Vidar Hjardeng
Brought up in Whitley Bay, Vidar attended school in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, then studied languages at Manchester University before a post-grad Journalism course at London's City University.  Now Diversity Manager for ITV News Group, Vidar has spent over 20 years working for ITV in the Midlands, much of that time as Editor/Executive Producer on regional political and social action magazine programmes, documentaries and 'live' debates. Vidar spent a number of years as a Consultant with Channel 4's daytime political show produced by ITN and also worked on a number of documentaries for the BBC's Disability Unit. He continues to Chair ITV Central's Diversity Advisory Panel and is one of ITV's representatives on the British Creative Industries' Disability Network. In addition to this he reviews audio-books for Radio 4's In Touch programme and has contributed to a number of publications including The Book Magazine; Disability Now; The FT and Art, Disability and Culture, and is on the judging panel for the Spoken Word Awards.  He reviews audio-described theatre and operatic productions at a variety of venues around the UK, including The Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Hippodrome and Nottingham Theatre Royal. Vidar was recently invited to join the Board of Birmingham Symphony Hall/Town Hall and is also a Trustee with the RNIB; The British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD); The National Blind Children's Society; RADAR and the national audio description charity, VOCALEYES, having also spent several years as a Trustee with the Talking Newspapers Association of the UK (for a time as vice chair).