The Wright Stuff
by Viewtalk Current Affairs

Rachel Shenton, the rising acting star who plays Mitzeee in popular UK teen soap Hollyoaks, appeared on The Wright Stuff to talk about Viewtalk, 16 July 2011. The Wright Stuff (Princess Productions) is a weekday live morning show on UK terrestrial channel, Channel 5, presented by broadcaster Matthew Wright. It receives up to 500,000 viewers daily, and received a National Reality Show Award for Best Talk Show a fortnight following Rachel’s appearance. Rachel was a special guest alongside that week’s panel: Hayley Tamaddon (actor, Emmerdale) and Steve Furst (comedy actor). Viewtalk gets a fantastic reaction from all present: Matthew Wright himself said: “This is something that’s of really good, positive use – its such a simple thing that can help people in such a big way”. In the clip below, see Rachel talking about Viewtalk, and, later in the programme, she signs (using British Sign Language) the URL www.viewtalk.org. Let us know what you think!

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The Wright Stuff

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TRANSCRIPTION FOR THIS FOOTAGE (FOR FULL ACCESSIBILITY)
[STARTS WITH A SCENE FROM HOLLYOAKS:]
“Mitzeee”: You’ve totally ruined my night!
“Mercedes”: You brang this didn’t ya, You couldn’t hack me being more important than you for one night.
“Mitzeee”: You know it’s your golden ball fiancé you want to be having it out with love. You’ll be the size of a whale soon so watch out. God knows where I get the next one from.
“Mercedes’ friend”: You’re pregnant for God’s sake.
[CUT TO THE WRIGHT STUFF:]
Matthew Wright: Ah, nothing like a bit of girl on girl violence to get my blood rushing in the morning I have to say! Now, this is important because you’re not actually here to talk about Hollyoaks today are you? You’re here to talk about a website, which I know has a very special place in your heart and you should tell us why.
Rachel Shenton: Yeah, I’m here to talk about Viewtalk, which is basically… the easy way to describe it is Facebook for Deaf people.
MW: Ok, why Deaf people, what’s your interest there?
RS: Um, well I learnt sign language when I was 16 and my dad sadly passed away when I was 14, but for the last 2 years of his life he was profoundly deaf so I saw an impact that has on a family and that gave me the impetus to learn sign language and got more and more involved in the Deaf community and it kind of grew from there, then I got contacted about Viewtalk and thought, wow, this is an amazing idea, I can’t believe no-one’s done this before.
MW: And how does this work, because I am Facebook ignorant...I am cool...
RS: Me too!
MW: Good...oh, do you not do Facebook?
RS: No, I don’t do Facebook, no!
AUDIENCE LAUGHS!
MW: 2 of us!
Hayley Tamaddon: (Emmerdale; other guest): 3 of us!
MW: You don’t do it either?
HT: Nope, told you yesterday - can’t bear Facebook!
Steve Furst (comedian, 3rd guest): You both do Twitter though don’t you?
HT: We are on Twitter yes.
MW: Oh! One of us! ...OK, um! How does the website work - the basics of it?
RS: Um, well it’s very similar to Facebook in that it’s online face-to-face communication, which within the Deaf community obviously is vital because sign language is a visual language. So you can upload instant videos...
MW: Do you want to, for the benefit of the people at home that maybe hearing impaired, as you’re telling us about it – sign it away, if you wouldn’t mind?
RS: Really? It’s really difficult to talk and sign at the same time because there are words in the English language that aren’t in the British Sign Language dictionary so it’s difficult for me to talk and sign, but I’ll try my best!
MW: As best you can.
RS: Ha ha...um...right...! (AUDIENCE LAUGHS!) Now it’s become overwhelmingly difficult!!! Right ok, maybe I’ll do it afterwards! Right yes, so um, the original question, how does it work. Viewtalk is accessible to anybody in the Deaf community and all you need is Internet connection, webcam and an email address and anybody can set it up and you can access anything online. What I like about it is that if I’m going to go anywhere, want to go on holiday, go to a theme park, or a new restaurant or something, what I do is have a look at the online reviews. Now a Deaf person wouldn’t have that privilege because their literacy skills aren’t like you and I, sign language is taught in a different way and the linguistics of the language are completely different so like I said a lot of words don’t exist in the British Sign Language dictionary so they wouldn’t have that privilege to do that and this website enables them to do that.
HT: That’s fantastic!
RS: It is, I can’t believe that no one’s thought of it before. Yeah, it’s an amazing idea.
MW: And also, where I think Facebook is just for people to ruin their lives...
RS: and be narcissistic.
MW: ...and waste their lives away, this is something that’s a really good positive use. I used to work with Deaf people a long time ago.
RS: Really?
MW: In Woolworths actually and I didn’t get anywhere with it.
RS: Doing what?
MW: As it was in those days, they were smashing up cardboard boxes behind the scenes - as was I - in the grotto!
RS: Right! At the heart of Woolworths!
MW: Where the real work was done, yeah! But I had a go and I nowhere near progressed as far as you and it’s a long time ago but it’s such a simple thing that can help people in such a big way and I really just want to doth my hat to you really and say well done!
AUDIENCE CLAPS AND WOOPS!
RS: Aw, thank you!
[FADE TO BLACK AND THEN BACK AGAIN]
MW: Welcome back to Britain’s brightest daytime show with Hayley Tamaddon and Steve Furst, and our special guest Rachel Shenton. Still to come this morning … actually let’s do our plug again. Viewtalk is the website that Rachel is promoting today for the hearing impaired, it’s Viewtalk.org, which is worth knowing. For the hearing impaired that would be –
RS: It’s Viewtalk.org (signing at same time).
MW: There we go...good!

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