Jump Around

I will be honest I am still pretty much just keeping myself to myself despite the easing of the lockdown regulations. I am happy to wait a little bit and see what happens as people mix in controlled situations together. Plus as we can only meet outside at the moment I am also waiting for the weather to consistently warm up a bit. I am not a fan of the cold. When the temperatures start averaging around twenty degrees then I will start catching up with people.

There are more business’s being allowed to reopen from Monday including hairdressers. I appreciate that some folk are very excited about that but as I have been cutting my own hair for a year now I no longer require their services. Pubs can serve food and drinks if they have an outside area or beer garden. However I think I am going to once again wait a bit to see how that is going before I sample it. I am still being extra careful but also as much as I want to go to pubs I do want it to seem like a place of fun rather than having a drink in your local doctors’ waiting room, if you know what I mean?

Everything so far in the United Kingdom looks quite encouraging as we slowly unlock things. The latest measures in place appear to have been working and hopefully if we are sensible and courteous we can keep things under control going forward. As much as I would love to head off on holiday somewhere exotic, some other countries do not appear to quite be on top of things yet. I understand how if this is not managed properly it could undo a lot of our hard work. Frustrating though that is for everybody. It could be the year for exploring those parts of Britain that you have been meaning to but never got round to.

Neil Quigley

I hope you had a fantastic Easter Bank Holiday Weekend and got to eat lots of chocolate, it is what Jesus would have wanted. Mine was brilliant, even though I did not set foot outside at all during the four days. I did however manage to find plenty of things to do to keep me entertained. On Good Friday evening my girlfriend got us a ticket for an online comedy night. It started quite early I thought at 7pm. Mind you I was already on the red wine by then to be fair. The event was hosted by Kiri Pritchard- Mclean. She was excellent and did a top job warming up an odd gig with a small Covid safe live audience there in the room alongside the now normal Zoom audience online.

Neil Quigley

First on was Daliso Chaponda who if you remember was on Britain’s Got Talent and has since had his own show on Radio 4. He was ace as he has been every time I have seen him, very funny and clever. Then it was a comic who I actually discovered via TikTok. He is a one liner comedian in the style of Tim Vine and Milton Jones. That style of comedy is a lot harder than it seems and requires an exceptional amount of wordplay skill and the ability to be very economic with your words, which is why I could never do it. His name is Mark Simmons and I really enjoyed his set it had some lovely lines in it.

The headline act was Nina Conti. I have been trying to see her live for a while and this is the closest I have managed so far. When I was in Edinburgh last I wanted to see her show there but it was totally sold out. She is an amazing Ventriloquist who mainly performs with her trusty sidekick Monkey. But she also has a bit in her act where she gets people up from the audience and puts puppet masks over their faces and makes them talk, which is always hilarious. As ever I thought she was great!

I have been a fan of ventriloquism for years as a child I used to love Roger De Courcey and Nookie Bear, as well as Ray Allan and Lord Charles. The gig was a wonderful start to the long weekend. All the performers were good despite the strange way it was set up and the fact that none of them had performed live for a while, obviously. I do hope that they do more of these gigs as we build up for the return of actual live comedy with some bigger audiences. There are so many brilliant venues I regularly used to visit to see top comedians do their thing. I cannot wait till these reopen and I am once again able to laugh out loud with a room full of strangers.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

On Saturday afternoon we ended up watching Shrek. It is one of those films that you can watch over and over again and it does not require too much attention, which is always a winner for me. It is a brilliant film with a great singalong soundtrack. Which character are you? I think I am definitely “Donkey”. It is hard to believe it is twenty years old this month. I spotted something watching it this time that I think I had seen online somewhere and then totally forgot about.

The logo lettering for the ruler of the town of Duloc, Lord Farquaad is a white f on a blue background. It does look kind of familiar to how a well-known social media networking website looks. Facebook was launched in 2004! Mark Zuckenberg would have been I guess about seventeen years old when the movie was released. Even if he did not mean to I reckon at the very least he saw it and subconsciously used that for his site design. Or that is what I would have told my lawyers anyway!

Neil Quigley

Later on that evening we watched Creation Stories which is loosely based on the life of Alan McGhee, who was the man behind Creation Records. Irvine Welsh helped write the screen play and apparently did shall we say embellish certain aspects of the story. It is directed by Nick Moran who was in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. I do think that you can detect the influence of that film and Trainspotting in this one.

It is mainly about how Alan achieved what he did while seemingly being constantly out having a great time. That in a way does make his success even more impressive and surprising. His record label’s biggest discovery was probably Oasis. They do get referenced in this but they are very much on the fringes of things. Paving the way for a biopic of the Gallagher brother’s, which if they make very soon they can use all the actors who played the band in the McGhee story and save a bit of time during the casting process.

Neil Quigley

It was for me an unusually film heavy weekend. But we did also enjoy lots of top quality food, some decent red wine and in my case a bit more Gluten Free Beer. The final movie we saw was the Spike Lee directed Blackkklannsman. It is based on a true story about a black police detective who wants to infiltrate his town’s branch of the Klu Klux Klan. He makes the initial contact with them via the phone and then speaks to the leaders of the group on the phone throughout the movie. But for obvious reasons he could not meet them in person, so another white but Jewish detective pretends to be him to get in with the organisation.

It is a fascinating and terrifying story. It was very cleverly told and although a massively serious subject there is a lot of comedy in it. The main man Ron Stallworth is played by John David Washington. The character is kind of like the original Beverley Hills Cop in style and brashness. Adam Driver plays his colleague who has to pretend to be him when meeting up with the white supremacists.

