|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2011)|
See Hear logo
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||33|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original channel||BBC Two|
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Original run||11 October 1981 – present|
See Hear is a weekly magazine programme for deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the United Kingdom, broadcast on Wednesday mornings at 10.30am. The programme focuses on the British and the worldwide deaf community and covers a broad range of topics from areas such as education, deaf people's rights, technology and language. The programme is presented entirely in BSL and is broadcast with voice-over and subtitles in English throughout the programme.
See Hear was launched on BBC Two on 11 October 1981. It was broadcast with open subtitles, and was presented in sign by Martin Colville, a hearing CODA, and a Deaf presenter Maggie Woolley. The programme was originally broadcast on Sunday afternoons during lunchtime. As the series went from strength to strength different topics, such as discussions, chat shows, and special editions focussing on technology and education for Deaf people were added that ran alongside the original magazine.
Over the years See Hear's appeal within the Deaf community increased, and with it the involvement of Clive Mason, the series' longest serving presenter who joined in 1984. Clive was prominently involved with the See Hear Christmas and pantomime specials written by Terry Ruane and the late Dorothy Miles, two deaf people with strong backgrounds in Theatre. By the late 1980s the show was focussed on the important issues and concerns of members of the Deaf community. As the show's popularity grew more Deaf staff were recruited to work on the show, both behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera. As the show neared its 10th anniversary, the BBC, along with other Deaf organisations felt that it needed a change to keep it fresh.
See Hear took a brief hiatus from broadcast, while the format of the show was revamped. The new format had a broader scope than the previous one, because the producers felt that Deaf people were interested in different activities and experiences outside of their own community. When See Hear was broadcast following the new format the audience almost doubled. The new format was a success, and with this the BBC recognised BSL as a language.
During the 1990s See Hear was moved from the Sunday lunchtime slot to the Saturday morning slot. At this time the show was once again revamped, with new titles and music created for it. The show was also moved to the Light House in Wolverhampton and new presenter Lara Crooks joined the staff. It was renamed See Hear on Saturday. Since the time of this revamp, the show has constantly upgraded itself to keep up with the changes within the deaf community.
In 2001, See Hear celebrated its 20th anniversary by launching three new projects: Switch, a drama series dealing with the lives and relationships of people within the wider deaf community; The House on the Hill, for young Deaf children, which was written by viewer Amy Possart and presented by Lesley McGilp and Julian Peedle-Calloo; and Hay's Way, involving deaf academic and historian John Hay visiting a city in the UK to delve into its past and discover what it is like today.
See Hear celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006. This time it included a segment that took a retrospective look at the best bits of the show over its 25-year history. Coinciding with the 25th anniversary, in October 2006 See Hear switched from open subtitles, which had been used since the programme's inception, to closed subtitles that must be specially activated in order to appear.
At the end of the 2006-2007 series, it was announced that See Hear would move from its usual broadcast day of Saturday at 12pm to Wednesday, although the time of broadcast will remain unchanged.
As of January 2013, See Hear airs on BBC Two every Wednesday at 10:30 am, with a repeat on Tuesday nights. It is broadcast in fullscreen with open subtitles.
In July 2013, See Hear appointed William Mager, its first deaf Series Producer. It has been commissioned for a 34th series, keeping the programme on air through to March 2015.
See Hear is now the fifth longest running programme on the BBC.
- See Hear at BBC Programmes
- See Hear at the Internet Movie Database
- BBC Ariel interview with William Mager