Blind Ambition follows TV director Jamie O’Leary, who has myopia, and blind comedian Jamie MacDonald. O’Leary’s prescription is -32, instead of the average -2.5 for someone with myopia, and he’s now facing life-changing surgery that could lead to possible sight loss.
At this crucial moment in his life, O’Leary wants to delve into how creative people cope with losing their sight, and how blind artists attain their creative vision of a unique world they see from a distinctive perspective. Along with Jamie MacDonald, we’re taken on a “blind leading the blind” mission as they work to uncover and cooperate with the best blind creative talent across the country and help give an illuminating take on surviving and thriving in the face of blindness. With a healthy dose of humour along the way.
Despite his struggles with low vision, over the past 20 years O’Leary has produced revolutionary programmes about disability. Including Seven Dwarves, I’m Spazticus and Teenage Dwarf (Channel 4). He has also made highly popular travelogue shows with some of the country’s most hilarious stars, such as Karl Pilkington, Romesh Ranganathan and Katherine Ryan.
Here’s everything you need to know about Blind Ambition...
When will Blind Ambition be on?
Blind Ambition is currently available on-demand via BBC iPlayer.
What is Blind Ambition about?
Under the control of the programme producer, the witty duo go on a road trip meeting blind creatives and experiencing their worlds. They first meet professional photographer Ian Treherne, who specialises in striking portraits and captivating landscapes. Ian is 95 percent blind and suffers with Retinitis Pigmentosa Type 2, meaning he has central vision but no peripheral vision. He takes them along the Southend seafront so they can try some photography, and Ian takes some publicity stills of the pair for the programme. As they’re asked to wear absurd costumes, they become increasingly suspicious of the producer’s motives.
They then meet 27-year-old rapper Stoner, from Reading, who contracted meningitis at 11 years old and went completely blind within five years. His music has been highly praised and admired by established rap stars, including Wiz Khalifa and Kano, and Tinie Tempah and Giggs, who he has supported on tour.
The two Jamie's then travel north to Derby and meet blind artist and the UK’s only completely blind woodturner, Chris Fisher who produces textured sensory and tangible pieces of art. He encourages the pair “to have a go,” which results in O’Leary having an emotional turn.
In London they meet new mum Lizzie Capener, an opera singer who has been performing opera nationally and internationally for the last 20 years. Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye condition, she uses her guide dog Ziggy to navigate the world. The programme producer insists that the twosome learn to sing opera, but the tone-deaf pair rebel.
O’Leary gains back control of the programme and starts a series of collaborations with these and other blind artists to create an exceptional exhibition of remarkable blind ambition. Some of these artists include, blind figurative painter John Bramblitt and visually impaired digital artist Robert H King.
Is there a trailer?
No, a trailer hasn't been released for this documentary.
Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.
You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.
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