When I blogged about The King's Speech and my own experiences as a person who stammers, I didn't expect it to be picked up by the BBC. But being presented with the opportunity to talk on Radio 4's You And Yours about my experiences of both current therapy techniques and pitfalls of relying on electronic fluency aids was an opportunity not to pass up, whatever my reservations.
On arrival at Broadcasting House, it soon became clear that I needn't have worried. Peter White, the presenter, is a superb broadcasting professional - himself blind since birth - and it was agreed that we would have a dry-run of the interview beforehand so that I knew what would be asked and could come across as 'fluently' as possible. By 'fluently' I don't mean stammer-free; I certainly wasn't! I mean that they made sure I could give as productive, informative and structured an interview as possible.
What you ultimately hear is an edited version because we talked for about 30 minutes and the actual broadcast was only about 11 minutes. The cuts included information about the neurological reasons for stammering, whether there is a cure, the lack of NHS funding, plus a nice little quip at the end of our unison recital of the National Anthem ('shall we try the version by the Sex Pistols now?!') But I was certainly very pleased with the end result.
Overall, a great experience, and I have subsequently been inundated with emails from strangers and friends saying that they found it inspirational. Awareness increased - check. Personal satisfaction achieved - check...
Extended version of item in the Spring 2011 issue of Speaking Out, page 5
Ashley's You and Yours interview in January 2011 is at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00ddrj2 . He did two subsequent interviews for You and Yours in March 2011 on dating with a stammer www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00fm8hf and job interviews with a stammer www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00frqnr .
Your and Yours blog post by Ashley: www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/youandyours/2011/01/stammerer_ashley_morrison_give.html