Ann Widdecombe, Peter Mandelson, and me.

English Martyrs Catholic School and Sixth Form College in Hartlepool hosts an annual lecture which is now in it’s twenty-fourth year. Previous speakers include politicians Peter Mandelson and ann Widdecombe. Presumably the economic climate has caught up with the school, because this year they’ve asked me.

It’s quite interesting that the invitation came just a few days after my blog about the catholic church. Perhaps if they had read that particular blog then things might have been different. Fortunately for them, I do not intend to use my lecture to rant about the catholic church, as I have decided instead to talk about a much more interesting and important subject: myself.

My title for my lecture is The Eagle Is Candid! Here is the publicity blurb:

The Eagle Is Candid!

David Eagle is a 28-year-old blind man. This lecture is dedicated to all those people who have stopped David in the street, to all the shopkeepers and checkout workers who have happily held up queues, to all the taxi drivers who have taken the slowest and most circuitous route possible in order to ask him a litany of questions about what it’s like being blind, or simply to tell him how brave he is.

David has been late for countless business appointments, dates, and meetings with friends as a result of people holding him up with questions about his blindness, or just to talk endlessly about how brave they think he is for managing to survive without sight.

Therefore, he has decided to dedicate this lecture to answering some of the most common questions asked to him by the general public, in the hope that it might help facilitate him to actually get to where he is planning to go without being stopped by complete strangers intent on talking about blindness. Join David as he dispels myths, untangles untruths and picks apart: common conceptions and assumptions about blindness and disability, delivered in a humorous and light-hearted style. In addition, he will tell stories from his life, including how he has had to fight prejudices, stereotypes and barriers to realise his ambitions and dreams. He’ll also tell about how he has recently been talents spotted at the BBC by a top TV, radio and stand up comedy agent, and explain how he has ended up working as a professional musician in a folk group who have featured in an Aadman animations film starring Miranda Hart, Catherine Tate, Vick Reeves and David Walliams.

After the talk there will be a chance to ask any questions you might have, such as: “how do you eat. I mean … how do you know where your mouth is? I mean… You’re blind?!” Or to simply tell him how brave you think he is.

The lecture is due to start at 7pm Although it may start a little late if David is stopped in the street or is taken on an extended route by an overly inquisitive taxi driver.

The lecture is on Thursday 13th March. The lecture starts at 7pm, but you are advised to get there a little earlier. After all, you don’t want to miss my opening gag about the two nuns in the bath. No, don’t worry, if there’s anyone official from the school reading this, that was a joke.

Tickets are completely free. If you fancy it, email or call 01429273790.

Hope to see you there.

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