I felt quite a bit of tension throughout it and you so want the good guys to win and there are moments when you fear they will not. At the end of the film there is some footage that shows the language that these guys were using back in the seventies appears to be the same as what Donald Trump was reciting in a lot of his speeches. Certain key words and phrases really stuck out. Having just seen the movie it definitely struck a chord with me.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It is the Aintree Horse Racing Festival this weekend culminating in The Grand National later this afternoon. The event did not even take place at all last year. Before that it was always a highlight of my year. I would travel up to Liverpool on the Thursday afternoon to go to my mate Jeff’s place. We would then get all dressed up in our suits and go to Ladies Day at the course on the Friday. That was always a top quality occasion and if I am honest quite a big day on the alcohol front.

Neil Quigley and Jeff Nolan
Neil Quigley and Jeff Nolan

Then on Grand National Day itself we would find a nice pub in or around Liverpool to watch the race in both of us hoping to have backed the winner to justify the party we were actually going to have regardless of the result. This will be the second year I have missed but hopefully things will be at the stage by next year, where we can restart this wonderful tradition. It is always such a funny and lively weekend. Plus a great excuse to get dressed up and cheer on some of the best horses in the country.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

One of my horses “Stage Star” is actually running in the final race of the festival, which takes place after the main event. He is set to run in the 6.20pm at Aintree. It is a National Hunt Flat Race and only his third appearance at a track. It is a big step up even though the first couple of appearances were encouraging this will be a much bigger test. I hope he runs well, enjoys himself and comes home safe. If he does happen to win I will be celebrating, that is for sure. It is a shame that under the current restrictions I cannot be there in person but I guarantee I will be watching from home.

Neil Quigley and Stage Star
Neil Quigley and Stage Star

I have really settled in to my Gluten Free diet now. Generally it does not cause me any real issues but every now and again there will be something that I discover I cannot have. Or more accurately I will have to hunt down the Gluten Free version of. There does seem to be one for pretty much everything, which is nice.

As a result of my Coeliac Disease diagnosis I had to have another vaccination this week. It is recommended that sufferers get the Pneumonia Vaccine due to an increased risk of complications if it is contracted. Quick simple and painless as with all these things and I now have the little bit of extra protection I need.

Gluten Free Food

There was a break from Domestic football as the International scene took centre stage for a few weeks. England managed three wins out of three. That means we top our World Cup Qualification Group. Harry Kane managed to add to his goal tally and is at number six on the all time scorers list, six goals behind fifth placed Michael Owen and nineteen goals behind first placed Wayne Rooney. I certainly would not back against him beating that record the man is a goal machine!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Tottenham returned to action last Sunday. You can always rely on them to ruin a decent weekend. The performance was actually not too bad but we conceded a goal in the last ten minutes to draw away at Newcastle. A win would have put us into the top four. That has kind of been the story of our season so far, we have very much flattered to deceive.

We face Manchester United at home tomorrow and I have no idea how it will turn out. I fear the worse but hope for the best. Whatever happens I will be fully behind the team cheering them on. As that is what supporting the team means to me.

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

My Pop Quiz continues every Tuesday night at 8.30pm still. I plan on keeping it going at least until we are allowed to sit back inside pubs and restaurants again. That seems like it will be at least a month or so away.

Since I started it last April I have set and asked over one thousand questions. Here is the latest episode of “Quigger’s Plays Pop” in case you missed it. https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10164882543415591/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I have now been doing my Saturday Show on Radio Ninesprings in Yeovil for over a year. That seems to have gone very quickly. If you have listened in at any point thanks very much I hope I made you laugh or at the very least made you shout at your radio! You can listen to me on Saturday afternoon’s between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil

Park Life

It has now been over twelve months since the United Kingdom had its first National Lockdown. We are now in Lockdown three and like The Police Academy films ideally we would have all liked them to have ended after the initial one. They both basically followed the same story and sadly did become a little less entertaining. However we are hopefully moving in the right direction and starting to get on top of the situation regarding this very nasty virus at last.

The real test of course will come when everything slowly starts to open back up again. Then we will get the chance to try to remember how to order drinks in a pub, sing at football matches and purchase a ticket for the theatre. We are not quite there yet and it will not just be enough to get things under control here. For things to truly begin to get back to somewhere near to normal the whole world needs to be able to contain this thing together. Sadly it does seem that some Countries are faring better than others at that.

Obviously nobody is totally enjoying the current situation. Life I think is about how you look at it. Try to concentrate on the things that we can do over the next few months rather than the things we cannot. Then make the most of everything you can still do within the rules. People will also begin to allow themselves to do things at their own speed when they feel comfortable enough. Some will jump back to it straight away some may wait a bit and see what happens. Each to their own! We all have to make the right decisions for ourselves.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I have now been Gluten Free for over a month after being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. Happily I am still finding it easy to adapt my regular diet accordingly and do not really feel that I am missing out on too much. I still get way too excited when I check a bar code on my phone application and the smiley face appears telling me that it is safe for me to have it. My girlfriend is doing a sterling job giving me Gluten Free desserts as my general motto when it comes to food is that you should always end a meal with something sweet. I feared that I might have to stop with that philosophy but it is still possible even with the new restrictions I have.

I can no longer have standard Lager, Beer or Stout so I am on a little bit of a mission to find the best Gluten Free version of these options. I have already found an early leader in the Lager category. It is called Daura and made in Spain by the people that make Estrella. It is so far the closest to the real lager taste that I have found. It is completely fine for me to drink, in moderation of course. It is actually approved by Coeliac UK and has their emblem. That sign is basically a big tick for me on anything I see it on. I have studied food labelling in the last month more than at any time during my entire life.

Gluten Free Lager

For the first time since I was eighteen there was no Guinness for me on St Patrick’s Day this year, as I am no longer allowed to drink it. For many years I went to Waxy O’Connor’s in London, had a few pints of the black stuff, enjoyed the live Irish music and basically had a great time. I did not get to go last year which was a real shame. That place is my favourite pub in the Capital and I am looking forward to going there when we are allowed to once again. I will have to find a new drink to enjoy there of course.

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

I have always felt I qualified to celebrate because not only do I have a name with Irish origin “Quigley” but my Granddad was actually born there. The family had a small holding in County Mayo. I have not had the chance to go there yet, my Uncle has and sadly the actual farm is no longer there. I would like to visit one day. I imagine it would be a bit like Ant & Dec’s DNA Journey and it would turn out that I was in some way related to everybody in the local pub. This year I raised a cup of tea to St Patrick, while wearing my green rugby shirt that I won in a competition at Waxy’s about seven years ago.

Neil Quigley

I hope you somehow managed to give your Mum a nice little treat on Mother’s Day this year. I appreciate this may not have been easy and there is a chance you have not seen her for a year or possibly longer. I ordered mine a card from a well-known greetings card website. Their name rhymes with “Spoon Wig”. It has been a tough year for everyone so I thought I would splash out a bit as she deserves it. As I was placing the order I saw an option that said giant card. I thought I would get her that. I did not bother looking at the dimensions as I honestly presumed giant meant A4 size. Why would you need one bigger than that?

Anyway I also sorted out some chocolates and arranged to get them delivered to her on the day. That afternoon she sent me a picture of her holding the card and it was massive! It was almost as big as her. It looked like one of those oversized cheques that they mock up to give big prize winners. My Mum liked it but my sister was annoyed as she got a normal sized card, so it looked like I had tried to outdo her in the appreciation stakes. That was not my intention. In fact it was simply due to me not really paying attention. I just hope she does not think all of her future cards will be this size or she is going to be very disappointed.

Giant Card!

I am generally very clumsy. In fact it is a bit worrying how often I seem to catch my arm on door frames or hit my head on cabinet doors. I often compare myself to a cross between Frank Spencer from “Some Mothers Do ‘Ave’ M and Mr Bean. I sometimes think that I could have been a slapstick comedy superstar like Norman Wisdom or Charlie Chaplin. I reckon I could easily have fell through that bar like Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses. I am not sure how I seem to manage these things.

The other week I was just walking down the stairs to get a glass of water albeit with nothing on my feet. When I tripped and somehow fell forward on to just one of my toes, which buckled under me and for a brief moment had all my weight on it. At this point it made a bit of a strange noise as I regained my footing. I thought I had broken my toe initially but now I think I might just have sprained it. Either way it has gone a very impressive colour and I have had to rest it. There is nothing more annoying than injury yourself doing something simply unexpected and ridiculous.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It was the Cheltenham Festival recently. I am a big horse racing fan so this is always one of the highlights of my year. I normally try to go on the Wednesday, obviously I could not do that this year and sadly I did not manage to get there last year. Although as that was when the Pandemic was starting to take hold of the country I was totally fine with that situation with hindsight. I watched all of the races from the comfort of my home this time. The television coverage is very good to be fair. They do it really well and make it as inclusive as possible.

Cheltenham Festival
Cheltenham Festival

The racing is always top quality at this event. It takes place at the home of National Hunt Racing. The course is set in the countryside of the Cotswolds and looks stunning. As part of the meeting there is a competition between the Irish Trainers and the rest of the United Kingdom. Ireland ran away with it this year. They had the winners of pretty much all the big races. Ireland’s Rachel Blackmore became the first female leading Jockey at the event, riding the most winners over the four days.

When it comes to any gambling the golden rule is never bet more than you can afford to lose. For example when I actually go to the races I budget in any stake money as part of the cost of the whole day and expect to spend it. If I have any winners and return with some money that is just a bonus. I had quite a good Cheltenham. I saw and had a bet on every race and ended up fifty pounds up for the week, which I was obviously very happy with. Next up in a couple of weeks it is the Grand National Festival at Aintree. I would normally be there but of course cannot do that this year. However one of my horses might be running there, which is very exciting.

Neil Quigley and Stage Star
Neil Quigley and Stage Star

I watched the film Wild Rose last weekend. Unusually this one was kind of my suggestion for a change, much to the surprise of my other half. It is about a young Scottish woman who is desperate to make it as a Country singer. That is what peaked my interest as I am a fan of that genre of music. Plus I had heard some good things about it. The cast list is impressive it features Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo and Jessie Buckley who plays the title role. It was quite a good watch. I was hoping there would be more music in it than there was. It has a pretty gritty and real storyline.

The king of the UK Country scene Bob Harris makes a brief cameo appearance in it as does his real Radio 2 producer. The best bit for me was when Rose-Lynn goes to Nashville. I have been there and I loved it there, so it was great to see it on screen. It brought back lots of memories of my trip there. I would happily go there again. Such a cool place with live music pretty much everywhere all of the time. I do not want to spoil the ending but they kept the movie true and pretty realistic, I would say.

Nashville Broadway
Nashville Broadway

I started my weekly Pop Quiz during the first Lockdown thinking that I would do it for a few months and that would be it. It has had a few breaks but we are now on series three. Within the next month it will celebrate its first anniversary. I am planning on doing a one hour long special birthday programme. It began as a bit of a distraction and some music related fun on a Tuesday night. I never intended to still be doing it now but here we are. I am still doing it and enjoying it.

You can join in with the latest episode this Tuesday on my Facebook page at 8.30pm. As ever there will be thirty questions spread over six fun and different rounds. There is always an audio round to test your skills for recognising songs from short clips of them. I always wear the same “showbiz” jacket when I present it. I might give that away on the very last show. I really enjoy doing it but when I have to stop that means everything is back open and we are out socialising again. Here is last week’s Quigger’s Plays Pop to enjoy in case you missed it. https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10164825151995591/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It has not been the best few weeks for Tottenham Hotspur. We were beaten by Arsenal in the North London Derby, which means both of us won our home games against each other this season. We then got knocked out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb despite being two goals up from the first leg. We lost three nil after extra time. It was such a disappointing lacklustre performance it almost made me angry.

