RNIB marks 75 years of Talking Books

Authors including Ian Hislop, Fay Weldon, Sue Townsend and Frederick Forsyth pledge support for one of the UK's longest-running charitable services

Early use of the RNIB talking books service
Early use of the RNIB talking books service

Authors from across the UK have joined forces with the RNIB to celebrate 75 years of the charity’s Talking Books service.

Ian Hislop, Fay Weldon, Sue Townsend and Frederick Forsyth are among the big literary names who have pledged their support for the charity for visually-impaired people, as part of its Lost and Found campaign.

Townsend, the author of the Adrian Mole books, lost her sight in 2001. She said: "RNIB Talking Books is an excellent service. It provides a lifeline so people can read more of the books they love."

Talking Books, launched in 1935, is one of the UK’s oldest and most used services provided by a charity. The RNIB now sends out more than 1.76 million talking books each year to visually-impaired people.

The charity will also be holding a stunt in St Pancras International station this morning as part of the campaign.

Members of the public will don face masks of the actors Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley, who were recently voted to have the best bedtime story voices, and will read the first-ever talking book, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. RNIB staff will be dressed in pyjamas.

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