John Bishop’s ‘incredible programme’ sheds light on hearing loss, says charity

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Liverpool comedian John Bishop and his son Joe appeared in a new ITV documentary on Thursday night - ‘John & Joe Bishop: Life After Deaf’.

The new documentary, aired on Thursday night and follows John Bishop and his son Joe as the family try to learn more about the deaf community.

A local Merseyside charity were ‘delighted’ to see the issues surrounding hearing loss discussed by the much-loved comedian.

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Bishop’s son Joe - who suffers from progressive deafness - embarks on a journey of self acceptance meanwhile John challenges himself to deliver a stand-up show to a deaf audience.

John Bishop said: “Before we started this journey, we could never have imagined what an impact it would have on us as a family.

“Joe and I are so grateful to the members of the Deaf community who we’ve met this year, their generosity has changed our lives.”

What is John & Joe Bishop: Life After Deaf  about?

At 15, Joe Bishop was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition that has led to the deterioration of his hearing and progessive deafness. Now 27, it has been 12 years since Joe became partially deaf.

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The documentary follows the father and son as the pair learn sign language for the first time and attempt to give a voice to the often marginalised deaf community.

South Shore CEO Andrew Mackenzie said: “This is an extraordinary and brave film for the Bishop family to make. They’ve opened up an incredibly personal and moving story as they take their first steps into the Deaf community."

The documentary has a British Sign Language option, allowing hearing-impaired and deaf viewers to enjoy the programme, without subtitles.

Difficult subjects such as being unsure how to join the deaf community and coming to terms with hearing deteriation are discussed, and viewers see John realise that he tried to ‘fix’ his son’s condition, rather than offering emotional support.

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What does this mean for the deaf community?

Joanne Parr, Chief Executive at Merseyside Society for Deaf People told LiverpoolWorld: “The Deaf Community have campaigned for decades for the recognition of BSL and equality of access to services. The introduction of the BSL Act 2022 is testament to the tenacity of a Community with a rich cultural heritage and language.”

“As a local charity we are delighted to see such a high profile and much loved comedian as Liverpool’s John Bishop highlight the issues that people with hearing loss face. We are grateful to Joe Bishop for championing BSL and to John for showcasing some famous Deaf comedians!”

Twitter users expressed their approval of the documentary, highlighting the importance of representation.

Where can I watch it?

The full documentary is available on ITV Hub, as well as John’s BSL stand up show.

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