We did thankfully manage to beat Aston Villa away before this latest international break. That leaves us still sniffing around the top four places in the Premier League. We need one big final push between now and the end of the season.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

You can still listen to me on Saturday afternoon’s between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Inject Some Humour

It is now over a year since the last time I went to the theatre, which as it happens was to see some Shakespeare at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at The Globe. That was kind of the final time I went out and did anything “normal” before the very first National Lockdown began. It has been an interesting twelve months during which I think we have learned a lot about ourselves and others. The situation has been a bit tough at times of course but it is improving rapidly. A little more patience and extra care now will mean that we should have a bit more scope to have a fun Summer and an easier Winter, I hope.

Sam Wannamaker Playhouse
Sam Wannamaker Playhouse

I am almost three weeks in to my new Gluten Free lifestyle after I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. It has taken a little bit of an adjustment to my diet. Mainly just simple small tweaks here and there. The toughest thing if I am honest is not being able to have the biscuits I would normally have after meals. I did have a few dreams about them during week one. Although I have now found a Gluten Free biscuit which I like, so all is good again on that front. I did try to eat reasonably healthily in general previously but now as there are certain things I cannot have, that has actually become even easier.

My family have been very supportive even though when we next eat together I am going to be more awkward to feed. Plus I will insist on seeing all the barcodes on any food or ingredients so that I can check they are safe for me to eat using the Coeliac UK App that I have on my phone. My girlfriend has been brilliant. She has already bought a Gluten Free Cook Book. And so far she has made me Sausage Rolls and a Pie that I was able to eat, not to mention some lovely Brownies to. I am very lucky as she loves baking and trying to make new things, so she now has a whole host of new dishes to master.

Gluten Free Pie

Due to the fact I have suffered from Asthma since the age of six and because I now have Coeliac Disease, which can affect the body’s immune system. I was fortunate enough to be offered the chance to have my first dose of the Covid Vaccination. Of Course I jumped at the opportunity and booked it in as soon as possible. My Doctors notified me that I could have the jab via a text message. It was all very easy and simple to set up. I just had a link to follow to confirm a date and time. I had it done last Friday.

My local Vaccination Centre was very handily just a five minute walk from my house. I arrived there a few minutes before my designated time. I was then asked to join a socially distanced queue. Everybody was of course wearing a mask. The line moved quickly. Before you enter the actual building you have to answer a few simple questions on your current health. Once inside you are given your own form and then you join another queue. When you get to the front of that one you are called to see one of the Vaccination team.

The one I went to was very well organised there were lots of booths set up in the room. Before you arrive the chair you sit on is sanitised. You then get asked a few more questions and they tell you which of the vaccines you are getting and explain the possible side effects. I had the AstraZeneca. I never look when I have any injections I never have. I did not even feel the needle go in and the person had to tell me when it was done as I did not even realise.

You get a card as proof that you have had the first injection to take away with you. I did not have any real problems afterwards. I just had a sore arm where the needle went in for a few days and felt a little bit more tired than normal. Personally I think that is a small price to pay for some protection against one of the nastiest viruses the world has experienced globally for around one hundred years. I am so pleased and relieved that I have had it. I still of course need to have the second one sometime in the next ten to twelve weeks and I cannot wait for it. Take care, stay safe, keep following the rules and we will beat this thing!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It was my girlfriend’s birthday a couple of weeks ago. I did spend the whole day with her which I did think should be considered a gift all by itself. But just in case she did not see it that way I also got her a few other presents. One of these was one of those wooden bath trays. They sit across it and have several compartments for a book, tablet and your phone. Plus this one had a wine glass holder. It might have been an error as I worry I may never see her again as she will be spending most of her time having a long hot soak. To mark the fact that she is developing my film education I got her a cool print from a famous scene in Pulp Fiction. That was one of the first films we saw together.

Pulp Fiction

She is a big fan of crime drama television programmes so much so that she will happily watch the foreign language ones, which are subtitled. As a result of this I think she fancies herself as a bit of a private detective. I thought she might enjoy this online event that I saw so I got us tickets for it the Saturday before her big day. It was an immersive interactive murder mystery experience via Zoom. It cost ten pounds each to join in the fun. It was set back stage at a reality dancing competition. All the characters names did seem to have a passing resemblance to existing celebrities, which to be fair did add to the fun a little.

About an hour before it starts they send you some information through about the murder along with some evidence and details on all of the potential suspects. That email also included the link to the Zoom meeting it would be hosted on. We clicked on it and joined the proceedings. At first you are in one giant meeting with all the people who have got tickets, you can chat and say hello to each other. Right from the start it is very social. Then the actor playing the Detective appears and explains how it will all work.

Everybody will be split into teams and put into different meeting rooms. Each team will have ten minutes to interview each suspect and the chance to see some more video evidence. Actors play each of the characters. They were all great and played their parts well. It was brilliant fun and a good laugh. We may have got sucked into it a bit too much and started taking it very seriously. We possibly began over thinking it a little bit to. You all get the chance to ask questions it is fair and friendly. You are on the same team with about twenty other people mostly strangers but you have to work together on cracking it.

It lasts about ninety minutes. We really enjoyed it. Annoyingly we did not get the murderer correct but we had a laugh doing it. I was really impressed with how they put it all together and presented it. I would happily recommend it if you are looking for something a bit different to entertain you, while we are still restricted to being at home during the weekend. It is being run through Design My Night and you can get your tickets from them. Be warned though it does draw you in and you will start thinking that you are the Police. I was channelling my inner D. I. Burnside from The Bill at one point.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

My girlfriend had been keen to see the modern reworking of the classic Charles Dicken’s story Oliver Twist made by Sky and starring Michael Caine for ages. As it was her birthday I ran out of excuses and agreed to watch it. It is called Twist. The lead character is played by Raff Law, Jude’s son. He is basically a street artist living alone on the streets. Like the original he is an orphan. Some of the roles are gender swapped that is a nice touch but does not massively alter the story. David Walliams and Rita Ora are both in it as is Keith Lemon!

Michael Caine plays Fagan with more of an organised crime feel to his empire than the original, more Al Pacino than Ron Moody. It does have a bit of an Ocean’s Eleven feel to it. I quite enjoyed it and it kept my interest and attention. As I know the traditional film version so well I was trying to spot the links with that as the story developed. I think I may have enjoyed it more if I was not so familiar with the book. As a stand alone film it was pretty good but I was constantly doing a bit of a comparison and trying to work out how true they were being to the original in my head.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I only got around to seeing the first Coming to America film a few weeks ago mainly in preparation to be able to see the new follow up. It was funny if not a bit dated in places but then it was released back in 1988. I watched Coming to America 2 last Saturday. It was quite fun to see Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reprise all of their roles from the original. Also no film is made worse for having the great James Earl Jones in it. It does also feature plenty of great cameos.
I was fine with the story line and the set up. All the flashbacks were cleverly done, although of course it was still pretty fresh in my mind.

There are no real surprises and you can see what is going to happen a mile off. There are some nice set pieces in it. Plus you get Wesley Snipes playing an interesting General with the strangest walk that I think I have ever seen. Like the original for me some of the best bits are when Eddie and Arsenio are playing the weird and wonderful peripheral characters like the guys in the Barber’s Shop for instance. It is not going to win any awards but it kept me entertained and it did make me laugh. Silly stupid fun with a slight hidden message behind it is what I think it is. And it does not pretend to be anything else.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Due to obvious reasons I had not done this for a while but I got a call from a production company I have worked with a few times before recently. They were looking for someone to help them out with the development of a particular gameshow that I have been involved with before. It is one that they have created and are looking to sell to a television company. To get it made and on to our screens. They needed to record a version of it to use as part of their pitch for a rather large channel.

Therefore I helped them out by playing one the contestants on it. We did it over Zoom so it was all compliant with all of the current rules and regulations. I cannot give any exact details as it is still in development. I think it is a fun and exciting game, which is not like any game shows currently. It will really get the audience engaged and playing along at home. It was such a fun afternoon doing the recording I had a great time. I have really missed doing things like this and look forward to returning to them on a more regular basis soon.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

This year as part of Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer Fund Raising. They did a two part stand up comedy television special. It featured some random celebrities trying their hands at being a comedian at a one off gig where they had to perform a five minute set. They each had a professional comedian as their mentor to help them through the process. The celebrities were Shaun Ryder, Curtis Pritchard, Katie McGlynn, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and the Reverend Richard Coles.

The comedians helping them were Judi Love, Nick Helm. Zoe Lyons, Jason Manford and David Baddiel. I thought they were pretty harsh as they only gave them a two week period to prepare and in that time they only got to meet up a few times. Standing in front of people and trying to make them laugh is tough. It is even harder when it is your first time doing it. It reminded me of my comedy debut and brought back a lot of memories from that time. Just because you are a good public speaker does not necessarily mean you are going to be funny. It is a whole different ball game.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I did an eight week Stand Up course with the comedy guru Logan Murray before my first gig. Each session was three hours and we had homework to do as well. That was not an issue as the whole process was so much fun. We just got together and had a right laugh. It was building up to the wonderful Tringe Festival Roving Comedy Night. Where we all made our debuts performing our five minute sets four times in four different pubs in small groups with each one led by a professional comic. I was with the fantastic Tony Law.

Logan Murray
Logan Murray

It was a wonderful experience I enjoyed it so much the adrenalin rush from the night was sensational. I have gone on to do a few gigs since but you never forget your first one! The latest show proved how tough it is and some of them faired a lot better than others. It was all in aid of a very important charity and that is the main thing. I cannot see any of them switching careers mind. When everything starts to reopen again I am very much looking forward to watching some live comedy. Hopefully I will get the chance to do some more stand up myself.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It has been a decent few weeks for my team Spurs. We managed to put some nice wins together. A few of our players now seem to be hitting a good bit of form as we begin to approach the business end of the season. We on paper seem to have a reasonable chance of now making the Europa League Quarter finals at least. Plus we are also starting to play much better and more consistently. All that goes out of the window tomorrow though as we face Arsenal in the North London derby. Form and league position counts for nothing, we just have to hope it goes our way. Come on you Spurs!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Quigger’s Plays Pop my weekly quiz on Facebook continues. I am having a lot of fun producing and writing the show. Plus it is great to have a reason to dress up and talk to people on a Tuesday evening at eight thirty. Here is a link to last week’s show if you want to see how much fun it is! https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10164765615675591/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

You can listen to me every Saturday afternoon between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Not Got The Stomach For it!

We are already right at the end of February. This month seems to have flown by to me. It does every year, which if you think about it as it only has two or three days less than the other months is a little bit strange. It is March on Monday so we are basically in spring with the days getting longer and lighter. What is not to like about that? There is a lot be encouraged by at the moment. It does seem that things are finally moving in the right direction.

The basic outline of plans to start the slow process of getting back to somewhere near normal has been announced. I still personally think that patience is still the key. We cannot keep going back and forward into these lockdowns as that helps nobody. The NHS has been doing a great job dealing with the pandemic but it has sadly delayed other treatments of course. We need to get back up to speed with these and cannot really afford any further hold ups.

All the right figures are coming down but there are clearly cases out there and it is still spreading in some areas. Therefore we need to be a bit cautious still when opening the country up. As we now know how quickly it can transmit from person to person. The vaccination programme is working well it seems. Latest reports suggest I should get my first injection by the end of next month, which sounds good to me. The sooner the better as far as I am concerned.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

We all still need to be responsible and make the right decisions for our own good and for those around us. It has been a massive pain to say the least but we will come through it stronger. Things will return gradually to how we once knew them as things did after the Plague and the Spanish Flu.

We have I guess you could argue been lucky that it has been so long since a huge global virus issue like this has arisen. It has been a concern for many years, I believe. With the amount of people who travel all over the world nowadays it meant the spread of this thing I think possibly took everybody a little bit by surprise. Either that or they were not fully prepared to accept it.

Hang on in there, keep smiling, you are doing great. We will all get through this thing together and hopefully be better people for it. Last weekend it was the Australian Open Tennis Finals and there were fans in the stadium to witness it. It shows you after quite harsh measures things can begin to reopen to some degree in a relatively short time.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Just picture and look forward to the first time you can do something that you really want to once again. Then when it happens remember to savour it and not take it for granted ever again. Life is for enjoying and to be made the most out of.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It was Valentine’s Day a couple of weeks ago now. This was the first year for a very long time that I actually had a girlfriend for it. I am not the most romantic person at the best of times and I was a bit out of practice regarding what to do. I think I did alright. I did get her a card which I believe is a fairly strong start. I also got a personalised bottle of Champagne with her name on it and a fun description that I wrote that was about her but in the style of a review of the drink. In return I received a card and a packet of heart shaped chocolates. It seemed to go well, so I think I got away with it.

As part of the celebrations if that is the right word as it was my turn to cook I ordered us a Chinese Takeaway, which was lovely. Have you ever had one and not ordered way too much food? I used to be a big fan of starters so I loaded up on them meaning I rarely ever finished the main dish. You try to be sensible but it all sounds so nice when you look at the menu. If you are the sort of person who can order exactly the right amount of food from any takeaway you have my total respect.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

In the afternoon as we were treating it as a bit of a pamper day I had my first ever moisturising face mask. It was actually quite relaxing even though it felt a bit weird when it first went on. Like all real men I do regularly moisturise anyway but this took it to a new level. After experiencing the benefits of this process I have now tried the puffy eye treatment. And have ordered my own pack of them to use when I want or think I need them. My skin will look fantastic when we are finally released back into the wild again.

While we were sat there with the face masks on, we were watching some new episodes of The Simpsons. I have been watching it for the last thirty years now and it is still brilliant! Their social comment on the world is exceptional clever and always spot on. It still makes me laugh out loud. I really cannot think of any other comedy show that has been this consistently good over such a long period of time. It is as fresh now as it was when it first appeared. I have decided by the way that Maggie is my favourite Simpson. She is clearly the smartest and makes me laugh even though she never speaks.

Neil Quigley

Did you enjoy any pancakes on Shrove Tuesday? I did although it now turns out this could be the last time I do in the conventional way, more on that in a bit. I cooked them myself and if I do say so made an excellent job of them. Just for the record I am also an exceptional flipper of them. It is all in the wrist you know!

My topping of choice is simply Lemon Juice and Sugar. Straight forward and to the point, using the oldest trick in the seasoning book the sweet and sour combination. They tasted great. As ever I enjoyed all the fun of the pancakes with none of the suffering of giving anything up for lent or at least so I thought.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

About a year ago now I had a few issues with Iron levels in my body. As a result of that I had a blood test that suggested that I might be a sufferer of Coeliac Disease. To be able to confirm this for sure I had to have a Gastroscopy. Due to the delays caused by Covid I had this procedure at Stoke Mandeville Hospital the other week. It basically involves a doctor putting a camera down your throat and down into your stomach. And yes it is about as much fun as it sounds.

That said all the staff at the hospital were amazing. I had to take a Covid test a few days before to make sure I did not have it. This was organised by the hospital and I was fine. They do give you the option of being sedated during it all, which as I have a really bad gag reflex I happily accepted. They numb your throat with some special spray as you sit there on the bed ready. You then lay down on your left side and they put the sedative straight into a vein, stick a mouth shield in your mouth and slide the contraption down. The worse bit is when it first goes down your throat. It is unpleasant but only lasts a couple of seconds. The whole thing went really quickly before I knew it I was in the recovery room having a rest.

After around thirty minutes they got me a tea and some biscuits. I then had to wait to see the nurse to be discharged. Meantime they had arranged for the person driving me home to be there ready and waiting for me. The good news is that my throat and stomach in the main all looked pretty normal, which is nice. The doctor was able to confirm that I do have Coeliac Disease. There was some damage in the stomach lining relating to the condition. He did take a couple of Biopsy’s while he was in there but there is no cause for concern from them at this stage apparently.

Coeliac Disease is a condition where in a person who has it Gluten attacks and damages the stomach lining, which makes the sufferer more susceptible to certain diseases including some types of Cancer if not treated. It also affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and vitamins from food. It causes the immune system to attack itself and therefore lower its defences. The only way to treat and control Coeliac Disease is simply to not eat Gluten. Therefore I am now on a very strict Gluten Free diet.

I have suddenly gone from a man who used to really enjoy eating absolutely anything to somebody who has to be ultra careful what they eat. I am fine with this and totally understand the reasons. It is going to take a bit of an adjustment to my daily diet. Lots of things I had as a staple of that I can no longer eat. I will simply have to find a new way of fulfilling my own food needs.

The main meal of the day is easy some sort of meat and vegetables, no problem. Also lunch does not require too much tweaking with plenty of fruit, cold meat and a bit of cheese for example. For me what to have breakfast wise is the biggest thing having had wheat based cereals for years. These have of course now gone.

As soon as I was diagnosed to help me understand and get to grips with the do’s and don’ts and to check what I can and cannot eat I became a member of Coeliac UK. They supply lots of very useful and quite crucial information. They offer you support in several different ways.

