Imogen, star of Blue Peter, shares her story - Living Paintings

Living Paintings

Imogen, star of Blue Peter, shares her story

9th November 2020

Imogen holding a copy of Zog and the Flying Doctors with Richie Driss in the background smiling.

Watch Imogen and Living Paintings on Blue Peter

In October 2020 Imogen was filmed by Blue Peter for their Children In Need special about Living Paintings’ free postal library service of tactile and audio books.

Watch Living Paintings on Blue Peter – shown on CBBC at 5.30pm on Friday 13th November and available on iPlayer now

You’ll hear from Imogen talk about what Living Paintings means to her as a visually impaired young person. Plus, share in her excitement of being the first library member to receive our accessible version of ‘Zog and the Flying Doctors’ – hand delivered by Richie Driss, Blue Peter presenter.

You’ll go behind the scenes at Living Paintings with Richie as he takes part in making the book, ‘Zog and the Flying Doctors’  – including lending his voice to the audio guide.

Imogen said,

“I was excited about meeting Richie and that he and Blue Peter were coming to my house. I was nervous about the recording, but everyone in the film crew were so friendly that I was fine and it was a fun and exciting afternoon.

I liked showing them what I like doing at home and how the Living Paintings books help me.  It was really good to have a  new book – ‘Zog and the Flying Doctors’ – which Richie made and narrated, that felt special and it was good being able to use the book with him in person.

I am excited to see the show, as I’m interested to see how all the filming that we did at home, and that Richie did at Living Paintings, will be put together.

I am proud that I was chosen by Living Paintings to receive the book and I am proud of my Blue Peter badge!”


Imogen feeling a tactile picture from Laurence Anholt's picture book, 'The Magical Garden of Claude Monet'

Imogen’s mum shares their story

“Due to her low level of vision and nystagmus, Imogen is a cane user, braillist and touch-typer. She has an access worker at school to help with adapting educational materials. Imogen has very sporadic and reduced peripheral vision and is photophobic, meaning that she struggles in varying light levels and with depth perception.

All of this said, Imogen is an amazingly determined and competent child. She is in mainstream school maintaining good grades and excels in many sports, and competes in these for her local teams.

Imogen is a happy and sociable girl who loves spending time with her family and friends at the park, restaurants and Brownies to name a few –she’s a busy bee.

Imogen’s visual impairment affects her accessing what a lot of us take for granted: all the coincidental learning. For example, on a car journey you can commonly hear, “Look there’s a cow in the field”, “Oh yes mummy, a moo cow” is what you’d expect ‘normally’, but for Imogen, she can’t see the cow so doesn’t know where it is, what it looks like and the shape of it. This means that Imogen needs this to be described to her and for her to build an image in her mind. Adults need to use vocabulary to explain what and why so that Imogen can have a bank of explanations to call on when needed – “Yes mummy, is the cow black and white?” can then be the response.

Living Paintings enables Imogen to hear and create her own images of objects, places, people and things. For example, she can use her sense of touch to feel around the raised pictures and follow the description enabling her to feel the ‘checks’ in Rupert Bear’s scarf or sunflowers in Van Gogh’s painting. All of this enables Imogen to paint a picture in her ‘mind’s eye’.

These learning experiences are able to be shared with her younger sister and she can recall on these pictures in her mind when sharing and telling stories with friends and in school.

Imogen is an inquisitive child who likes to know what, where, when and why, and learning using all of her available senses along with her academic ability enables her to quench that need and grow in her development.”


Borrow the book featured on Blue Peter, with audio description by Richie Driss

A mobile phone sitting on a wooden table top and wrapped in earphones displays the Living Paintings website.


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