Talking Books

Talking Books Mon - Thu 2pm - 3pm (repeated at 10pm)

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Talking Books Now Playing ...

Life, The Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams

Read by Gordon Dulieu

The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads--so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is.

Now only five individuals stand between the white killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler, who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vicepresident of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-head honcho of the Universe; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox.

How will it all end? Will it end? Only this stalwart crew knows as they try to avert "universal" Armageddon and save life as we know it--and don't know it!

We continue our journey through the Hitchhiker's series every week day at 2pm and 10pm

Catch Up ...

Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James

Read by Brian Perkins

I was born in 1939. The other big event of that year was the outbreak of the Second World War, but for the moment that did not affect me.

In the first instalment of Clive James's memoirs we follow the young Clive on his journey from boyhood to the cusp of manhood, when his days of wearing short trousers are finally behind him. Battling with school, girls, various relatives and an overwhelming desire to be a superhero, Clive's adventures growing up in the suburbs of post-war Sydney are hair-raising, uproarious and almost too good to be true . . .

Told with James's unassailable sense of humour and self-effacing charm, Unreliable Memoirs is a hilarious and touching introduction to the story of a national treasure. A million-copy bestseller, this classic memoir is a celebration of life in all its unpredictable glory.

Every Monday to Thursday at 2pm or 10pm.

Children's Talking Books

A children's classic, every Saturday morning at 9am and Sunday at 3pm and at the moment it's Swallows and Amazons. 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

Some classic Sherlock Holmes coming soon. 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.


Life, The Universe and Everything

Life, The  Universe and Everything 1/7

Unreliable Memoirs

Memoirs 1/7

Memoirs 2/7

Memoirs 3/7

Memoirs 4/7

Memoirs 5/7

Memoirs 6/7

Memoirs 7/7

Swallows and Amazons

Swallows and Amazons 1/12

Swallows and Amazons 2/12

Swallows and Amazons 3/12

Swallows and Amazons 4/12

Swallows and Amazons 5/12

Swallows and Amazons 6/12

Swallows and Amazons 7/12

Swallows and Amazons 8/12

Professor Branestawm

Branestawm 01

Branestawm 02

Branestawm 03

Branestawm 04

Branestawm 05

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

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