The Way We Roll

Nothing About Us Without Us!

April 01, 2022
Nothing About Us Without Us!
The Way We Roll
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The Way We Roll
Nothing About Us Without Us!
Apr 01, 2022

It’s a fantastic show this month - insight, depth, nostalgia, vulnerability, power and the future.  

The BBC recently broadcast a docudrama telling the story of the disability rights campaigners of the early 1990s in the UK. Using the love story between two key protagonists, Then Barbara Met Allan is a landmark piece of television. Not only because of the story it told but the number of creative disabled people who made it. It allows Phil and Simon to take a joyful and triumphant walk and wheel down memory lane to talk about their memories of this time and the impact it had on the country as well as so many individuals. 

Slips trips and falls are a common occurrence for some with a disability. Unfortunately, Phil recently took a tumble. When you’re campaigning for social justice, you’re seemingly invincible but in reality, we can all experience moments when things don’t go as planned. What can you do, what can you change and does the fall or the shame hurt the most? 

We talk about what is happening to disabled people in Ukraine. We have a remarkable update from Sarah, one of our immunocompromised guests from the previous show and a lovely Listener's Corner on the impact it made. Geoff tells us all about Yellow Jackets and there’s a shout out for your help on a future show. 


Then Barbara Met Alan 


BBC iPlayer 

Disabled people’s Direct Action Network 

Disability Rights, a history as a wallchart

BBC article When disabled people took to the streets to change the law

Barbara Lisicki aka Wanda Barbara

Johnny Crescendo aka Alan Holdsworth 

Disabled people in Ukraine 

Sophie Morgan book 

Yellow Jackets 

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

It’s a fantastic show this month - insight, depth, nostalgia, vulnerability, power and the future.  

The BBC recently broadcast a docudrama telling the story of the disability rights campaigners of the early 1990s in the UK. Using the love story between two key protagonists, Then Barbara Met Allan is a landmark piece of television. Not only because of the story it told but the number of creative disabled people who made it. It allows Phil and Simon to take a joyful and triumphant walk and wheel down memory lane to talk about their memories of this time and the impact it had on the country as well as so many individuals. 

Slips trips and falls are a common occurrence for some with a disability. Unfortunately, Phil recently took a tumble. When you’re campaigning for social justice, you’re seemingly invincible but in reality, we can all experience moments when things don’t go as planned. What can you do, what can you change and does the fall or the shame hurt the most? 

We talk about what is happening to disabled people in Ukraine. We have a remarkable update from Sarah, one of our immunocompromised guests from the previous show and a lovely Listener's Corner on the impact it made. Geoff tells us all about Yellow Jackets and there’s a shout out for your help on a future show. 


Then Barbara Met Alan 


BBC iPlayer 

Disabled people’s Direct Action Network 

Disability Rights, a history as a wallchart

BBC article When disabled people took to the streets to change the law

Barbara Lisicki aka Wanda Barbara

Johnny Crescendo aka Alan Holdsworth 

Disabled people in Ukraine 

Sophie Morgan book 

Yellow Jackets 

Announcer  0:12  
This is The Way We Roll presented by Simon Minty and Phil Friend. You can email us at or just search for Minty and Friend on social media. We're on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Simon Minty  0:29  
Hello, and welcome to The Way We Roll with me Simon, Minty  

Phil Friend  0:33  
And me Phil. Friend. 

Simon Minty  0:35  
We are going to get straight into it. Mr Friend. Are you bruised?

Phil Friend  0:42  
Yes, I'm not. Well, when you asked me that before we started recording, I said to you, I'm not feeling great. And the reason I'm not feeling great is because yesterday I went out for a very nice meal with some good friends. And I decided to visit the loo after the meal, which I did and promptly fell out of my wheelchair and got trapped in the toilet. And I was a bit smashed up, to be honest, I normally bounce. I didn't bounce very well this time. So I've bruised and battered myself a bit. But otherwise, I'm fine. But the drama was it took me about three-quarters of an hour or so to get out and get back in my chair, which was a nightmare. And of course guess what? Where was the alarm cord? Well, of course, it was on top of the cistern, which is not reachable when you're lying on the floor trapped between your wheelchair and the toilet bowl.

Simon Minty  1:40  
a little shout out to Euan's Guide people who are they're the ones who put the notes on those alarm cords in the accessible loos saying please let it go to the ground because we need it for circumstances like this. I don't know how often you do for both of us trip and fall because it's part of our condition. This one sounds a bit more serious. And that sounds like a long time were you trapped? How did you feel? Were you in pain?

Phil Friend  2:05  
Yeah. Well, I was I wasn't hurt in the sense of the fall. But I banged my head on the cistern and stuff. My head is incredibly thick. I am anyway, I didn't break anything or anything like that. But I was in a bad way because I was trapped between my chair and the toilet bowl. And the only way I could get back in was I've used a power chair and it's got leg raisers on it. So what I was able to do was get onto the footplates where your feet normally go and reach behind me to the controller on the chair, I had no idea what the settings were. So I had to go through all the joystick moving things until it did what I wanted it to do. And then it raised the leg rests up with me sitting on them. So that got me to a height. I was off the floor now but I still then what I was able to do was to reverse the chair away with me stuck on the end of the footrests. So it dragged me across the room. And because all this is going on in front of the door, so I can't, I can't turn or anything. Anyway, with a lot of pushing and shoving and heaving and whatever. I managed to get back into the seat. But it took an awfully long time and the thing is I you know I forget that I'm getting older and my strength isn't what it used to be so yeah, not pleasant. No permanent damage. I've wrecked my bicep in my arm. So I've torn a muscle somewhere. But otherwise, I'm alright, really.

