Tag Archives: comedy

The Climb

Hello again, I hope all is well with you. And that you have had a very good couple of weeks.I have had yet again another busy fortnight. Last Saturday I managed to combine catching up with my mate, his wife and his son, with visiting a big charity car event in the town where I live. The Kop Hill Climb actually started as quite a serious motor racing event in 1910. When competitors would race up what was then a dirt track up the Chiltern Hills, to try to record the fastest time and become the winner. The event was then stopped in 1925. Before being revived in its current form in 2009. It is now a great family fun event that last year raised fifty thousand pounds for local charities.

Kop Hill Climb 2014
Kop Hill Climb 2014

There are static displays to enjoy from ancient classic cars right up to modern super cars, and everything in between. So there really is something for everyone. Then you still have the excitement of watching all these different vehicles try to race up the old hill. Plus there are lots of other attractions to enjoy like the beer tent, fairground rides and the frightening Wall of Death. Which is a motorcycle display show. That was both terrifying and amazing in equal measure. The people who perform it are crazy but if you get the chance it is well worth seeing. So I had a really nice time catching up with my friend and his family. While enjoying what was on offer from this fantastic local event. Now I am not a massive car fan but it did make me decide that if I ever win the lotto. I am going to buy an exact replica of the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazard to drive around in.

Kop Hill Climb 2014
Kop Hill Climb 2014

I am still doing quite a bit of work at Wembley Stadium, which is brilliant. One of the things I like about working there is the random people you can bump into at any time. The other week ahead of George Groves latest fight, which took place at the SSE Arena in Wembley. They held the weigh in for it at the Stadium. So there were lots of people in the building from the world of boxing. After the event had finished I found myself sharing a lift with the legend that is Michael Buffer. If you are not familiar with the name you would recognise his voice. He is the best and most sought after ring announcer in the business.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

He basically coined the phrase “Let’s Get Ready Rumble” which is actually his registered trade mark in America. He is rumoured to be worth around $440 Million Dollars and judging by the stylish fitted suit he was wearing. I could certainly believe that. He has the greatest announcing voice and has graced so many great boxing occasion’s over the years. In fact even just having a very brief chat to him while we were in the lift I got to appreciate just how cool and unique his voice is. I can really see why it earns him the big bucks.

Neil Quigley TV Presenter
Neil Quigley TV Presenter

I do have a tendency to mess about and have a laugh whenever I get the chance. Specially when I am out and relaxing with my mates. I was out for a few drinks with a friend the other weekend. We had gone to a local pub to watch a covers band. At one point during the evening we were standing on the dance floor to get a better look at the group that were performing. At which point a group of girls came over and asked if I could take a picture of them. I deliberately pretended to misunderstand and acted like I thought they wanted to take a picture of me. They did correct me and I did take a couple of pictures for them. But my jokey actions must have convinced them at least a little bit. That if I thought they wanted a picture, may be I was someone of interest or someone who might be famous. That possibly they just did not recognise. So they did actually take a couple of pictures of me posing with them. They are probably going to be quite disappointed when they show them to their friends. And no-one recognises me. But as ever the important thing is it amused me and made me laugh.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Last Wednesday I went to the BBC Radio Theatre in London to see the first programme in a new series of the excellent Radio 4 Extra topical news show “Newsjack” being recorded. This is a show which I have had material on in the past. And that I have been to see before. I always enjoy going to the radio theatre because it is based at New Broadcasting House. So while you are waiting to go in to the theatre, you wait in the Media Cafe there. Which actually overlooks the main newsroom. So you can see all the journalists working hard on new stories. You can also clearly see the Weather studio. And you can see in to the back of the BBC News 24 Studio. You are basically looking through that bit of glass. That the Queen arrived behind during the live news show, that was on when she visited the building. If you have ever seen that clip you will know exactly where I mean.

The recording itself was great. It is the second series that Romesh Ranganathan has hosted. Since he has become the focal point they have tweaked the format of the show very slightly, to fit in with his style of comedy. But it all works really well and still gives them the same platform for some great topical jokes and sketches. It was a very funny show. As you will have heard if you caught it on the radio. The show goes out at 10:30pm every Thursday night for the next six weeks on Radio 4 Extra. I will once again be doing some writing for this series. So do listen out at the end of the show to see if my name is mentioned as one of the contributors to that episode. It really is a lot of fun to be involved with. And it was great to be there in the theatre to see the finished article produced in person.

BBC Radio Theatre
BBC Radio Theatre

I was actually back at the BBC Radio Theatre the following night. This time to watch a recording of the brilliant The Now Show. The BBC Media Cafe is quickly becoming like my second home. They do have a few recognisable items and props placed in and around the room. For example there is a copy of the Tardis in one corner and a seemingly new addition of one of those spinning red chairs from the voice. I would like to believe it was the one that Kylie Minogue used. You can also get a nice cup of tea in there or something a little bit stronger, if you wish to. I didn’t spot anyone I recognised while I was in there this week but previously I have spotted Dan Snow having a coffee. While we were waiting for the recording to start the production crew came round with a form giving us chance to get involved. And write a comedy question that they might possibly use at the end of the show. Needless to say I made sure I submitted one myself.

Radio 4 Comedy
Radio 4 Comedy

The Now Show recording was absolutely brilliant. I have for many years been a huge fan of the comedy masters that are Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis. From when they used to write for and work with Jasper Carrot. Through to the Mary Whitehouse Experience and pretty much everything either of them have been involved with. I saw their touring stage show in Yeovil around eight years ago, and that was hilarious to. So as the main writers and performers of the programme from the second they walked out to warm up the audience. We instantly knew we were in safe hands and in for a very entertaining evening. They were joined for this episode by the ridiculously talented Pippa Evans who must have played at least twenty different parts, all with different accents. It also featured the regular team member that is the tiny Jon Holmes. The guest performers for this week’s offering were Sarah Pascoe and Grace Petrie, who provided the musical comedy element.

The joke writing and comedy performances were just sensational. This is a fast paced topical weekly show. So everything must be new, up to date and hit the mark with what is happening in the country and in the world. While still being hilariously funny. Which is something that they managed effortlessly for this week’s show. The cast were so good and right on top of their game. While somehow being at the same time so seemingly relaxed and chilled. They were all actually enjoying a beer during the recording. And to give you some idea of just how good and professional they were. At the end of a forty minute radio show recording. There were only three re-takes required. In my radio days sometimes it has taken me five minutes to record a one minute piece of speech. And to top off a great evening at the end of the show, they did read out the question that I had submitted. Which I have to admit did get a nice big laugh from the audience. The Now Show is on Radio 4 Friday’s at 6:30pm.

Neil Quigley Stand Up Comedy
Neil Quigley Stand Up Comedy

Do you remember a while ago now I told you about when me and my sister visited Crocodiles of the World the Crocodile Conversation and Education Centre in Oxfordshire. During our visit they were doing some filming there for a BBC documentary. Well it turns out that programme is called Great Animal Moves. And the series is currently being shown on BBC 2. In last week’s show one of the keepers was talking about some of the residents. When the camera pans around and clearly shows me and my sister looking into one of the enclosures. So we already have one nice little cameo under our belts. But while we were there we also witnessed a feeding demonstration. Which was again all filmed by the television crew. So I am wondering if that will make it in at some point. I hope it does because at the end of the display I asked a question. Which of course if it is included will give me some more screen time. Keep an eye out for it and why not see if you can spot me at any point. Think of it as a kind of TV version of Where’s Wally? Although I was not wearing a red and white striped jumper but with hindsight I now wish I had warn one on the day. That would have been a lot funnier.

Crocodiles of the World
Crocodiles of the World

Tomorrow I am going to be working behind the scenes at Wembley Stadium for the NFL International Series Match between the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders. I was at the first match they had there last year and it was fantastic. So it is going to be lots of fun. The whole razzamatazz of the occasion is sensational and spectacular from the build up, the pre game show right through to the action itself. The atmosphere is unreal. Last year I just happened to be standing in the tunnel area as the two teams ran out and the noise was deafening. So as you can imagine I am really looking forward to it.

NFL takes over Wembley
NFL takes over Wembley

This coming Tuesday I am looking forward to going to the Elstree Studios to watch an episode of Room 101 being recorded. The show is now hosted my Frank Skinner who is a comedy hero of mine. Who I have never seen live before so as you can imagine I am quite excited about that. Plus I love the show and they also have some really good and interesting guests on. I will tell you what it was like when we speak next.

Neil Quigley TV Radio & Live
Neil Quigley TV, Radio & Live

Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil.

Festival Season

Hi there, how are things with you? I have had a very busy but fun couple of weeks with quite a lot of that time being spent in London. Sometimes with little time to eat meaning that at one point I had to have two McDonald’s within the space of three days. Which for someone who tries to eat healthily and have my five portions of fruit and vegetables a day was a moral dilemma for at least a few seconds.  Although they do now try to offer a more balanced food selection in the said fast food restaurant nowadays. There was no way I was ordering a salad. Burger and fries were the choices on both occasions. I have to say they tasted great but I was hungry again about ten minutes after I had finished them. I would also like to point out that prior to these incidents my last visit to that establishment would have been around a year ago. My body is a temple you know, in that it is getting older and has seen better days.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

The other week I went along to see the much maligned Spice Girls inspired musical “Viva Forever”! Mainly because I have got some history with the Spice Girls but also simply because I wanted to see it . Firstly I guess it’s confession time then. I actually went and watched them turn on the Oxford Street Christmas Lights not long after they had made it big. The night was hosted by Neil Fox and they honestly took a limo from their hotel to the stage which was about two hundred yards, if that. I then went and saw one of the Wembley Arena Shows on their very first UK tour, where Dani Behr was the warm up DJ. And I also went and watched one of the re-union shows at the O2 arena a couple of years ago, so you could say I’m a fan. Therefore it was only right I went and saw the show written using their songs for inspiration. I was aware the reviews had not been great and that it has already been announced that the show will close at the end of this month. But I thought I would still see it anyway. I have to say it was the first time I had been to the Piccadilly Theatre and it was very nice. We had great seats two rows from the front and right in the middle. If I had been any closer I would have been in the show. Personally I have to say that I really enjoyed it and had a great time. It is written by Jennifer Saunders who is one of the greatest comedy writers and performers in the country, so there were some really funny laugh out loud moments in it. It kind of pokes fun to say the least at reality TV singing shows and the notion of fame and celebrity itself with the main story about Viva and how she deals with the madness of it all.

Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, London
Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, London

It is a very different sort of musical because of the amount of comedy in it. It is not going to blow you away like say Les Miserables, but if you go along for a laugh and to enjoy some songs you recognise, while not taking it to seriously, you will have a good time. And you to could be trying to remember the dance moves to Stop when the cast perform a medley of Spice Girl hits for the finale. If you are quick obviously. For the record I did used to know that dance pretty well when I did a lot of disco’s in the nineties but I can confirm I do not know it so well now though.

Neil Quigley doing Stand Up
Neil Quigley doing Stand Up

Next Sunday see’s the start of the Tringe Comedy Festival in Tring with the sold out Roving Comedy Night taking place across four pubs in the town centre. So therefore it is almost a year since I made my comedy debut at the event last year. It was such a fun and exciting evening. Good luck to any of the comedian’s making their debuts at this year’s event. I had a brief chat with one of the professional comedians Silky who will be involved on the night recently and he was saying he is really looking forward to it as it is such a fun night to be involved with. If you are over eighteen and have not witnessed my debut at last years Roving Comedy night here it is for you.

The highlights of my first ever Stand Up Comedy Gig at the Tringe Festival in Tring. Over 18’s only. This video contains swearing and material of an adult nature. Thanks to OfficialTV.

So the Roving Comedy Night really starts things off and then there is three weeks of performances from top comedians giving previews of the shows they will doing at this years Edinburgh Festival. A majority of the gigs take place at the Court Theatre in Tring which is a great place to watch comedy and actually a venue that many of the UK’s top stand Up’s like playing. It has a great reputation among audiences and performers alike. For more details about this year’s event click here  http://www.get-stuffed.biz/tringe/

After a break last year Glastonbury is back for 2013 all across next weekend. I spent five years working at a radio station in Somerset, so I know how much the event means to the people there and how many of them are involved with making it happen in some way. While I was living in Yeovil in the West Country I was lucky enough to go and experience Glastonbury for myself. I went to the festival in 2007 and was fortunate enough to be able to camp in and have full access to the back stage area. Moments after we had pitched our tent me and my mate just saw all three of the Geldof sisters walk straight past. Over the weekend our backstage celebrity spots included pretty much the whole Radio One team who were there covering the event, Will Young, Mark Owen, Harry Enfield,  Marcus Brigstocke, Stephen Merchant and Kate Moss to mention just a few.

Neil Quigley at Glastonbury
Neil Quigley at Glastonbury

Probably the best thing about our passes were that there was a backstage walkway between the Pyramid Stage and the Other Stage which meant we could get from one to the other in about ten minutes. So we could see some of each set, if there were two bands playing at the same time, who we wanted to take a look at.  Which anyone who has been would know would have been impossible, if you had to walk between them in the normal way.  Over that weekend some of the acts I saw play included Amy Winehouse, The Killers, Artic Monkeys, Paul Weller, Kaiser Chiefs, Shirley Bassey, The Who and the Manic Street Preachers. I had a totally brilliant time and would recommend it to anyone even though it does get a little bit muddy in places, so do always take your wellies with you. The one disappointment was I went and watched the Waterboys open the Pyramid Stage at midday on the Friday and they did not play The Whole of The Moon in their set. One word of advice to bands and artists at Glastonbury. We just want your biggest hits whether you are fed up of playing them or not. If you are going this year have a brilliant time. I think the Rolling Stones on the Saturday night are going to be absolutely amazing.

I am looking forward to being involved with Regatta Radio at this years Henley Regatta from the Wednesday 3rd to Sunday 7th July. It is going to be great fun and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the team and see what interesting and fascinating people I bump into at the event while I am there. I have already had the pleasure and the honour of meeting Sir Steve Redgrave previously, but there must be quite a good chance I may run into him again surely, across the five days of boat racing.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

And finally on Sunday 11th August I am delighted to be taking part in the very first Radio Rocks Music Festival at the Westcott Sports and Social Club in aid of Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio. Which is where I started by broadcasting career. Do not worry though I will not be singing just doing some hosting and a little bit of comedy. I am really looking forward to working with my old mate Dez Kay again at this event. The fund raising concert will be headlined by Brian “Nasher” Nash from Frankie Goes to Hollywood and the line up will also include the hugely talented Nickita. For more details and for ticket information click here  http://www.tickettailor.com/checkout/view-event/id/8971/chk/5dfb

Neil Quigley back at Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio
Neil Quigley back at Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio with Martin Kinch

Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil.