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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Stephen Fry speaks to prison radio

Stephen Fry speaks to prison radio

Stephen Fry has spoken about the importance of literacy and his belief in rehabilitation in an exclusive interview with prison radio.

The actor and TV presenter was interviewed for HMP Wandsworth’s Radio Wanno. The interview will also air on the national prison radio network.

Fry, famed for shows such as QI and Blackadder, was at the London prison to see a special one-to-one literacy scheme in which prisoners teach other prisoners to read.

The 52-year-old star told how impressed he was with the Shannon Trust’s ‘Toe by Toe’ programme – named for its little-by-little approach to learning – and spoke of the importance of literacy.

'If you can’t read and write you’re excluded from so much of society…literally in terms of signing on for the dole or reading job applications, and being suitable for jobs – there are so many that exclude you; but you’re also psychologically excluded. And if you’re excluded, then yes, you’re far more likely to turn to crime.'

He added that the key to learning is 'twisting your brain so you can actually enjoy the process rather than getting impatient at it. It might sound absurdly optimistic but it’s genuinely true'.

Fry also spoke of his own experience of prison – he was jailed for three months on remand aged 17 after stealing a credit card – and when asked if he favoured rehabilitation for prisoners he replied: 'for me it’s rehabilitation every time'.

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