screens in panel shows including QI and Have I Got News For You and appeared in the sitcom Black Books and on quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks for many years.

He supports a range of causes, including Stand Up To Cancer, for which he walked 100 miles along the Icknield Way and the Ridgeway Path in 2017 to raise money.

He has also lent his backing to the Fawcett Society in support of women’s rights and spoken out on men’s health issues including prostate cancer.

He is also a keen environmental conservationist, receiving an honorary doctorate in conservation and sustainability from the Australian University of the Sunshine Coast in 2014, and is patron of a number of wildlife charities.

Chairman of the Keynsham Talking Newspaper, Mike Crane, said the team were all “absolutely thrilled” to welcome Bill as patron. The service, which was launched 35 years ago, has launched an appeal to recruit more volunteers to fill a wide range of roles, from editors and readers to recording technicians and social media assistants.

Mr Crane said: “We have been carrying several vacancies for a while and felt it best to try and recruit for all roles in one swoop! People may show an interest initially in one role, for example, and then prefer another once they know the wide options available.

“The service is recorded weekly onto memory stick and involves editors to help choose relevant news and stories, readers to read those onto the magazine ‘side’ and onto the news ‘side’, technicians to record, and helpers for the packing and unpacking into envelopes for delivery. We would also welcome help on our social media and events side.”

Training is provided, particularly for technicians, who must also be confident in using computers.

News is recorded at the charity’s studio in Saltford on a Thursday evening over approximately two hours, while the magazine element is recorded on a Thursday afternoon.

To find out more about volunteering with Keynsham and District Talking Newspaper, or to join as a listener, call 0117 299 3021.