Tom Skelton picks his top 5 blind icons
- Tom Skelton
- 3 August 2017
The character comedian chooses his favourite VIPs (Visually Impaired People) throughout history
Béla the Blind
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, but in 12th-century Hungary, a blind man was actually king. Along with his dad Álmos, young Béla was blinded by his uncle, the then King, to nip their rival claim to the throne in the bud. Or so he thought! The uncle's line dried up and Béla oversaw an expansionist Hungarian foreign policy, capturing Bosnia and Croatia. Not that I am saying that is good, obviously. He died a drunk in 1141. Blind drunk. Béla just pips Gordon Brown, David Blunkett and Vasily II of Moscow as my top blind political figure.
To liberate generations of blind people with his language is an amazing thing, and I did not know for bloomin' ages that it was named after its creator rather than just being created by nature or God or Shakespeare.
Jorge Luis Borges
There are other great blind writers like Homer and John Milton, but I have actually read some Borges, and his strange tales make me feel all happy and funny inside. This quote on losing his sight always stuck with me: 'but gradual blindness is not tragic, it's like the slowly growing darkness of a summer evening'.
'Hit the Road Jack' gets him on here alone!
Watching (right close up to the telly) Libby Clegg bag double gold in the 200m in Rio was a moment of cracking sporting spectacle, after the controversial disqualification of charismatic home favourite Terezinha Guilhermina.
Tom Skelton: Blind Man's Bluff, Underbelly Med Quad, 5–28 Aug (not 16), 4.30pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9). Previews 2–4 Aug, £6.50.