Annalisa Is Awkward

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20190118

What are we all so awkward about? Annalisa Dinnella explores this slippery emotion. Can she and a group of comedians outsmart awkwardness - and should they even be trying?

Annalisa has 5% vision and regularly navigates the fog of other people’s awkwardness. Research from the disability charity Scope reveals that 67% of British people feel uncomfortable speaking to a disabled person. While Annalisa sees awkwardness as a daily - and sociologically fascinating - annoyance, she knows full well that the drip-drip effect of everyday awkwardness can be devastating.

Annalisa speaks to comedian and theatre-maker Jess Thom who uses her Tourettes as inspiration for her performances. Together, they discuss the best ways to dissect and diffuse the awkwardness people feel about disability. Annalisa also meets Cariad Lloyd whose podcast, Griefcast, drills into the silences surrounding death and grief. Psychiatrist Raj Persaud explores the potential dangers of not voicing our awkwardness and comedian Bethany Black explains why getting our language right can make all the difference.

Shouldering other people’s awkwardness is a fine art and daily habit for many of us, but is it healthy? Is it sustainable? Annalisa discovers what might happen if, rather than trying to run from awkwardness, we decide instead to turn around and embrace it.

Written and presented by Annalisa Dinnella
Produced by Alexandra Quinn
Executive Producer: Jo Rowntree
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4

What are we all so awkward about? Annalisa Dinnella explores this slippery emotion.