Simon Minty  3:36  
You're sort of being naturally contradictory. Completely fine. And then there's a whole 

Phil Friend  3:41  
Yeah, I am. It could have been a lot worse. I could have been in serious danger. You know, I could have broken something I didn't.

Simon Minty  3:49  
I am so sorry. This happened and it I'm gonna ask how in a moment because it sounds horrible. And it's it's both physical, but emotional. It shakes you up. I think it's very real. When you were doing your manoeuvre to get back up, which I totally empathise with it sort of finding what tools you got and make the best of it. The idea of someone like your wife, Sue being there, watching, would you be mortified? Or would that be helpful? I would just I don't want anyone there. I want to just work this out myself because I'm feeling a bit humiliated. A bit shamed a bit. All that crappy stuff. Yeah.

Phil Friend  4:23  
Yeah, there are two things there first is absolutely you feel an idiot? How did I do that? What was I thinking kind of thing? But the other is, reality is that if Sue had been there, she couldn't have done anything. Because she's not strong enough. Either. Sue couldn't have lifted me or done anything like that. And I thought the only good news about his story is that the toilet door opened outwards. So they could have got in and two or three people with a bit of strength would have been able to get me back in the chair. Having said that, they would have had to have somehow it had a drop-down lever on My side of the door that locks it, you know the thing I mean, they're very useful. They're really easy to operate. But I didn't check when I came out whether they had a device which would open that from the outside because if they didn't have, they'd have to smash the door off. So it was kind of, and this is the logistics you go through while I'm lying on the floor. I'm thinking okay, alarm cord can't reach it. Can I get the door open? No, can't reach that. I've done the physical check. Nothing's broken. I'm not in agony anywhere. I've got blood in my mouth. So I've obviously bitten my tongue or something. And I've got bang on my head, but um, I'm okay. So you do that you kind of go through this checklist, which bits of me have fallen off none of them. And then you do what you just said. Do you think okay, so how do I do this bit could I reach that would this work if I did that and you just go through this process but  it was very, very tiring

Simon Minty  5:54  
Well done for locking the door the amount of accessible loos I just walked in? Because people don't look, the bloomin door is so embarrassing. It's awkward, you get to see all sorts. So I'm glad you did. But um, you said you were reaching to flush the loo was that the moment of tumble?

Phil Friend  6:11  
Yeah, well, I never stand up in toilets except at home. Because the only toilet that I feel safe standing in is my own. So I use a bottle like many other wheelchair users. So I'd done that. And I poured the bottle into the loo. I reached forwards, and I've got my feet on the floor, I've lifted the foot plates up, my feet are on the floor. So as I reach lean forward to flush the loo, my right leg shoots away. And that just fires me out of the chair. And of course, what I hadn't seen was the toilet floor was wet. And it's it's marble. So it's kind of so I I can I can play it all back in my head and see exactly what I did and how I could have avoided it.

Simon Minty  6:55  
So fellow disabled person, okay, it's occupational hazard. This comes with the territory, pretend to be not disabled person. What have you learned? What are you not going to do? How are you going to change your life now?

Phil Friend  7:06  
Well, first things first, I'm staying in bed all day forever. That's the nuclear option. The other option is to do everything I did. But check. I mean, Sue said to me, why flush the toilet? And you said that too? I mean, it's just a habit, isn't it? We're in the habit of flushing loos. First thing first is check the alarm cord. And normally, as you said, they're tied up. So untie it. But this one wasn't. And it wasn't tied up. It was it was it was cut short. I mean, it was above the cystern, it was useless. So check that and then you kind of think, well, I'm not going to take the risk at all of even going to the loo just you know, I don't know. Oh, I'm not going to stop going out. Come on, I'm you know, we were going to go out.

Simon Minty  7:58  
So I'm thinking one day support worker could be the when you and I used to go out a lot, we'd always hang around for the other. So whether there's a little rule now you go I'm whoever I'm with, they've got to wait 10 minutes, 20 minutes, however so long as you're not doing the crossword or something on the loo that'd be a bit painful to wait for. But they wait till you're out type thing is the same as whenever I go out the family. We all wait until all the cars have started and moving. No one ever drives off until we know all the other cars are moving. I mean, it's ridiculous because cars are pretty modern and reliable. But I feel it's almost a bit like that etiquette you just make if no one's safe until we're all safe.

Phil Friend  8:36  
Yes, that's right. And we leave no one behind. You know, that's, yeah, the commando motives or whatever. No, I think I think there's a couple of things I would add one is my phone, I happen to have an iPhone, which has got a sensor in it, which if you fall while you're holding, it would trigger an alarm that was on the chair. So it didn't register that I'd fallen. I wasn't wearing my Apple watch. And the reason I wasn't is because I get irritated by my Apple watch, because it's always alerting me to something. And as you know, I haven't I haven't bothered to turn things off on it. So rather than use it, I use my ordinary mechanical watch had I been wearing that it would have sent an alarm and I might have allowed it to because Sue would have answered. Or I could have used it to ring the restaurant I was in and say look, I'm stuck in your toilet. de dum de dum dum.

Simon Minty  9:37  
I'm glad you said that because it's a bit like a film and everyone that's listening to this is going why didn't he phone someone? Why didn't you phone someone? You couldn't I mean, that's the point.

Phil Friend  9:47  
I'm never without my iPhone. But when you fall, of course it's then out of my reach. Oh, it was in the chair.

Simon Minty  9:54  
Now I just went out you could have said hey Siri, call Simon.

Phil Friend  9:58  
I could have done that. But I wouldn't have known if it worked.

Simon Minty  10:03  
Well, you would have said I'm busy Phil what are you calling me about! I could have got awkward!

Phil Friend  10:08  
Simon I'm lying here trapped in the toilet. Near Paddington. What about you getting? Getting over here to help 

Simon Minty  10:15  
I'm in the middle of of a training course. 

Phil Friend  10:19  
I've got 60 delegates, here hanging on my every word.

Simon Minty  10:22  
Actually saying that my friend Steve is very near to where you were, he would have come around and helped you.

Phil Friend  10:27  
I think, of course, what would you do in the, in the end? What you do is you call an ambulance when you call someone like the police. And they'd sought the bloody thing out. And I because I wasn't injured. I mean, the nightmare for me is if I'd been unconscious, if I'd really done something far more serious. I'd just have laid there that would have been me done. That's the scary bit.

Simon Minty  10:53  
Yeah, it is. And that's where I get a bit nervous about that. You know, maybe your rule is well, I'm not going to leave you until I know we're all leaving together. And to be honest, that works for me too. I think it's a nice polite thing to do. When you know we overcompensate sometimes, but I am really sorry it happened and it terrifies me because I've got a little bit of empathy. But it terrifies me just for you going through that. And it's it's that we're not invincible. We're disabled, but we still think we're invincible.

Phil Friend  11:25  
For Me, it's kind of because I'm now in a power chair all the time. And I never fall out of it. It's not something I do. I have felt really safe. I mean, if I'm out somewhere really, I don't know a hill or something. And I've misjudged how steep it is, or hope that it's my own stupid fault if I fall out but in a toilet, sitting down, I am feeling pretty safe. And And yesterday was an example of don't get too confident, matey, because gravity is always sitting there waiting.

Simon Minty  12:01  
It's sort of linked. And I thought the other day in the shower. I was in Bristol, staying at a hotel, and I opted for the accessible room. And so it had the wet room. And it had a seat, a shower stall. What are they called Shower chairs?

Phil Friend  12:19  
Yeah, shower chairs. Yeah.

Simon Minty  12:20  
And I thought Hello, I not really done this properly. So I thought I'll use this. This looks quite nice, quite like the idea of it all. And I haven't worked it there must be some skill because using a shower chair is great until certain parts of your body want to a wash. How do you wriggle about what do you do to make sure you can be clean all over?

Phil Friend  12:42  
Well, I've grab rails in my bathroom, I can hold onto a rail and lift my buttock or whatever it is I'm trying to wash  The difficult thing actually is getting your chair out the way so it doesn't get soaked while you're showering. And because shower curtains are a pain because they tangle up and get stuck to you and all this stuff. So I don't have a shower curtain at home at all I have, I have the ability to use my joystick to push the chair far enough away from the shower so it doesn't get wet. And then I have a floor cleaner, which I use positioned right next to me. So when I've showered and the floors wet. I then wipe it over with this cloth on the end of it's basically a squeegee. Yeah, I use that. That gets the excess water that's there. And then I don't then I move my chair back to the shower chair so I can transfer. But then I don't trail water through the house because if get the wheels wet that you know so. So it's all logistics. It's all thinking these things through and saying right? I do this now then. And I'll tell you something, if I do one thing out of sequence, it doesn't work. Yeah, I have to position the towels on the rail to a point where I can reach across and reach them if I forget to do that. I can't dry myself.

Simon Minty  14:09  
I have complete empathy with that and you swear at yourself. I forgotten part of the system. It's so annoying but also sometimes you're tired or you're absent minded or Okay, so I realised the issue. My issue is not the issue for you. Yours is about transfer and the chair because I can walk into the shower room that I didn't have to worry about any kit. The shower curtains are weird. They stop, you know, at my midriff. I mean they're so high off the ground. But I thought a wet room the whole point of the wet room is you don't have to have shower curtains water can splash everywhere.

Phil Friend  14:42  
That's right. And they allow usually they're big. So you've got enough room for example. Normally, you know a support worker would be in there with you you shower, they come in and they do whatever they may even for most severely disabled people because they show them they wash them they get them and transfer an there might be hoists and all sorts of bits of equipment used, I haven't reached that level and I'm still independent enough in the shower myself. But I go through. So if I'm staying in a hotel like you were in Bristol, and I'm in a wet room, I have to work out how my system now works in that place because it's a different layout. I'll have the space, but maybe the towels, I've got to put the towels on my wheelchair because I can't, you know, it's all this

Simon Minty  15:26  
time it made me think also the shower chair they had is quite high. So for me to sit on it, I'm actually resting against it with my feet on the ground. I'm not really sitting on it, or I've got to jump up so my feet are dangling. And because I was resting against it, and I'm in water, I think one of his slides away and I'm sure it isn't cuz it's rubber on the floor is grippy. But I think that was my hesitation. And I obviously a half in and half out. I thought Oh, I like this, but I haven't quite worked out to use it properly. 

