October 5, 2010

Blind people just thought he was a really good actor …


For 35 years actor Charles Collingwood has appeared on the popular BBC radio soap opera The Archers (the world’s longest-running soap, according to its Wikipedia entry), and last year he wrote a “relentlessly anecdotal” memoir about his time on the program. Then one of the other actors on the show, Ryan Kelly, who is blind, got the audio version of the book offered by the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

Thus did Collingwood learn that the audio version of his memoir featured a female reader, reports this Daily Telegraph story.

“Ryan nearly went potty,” says Collingwood. “I phoned the RNIB and was told, ‘I’ve got neither the time nor the resources to check with authors whether they want to record their own books.’ I just thought that was rude.”

The RNIB has since apologized and the Telegraph reports that the book will now be re-recorded — with Collingwood reading it himself.

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives