Talking Books

Talking Books with Robert Kirkwood, weekdays from 3pm and 10pm

Now Playing ...

Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burrows

Read by Peter Marinker

Tarzan is discovered by a she-ape after his parents die in the jungle. 

He's raised by the apes and eventually finds his family's abandoned cabin, teaches himself to read, and using his intelligence to become King of the Jungle.

His life is turned upside down when Jane Clayton, the first white woman he has ever seen, lands on his island and Tarzan is forced to make a series of choices that will change his life forever.

Tune in live or catch up now.

Catch Up ...

Here is the News by Richard Baker 

Read by the author.

Before mobile phones and the internet, this fascinating account of news gathering in the days of ticker-tape and reports on film is read by the first person who read the news on BBC television, Richard Baker.

A familiar voice and face for four decades, he regularly read books for RNIB Talking Books and read this memoir exclusively for the service. Catch up now.

Junior Talking Books

A children's classic, every Saturday morning at 9am and Sunday at 3pm and at the moment it's some tales from Beatrix Potter. Catch up on the latest episode or find out more about our Weekend Children's Show here.

Read On

If you're passionate about books and reading, tune in every Friday from 3pm. Author interviews, book news, technology updates and everything you've always wanted to know about the RNIB Library. 

Head to the Read On Page now

Talking Books at 80

The Talking Books service from RNIB is 80 years old, and we have many special shows, features and documentaries coming up. More information is on the Talking Books at 80 page.

Coming Soon

Michael Palin's Brazil will be coming to the show in time for the Olympics and we've got Bill Bryson's 'Notes from a Small Island' coming later in the year. Suggest a book by emailing or contacting me via Talking_Books on Twitter.

Booker Prize

Every year we feature the Man Booker shortlisted authors, here are the latest and a few from the awards over the past few years - Man Booker Prize authors

Podcast Shows

Author interviews, special shows, documentaries and more, all available to listen online or download as a podcast. Includes chats with Michael Palin, Bill Bryson, Michael Bond (the creator of Paddington Bear as pictured below), James Herbert's last ever interview, a full short story by Denise Mina and the man behind Parker and Brains in Thunderbirds and co-inventor of the voice of the Daleks. 

Podcast shows here.

Most recent podcasts for Talking Books

Comics Empower

A comic book store specifically for blind and partially sighted people, hear how it started and listen to some adventures right now.

Short Story - Sandy and Her Beautiful Sisters by Antonia Fraser

Helena Bonham Carter reads this modern fairy tale from Antonia Fraser.

Short Story - Old Smokeytoes by Louis de Bernieres

A dictator reflects on his life in this exclusive piece of writing from the author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, read by the late, great Nigel Graham.

Listen Again

Catch up with our current featured book, and EVERY EPISODE of the last book featured on the show, both mid-week and children's weekend.



Tarzan 1/11

Tarzan 2/11

Tarzan 3/11

Tarzan 4/11

Tarzan 5/11

Tarzan 6/11

Tarzan 7/11

Tarzan 8/11

Tarzan 9/11

Tarzan 10/11

Here is the News

News 1/8

News 2/8

News 3/8

News 4/8

News 5/8

News 6/8

News 7/8

News 8/8

Professor Branestawm

Branestawm 01

Branestawm 02

Tales of Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter 1/6

Beatrix Potter 2/6

Beatrix Potter 3/6

Beatrix Potter 4/6

Beatrix Potter 5/6

Beatrix Potter 6/6

About Talking Books

Robert Kirkwood presents the best of the spoken Word. The famous RNIB Talking Books studios have such a rich and varied history. Authors such as Ruth Rendell, Roald Dahl, P.D. James, A.S. Byatt, Fay Weldon, Doris Lessing, Lady Antonia Fraser and lots of other greats, making up a veritable Who’s Who of UK literature, have all visited us and recorded something.

Narrators over the years have included Joanna Lumley, Richard Baker, Sir John Gielgud, Joss Ackland and Jim Broadbent amongst hundreds of others. In the early days of the RNIB Talking Book service, there was no such thing as commercial audiobooks, so the RNIB library is the only place to hear people such as Peter Cushing and Joyce Grenfel read books aloud.

On Insight Radio's Talking Book show we've featured all of the above! Where else could you hear Peter Cushing read Sherlock Holmes followed by Victoria Coren talking poker, or Cherie Blair reading Postman Pat followed by Frederick Forsyth telling us about cocaine trafficking?

Tune in every day at 3pm (or 10pm or 3am) for exclusive audio, author interviews, behind the scenes features and our featured book or short story of the moment. I'll also keep adding content to the Talking Books podcast feed so make sure you subscribe.

Subscribe to the Talking Books podcast feed on itunes

RNIB Surf Right Accessible web site