Phil Friend  15:53  
I think the other thing is that I don't have what you will have is how slippery is the floor I don't have any issues about that because I'm not actually standing on it or using my legs in any way. So for you on a nice these beautiful shower rooms that people construct and you go in them and they're like skating rinks. I mean, the minute water goes on them and soap. I mean, come on. I'd worry about you slipping, that would be my worry for you.

Simon Minty  16:24  
Once a week, my cleaner comes and she's brilliant Adelma . And she will clean the floor as in vacuum it. And I mean, she gives you this squeegee to polish or whatever it is. And it's wet. And I walk into the room with a phone and a glass of water and suddenly OH!. And I'm on tiptoe and she always laughs because I suddenly come to a complete stop and walk like I'm 208 and I do little pigeon steps. There's no way I'm going to walk across that. It terrifies me

Phil Friend  16:53  
I think the worst falls I can remember having when I was on crutches, and much younger, and I was you and I were working together. And I'd gone off somewhere and I pulled into a garage to fill my car up with diesel. And it was raining. And I got out of my car, stood up on my crutches, walked round towards the pump and never saw this pool of diesel. And I put my stick in it and I just shot across. The worst bit about that wasn't the fact that I'd hurt myself because I had was it was sliding on my face with my suit and whatever, through diesel oil. And I can remember getting up God knows how people came across and helped me and I got back in my car and I was completely covered in fuel oil. And I've never forgotten it. It was a diesel doesn't come off stuff. It stinks. Luckily, I was on my way home not to a gig. Otherwise I'd have been I don't know what I'd have done. But that combination of oil and water, and soap and water have been my nightmares are full of falling in those kinds of environments.

Announcer  18:12  
Thank you for listening to The Way We Roll with Simon Minty and Phil Friend. If you enjoy the show, don't forget to subscribe, rate and share.

Simon Minty  18:19  
I have a topic I'd like to I think I've raised this in the things to look forward to. It's getting very close now. It is a television drama called then Barbara met Alan is going to be on BBC Two in the UK. And it's the story of two cabaret stars from a disability art scene who met and fought for disability rights. I think this is sort of 80s 90s maybe early 90s And it's this rabble rousing they set up the Direct Action Network which you remember DAN it this was slightly before my time I know the people I know Barbara Lisiki and Johnny Crescendo or Allan Holdsworth and I met them loads and they're terrifying in as well as brilliant in their own way. And now we've got one of those it's a historical drama so there's you know a bit of creativity in the script Jack Thorne who is brilliant and Genevieve Barr have written it they're both disabled people one's deaf person. I'm very excited about this.

Phil Friend  19:20  
They're using disabled actors to aren't they?

Simon Minty  19:22  
Too bloody right!

Phil Friend  19:25  
Ruth Madeley and Jack Thorne as you say I did know them. I was around when they were doing their rabble rousing I wasn't quite part of that. I was never direct action in the way they were I you know I kind of went to things that they'd usually been at first you know cause mayhem but yeah, I Barbara like you Barbara of course Alan went to America didn't he? He's living in America now

Simon Minty  19:54  
He's in Philadelphia even stayed at his house with Liz Carr and Jo Charch many moons ago.

Phil Friend  20:00  
And he's got his family and everything and Barbara and he no longer together. But of course, this time we're talking about they were very much together. And what I remember too was the discussions, a lot of discussions around women and campaigning and stuff because most of the famous if you like, question mark famous were male wheelchair user paraplegics were, you know, do you remember we did the film about the Crip Camp in America? Yeah. And we weren't. We didn't do that here. But but there were similar things. And there was a lot of discussions. Barbara particularly, was very keen to raise the issues about sexism and stuff within disability movement itself. So you know, it was yeah, they were extraordinary pair and of course, Choices and Rights. The song that Johnny Crescendo/Allan Holdsworth put together became an anthem, you know,

Simon Minty  20:55  
(Simon Sings) "Choices and Rights in our life) I put a little accent they don't have sorry about that. And Baroness Jane Campbell, that was one of her songs on Desert Island Discs. Jack Thorne, put Spasticus Autisticus on his Desert Island Discs, here's the bit, I think I'm gonna watch it. And it is a bit like UK crip camp, but later, late 80s, early 90s, I'm going to get goose pimples, because it was a radical in your face. Just I mean, terrifying for other people time. And, you know, probably I wouldn't, I would have been too nervous or hesitant. I couldn't have done what they did. But they needed to do it to get it on the agenda. And then there were the pragmatists, like, yourself or me that might have to go in and have a conversation afterwards. Because if you bang the drum so loud, that you can't then have a conversation with somebody, it can stall itself. And I've always felt slight privilege in the sense that, don't get  me wrong. I'm sure people don't like me and don't think what I do is right. But I've always had a sense of privilege that I was allowed to go in after and try and then say, what do we do next? But you've done that better than me and more than me, I don't want to make this about ourselves. It's that bit of the, it's the direct in your face protest, that alerts to the world that there's an issue. And they did it brilliantly.

Phil Friend  22:20  
I think what they did, they did a couple of things, they did loads of things the couple of things that stand out for me, first of all, up until DAN, everything was very polite, disabled people asked and were respectful and all this kind of stuff. And when DAN came along with the Barbara's and Alan's and many others, they became frightening. I mean, establishment got scared of them. They were doing things that had never been done by disabled people really before they had in America and stuff. But, you know, chaining to buses, throwing paint at the steps climbing, you know, picketing outside the Houses of Parliament, chaining themselves, all that direct stuff. And it made brilliant television, because obviously the news media loved it when someone got out their wheelchair and climbed up the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral or something, they, I've often thought that what we don't have in the disability movement now is we don't we don't scare people enough. You know. And I think, for example, the race, the race issues that are still ongoing, hugely, still a major issue. The establishment are very frightened about what black people think about I think, Dan did that for disability in my view. And they were very courageous. Let's not underestimate how much this took out of the people doing it. I mean, they were incredibly courageous. Some of them were severely disabled people. I've just talked about me falling over. Good God. I mean, these people were doing stuff that put deliberately put them at risk from their conditions and whatever else amazing people.

Simon Minty  24:05  
A couple of thoughts on that. I remember I was around early enough to remember if something went wrong, say you were denied access. Someone was treated poorly. They're the rabble rouser go around the message. You go around DAN's, coming, get DAN in there, and it was a threat that would terrify people we wouldn't say we use the legislation. We'll go alright, we're gonna get DAN down here. And then all right, well, sort it. And that was amazing because they just couldn't. The bit about the courageousness I sometimes think people aren't born to do this, but there's something about them. If I'm being over the top here, my fear is when the the fights gone and certain certain things have moved on. I think people can lose their purpose because that was what they were about and you've got almost do you then become part of the establishment? Well, you can't because it's the antithesis of what you're about. How do you Baroness Jane Campbell has morphed from that direct action into being part of the establishment and still holding her own. But not everyone can because people have still got that fury in them.

Phil Friend  25:09  
Well, DAN was of its time. You know, there was much you needed DAN. I mean, I remember they're free our people where they took on the residential care settings Leonard Cheshire in particular came under their scrutiny and my goodness me. They focussed things they were like a sort of magnifying glass. They picked an issue and they magnified it and and you're right they the people. I you know, the telethon. We've talked about telethon. But DAN, were really very involved in the getting rid of telethon. And telethon, was scared witless of them, because they did not want their sets upset by all these weird disabled people. It was, but they but you're right, once the DDA came in disability discrimination act came in, in some ways that took some of the impetus out of the campaigns, there was still a lot to do, but But you know, people could then say, well, you've got your blooming, act what's the matter with you? Because DAN saw it very differently. But you're right, people move on eventually. 

Simon Minty  26:12  
One of the problems. But not everyone does that that was what they still want to do. And then that you know, your lost your without purpose, or there's not enough fury that people do. I wonder the equivalent, you're saying people aren't angry enough. Now, they can be if something goes a bit weird. They're always you know, someone's treated poorly. It's social media, it will light up, you'll have 1000s and 1000s. And it's this rush of something for, I don't know, two days. And sometimes people are shamed into changing or they ride it out. But is that the equivalent now because you won't get people going to do a demo or protest? And maybe, but not on disability? 

No there are still protests, but I don't think they're of that magnitude. 

Not Dead Yet UK 

Phil Friend  26:55  
Yeah, that kind of thing. That's that's very, you know, that's a direct action group. But you're right. You know, I think some people that is their moment. I don't know about Barbara and Alan. Barbara has gone on and done all sorts of other things, too. And I don't know what Alan's been up to, other than I see from the photos of him, he's still campaigning away out there doing stuff. So he clearly still in the fight sort of thing. But you know, that DAN, and Barbara and Alan's roles were of that time, and they focused, all of us, you know, that those of us who were, as you say, more pragmatic, who weren't taking direct action, we were able to use the door opening that they provided to go through and say, you've got to change things, otherwise, they're going to come back.

Simon Minty  27:47  
I wonder they've obviously used the love story of the two of them meeting. And that's the sort of drive of this and there will be so many other people, and I hope they will get a mention and a shout out or there's someone playing them. I also hoped they capture. Imagine if people see a photo of disabled people campaigning or a protest, and I suspect, I don't know, half the audience Oh, bless him, and they're doing their thing. And they've got it sort of weird judgement. What I hope this television show shows the feeling of power. And that when you are campaigning, and you're there with your friends, your colleagues, you're doing something and the disability thing is so strong within you. It is one of the best feelings. I haven't even done DAN I've just been hanging out with people where I just get this pride and it's so strong. So I hope the television show manages to portray that, that feeling we talked about it invincibility that you can change the world, you can make things right. I hope they get that in that television show.

Phil Friend  28:45  
Yeah, I mean, just to kind of finish. DAN was a specific group

Simon Minty  28:50  
I'm not finishing don't you close me down Phil I'll get DAN on you. Don't you finish me! Are you shutting me down? I know your type!

Phil Friend  28:56  
I remember being at a meeting where they locked themselves in a hotel when David Blunkett was gonna come along and they refused to open all the doors. They had a particular way of going about things and they focused on one issue or one topic and then went for it. But we have to remember your point is really important because the independent living movement had a lot of other people in it that were doing stuff that wasn't quite like DAN, but was direct action in its own way. So the story of the independent living movement with people like Jane Campbell again, and Sian Vazey, and I mean, the fact is that that was also going on at the same time. What DAN was doing was, in a sense, just going to a place and causing mayhem, about an issue. And then they moved to another place. So one minute they were in Birmingham, New Street Station, stopping all the trains. The next minute, they're in Downing Street chucking paint at people, you know, but they always had a topic whereas the independent living movement went on and on, grinding away at the issues, but DAN helped propel that. So I don't know it'd be interesting to see if the programme catches any of that because they were important part of disability rights.

Simon Minty  30:13  
I know it's co directed by a friend of ours chap called Bruce Goodison, who we've worked with before, who's full on, and there's also a co director and someone who's disabled but I can't remember his name. But I think you know, disability throughout this production, there's no faffing I also know the BBC are really pushing it. So I'm really pleased. It's a real sort of sense of pride and you can see gongs and BAFTAs flying all over the place on this one, but it's about the fight.

Phil Friend  30:43  
Yes. Come on!.

Simon Minty  30:45  
Piss on Pity

Announcer  30:46  
Thank you for listening to The Way We Roll with Simon Minty. And Phil Friend.

Phil Friend  30:50  
I mean, talking about as we just were the the, the Alan and Barbara's scenarios. We can't not mention what's going on in Ukraine at the moment and and the impact of that war on I mean, the pictures are just horrific. But I just thought it would be worth just saying, How are disabled people doing in this thing? Because I read a piece in The Guardian it was basically just saying, you know, I'm a wheelchair user, how'd you get into an air raid shelter shelter? Where are you safe? How do you The streets are full of rubble? How do you go anywhere? If your electric wheelchair, how do you charge it? You know, I mean, the drugs that people need to take all of that stuff, there have been mentions of the plight that some disabled people face in Ukraine. But I suppose as is often the case there sort of last on the list again, moving pictures of older people, particularly older women being carried. I saw one very elderly woman being pushed along in a shopping trolley because that was the only thing available, things like that. It is unbelievably horrific. I have no idea what it must be like to be in that situation.

Simon Minty  32:12  
I'm like you and there is a few people who've done pieces, which is great, because I don't want those voices to be lost. I mean, is a a declaration we looked at trying to get some disabled people from Ukraine on the show, to do a dedicated podcast. And we reached out to organisations, and we felt awkward about it. But unsurprisingly, there's just too much pressure that people are under too much stress to pop up on a bloody podcast with with us two. Like you think of the physical challenges, just getting in and out of the tubes. I mean, if it happened in London, you've got 30% of thetube you can get in but the others can once the lift is gone. I also think about my scooter, I've got to charge my scooter every night, you know, what am I gonna do? I always think best of times, worst of times, we try and believe that disability rights are embedded in the UK or in other countries. But when this happens, do we suddenly has everything dropped? It's like, I'm sorry, we can do it in the good times. But now it's not. And there's the flip side, I imagine the best of humanity comes out and there is support. And, you know, I hope people are being listened to not just being cared for if that doesn't sound too crass. But yeah, like you, I can't imagine what it's like. And it feels ineffectual what we can actually do right now as well. Yeah, shout out to our fellow Ukrainian people, disabled people particularly. Let's just hope it gets peaceful and better soon.

Phil Friend  33:51  
So as is our custom we have Geoff Spink with us today to give us the benefit of his viewing or reading or whatever habits. How are you Geoff?

Geoff Spink  34:01  
Oh, good morning. I'm very well thank you. How are you guys? 

Phil Friend  34:04  
Good. Thanks.

Simon Minty  34:05  
I'm very well too.

Phil Friend  34:07  
So what have you got Geoff? What's what's what's occupying your mind?

Geoff Spink  34:11  
Well, I've been watching a number of things recently, but the standout series for me is something called Yellow Jackets and it's on Sky/Now TV Simon will be pleased to know. And it's a really it's a sort of, if you like reworking of the Lord of the Flies theme where you know what happens when a bunch of teenagers have to fend for themselves and there are no rules and they have to make their rules and sometimes the rules break down. Basically, they're on their way to a soccer match from New Jersey to probably somewhere in the West like Washington State and their plane crashes in the wilderness. Miraculously, they all survive. but not the pilots, of course. And it's them one guy, one young guy and their coach, and it's them in the wilderness. But the slick thing that's done in this series is that it's split between then which is in the mid 1990s. And now, which is in that in their terms, 2021. So you see all of these characters 25 years down the line. And you what you know, is that something dreadful happened when they were in the wilderness, they were there for 19 months before they got rescued. So they had plenty of time to go a bit crazy, and perhaps do some things that might mark them for life. But you don't actually get to know that in season one. And there is only season one so far, you know that things go a little that, you know, the wheels fall off a little bit. But I think, you know, it's one of those things where you're going to have to wait for the next season, the next season, the next season for the whole thing to unfold properly and find out how bad it became.

Simon Minty  36:06  
I'm obviously thinking that someone's eating somebody, because that's what you do a bit of cannibalism, but I'm thinking of Lost you remember Lost, there's that kind of all stranded on the island. But this is teenagers, is it?

Geoff Spink  36:18  
This is teenagers. And what they've done is they of course, they've got there are four central, young females, who then we see 25 years later, so we don't know what happened to the rest of the team. Were they were they eaten? Did they die of starvation? Were they taken by bears or wolves, or whatever, but you then get to see how the trauma in the wilderness suddenly sort of or not suddenly but gradually over time, weaves its way into their daily life. So one of the one of the principal characters for example, thinks nothing of when she sees rabbits nibbling on her garden, just taking out her gun shooting them and put him in putting them in the cooking pot because that's how she learned to survive obviously. And I guess for a suburban American Housewife that would be you know, not within their skill set Normally,

Simon Minty  37:14  
you'd be surprised I've met quite a few they like getting the guns out

Geoff Spink  37:19  
but the relationships between the sorry the relationships between the women are very interesting you know, it ranges from extreme love to extreme repulsion to you know what happened to the one that nobody liked what how did she How did she get on you know what happened to the one that had a crush on the on the high on the on the soccer coach and by the way, the soccer coach was injured in the crash and one of the girls takes an axe and has to wack off his leg above the knee so it's it's kind of no holds barred really 

Phil Friend  37:53  
It has a disabilityangle then we've got an amputee in there now have we?

Geoff Spink  37:57  
there's definitely an amputee there or it's a lot of very good CGI.

Simon Minty  38:02  
I do like the sound of you imagine if you've been through the trauma like that you either are best friends for life or you just don't want to ever see each other again, I get that does make sense. What's the yellow jackets? What's What's the link there? Was that me?

Geoff Spink  38:14  
I think that's the name of the soccer team that you know that the high school soccer team, they are the yellow jackets. And guess what? They wear yellow jackets? Right? That's their thing?

Phil Friend  38:24  
And is this? Is anybody in it that we've kind of heard of, or all these new new actors?

Geoff Spink  38:29  
Yeah, there are no big name stars. To my mind in this series but there is a an actor called Melanie Linksky, who, as a teenager starred in a film with Kate Winslet and of course, Kate Winslet went on to a lot of fame, success, etc, etc. And Melanie Linskey really, you know, was on the fringes of Hollywood and have walk on parts in the movie. But now suddenly, in her mid 40s, she's achieved mega celebrity and, and she's quite modest about her success, but she, she plays an incredible role. And you know, what, the, the casting directors have to be complimented here, because, of course, you've got different actors playing the teams from the 40 Somethings, but they've managed to match the look and the body language and the mannerisms and the voices to such an extent that even somebody like me who has face blindness, actually knows which middle aged shall we say, lady is the equivalent of the late teens soccer player.

Simon Minty  39:47  
That is impressive. I'm thinking there's a film was it Boyhood, where they filmed the same person over 15 years. They haven't done that here. This is just brilliant recasting, or as it were, I like the sound of it. Is it so this is a season and this season one it's on Sky and Now so is that free or is it Sky Atlantic? So we've got pay extra,

Geoff Spink  40:10  
I think is Sky Atlantic so you got to pay extra or you can get the free subscription to Now TV and then cancel it if you can remember to cancel it

Simon Minty  40:18  
I know but Geoff, you said that to me every month I've been out of free subscriptions now. 

Geoff Spink  40:22  
Well, you just you do what you normally do and subscribing different names. You Mr P Friend and Mr. G Spink

Phil Friend  40:30  
Roman Abramovich 

Geoff Spink  40:32  
Yeah, exactly. I think really, this is one of those things where it's, it's an investment, you know, by the end of season one, I'm not going to give any spoilers away because I just want people to enjoy it. But by the end of season one, you just know it's setting itself up for a multi season run I would suggest perhaps five or six seasons so it's, it's got the potential to be a sort of Breaking Bad or Sopranos or a Madmen type investment in time. And equally rewarding for people like me who love binge watching.

Phil Friend  41:08  
Excellent. Alright, well thank you very much, Geoff. So Simon's got to get his wallet out and invest in NOW TV. And you said it was on Sky Atlantic for those that have it so great. Well, thanks a lot, Geoff. That's been really useful. I look forward to having a peek at that. See, see what it's like. And we'll see you next time.

Geoff Spink  41:27  
Okay, thanks a lot. Bye guys.

Announcer  41:29  
This is The Way We Roll presented by Simon Minty and Phil Friend.

Simon Minty  41:35  
We had a message it's a lovely message. Last months show did very well in what I mean by that lots of people listened lots of people talked about it. It was called Don't You Forget About Me. And it came out the day after COVID restrictions in the UK were lifted. And it was five different immunocompromised or clinically extremely vulnerable inverted commas people talking about how they were feeling. One person Alex Cowan, she's regular listener to the show. She loves on our email that we put that button you just click on the button you go straight to the show. I know quite a few people who do that. Anyway, she said it made me extremely emotional. It was very interesting. It's a very good programme made me feel angry but also more confident about stating what my needs and my preferences are about keeping myself safe and taking care of myself. Thank you and thank you to all the contributors who are really important show. Thank you Alex for dropping us in line. It was lovely to hear that. In addition to Alex our listeners corner, we've got listener guest corner. Sarah Baxter host was on our show last month, the immunocompromised one and she has recorded an update and she's got some pretty epic news. So we will let Sarah explain.

