Cover image of Ouch – the cabin fever podcast

Ouch – the cabin fever podcast

The place where the real disability talk happens. Interviews, life hacks and things you don't say out loud. With Simon Minty, Kate Monaghan and the Ouch team.

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Access all areas

Fresh from taking part in Disabled Access Day the team discuss the pros and cons of accessible museums and venues - including the train enthusiast who didn't stop talking for six hours when taking the BBC's Lee Kumutat on a touch-tour of a transport museum.And with just over 100 days to go before the Paralympics begin in Rio we hear about the highs, lows and dramas of the team trials.


29 Apr 2016

Rank #1

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Choices and rights: The story of the Disability Discrimination Act

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the first disability anti-discrimination law in the UK. It's a time to look back at the disability rights movement in the early 90's, which was so vibrant during the period, and to canvas some views about what has been achieved, and what is still left to be done. Imagine never having disclosed your chronic pain to anyone except close family? Sandra Lawry has waited 62 years to tell her story, and she shares it with us.Justin Tomlinson, appointed as Minister for Disabled People back in May after the general election, gives one of his first long-form interviews since he took up the post.

1hr 13mins

5 Nov 2015

Rank #2

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Funny people

This programme contains discussions about mental health, halucinations and suicide. If you're not in the right mood to hear it, skip the episode and we'll be back next week with another show. Discussions range from: questionable special school classes on dating etiquette, the lack of disabled emojis, and seeing floating cats which may or may not be real. (a transcript of this programme can be found in the Related Links section on this page) With guests Laurence Clark (comedian with cerebral palsy), Harriet Dyer (a comic who has bipolar and who runs her own club night for comedians with mental health difficulties), and wheelchair usin' Jack Binstead from BBC sitcom Bad Education. Email ouch@bbc.co.uk, tweet @bbcouch or find us on Facebook to be part of the conversation.. Or just tell us what you think of the show. This hour-long show is presented by Kate Monaghan and Simon Minty. The producer was Damon Rose.If any discussions in this programme cause you distress, please reach out to your friends, family or support network. Or you can call Samaritans on 116 123, any time of the day or night for free from mobile or landline phones. It does not show up on any bills. Alternatively you can email jo@samaritans.org


1 Jul 2016

Rank #3

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'Me and the guide dog went into lockdown so I adopted a cat'

Coronavirus is making itself known globally, so Cabin Fever thought it too would hot-foot it around the world to see how disabled people are managing.Lee Kumatat left the UK on 2 January for a brand new life in San Francisco, USA. Three months later we find her trying to live in lockdown in an unfamiliar city with a guide dog....and Pip, the cat she adopted a week ago. Holly Lane in Perth, Australia is doing her best not to touch anything but says that's surprisingly hard when she's "stumbling" about all day on the sticks she uses. Being a person with cerebral palsy, she has to hold onto things around her to keep her balance. She's also cashing in on newly-discovered energy stores after cutting out her three hour commute by working from home.Presented by Emma Tracey. Produced by Beth Rose.Subscribe on BBC Sounds or say “Ask the BBC for Ouch” to your smart speaker.


16 Apr 2020

Rank #4

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Love, sex and cotton buds

Warning: this programme contains discussion of a sexual nature. The team are joined by disabled writer and performer Penny Pepper. (see Related Links, below, for a transcript) This week she wrote an article in The Guardian about how she's sick of disabled people being portrayed as asexual in film and TV. Cue a long and fascinating discussion about her first experiences of love and physical intimacy. As Penny is a wheelchair user and has arthritis, she has to do things quite differently.


10 Jun 2016

Rank #5

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'I'm wearing a tight T-shirt so I know where I end'

Is Robyn the only autistic person who doesn’t love fidget-spinners? And what's this about Jamie's T-shirt?We gave two autistic people free rein in a studio with a tin full of questions only “neurotypicals” would ask. The result is an entertaining and enlightening chat about stimming, social gatherings and sensory overload.This podcast is one of a series of takeovers, produced by Damon Rose and Emma Tracey. If you have an idea for a future programme, email ouch@bbc.co.uk.Subscribe to Ouch as a weekly podcast and, if you wouldn't mind, we'd be delighted if you reviewed us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts from - it helps other people find us.


12 Oct 2017

Rank #6

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'My wheelchair makes me a human'

George Fielding has a cappuccino coloured chair which suits his 'young but old' image


20 May 2016

Rank #7

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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 Tracey and Niamh Hughes.Subscribe now in BBC Sounds or ask for us on your smart speaker "play Ouch disability talk from the BBC".


25 Jan 2019

Rank #8

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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 - was actually Ehlers Danlos syndrome, a rare condition she has herself.Dr Caroline Walker says she hasn't got to go far to find doctors who, like her, have mental health difficulties.The foursome chat about the ups and down of the medical profession, the ambition to embrace diversity and how working less than full-time hours could be beneficial to all junior doctors.Produced by Emma Tracey


6 Jun 2019

Rank #9

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'I have exploding head syndrome'

Migraines are so much more than a headache according to Rachel Creeger. In a fascinating discussion with the comedian, we hear how her various identities impact on her – that’s being disabled, Jewish and a woman. But also, that the disabling form of migraine she has is also linked to her senses, speech and her ability to play musical instruments among other things. Our reporter Emma Tracey caught up with Creeger back in the summer after her run at the Edinburgh Fringe. Photo credit: Ruth Bloch Email: ouch@bbc.co.uk or find us on Twitter @bbcouch Rachel’s condition feels like one of those things which people probably sit at home frantically Googling about so here are some keywords from the podcast audio to help search engines find out more about this unusual collection of symptoms.atypical hemiplegic migraine with prolonged aura, plucking hair, shot in head, stabbing pain, synesthesia, migraine, headache, words, trigger, sounds, smells, Myelin sheaths, genetic disorder, neurological, inherited migraine, MS, onomatopoeia.


1 Nov 2019

Rank #10

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Ouch takeover: Inspirational speakers

Inspirational speaking and work has long been a part of the disability landscape. But how do you inspire without sounding like a cliché? It’s a confidence boosting takeover on this week’s BBC Ouch podcast.Martyn Sibley and Amar Latif, both of whom are disabled, talk about how they try to instill positive thoughts in others, often using their own achievements to get people into a go-ahead mode. But they are both well aware that the word 'inspiration' can be used in a less than positive way when applied to disabled people. If you have an idea for a future programme, email ouch@bbc.co.uk.Subscribe to Ouch as a weekly podcast and, if you wouldn't mind, we'd be delighted if you reviewed us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts from - it helps other people find us.


23 Mar 2018

Rank #11

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"I was expecting mediocrity ... you blew me away"

What happens when you take a forthright disabled American comedian and a sublime disabled folk singer and put them in a studio together? The answer is a lively session of Politics 101 – we promise it’s more fun than it sounds. Hear Tilly Moses's song Social Model played live – an unlikely name, but a beautiful song with lyrics for disabled people everywhere. And she gets quite the shock when we surprise her with one of her heroes.Comedian Maysoon Zayid has cerebral palsy and also now has a Her Abilities award. Find out what that is, plus Maysoon's strong take on why non-disabled people should never play disabled acting roles. With Simon Minty and Kate Monaghan. And just a nudge-warning, Maysoon goes into the Father Christmas question, so if you've got kids about, maybe save this for another time.Subscribe to Ouch on BBC Sounds or say "Ask the BBC for Ouch" to your smart speaker.


19 Dec 2019

Rank #12

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Storytelling Live: Tales of the Misunderstood

Awkward! This week’s podcast, the first of two recorded live in Scotland, is all about a badly timed dislocation, a wheelchair user who stunned a nun by walking and the depressed man who got too good at pretending to like people. BBC Ouch recently took five listeners and two comedians to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where they told awkward tales relating to their disability or mental health difficulty to a live audience. It happened to Abbi Brown when she stunned a praying Parisian nun by getting up and walking away from her wheelchair. Angela Clarke forgot to tell a masseuse that her bones regularly dislocate, with predictably humorous consequences. Mark Granger’s social butterfly persona masks his depression and a genuine dislike of people so well that even the briefest of interactions can give them the wrong impression – especially single ladies. And awkward interactions with people won’t stop comedian Juliette Burton talking about her mental health and eating disorders at gigs.Presented by Sofie Hagen. Produced by Ed Morrish.This is the first of two podcasts from Ouch’s Storytelling Live event in Scotland. Next week we’ll meet Lost Voice Guy, an autistic woman with hair-envy and the man with a surprising Al Pacino-related strategy for combatting his non-epileptic seizures.Subscribe to Ouch as a weekly podcast and, if you wouldn't mind, we'd be delighted if you could review us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts from - it helps other people find us.


18 Aug 2017

Rank #13

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OCD: It's not just about washing your hands

When we got three women with obsessive-compulsive disorder round a table, the conversation ranged from the need to tic or twitch, and what that feels like, through to getting naked at the front door to minimise the spread of germs after a hospital visit. This "takeover" podcast was recorded in Edinburgh, the contributors - two writers and one actor - all feature in the 2018 festival Fringe: Lucy Danser, Lucy Burke and Kerry Fitzgerald. Scroll down to Related Links to find a transcript Produced by Emma Tracey


17 Aug 2018

Rank #14

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If the shoe fits...

Shoes - it’s a hot topic amongst disabled people. Buying them and wearing them can be a nightmare, especially if it means regularly wearing them out. Throughout the ages, shoes have been either practical or decorative but rarely both and we in the disabled community often have to adapt what’s on offer to suit our needs. So, why do so many of us have to pick function over fashion – and does having that choice really matter? BBC Ouch chats all things shoes to lifestyle and fashion YouTuber, Jessica Kellgren-Fozard, whose vintage style and taste for high heels often raises eyebrows in the context of her disabilities. Actor and comedian Tim Renkow also joins us in the studio. He has Cerebral Palsy but doesn’t wear shoes because, he says, they’re just not worth the hassle. Presented by Niamh Hughes with Beth Rose.


17 Jul 2018

Rank #15

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Vegetable, vegetable or vegetable?

Ten years after BBC Ouch! first began we delve into the archives to look back at our own version of the parlour game Animal, vegetable or mineral?Our irreverent version - Vegetable, vegetable or vegetable? - involved our presenters trying to work out a caller's disability from their simple 'yes' or 'no' answers.But how does the game look in 2016 - is it still politically correct or should we play with caution?


18 Mar 2016

Rank #16

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Back to school

We’re going for a younger sound in this week’s podcast. As part of BBC School Report day 2018, three disabled schoolchildren give us their take on life in the classroom and playground, and much more. Carys, Ashleigh and Kelsey take it in turns to answer questions pulled out of the Ouch tea caddy. Listen to find out what they think about mainstream v special school, uniforms and how the word “blind” translated badly on a trip to France.BBC School Report gives 11-18 year olds across the UK the chance to develop their media literacy skills and produce their own stories about subjects that matter to them.Produced by Lucy Edwards and Damon Rose.


15 Mar 2018

Rank #17

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Electronic voices: How Hawking let me talk too

Comedian Lost Voice Guy tells Ouch that the late Stephen Hawking made it more acceptable for people like him, who speak using a voice synth. Also, should the professor's voice be used again by someone else? And the heat is getting turned up as we hear more stories from wheelchair-users like the BBC's Frank Gardner who have had their wheelchairs damaged when travelling by plane. And, as we continue our programme dedicated to Stephen Hawking, we speak with Peter Benie. He is one of the team who helped recreate Hawking's distinctive electronic voice because it was thought the original one which he had been using since the 80s, would break down. They managed to complete the long-running project just before he died. Baroness Jane Campbell and journalist Ellis Palmer are in the studio.Presented by Kate Monaghan and Simon Minty.Subscribe to Ouch wherever you get your podcasts. Like us, rate us and leave a nice review - this helps others find our programmes. Email ouch@bbc.co.uk Tweet @bbcouch and find us on Facebook. A transcript will appear on this page soon in the Related Links section below.


6 Apr 2018

Rank #18

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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 that by writing a book: Sex, with these Hips?. The other guest on the programme is Mel Halacre, a mental health counsellor who specialises in disability. She talks to Ouch about how the constant drip drip drip of low-level discrimination can build into bigger problems, and provides useful coping strategies for listeners.Presented by Emma Tracey and Simon Minty


17 Apr 2019

Rank #19

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Tales from the train

The team share personal stories about journeys on public transport


24 Mar 2016

Rank #20