Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is a national figure, a person who has moved from a highly successful athletics career to being a prominent political figure in Westminster, as if this was always the plan. How did she manage that?
Born in Cardiff, she picked up the ‘Tanni’ name from her sister’s mispronunciation. She also picked up a strong work ethic from her parents, especially her dad. This meant she would be out training on Christmas Day or now, asks her team of helpers to brief her as thoroughly as is humanly possible so she can win her arguments.
Professionally how do we see her now, and how does she see herself? Is it about her genre-defining career on the track, or wearing the robes of the establishment, or is she now the ‘woman who Tweets’ about rail journeys?
We got to spend time with Tanni over a Zoom call to ask her this and lots of other questions including, does she still speak to Alan Shearer after that moment? Who has helped her the most? What exactly is ‘Snog Marry or Kill’? The biggest issue she’s dealing with related to disability right now? Do Paralympians get short thrift compared to Olympians? Are disabled women included in new current women’s political movements? What’s the significance of her necklace when she’s in the House of Lords?
Phil & Simon pressed pause on life and pressed record on Zoom audio to record a special podcast. We have stopped the weekly podcasts and felt we needed a wrap-up show inviting back some of our favourite guests. Baroness Jane Campbell, Joanna Wootten and Geoff Adams-Spinks kindly accepted and answer our three questions. What’s been hardest during Covid 19 so far?What have you learnt?What will you keep doing when things return to normal-ish? Without spoiling things, there were some predictable replies like pacing our life better, keep on using the calming hacks and enjoying banana bread. There were a few surprises too.
It’s Literally Just Mowing (https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/its-literally-just-mowing/id1458309993)
Where’s the Interpreter Campaign (http://cfd.org.uk/where-is-the-interpreter-campaign/)
Banana Bread recipe (https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bananabread_85720)
You might be interested, after recording this podcast, Phil & Simon asked themselves the same question and filmed it. It’s on our YouTube Channel. Subtitles / CC are automated but corrected, do update if you see errors.Simon & Phil reflect (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMPebr-Ssh4&t=26s) about the time so far, under Covid 19
You’re out with a friend or colleague and because they look different from many, they are receiving some stares which you notice. What should you do? If you’re out with James Partridge, ask him, as it’s highly likely that he’s noticed way before you and he’s already ‘dealing with it’. James is a distinguished person. In his life, his family, his career and a few other ways too. In 1990 his first book, ‘Changing Faces: the Challenge of Facial Disfigurement’ was published by Penguin. It talked about his experiences after he sustained 40% burns to his face, upper body, arms, and hands in a car accident at the age of 18 in 1970. Soon after the book he founded the charity Changing Faces in 1992 and more recently has gone worldwide setting up the organisation Face Equality International.In the early 2000s James, along with Phil and Simon and Stephen Lloyd, worked together on Dining with a Difference. These were successful and impactful choreographed dinners for the boardrooms of UK organisations. We take a look at some of them. James has written a second book which he describes and more personal this time. Face It: Facial Disfigurement and My Fight For Face Equality, Pebble Press is released out now. James’ website (https://jamespartridge.wordpress.com)James on Twitter @JRJPartridge