Sarah  42:57  
Hi, Simon. Hi, Phil. It's Sarah Baxter here. I thought I'd do a voice note as an update to the show I was on around being on immunosuppressants and my thoughts on the country unlocking. Ironically, just three days after the show was released, I contracted COVID. I had, I was social. I had some friends to my house the first time in two years. They all did lateral flow tests. And we socialised we watched a movie. And the next day one of them tested positive. A few days later, I got a you know, wild temperature, my temperature was up to 39 and a banging headache. So I sent off my priority PCR test which had been provided to me by the NHS, and proceeded to sort of treat myself with paracetamol and cold packs to try and keep the fever down. Less than 12 hours after getting my positive PCR results. I had been enrolled in a trial for the anti viral drugs and new antivirals. And I'd taken my first dose, it was an absolute amazing process. And I thought your listeners might be interested to know that when the worst thing that could have happened to me did the thing that I've been frightened or for the last two years actually happened. I mean, the process really worked. I had a positive PCR test on this Wednesday morning. By Wednesday lunch, I'd had a phone call enrolling me in a trial for the antivirals, explaining that could either be tablets or it could be an IV infusion in a hospital of medication. I couldn't choose it was randomised. But then I was later informed I'd be on tablets and a script, a prescription was written for me and sent to the hospital pharmacy, I managed to enlist a friend to go and pick it up for me because I live by myself. So by 5:30 that night, I had my first dose of of antivirals. And it was just amazing. After a day of taking antivirals I started to feel better. The fever had come down and I didn't have a headache I didn't lose my sense of taste or smell, but I had no appetite at all. But by day four, I thought, Oh, I could, I could fancy a fancy some cereal. And then unbelievably, on day six, I did a lateral flow and was negative. And again on day seven. So I had a huge turnaround within three days of being very positive to, you know, then testing negative since I've got COVID and recovered. And obviously, this would be a very different update, if I had not recovered. I feel like a massive relief is lifted off my shoulders, not only because I've met COVID, and, you know, beaten it but the process works. Somewhere there was a big red telephone that rang Sara's PCR test is positive, let's get the antiviral wheels kicked into gear. And it absolutely worked. And sometimes I don't have a lot of faith that things work in the way that I would need to. But but this was absolutely brilliant. I'm, I'm pleased to say that I am much better. It's two weeks now since I tested positive. But here I am. And I hope that your listeners can take some comfort from this not that I recovered. But the most important bit is that the process really worked for a clinically vulnerable person like me, the process of getting me the antivirals. And having me enrolled in that trial was absolutely seamless. And I can only applaud the NHS for making that possible.

Simon Minty  46:30  
What do you think of that, Mr. Friend?

Phil Friend  46:32  
I just think that's fantastic. Because not that she got COVID because that isn't fantastic. But the treatment she received the reassurance the thing is, she felt so reassured afterwards that the system works. And I think that's brilliant. So those of you out there who remember what Sarah was saying before, Gareth, this is great. It's good news.

Simon Minty  46:54  
And if Denise or Jen want to refer our American guests, if you would love to know what would happen in the US if you've got COVID does that sort of thing kick in to support you. Thank you, Sarah. It was so kind of you to send something more. We are glad you are safely with us and well done the system for once. That's brilliant.

Phil Friend  47:15  
It touched a nerve in a lot of people. I've had one or two not not that we could put in listeners corner necessarily, but just one or two people saying they found the show really useful and interesting

Simon Minty  47:26  
Is it too early to talk about awards for that show? Is it too soon? 

Phil Friend  47:31  
Wel, well I've heard rumours.

Simon Minty  47:33  
I started those rumours. (Laughter) I'm thinking maybe we get Sarah to go up. Because if the award ceremony is in an inaccessible stage, you and I won't be able to get up there. So Sarah is gonna have to get up and take it.

Phil Friend  47:50  
Yeah, it'll be down to Sarah. What about Gareth? What will he do? 

Simon Minty  47:54  
Gareth will be able to get the award. But then he'll probably do 10 minutes of stand up. Because he's a comedian. And they'll just talk about your immunocompromised, not your comedy. And, listener, if you have ideas for the show, we're interested. I'll give you a little heads up, we are going to talk to Sophie Morgan, who is a television presenter here in the UK, she's got a new book coming out called Driving Forwards. We're going to get her on in September and do a proper interview with her. But we always loved the idea. We always look for ideas and guests and contributors. So let us know. 

Phil Friend  48:33  
I can add to that. We've got on our list of subjects we haven't got far with this because it's down to me to do so. But we're looking at this kind of cancel culture, woke cancel culture and the idea that if you put your head above the parapet you get it shut off. We're thinking about doing a show on that if any of you know somebody who's got strong views or is connected into that conversation, then do let me or Simon know because we'd be really interested. We think it's an interesting topic and subject that we should have a look at. So let us know. We'll give you the email in a minute

Simon Minty  49:09  
I really like that and I wonder where there's the link with disability as well. And you know, do we censor each other or the you know, differently? Anyway, I'm gonna go into it. That's a great idea.

Phil Friend  49:20  
Okay. I think we're done. Are'nt we Mr. Minty?

Simon Minty  49:23  
Yes. Drop us an email. Our email address is

Phil Friend  49:30

Simon Minty  49:34  
We are on Beacon which is you can see everything youtube, latest show popular shows mailing list, and we obviously on YouTube on Twitter and Facebook. So yeah, and LinkedIn. So come find us and send us a message.

Phil Friend  49:49  
Yeah. Good to hear from you. Take it easy, everybody and we'll see you very soon.

Announcer  49:59  
This is The Way We Roll presented by Simon Minty and Phil Friend. You can email us at or just search for minty and friend on social media. We're on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Transcribed by

Phil takes a tumble
Then Barbara met Alan
Culture Corner with Geoff Spink
Listener's Corner