Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good start to the year and a really nice couple of week’s. Mine have been quite busy with some fun things going on. I celebrated my fortieth in December and held a big party. Although I said on the invitations. That I did not want any presents. People were so nice and generous. That they still got me some gift’s anyway. Which was really lovely of them. I did get given quite a bit of money. So I decided to do some much needed clothes shopping. I am not a man who tends to update his wardrobe often. So this task was possibly well overdue.
When it comes to clothes. I am really not a high fashion expert. Or somebody who is particularly bothered about designer names. Although I do own an Armani Suit. That I bought about fifteen years ago now. I tend to buy all my stuff from just one particular store. As in there, I have found the sizes that I am, actually correspond with the sizes of the clothes they sell. And they fit me perfectly, specially their jeans. The shop in question is Next. So if you do see me on a red carpet somewhere. The answer to the question “who are you wearing” will most probably be Next.
Being a man who always likes to get more from his money and loves a “bargain”. I knew from my time working at Wembley Stadium. That there is a Next Outlet store there. So that is where I went fully armed with my Birthday cash. It was a pretty successful trip. I picked up a pair of jeans, two shirts, a jumper, and a pair of shoes. They do not have changing rooms there. So you can’t try anything on. But as I know and trust all the size labels there. All the items fitted me perfectly. The whole thing took less than twenty minutes. Result!
Also many of my family and friends clubbed together and very generously gave me lots of Amazon vouchers as a gift. It all added up to quite a decent amount. There was not one big thing in particular that I actually wanted or needed. So I decided to browse the website and have a think about what I might actually need or like. I ended up making a list of about ten different things. And randomly the overall price of these. Actually came to about the value of my vouchers. Which as ever with my life was more by luck than judgement.
Here is a selection of some of the presents I bought myself. I got a new tripod for my phone. So I can do some more filming with it. Which you should expect to see some of the benefits of in the coming months, I hope. I also got a new razor set. Which the makers claim gives the perfect shave. I am not totally convinced yet. As I am still trying to work out how to fit the blades correctly.
I got a new microphone for my home studio. A set of hair clippers. Just in case I am ever brave enough to have a go at doing my own hair. And lastly despite saying I would never ever get one, let alone ever wear one. I bought myself a Union Jack Onesie. Which was meant to be for a laugh. But when I tried it on. It was actually really comfortable. And I am now just secretly waiting for the chance to wear it.
I was out in London the other week enjoying a meal with a former radio colleague of mine. His name is Robbie Lane. I met him when we were both at Ivel fm in Yeovil. He is now living in Lincolnshire. But he was in the Capital for a few days, so we managed to meet up. He is originally from the Isle of Wight. And as a sideline. He runs a very successful website promoting it. I am working on getting a cheap holiday there. But I have not quite done that yet.
We went to a nice restaurant in the Hays Galleria. Which is not far from London Bridge. It is right by the river and over looks where HMS Belfast is situated. I had a nice three course meal. And a good catch up with an old friend. So I would put that down as a decent evening.
I am now about half way through the Bruce Springsteen autobiography “Born to Run” that I am currently reading. So far it is brilliant. Firstly it is very well and cleverly written. And secondly it is fascinating. He latched on to the power of music very early in his life. He was inspired by iconic big events on American television.
Like Elvis Presley’s first TV appearance. And the first time the Beatles appeared on screen in the US. It made him want to pick up a guitar and make his own music. Completely self taught through hours and hours of dedication and practice as a teenager. To this day he cannot read music. But he sure knows how to play those notes and cords on his guitar.
I can certainly tell you he paid his dues. Before he became a success. He put the work in. He gigged constantly with a few different bands. And lived on the breadline for about eight years. Before he got his first recording deal. It is also brilliant to hear how he kind of almost accidentally, slowly over the space of several year’s bumped in to members of the E-Street band. And ended up working with them.
He does seem to be a man with a clear vision of what he wanted to do. The band members he chose were carefully selected to achieve this goal. He started off as shy guitarist before his confidence grew developing in to the front man and show man that we know today.