One of these is an unbelievably handy mobile phone application that includes a barcode scanner which you can use to tell you if food is alright for you to eat or not. This has already come in incredibly useful during my first week as being Coeliac. It is a bit of a new challenge and chapter in life for me I guess. However I just need to be sensible and careful with my food and drink intake. That is all everything else remains the same!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

As Lockdown continues so does my fun weekly Pop Quiz every Tuesday evening at 8.30pm on my Facebook Page. I have a great time hosting it and writing the questions for it. It is a nice way of passing the time currently. It is called “Quigger’s Plays Pop” it lasts around half an hour. It includes thirty questions split into six rounds. Between each round I have a chat and a bit of a giggle with some of the people joining in. A fun and inclusive show that often features a showbiz story or two from me. Here is last week’s quiz for you to enjoy whenever you wish. https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10164706432510591/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am starting to regret beginning these Spurs updates at the start of the season. It seemed at the half way point like we might just have a successful year. Recently in the league we seem to be finding wins and any sort of consistency very hard to come by. I find this quite hard to fathom with the squad of players we have. We did I thought play reasonable well against West Ham United in our last game but did not have any luck in front of goal. That resulted in yet another defeat. Things I still hope will pick up again soon. Ever the optimist!

We are in the League Cup Final which is currently due to be played in April but we do have to beat the brilliant Manchester City to get our hands on the trophy. The Europa League campaign is still alive and the way things are looking that could be our best and possibly only route into next season’s Champion’s League.

As a life-long Tottenham fan I am fully invested in all the highs and lows associated with being a supporter. You have to take the rough with the smooth and the smiles with the tears. Enjoy the good days and accept the bad days, which in a way is actually quite a good motto for life!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

You can listen to me still on Saturday afternoon’s between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Virtual Insanity

This time last year I was in Australia enjoying my first ever trip there visiting some relatives and doing a mini tour of some select areas of the country. What a difference a year makes back then I was able to travel to the other side of the world, now I am not even able to leave my house unless I have good reason to. I am not complaining by the way just highlighting the difference with the situations, while being very thankful that I even managed to get a holiday in last year. Mind you with the way the weather has been recently I really wish I was back there now enjoying some sunshine.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Things continue to move in the right direction. We just need to be a bit patient and hold our nerve still. The lockdown is working happily the number of deaths are decreasing. Less people are in hospital and the vaccines delivered are going up all the time. Both of my parents have had their first injections, which is excellent news. Neither of them had any side effects and as it happened they were both given different versions of the vaccine. I am thinking of getting all my older relatives to try out each of the companies that the United Kingdom is using, so I will know which one is the best by the time it is my turn.

It is too early for things to be eased yet sadly, but we are getting a lot closer to a return to some sort of normality. This month is so short we will be well into March before we know it. The Isle of Man has managed to get their Covid under control, so they are now back in the pubs and mask-less. That is the goal that I am aiming for. I would much rather wait until I could do that, than have to enjoy them with all the mask and social distancing requirements. Therefore I am well prepared to wait it out so we can get back to that position sooner in the long run.

I appreciate I am lucky in that this is not effecting me too much. I do not have any children to home school and I continue to work easily from home. But this will all be fine in the end. We will move beyond it. In the meantime keep in contact with as many people as you can either via the phone or video calls. Keep as fit as you are able. Plus laugh and joke around as much as you can. You will feel much better for it.

Neil Quigley Stand Up Comedy
Neil Quigley Stand Up Comedy

I would suggest focus on the things you can do rather than the things you cannot. If you do have children for example you will have spent more time with your child while they are growing up than lots of generations have appreciate it as much as you can. Even if they are really annoying you!

My dad has used the extra time he has had this last year to finally see the whole of “Game of Thrones” from start to finish. Other people I know have set themselves personal fitness goals to achieve. A few folks have started doing things that they have not done for years like knitting or baking. I have stepped up my exercise regime a little bit. And I have also done quite a bit of sorting out around the house. Not throwing stuff away just moving it to other places to be honest.

A mate of mine has more or less decorated his whole house, which would have probably taken him five years to do in normal times. I am going to try to do everything that I need to at home in the next few months. As when the world re-opens I plan on being away for weeks at a time. I have a list of places I need to visit and things that I need to do. I will make Judith Charmers look like an amateur traveller.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I was involved in surprising a good friend of mine for his fortieth birthday. For obvious reasons he could not have a big party this year and we could not physically meet up. His girlfriend got in contact with me at the start of the year telling me that she was planning to do a surprise Zoom gathering on the Saturday nearest his big day. She asked me if I would be able to do a short music quiz but include a round all about him. I of course said I yes I could. Who does not like the chance to stich up his mate for a laugh!

I did check who was going to be joining in before I started to write the questions. I first met Jeff over twenty years ago when we were both working at Mix 96 a radio station in Aylesbury. Therefore I did have quite a lot of material to draw on from over the years. I made the first round a straight music quiz to try to throw him off the scent. Then the next round was to be all about him but with multiple choice answers for added comedy effect.

Neil Quigley and Jeff Nolan
Neil Quigley and Jeff Nolan

On the night my mate’s fiance’ managed to send him upstairs while she let us all into the group chat. When we were all on screen she got him back down and sat him right in front of the computer. When he clocked our faces he did look generally shocked. So I do not think he had a clue. When he found out I had a quiz he suggested it would be about him. I tried to throw him off the master plan by doing the pop quiz round first. Although they were all questions I knew he would know the answer to straight away, which he did. Mind you I did tailor them all specially for him.

Then it comes to round two which is all about him. I did give him the right of reply after every answer to tell his side or on one occasion correct my memory of what actually happened in one situation. It was great fun. And it did prompt a lot of conversation about these things from his past. It only lasted about an hour then we let him get on with the rest of his evening doing what he thought he would be doing anyway just relaxing at home.

Neil Quigley and Jeff Nolan
Neil Quigley and Jeff Nolan

I would love in the future to do a proper “This Is Your Life” style night for a friend or family member. Including bringing out people and acquaintances from their past like Eamon Andrews and Michael Aspel used to do. Or maybe I will do something like that for my own fiftieth, which just for the record is a very very long way away. I am sure we will have a proper celebration for my mate Jeff when we are allowed to hopefully later on this year.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

My girlfriend and I did another one of these online Cheese and Wine Tasting events. It was through the same company as last time “Love Cheese” who are basically just a wine and cheese shop based in York who started these live events at the start of Lockdown. And they do seem to have just grown and grown. This one was a red wine special. That is always my wine of choice. However Lynda prefers white. She was happy to broaden her horizons and give the red grape variety a go and I certainly was not going to say no to this option.

Like last time they sent us the food and drink in advance all labelled up with the correct numbers ready for the live tasting. The service is good and it is all presented very nicely. You get a leaflet with details of the cheese and wine that you will be trying. I do not wish to offend anybody but I noticed one of the wines was from Crete. I have had some great holidays there but I was not at all impressed with their wine, so I had already decided this would be the worse one. I was totally right it was but that is just my opinion of course.

Cheese and Wine Tasting

The tasting is hosted live on Facebook by the couple who own the shop. It is all very laid back and relaxed. They are on their sofa in the living room. They talk a bit at the start highlighting how it all works and saying hello to everyone watching. They then take you through the cheese and wine pairings one by one. Overall it was all really nice with the exception of the wine I already mentioned and the last one of the cheeses. It was a blue cheese which although not my favourite type I do not normally mind it. This one was so bad though it was like taking part in the eating trial on “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.”

I only had a very tiny bit of that, which in the circumstances was quite brave. My girlfriend had tried it first and I saw the face she made and her reaction to it. Yet I still decided to put it in my mouth. I must say the rest of the wine and cheese was alright. Not everyone can like everything that is the fun of the tasting. We finished all the wine and all but that last piece of cheese. It was a fun night at home. At the end of it although you only have a glass of each one, we both felt a bit tipsy. I think that is perfectly acceptable for a big Saturday night in though.

Neil Quigley

I view myself as pretty average in the kitchen. I can cook most things to a decent standard but I am never going to win Master Chef. That said I do think I do a nice steak. It is all about the preparation firstly you need a decent cut of meat. Then you have to season it correctly prior to frying. I like to get the pan nice and hot to sear it each side for about a minute.

Then reduce the temperature to a medium heat and depending on its size cook both sides for between four and six minutes depending how you like it done. Leave it to rest for five minutes and there you go. Think of me as one of the “Un-hairy non-bikers” not as my apron says the “Queen of Tarts” I borrowed it from my girlfriend honest!

Neil Quigley

I have watched such a small amount of films during my life mainly because I am not that interested in them. My girlfriend enjoys films. We cannot go out anywhere at the minute so she is on a mission to find “Neil Friendly” films and try to convince me to watch them. She managed to get me to watch “Coming to America” last weekend. I had seen quite a few of the Eddie Murphy movies around that time but not that one.

It was alright, some good scenes in it. Obviously I was already aware of the balcony scene. But having now seen the opening sequence to it I am not against becoming an African Prince if the opportunity ever arises. The sequel “Coming to America 2” is out next month. I have a feeling I am going to end up watching that to you know.

General Lee
General Lee

Quigger’s Plays Pop my weekly Pop Quiz is continuing on Tuesday nights at 8.30pm on my Facebook page for the foreseeable future. It is simply meant as a bit of light hearted fun every week. It does not really matter if you know much about the subject or not. I just mess around a bit ask a few questions and have a laugh. Here is the most recent episode to get you in the mood and ready for the next one.
https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10164645768925591/

Neil Quigley

It has been another roller coaster of a couple of weeks supporting Tottenham. It was a relief to return to winning ways in the Premier League after three defeats in a row last weekend. The first time that had happened since back in 2012 believe it or not. Later today we face Manchester City who seem to be on fire at the minute and are looking unstoppable. We did beat them at home last November but they do appear to have clicked in to gear since then. I just hope we play well and put in a decent performance.

We are now out of the FA Cup after a crazy five – four defeat after extra time away at Everton. It was a strange game filled with lots of defensive errors from both sides. I felt the game could have gone either way in the end. But you cannot really expect to concede five goals and win a football match. I am now supporting Everton in the rest of the competition and would love to see them go on and win it.

Neil Quigley and Jeff Nolan
Neil Quigley and Jeff Nolan

It is Valentine’s Day tomorrow if you celebrate or take part in it in anyway. I think it is fair to say that you should not need a special occasion to show your feelings for your other half. That said this is the first one that I have been with my girlfriend for, so I have got a card and present. I am not an idiot! In fact this is only the second time in my life I think that I have actually been seeing someone over “Valentines”.

Last year for example I was out for a meal on my own in Melbourne in Australia. I had not realised what day it was so could not work out why I was finding it so hard to get a table at a restaurant. It was not until I was sat down eating that it dawned on me that everyone else in the place was in a couple. After dinner I went for a drink in a bar and found a group of friends who were all single and having an anti Valentine’s night, so I gate crashed their night and had a couple of drinks with them.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The only time I think I have been out for a meal on Valentine’s Day was when I was twenty-one. The girl I was dating’s birthday was on February 14th. Therefore I took her out for a two for one kind of celebration meal. She was my first proper girlfriend so I was hoping to impress her. I bought her some earing’s which I gave her in a little jewellery box. It was not until I presented it to her during dinner and the entire place stopped to stare at us did I realise what this gesture could look like. I think I may have very quickly sung happy birthday to her. Anyway however you mark it this year, have a good one!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

You can listen to me every Saturday afternoon between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Neil Quigley Presenter