Robyn Steward is presenter of Autism matters, a program dedicated to sharing knowledge about autism.
What was your first radio memory?
“Good question, I vaughley remember the BBC reporter coming to my play school ( with his box and mic) we always had Radio 4 on and classical fm, as a teen I listened to Broadland 102 and vibe fm I also made my own mock radio programs on a dictaphone on long car journeys.”
How did you first get into radio?
“I volunteer with the National Autistic Socity as a ambassador around the same time I started doing this a press release went out of my uni about being the recipient of the charlie Bayne travel trust I think BBC radio cambridgeshire picked up on it and had me in a few times on one of their chat shows. over time I got lots of practice, and have made a program with BBC radio 4.”
What is your favourite song ever?
“Thats a hard question, im not sure I have one
My favrouite album is dark side of the moon
songs outside of pink floyd … well I like ELO’s mr blue sky.”
What three songs would you take to a Desert Island?
1 Pink Floyd’s echo’s (because its about 23 minutes long so it wouldn’t get repetitive)
2 Avro part Spigel im spigel its a piece of music played with piano and cello its very beautiful, if you wanted a good cry or to feel calm and tranquil this would be a good choice
3 daft punk Get lucky I thought i should have something I could dance to
“I think it would depend on when I went and how long for”
What is your ambition?
“I have many but Id like to have a regular slot somewhere accessible because Id like people who are lonely to hear me and not feel so lonely as a teen in the late 90s early 00s I didn’t like radio 1s output after John Peel’s show so very late at night I often slept poorly so Id listen somtimes to radio 2 there was a presenter who used to sign off with somthing like ” and a specisl good night to you if your on your own” it was said with such sincerity and made me think of someone who perhaps had had a partner die and was up late and lonely. on my vists to BBC broadcasting house I have reflected that so much gets put out there late at night and some of the people who listen are probably very isolated, as a disabled person sometimes people are scared of my disability or misunderstand who I am I am lucky to live in london with great access to other disabled people , but as a kid I grew up in east anglia and its very different there, the expectations of disabled people are often low, I feel I have some responsibility to try and help others less fortunate then myself my life would be different had i not moved to London. lonliness is a problem for people on the autism spectrum and for non autstic people but is not often talked about , so if I could achieve keeping people company and entertained, intellectually stimulated. and not feeling so alone I think that would be really worthwhile, and maybe when i old ill be lucky enought to have someone do the same for me.”
As World Autism Awareness Day approaches on 2 April, Sam Wonfor talks to the rather fantastic Robyn Steward, who has made it her business to speak up for people on the spectrum and help those who aren’t to understand them better – for everyone’s benefit. Robyn Steward was born three months early and lives independently […]