Billy 2.0 – Blogging on the BBC

Billy and Barnaby on the BBC

Sorry for the lack of updates recently – in the last month I’ve celebrated my birthday, Christmas and danced in an RAF Uniform on New Year’s Eve.

When fellow BBC employee Damon Rose asked me to join him in Broadcasting House for an interview for the Ouch! podcast, I couldn’t say no.

I also wrote a new piece for them about why I had the implant, and where I am with it now.

There will be a transcript of the radio interview on the page as well, I believe. That contains a rather unorthodox hearing test and some interesting chat about whether deaf children should have cochlear implants…

I hope you like it.

Further reading:
Switching on my Hearing – BBC Ouch!
Interview transcript

2 Replies to “Billy 2.0 – Blogging on the BBC”

  1. Will I am a little confused. You describe yourself as “profoundly” deaf since birth yet you wore hearing aids as a child. Having listened to your pod cast (very interesting BTW) I was struck by how clear your speech was you don’t sound like a person who has been profoundly deaf since birth. (It’s not that I doubt your word I am just curious how you manage to speak so clearly)

    The other point that caught my attention was your apparent inability to recognise the chimes of Big Ben until given a clue. Parts of the brain that are not used on a regular basis become atrophied or become co-opted for another use so I imagine you are having to re-awaken the hearing centre of your brain to some extent. Seeing what is making the noise will create an association between that sound and the object making the sound making sound recognition better with each passing day.

    I am curious how is your appreciation of music coming on? Especially the tonal quality. Do you have any preferences, Rock music over classical for instance? So much of the appreciation of Western Classical music is derived from a fine appreciation of the complex harmonies involved that I might imagine you would prefer Classical Indian over Classical Western music that has a greater emphasis of complex rhythms.

    I have never understood the more militant wing of the disabled lobby who appear to oppose any attempt to prevent any occurrence of disability by genetic screening or correct it if it does occur by surgery. I wear glasses, I could go for laser eye surgery if i wanted (the equivalent of a cochlea implant?) What I am not going to do is stumble around and risk getting run over by a bus as I celebrate my partial sightedness.

    1. Unfortunately, it wasn’t made at all clear in the podcast that I’m not actually speaking in the interview. That’s an interpreter.

      If you want to hear what my own speaking voice sounds like you could try watching this clip on YouTube…

      I’ve always been profoundly deaf, but was able to get limited benefit from hearing aids.

      I’ve started listening to music a lot more, using the direct jack from my iPhone. Listening to songs I liked before, but also listening to new music including Mozart. I’m enjoying it a lot more than I used to but at the same time feel like I have a long way to go in terms of understanding it…!

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