Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really good couple of week’s. Mine have been quite busy with a few fun things going on. My three years of working at the home of English Football. Wembley Stadium have now come to an end.
I enjoyed my time there immensely. I got to work with a great bunch of people. Plus I got to meet so many fascinating people from all over the world. While basically doing what I love and do best constantly talking.
My highlights of this association included. Actually getting to play a game of football on the famous pitch itself. Meeting and shaking the hand of the England Manager Roy Hodgson.
Working closely with a lot of the NFL team’s who visited to play in London. As part of the International Series. And sharing a lift with the most famous boxing ring announcer in the world Michael Buffer.
I did head to one of the local pubs. For a few drinks after my last day there. Well it would be rude not to right? It was in there that the manager of the department I had been working for. Very kindly presented me with a football signed by my former colleague’s.
And a new England shirt with my name and the number of years I had been there on the back of it. A gift I absolutely love.
I have always wanted an England top with my name on it and up to then I had never had one. But I do have one now. I could not be happier. And I am really looking forward to wearing it during the Euro 2016 Tournament. Come on England!
Thanks to the team at Wembley. For all being great and for my happy memories of the place and the generous gifts.
When you are next watching television. Do keep your eyes open for the new PG Tips Green Tea advert. As it features an actor friend of mine. The very lovely and extremely talented Charlotte Milchard. It sees her playing a nurse at a health spa alongside the now famous Monkey. Who has been the star of their campaign for many years now. No offence to Johnny Vegas but I do feel my mate is a much more attractive side kick for the famous mug of tea drinking primate.
I first met Charlotte Milchard several years ago now. When I was working at the radio station Ivel fm in Yeovil. She was appearing in the pantomime at the Octagon Theatre in the town. Every year we used to get the cast in to interview them all. We had a really good laugh. When she came in. She was playing the baddie in it. And I must admit was proper scary. When she was in character.
I always used to go the press night the see the show. And as I had already met them all previously in the studio. I normally ended up going out for a few drinks with them all afterwards.
She was actually in a couple of the productions while I was down there. So it was often a nice annual catch up. When she ventured down to Somerset. I also saw her appear in an early incarnation of one of Ben Langley’s Ha Ha show’s. Which she was absolutely brilliant in as well. She was also in the TV show Sunstroke playing Mandy.
And she appeared in the film The Fourth Kind alongside Milla Jovovich. She is a fantastic actor and great company to be around. I am hoping to meet up for a cup of tea and a nice catch up with her soon. I will have to try and make sure I am drinking PG tips of course. To stay totally on message and brand.
I was at Windsor Race Course the other Monday for their Queen’s 90th Birthday Meeting. Which featured music from a Beatles tribute act. After the racing had finished. Although I think may be they could have booked a band formed in honour of another big English band. To keep with the theme of the evening more.
I can also confirm the Queen herself was not actually there. It was lovely and sunny. Which is quite unusual, as normally when I am there. It seems to be chilly and over cast. Nice to see the legend that is Timmy Mallett was also there. I have met him a few times. And he is such a nice person. I did help produce a radio show that he did for a very short period. When I was still working at Mix 96.
I am a big horse racing fan and do like spending time at the races to relax. I was watching the horses go round the pre parade ring before the first race of the evening. When you see those horses up close. You realise what finely honed species they are. They are so well conditioned and rippling with big powerful muscles. I will tell you what, they definitely do not skip leg day.
I was convinced one of them looked at me and smiled as he walked past. So I had a bet on him in the race. And I think he finished about fifth. So that is now a theory that I will no longer be using to select horses in the future.
I did have a couple of winners. Which always makes for an even more enjoyable time at the races. I personally find. I had Sea of Snow in the third race of the evening. And then in the race after I had spotted a horse called You’re Always Right.
He was not particularly fancied and he had quite high odds. But as I believe I have an annoying habit of being right about most things. I went with the name and put my money on him to win.
Well I am sure you can imagine my delight or even possibly have heard my screams. When he raced through the final stages to take victory at odds of 14-1. If only every trip to a race track could end just like that.
Needless to say I had a great night. And I am hopefully looking forward to getting back to Windsor Races again before the end of the Summer. That is working on the assumption, that it actually begins at some point of course.
I have again made a trip to the ITV Studios on the South Bank in London. This time to see an episode of the new series of QI being filmed. This series is called N. It is of course the first one that will not feature Stephen Fry in the hot seat.
He has been replaced by the super talented Sandi Toksvig. On the panel for the show I saw were Noel Fielding, Sarah Millican, the Australian comedian Colin Lane and our course the programme’s now only main stay Alan Davies.
With a new host in place. They have brought in a few little extra ideas and slight changes. But the main body and aim of it is exactly the same as it has always been. And let us face it Sandi Toksvig is basically the female equivalent of Stephen Fry. They are both hugely intelligent and quick witted. She has already developed a great relationship with Alan. Which I think is an important part of the show. As because he is there every week you have to be able to keep him in his place and in check.
While having lots of banter and fun with each other. Which they both manage effortlessly. She is the perfect replacement. She did a fantastic job being in charge of the madness. While getting more than her fair share of laughs for her jokes and observations. All the guests were great.
Noel Fielding was his usual surreal and hilarious self. Sarah Millican proved once again why she is one of the best comedian’s in the country. And as Colin Lane and Alan Davies have been great friends for years. They were very funny feeding off each other. While having a good old laugh.
It was another good fun afternoon spent in television land. As ever I learnt lots of new and interesting stuff that I did not know. And most importantly I laughed lots. This is going to be another great series of a now classic show. To which the change of presenter only enhances and freshens it up a little bit. In my opinion.
The guest list for the whole series looks brilliant. With many of the shows regulars returning to make an appearance. They are still filming it over the next few months or so. It will be shown on BBC 2 in the autumn.
The other week my good friend Jeff Nolan was down in London for a few days. So we thought it would be a good idea to meet up for a few drinks. We ended up going to Camden. Which is some where I have been a few times over the years but a place where I do not tend to go to that often. We ended up in The Hawley Arms. This is a fairly famous venue in the area.
It is where Amy Winehouse used to drink, sometimes perform and on odd occasions serve behind the bar. It is also some where that Pete Doherty used to frequent. In fact he once held a press conference from the pub’s beer garden. To announce that Babyshambles, his second band were going to reform.
The last time I had been in there was probably around ten years ago. When I was in there for a mate’s birthday. On that date we did spot a celebrity in there at the bar. And no it wasn’t Amy Winehouse. It was actually Chris Parker. He was then starring as Spencer Moon in Eastenders. And it was also around the time that he was appearing in the first ever series of Strictly Come Dancing. He actually made it to the final of that with his partner Hanna Karttunen.
I really enjoyed being back in there. It does have a really cool and relaxed vibe. The beer is good and it is a very well kept place. Plus it does have lots of signed pictures on the wall of many of the musical superstars. Who have popped in there for a drink over the years. They still do have live music nights in there on a regular basis. It is a area that I think I should try and visit more often. When I am in and around the capital.
Ironically on the same night we were in Camden. Just down the road the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards were taking place. One of the industries biggest annual celebrations. It was hosted by Jon Holmes. He is a really funny and nice bloke. Who I have had the pleasure of interviewing in the past.
Well done to all the winners. I was pleased to see Capital North East Breakfast with Bodg, Matt and Scarlet get the bronze award. In the Commercial Radio Breakfast Show of the Year (Over 2 Million TSA) category.
The reason for this is that I actually worked with Bodg at Passion 107.9 in Oxford. He was doing the Drive Show there and I was hosting the morning show. He is an exceptionally talented broadcaster and more importantly a really nice bloke. I remember one day he was interviewing the big American group Wheatus on his show.
So I hung around to meet them and hear the interview. They were lovely and fascinating blokes. They invited Bodg and me to go and see the show they were playing in Oxford that day. Telling us that they would put our names on the guest list.
We were delighted and excited to accept their very kind offer. Unfortunately though we got the start time of the gig wrong. So we arrived at the venue and got in just in time to witness the band return to the stage to perform their encore. Which was fortunately Teenage Dirtbag.
So we got invited to a concert for free by the actual band. And only got to see them play one song. I guess on the plus side though. If you were only going to see them play one song. You would probably choose that one, right? Anyway congratulations Bodg. Top work.
Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil.