Red Széll is a writer, broadcaster and extreme sports enthusiast who refuses to allow blindness to stand in his way.
A published author himself, he presents Read on Air, RNIB Connect Radio’s weekly show for those passionate about books and reading. The show is a blend of book news, reviews and author interviews, broadcast every Friday at 1pm on Freeview channel 730, on-line and as a podcast via iTunes and Audioboom.
In 2013 Red became the first blind person to climb the Old Man of Hoy (the tallest sea-stack in the Northern Hemisphere and Britain’s most iconic pinnacle) – a feat that was captured by top-adventure cameraman Keith Partridge (Touching the Void, The Beckoning Silence) in a BBC TV documentary.
Red’s account of the adventure, The Blind Man of Hoy was published in April 2015. Following a tour of the country to promote the book (including appearances at The Edinburgh, Wigtown and Petworth Book Festivals), Red recorded a TED Talk and continues to work as a motivational speaker, talking about his experience of sight loss and encouraging others to see that assisting the visually impaired is as much about raising expectations as about fundraising.
To this end he has appeared in Run Your Race, a short RNIB film promoting active participation in sport by blind people, and starred in Fight For Sight’s Look Me In The Eye TV advertising campaign in 2017.
It’s a message he also promotes in his regular appearances on BBC Radio 4’s In Touch programme and in the wide-range of newspaper, magazine and blog articles he writes.
A year-round open water swimmer Red has won medals at The 2015 Big Chill Swim and the Christmas Day 2014 Highgate Men’s Pond swim and completed the Henley Mile in June 2015, the first blind competitor to do so.
The same month he also became the first blind person to complete the gruelling 100 mile South Downs Way on a tandem (the route takes in 11,000 feet of hill climbs and he and his sighted tandem partner hit speeds of up to 50mph on the downhill sections!)
His crime novel Blind Trust was published in 2011 and, though sadly now out of print, is still available as an audiobook and on Kindle.
For more information visit Red’s blog at RedSzell.com