Jeremy Vine becomes patron of Talking Newspaper service

PUBLISHED: 07:01 01 February 2019

Jeremy Vine at Sidmouth Scout HQ opening in 2016. Ref shs 34-16SH 6180 Picture: Simon Horn.

Jeremy Vine at Sidmouth Scout HQ opening in 2016. Ref shs 34-16SH 6180 Picture: Simon Horn.

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The Radio 2 presenter has agreed to visit the Talking Newspaper team and support their "wonderful" work in any way he can

Jeremy VineJeremy Vine

The Sid Vale Talking Newspaper Service has something to shout about after television and radio broadcaster Jeremy Vine agreed to become its patron.

Jeremy, who has a weekday show on Radio 2, is known for his love of Sidmouth and after being contacted by Haydn Thomas, chairman of the talking newspaper service (SVTN), he readily agreed to come on board.

“I know from working on the radio how the voices of the DJs can sometimes be the only thing a listener hears through the day,” he said. “I find that an amazing privilege – as it will be to help with the SVTN.”

The Sid Vale and East Devon Talking Newspaper Service is a weekly recording of local news stories and features from the newspapers in the area, including the Sidmouth Herald and Ottery Herald. It is produced by around 50 volunteers and has around 60 regular listeners. One of them, Erica James from Sidmouth, described it as ‘a lifeline’ and said that without it she would feel very isolated, not knowing what was going on in her community.

Jeremy Vine at Sidmouth's Boxing Day swim in December. Picture courtesy of Jeremy VineJeremy Vine at Sidmouth's Boxing Day swim in December. Picture courtesy of Jeremy Vine

Jeremy said he had heard about the ‘wonderful work’ of the SVTN and will do ‘whatever he can’ to help in his role as patron. He has suggested arranging a visit to Broadcasting House for some of the listeners, if they were able to get to London.

“We could have a little outing to the BBC,” he said. “I’d love to make that possible. People with sight loss understand more than anyone how precious radio is.”

He will meet the Talking Newspaper team during one of his visits to the area. His wife, Rachel, grew up in Tipton St John and they were married at the village church in 2002. Since then he has come to love Sidmouth.

“It’s chiefly the sea air, and the people,” he said. “I love London, but it smells of taxis. My kids love the beach in the summer, pebbles and all. And cake from the café at the top of Jacob’s Ladder!”

Haydn and Marrilyn Thomas of Sid Vale and East Devon Talking Newspapers with listener Heidi James and her dog Spencer. Ref shs 39 18TI 2167. Picture: Terry IfeHaydn and Marrilyn Thomas of Sid Vale and East Devon Talking Newspapers with listener Heidi James and her dog Spencer. Ref shs 39 18TI 2167. Picture: Terry Ife

Haydn Thomas said: ‘Everyone involved in the Sid Vale Talking Newspaper Service is delighted that Jeremy Vine has accepted our invitation to be our patron. We have put a lot of effort over the past year to raise our community profile, but having the support of such a popular and prestigious broadcaster takes it to another level.”

Anyone who would like to register with the talking newspaper service should telephone Wendy Eagles on 07552 766 382.

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