I saw Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band play at Hyde Park around five year’s ago now. For the encore that night Sir Paul McCartney came out and they performed two Beatles classics. “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Twist and Shout”. Now I could tell at the time that Bruce was pleased and excited to have Paul on stage, playing with him and the band.
What I did not realise was that the first song “The Boss” ever learned on the guitar. And the first song he ever sang in public with his first band was “Twist and Shout”. So I can now see why that song. And getting the chance to do it with an actual “Beatle” meant so much to him. It was amazing to be there and witness it. It was totally brilliant!
The topical Radio 4 Extra comedy show Newsjack is back for a new series this coming Thursday night. There has been a change of host once again for this year. Nish Kumar has now left and has been replaced by Angela Barnes.
I find that when they make this switch. Which they tend to do every few years. It does seem to re-invent the programme. As a new comedian brings their own style and puts their own stamp on proceedings. I am once again looking forward to writing some jokes for the show.
I was invited to a writer’s briefing with the producers and the new presenter. Unfortunately I was unable to make it. But they have sent me all the details for the new series. And it sounds fantastic. I am going along to see the first show being recorded this week.
I am hoping I will be able to see the cast perform some of my material. I will of course let you know, if they do. It will be on Radio 4 Extra for the next six week’s. Every Thursday night at 10.30pm. If you are a fan of satirical comedy. It is definitely worth a listen.
It has been another good couple of weeks to be a Tottenham Hotspur fan. We are now second in Premier League. Harry Kane scored a hat-trick in our last game. And we managed to get past Aston Villa in the FA Cup. So I am very happy with how the football season is going at the moment. Talking of the FA Cup. The fourth round draw has thrown up an interesting game.
With the team I support facing the team that I used to watch as a teenager. In fact my parents are season ticket holders. Who go home and away watching the Buckinghamshire club. Next Saturday Wycombe Wanderers travel to White Hart Lane to play the mighty Spurs.
The first Wycombe Wanderers game I went to was a friendly against a Tottenham Hotspur eleven. At the Chair Boy’s old ground Loakes Park. Spurs brought along a strong side. And Paul Walsh scored a brilliant hat-trick.
Next Saturday I am going to see the return fixture, at last. As they compete for the right to progress in England’s premier club cup competition.
I am going to the big game with my Mum. She will be cheering on Wycombe and I will of course be supporting my team. So it could be an interesting and quiet journey home for one of us.
I would like the Wycombe players to enjoy the day and play well. But ultimately get beaten. So the Spurs can go marching on to Wembley.
Despite the fact there does seem to be a lot of very angry and ill-informed people on social media. I am still a big fan and user of Twitter. Personally I use it to follow people I know or like. And to interact and have a laugh with them.
This has led in the last fortnight to me being re-tweeted by Lily Allen. As well as having Susanna Reid like one of the tweets that I sent her. It all means nothing but is just a bit of good harmless fun. If you would like to get on board on follow me on twitter. I am simply @NeilQuigley
New for 2017 I have launched my own regular weekly Podcast. It is five minutes long. It takes a light-hearted look at some of the big stories and events that have happened during the last seven days. The first two episodes are already available.
To listen to them just head to the “Podcasts” section of my website. If you go to the top of this page you will be able to find it. Alternatively you can hear it on I-tunes or listen via my Youtube Channel which is Neil Quigley TV.
As I have been busy with other projects recently. I have not had time to visit any television studios and watch any programme’s being made. Well that is about to change spectacularly. As during the next few weeks alone. I am due to be seeing Virtually Famous, Debatable and Go 8-bit all being filmed.
I have seen the last one before. But the other two are new one’s for me to witness in person. I am looking forward to them. I always like being in a TV Studio. I will let you know how I got on next time we speak.
I am looking forward to spending this afternoon in London. I am seeing one of the longest running musicals with my family. To celebrate my mum and dad’s wedding anniversary. We are going to see Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre.
Although my friend Mike Sterling previously played the lead role in this show, in the capital. I have not actually seen it before. So I am very excited about it. We have some fantastic seats. Plus we are going for a nice meal afterwards. It will be a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon. You can’t beat a trip to the theatre.
Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil.