Tag Archives: comedy

Cats and Dogs

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good couple of weeks. Mine have as ever been very busy, with lots going on. Let’s start with some good news I have had the third and final part of my Root Canal treatment done. The tooth is now all good. Plus there was not too much pain caused by the last part of this procedure. I have to confess that when I found out I required this dental work. I was not exactly looking forward to it but actually it wasn’t as bad as I feared. So if you discover you need it in the future don’t panic or worry, it is fine. And it is a lot more common than I realised. That said I have no plans to have to go through it again any time soon if I can possibly help it. My dentist was telling me that she is thinking of having a gold crown fitted to her teeth. But as I have no plans to become a rapper in the near future I am planning on sticking with a more conventional material and colour personally.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

The other Friday I went for a night at the Dog Racing in Wimbledon. I have enjoyed quite a few evenings out over the year’s watching the Greyhounds at various tracks all over the country but this was the first time I had been to Wimbledon. I got there early so went and had a couple of drinks in the town centre first. With it being the home of English Tennis. I guess I should not have been too surprised that the main shopping centre there is called Centre Court. I mean it would have been a travesty not to call it that surely. The stadium itself is quite a way out of town, so I got a taxi there to meet the rest of my mates.

Neil Quigley in London
Neil Quigley in London

As there was quite a large group of us. We decided to have the meal in the restaurant option that they offered. It was a fixed price three course meal with your entry and a race card included. All for a very reasonable price to be fair. Plus they came round to the tables to take your bets, so you did not even have to get up to do that. Which was a bit of a bonus. I had a few winners, which always makes things a bit more enjoyable. It ended with a few us of deciding to get a taxi back from Wimbledon to Marylebone Train station. Now this meant that we got a lovely late night drive right through the centre of London. Bearing in mind a lot of the Streets already had their Christmas Lights switched on and a lot of the big stores had their festive window displays up. It was a pretty colourful journey. One of the people in the taxi with us actually used to be a tour guide on an open top bus around the Capital. So he was giving us lots of historical information and facts on the areas we were passing through. Making the journey even more interesting.

Westminster London
Westminster London

I was once again working behind the scenes at the final NFL International Series American Football Match this year at Wembley Stadium between the Dallas Cowboys and the Jacksonville Jaguars, a couple of Sunday’s ago. It was a really good day. I was helping the Jaguars coaching staff and Video team get around the place and escorting them everywhere they needed to go. This did mean that a lot of the time I was stood around the tunnel area in the lead up to the game. I have to say when all the players came out in their groups and did their huddles and various chants right in front of me. That by the time it came to start the game I was feeling pumped up and ready to join in. I could have just grabbed a helmet and gone out there and got involved. Those guys really know how to gee themselves up and get motivated for a match.

NFL at Wembley Stadium
NFL at Wembley Stadium

There were quite a few familiar faces around the place to. I saw Carla Bruni, Jonathan Trott, Vernon Kay and the London Mayor Boris Johnson walking around. And I was standing right in the tunnel area just as Michelle Williams and Laura Wright walked out to sing the two national anthem’s. Both of which were sang so beautifully.Two really rousing performances from two very attractive ladies. Who both looked stunning for the record, when they went past me. It was a real goose bump moment watching them in action.

NFL at Wembley Stadium
NFL at Wembley Stadium

Last Wednesday I went and saw my mate Ben Langley perform his excellent current play Ha Ha Hood at my local theatre, The Waterside in Aylesbury. Now I first met Ben around Ten years ago when he was in pantomime in Yeovil. And I was working for the radio station in the town. So I have known him for quite a while. I saw this show near the start of the tour. When it played in High Wycombe. And I enjoyed it so much that I jumped at the chance to see it once again. In its final week of travelling up and down the country. Now since I saw it the first time around sadly one of the stars has had to leave the production due to illness, I wish Bobby Ball a very speedy recovery. But the rest of the cast remained the same with Ben, Tommy Cannon, Su Pollard, Andy Pickering. Then Pete who was standing in for Bobby and who was totally brilliant as were the whole cast yet again. It’s just a good old fashioned proper funny show, with jokes, innuendo, songs and general silliness. It is simply laugh out loud funny with plenty of audience interaction. So you have to be ready to get involved and let yourself go, when seeing it. I did and I had a great night.

Neil Quigley interviewing Ben Langley in Yeovil
Neil Quigley interviewing Ben Langley in Yeovil

I got to catch up with Ben Langley backstage in his dressing room before the show, which was an experience. Great to have a nice catch up and a chat. Then about five minutes later I was then sat in the audience watching him doing his thing on stage. After the performance I went and joined Ben and the rest of the cast for a quick drink in their hotel. You could really tell they were all enjoying the show and having a good laugh doing it. Plus it was nice to very briefly be a part of the camaraderie of a group of touring actors. I did manage to have a chat to the comedy legend that is Tommy Cannon. Which featured the Ronnie Barker statue that is outside the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury. And that the last time he had been to Wembley Stadium, was when he scored a cracking goal in the celebrity match before the 1988 FA Cup Final between Liverpool and Wimbledon there.

Ha Ha Hood
Ha Ha Hood

My favourite television show of the year started its three week run last weekend. I have been looking forward to it for about the last month and was very happy to see the return of “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here” to our TV screens. For me it is just a perfect evenings entertainment. Ant and Dec are the best presenters in the country no question and they are brilliant on it. They just spend to whole series laughing around and making jokes at the camp mates expense and I absolutely love it. Now in the past I have been lucky enough to talk to many people who have been on the show, including a couple of Kings and Queens of the Jungle along the way. They all seem to have very fond memories of their experience of doing it and would not change anything about it. I have met in no particular order Kerry Katona, Christopher Biggins, Katie Price, Joe Pasquale, Brian Harvey, Bobby Ball, Tommy Cannon, Antony Costa, Simon Webbe. Timmy Mallet, Britt Ekland and Pat Sharp. So having spoken to that many former camp mates, I do consider myself quite an expert on it.

Neil Quigley meets Christopher Biggins
Neil Quigley meets Christopher Biggins

I have previously interviewed one of the current contestants. When he was promoting his autobiography and doing a book tour several years ago now. I had a great chat with former World Super Bike Champion Carl Fogarty. He was so laid back and fun to talk to. And despite his amazing achievements he was so modest and down to earth. As soon as I saw him in this year’s line up. I knew he would be good. Nothing phases him and he just laughs at everything. I think he could actually be in with an outside chance of winning it. Already this current series has been great. And so far they are all being so entertaining in their own way. That I do not want anyone of them to leave. The two Geordie’s are at the top of their game and this one is shaping up to be a classic. I am a Twitter fan and user and it makes watching the show very interactive and even more entertaining. When you view it, while using the social networking site at the same time. If you do follow me on Twitter I will apologise now for the amount of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here tweets you will see from me. But hopefully you will find at least some of them amusing. As my main goal is just to have a good laugh along at what is happening. So my top three to win are Carl Fogarty, Jimmy Bullard, or Mel Sykes who is tough, determined and let’s face it pretty easy on the eye, shall we say.

Neil Quigley is ready for Australia
Neil Quigley is ready for Australia

This Sunday sees the England Women’s Team play Germany at Wembley Stadium. Which is the first time that the ladies have played a match at the new place. A bumper crowd of around 55,000 is expected. There was obviously women’s football at the stadium during the 2012 Olympics but that was Team GB who were playing in that not England. So all the best to Mark Sampson and his squad in what is a very difficult game against the current European Champions. I have been lucky enough to meet an England Women’s International. Sadly she is not available for this game because she is recovering from a long term serious injury. That she picked up playing for her club side Notts County.

Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium

Her name is Ellen White and she is from Buckinghamshire. She is a centre forward who has scored seventeen goals for the national side in forty-seven appearances. And she represented Team GB at the Olympics in 2012. So has already played at Wembley Stadium. I met up with her just before those games and she was rightly very much looking forward to them. You may well have heard her on Five Live or seen her on BBC 3 giving her expert views during coverage of the women’s games. In fact she will be at Wembley covering the game for the BBC. It will be a great spectacle this weekend. Ellen is currently very busy working hard in rehab, so she is ready for the start of next season. Plus she is also getting married very soon to. So I would like wish her all the best for that. And say that I can’t wait to see her back playing again.

Ellen White
Ellen White

I am actually pretty loyal when it comes to the things I use in my everyday life. For example I have only ever been with one bank all my life. And whenever I have changed cars it has been down to them giving out rather than me trading them in. I am not a fan of change for changes sake. My first proper mobile phone was a Nokia and I stuck with them year after year until their technology kind of slowed down a bit compared with the rest of the market.Then I reluctantly got a Blackberry, which I happily had used for around the last five years. But recently it was starting to play up a little and I was having problems with the battery.

Neil Quigley in Car
Neil Quigley in Car

As I was due an upgrade I went into my local phone shop. Just to discuss my options. And then less than an hour later I found myself walking out with a I-Phone 5 having traded my Blackberry in then and there. It seemed that everyone I knew had one and the new Blackberry option did not do it for me. So I have gone to the dark side and invested in my first ever Apple technology item. So far if I am completely honest I am undecided if I like it or not . Or if it is any better than what I had previously. I think it may grow on me but either way I am stuck with it for the next two years. So I will have to learn to love it. Mind you it is much easier to take “selfies” with than my old phone.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Shows and Tells

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good couple of weeks. Mine have as ever been very busy with lots going on.I mentioned last time that I went up to see a mate of mine in Liverpool for the weekend and that he had a two year old daughter. Well apparently since I left she has been randomly asking after me quite a bit at various points during the days. Including when she was at Nursery. So much so that one of the staff there actually asked my mate’s mum who Neil was when she collected her one day. She said she didn’t know so unfortunately for my mate and his wife it now looks like everyone at the nursery thinks his wife is having an affair with some bloke called Neil. I have apologised several times to my friend but it is still happening. He actually sent me a text last night saying she was found in a room by herself shouting for me earlier in the day. His daughter not his wife that is. I’m very surprised by the impression I seem to have made and yet at the same time I am thinking about employing her as my agent.

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

A few Saturday’s ago I went to the Cadogan Hall just off Sloane Square in London to see my mate Mike Sterling performing in Stars of the West End. It was the first time I had been to the venue. Which has recently been refurbished. It is a fantastic building to watch shows in with really nice and helpful staff. For somewhere that is right in the heart of London the place weirdly has a really lovely community feel to it. The show itself was absolutely fantastic. It featured Mike alongside fellow West End Stars Shona Lindsay, Tom Soloman and Jayne O’Mahony performing songs from many great musicals backed superbly by the West End Sinfonia led by the brilliant Toby Cruse. Mike who has played the lead roles in both Les Miserables and the Phantom Of The Opera heroically sang the big anthems from both of these great shows in the breathtaking finale’s to each section of the performance. The whole cast were great and it was a really enjoyable night out being entertained by some truly talented people. I happily did manage to catch up with Mike Sterling for a very quick drink after the show. I am so showbiz! It was really good to see him in action on stage, chat to him and hear what he has been up to. It is always nice to see people you know doing well.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I was once again lucky enough to be working behind the scenes at the last NFL International Series Game between the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium. The game was yet again played in front of a sell out crowd. Who were treated to an on stage performance by Little Mix as part of the pre game show. It was a fun day. There is always a great buzz about the place when the American’s are in town. My roles included escorting various VIP’s to the Field area to watch the players warm up before the game then showing them back to their seats before the action got under way. After the match I was helping to direct the Detroit Lions back to the team bus. They were all very friendly and really nice. Mind you they had won the game with a last second field goal, which I am sure helped their mood some what. I ended up watching the exciting finale to the game on a television in the players tunnel. That had about a five second delay on it. So we heard the cheer then had to wait to see the pictures on the screen before we could be totally sure exactly what had happened.

There is always quite a good celebrity turn out at these NFL events. Guests at this one included Tim Lovejoy, Joey Barton, Alexandra Burke and of course Mr American Football himself Vernon Kay was there. Vernon plays for the London Warriors American Football team. I did happen to have a conversation with one of his team mates. The training regime and food intake required for players of the sport is pretty impressive. A fact highlighted by the way the NFL players leave the stadium with giant pizza’s all to themselves to eat.

NFL at Wembley
NFL at Wembley

Due to the fact there were a few very slight complications the sequel to my Root Canal treatment at the dentists has now been turned into a trilogy. As all the best movie franchises are. I went back for the second phase and discovered there was actually still a slight issue and outside risk of infection relating to one of the three roots of the troublesome tooth in question. So my dentist had to dig out a little more of the root. Which was about as much fun as it sounds. But once again fair play to her it did not hurt at all and I suffered no after effects. It just means I have to wait another week before the procedure will be finished. As part of the visit I saw my first ever x-ray of a tooth, as she explained to me the situation. Strangely I quite enjoyed looking at it and it gave me a good understanding of what was going on. Plus as I am not a parent that was as close I have ever come to seeing a personal scan relating to me.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Last Monday I went for the first time to the ITV London Studios on the South bank. Some of the television shows that are broadcast from this location include Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Take Away, Good Morning Britain and The Jonathan Ross Show. I was there to see the latest It’ll Be Alright on the Night being filmed. Outside the building there is a wall of hand prints of lots of the stars who have presented shows from there. Including Lorraine Kelly, who according to this display does have ridiculously small hands. Then as you walk in to the studio itself there are lots of great pictures on the walls showing stills from many of the different shows that are produced there. I have always been a big fan of the out takes clip show, for just about as long as I can remember. From back when it was hosted by Denis Norden and his clipboard. The current host is now of course Griff Rhys Jones who has fronted the programme since 2008.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Once everybody was sat down and in position. The first thing that happens when they are ready to get going is that the warm up man comes out to tell the audience any information that they need to know about the recording, check audience levels for the sound department and get the crowd ready for a night of laughing, cheering and clapping. The man charged with this role for the evening was a bit of a legend himself. It was none other than Ted Robbins. Who as well as being a hugely experienced comedian and warm up man, also appeared in both series of Peter Kay’s comedy Phoenix Nights. So as you would expect there were several big screens up so we could see the clips and then react accordingly to them. I quite liked the idea of being one of the first people to see all these brand new bloopers before anybody else.

Neil Quigley TV Presenter
Neil Quigley TV Presenter

Before we got started Griff came out and had a bit of a chat to the audience. He was really good from start to finish, he’s very good at what he does. Then it was time to get the recording started. Ironically there was a slight technical fault at the start of the show so they had to re-shoot the opening twice in the end. It was great fun to watch. And there are as ever some very funny moments during it, featuring the great and the good from the world of television. There is no confirmed date for this latest episode to be broadcast as yet but it is expected it will be on our screens either during December this year or January next. Either way keep an eye out for it so you can see some more examples of when television goes wrong. And to see if you can hear my unnaturally loud clap or even catch a brief glimpse of me on the screen.

London
London

Last week I spent the day in London doing a couple of different tours. That were both taken by friends of mine. The first one was called The City Square Mile Walking Tour. Which as you would expect from the title involved walking around a section of the city. That was historically the original centre of the capital. It was truly fascinating learning about which businesses were originally based there. How lots of the streets got their names. Plus all the information about the old and new buildings on view. And discovering how many Roman remains can be seen right in the heart of London, if you know where you are looking. Towards the end of the tour the guide took us to a new shopping centre. Which seemed a bit odd at first until he took us up in a lift to a viewing area at the top, which gave us a great view over London.

The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre

The second tour I did on the same day was at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Now I have to confess I did not study the great Bard at school, so I do not know much about him. But in my defence it seems that nobody really knows that much about him and a lot of what we believe is calculated guess work. The Globe opened in 1997 and it is an exact replica of what it is believed the theatre looked like that the Chamberlain Players and The King’s Men performed Shakespeare’s play’s in during the 1600s. It is a brilliant place. I really like the way they try to put the performance on there in the manner and style that they would have been performed it in. Back when these plays were new and being shown for the first time. It was a very interesting tour, during which we got to try out several of the different seating areas for size and learned lots about the theatre. Plus the customs and behaviours of the people during that period in history. Having been there I now really do want to go and see a Shakespeare play performed there. I think that would be amazing. It is on my to do list for next summer when their new season of plays start.

The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre

My mate Ben Langley’s play Ha Ha Hood makes another appearance in Buckinghamshire this month at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury this coming Wednesday 12th November. I saw it in High Wycombe earlier in its UK Tour and I have to say it is brilliant. It is just a good old fashioned variety comedy show with plenty of big belly laughs guaranteed from an amazing cast. It stars Tommy Cannon, Bobby Ball, Su Pollard, Andy Pickering and the man who also wrote it, the man himself Ben Langley. The show tells the story of Robin Hood twenty years after where we all left the original story. And it is fair to say things have not necessarily worked out how we would have expected them to. If you saw the latest episode of the new BBC Four Comedy Detectorists you would have seen Ben make a brilliant cameo appearance as a deliver driver towards the end of it. I am very much looking forward to seeing the show in Aylesbury for the second time. And hopefully I will get the chance to catch up with Mr Langley while he is in town. If you fancy a fun and crazy night out then go and see it. You can find more details about the show here http://www.hahahood.com/

Ha Ha Hood
Ha Ha Hood

I can finally tell you a little bit more about the new quiz show that I was helping to do a little bit of research and development with earlier in the year. For starters I can now reveal the name of it. It is called Smart Ask and twists the conventional quiz format on its head. As the contestants are the ones who write and compile the questions in the hope of baffling a team of experts in to giving the wrong answers. The more questions they get wrong the more money the players can win. A pilot was shot in London last weekend hosted by Robert Webb. They are hoping to film the first series of it at the start of next year. Which is still something I might be involved in. You will see quite a bit of publicity about it when it is launched, as it will offer a top prize of half a million pounds.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am again very much looking forward to working at Wembley this weekend behind the scenes at the final NFL International Series Game for this season between Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars. It is as ever bound to be a star studded affair. And being the last one of the year I believe there are some pretty spectacular things being lined up before and after the match to mark the occasion. Normally it is only the home team who bring their cheerleaders over for the game but I have heard some rumours that both team’s troops will be coming to England for this game. Which for the record I am perfectly fine with and have to say this seems like an excellent idea. I will let you know how it all went next time we speak.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

The Route To Funny

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. The last time we spoke I was off to Liverpool for the weekend to catch up with a very good friend of mine. It is a City I love and I do always have a great time there. I took the train up and have to say it is not a bad run up there. My mate happens to live near Aintree Racecourse, which is the train station he met me at. Just being there reminded me of when we all went along to Ladies Day of the Grand National Meeting a few years ago. That is a wonderful day out and I would definitely recommend it to anybody. As we had a bit of catching up to do we headed straight down the pub for an hour. Which ended up being about three hours in the end. Before going back to his for pizza and to spend the rest of the night watching great music and comedy on television.

Neil Quigley in Liverpool
Neil Quigley in Liverpool

As he has a two year old daughter, we were up bright and early the next morning watching children’s cartoons including Fireman Sam. Now it has been quite a while since I have seen it but I will say I think Sam may have had some cosmetic work done and has started really hitting the gym. He seems to have had some kind of make over and looks a bit more like a male model than I remember. We started the day the perfect way with a nice fry up before heading out to meet up with some more people we knew. Then visited lots of very familiar haunts that I have enjoyed on previous trips. Which just happened to all be pubs. I do like drinking in Liverpool, the place and people are just great. It is always a right good laugh with a nice soundtrack everywhere you go. They know their music up there. Needless to say I had a totally brilliant time. And we even found some time before I headed home to have a good look around the Albert Docks area. Which is where This Morning came from until it moved to London. Sadly the floating weather map that used to be there has long since gone. I am already looking forward to my next trip to Liverpool, which will probably be next year now.

Neil Quigley and Jeff Nolan in Liverpool
Neil Quigley and Jeff Nolan in Liverpool

I am very lucky in that my teeth are generally in pretty good shape. I actually have only a couple of fillings. Which I am rightly quite proud of. Obviously or I wouldn’t have mentioned it here. But recently I noticed one of my teeth was becoming really sensitive, specially to the heat. Which is not something I had ever really experienced before. So I thought I probably needed a filling and went to the dentist to get it looked at. Where I discovered that it was actually already a tooth that had been filled years ago with an old metal filling. And there was now more decay around it. Then after some more investigation my dentist discovered I would actually need to have root canal treatment on it. This is something I had not had before but had heard people saying how horrible and painful it was. I had part one of the treatment last week. It lasted no more than forty-five minutes. And although I could not say it was a pleasant experience. It did not hurt that much during or even after. So thanks very much to my dentist for her great work there. It did not really feel any worse than just having a filling. Although I have still got part two of the procedure to go in a couple of weeks. Fingers crossed that also feels the same and does not hurt too much.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I was lucky enough to go along and see some of Channel 4’s recent charity fundraising night “Stand Up To Cancer”. It was broadcast from a big Methodist Church Hall in the shadow of Westminster Abbey. The atmosphere in the audience was excellent. They were all given tablet’s to hold up to flash during certain performances and also to show the running total on. As the presenters revealed it at certain points during the evening. It was good to see the brilliant Andy Collins in his showbiz jacket working his magic warming up the venue and keeping us entertained between all the breaks in the action. Davina McCall looked stunning in a lovely red dress but she did have some killer black heels on which she kept removing between appearances and to walk around the set. Tom Daley came on and did his little piece really nicely bearing in mind it was a subject so close to his heart. With his dad losing his battle with Cancer just a few years ago.

Westminster London
Westminster London

Everyone who appeared on the night I thought was brilliant. I am a fan of the Last Leg, so it was great to see Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker there doing their thing. Although fortunately I had left well before they got naked. Joking aside fair play to them for doing that for the cause. Above and beyond the call of duty. Seeing some of the heartbreaking stories on video was very emotional but knowing that we are working towards finding a cure and once again seeing the generosity of the great British public in raising over fourteen million pounds. Made it such a brilliant and worthwhile night. My highlights were the Andy Murray “the film” casting clips. They were very funny with some great cameos. And the celebrity special episode of Googlebox was pretty amusing. I mean who would not want to sit in a room and watch television with Noel Gallagher, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. I know I would. Well done to Channel 4 and everyone involved. It really was a great achievement all round.

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

Last Monday I took part in a New Comedian of 2014 competition at the Leicester Square Theatre in London’s West End. To give you a rough idea of just how many people had entered it. All the heats contained twelve acts and I was taking part in heat twenty three out of twenty four. We each had five minutes to perform our own material. And then the top three as selected by two comedy industry judges and an audience vote would progress through to the quarter finals. I arrived as ever a little bit early so had a nice walk around Leicester Square before heading to the venue. The event was taking place downstairs in the Lounge. Which was a lovely little room for comedy where a lot of top name comics often come to try out new material.On entering the room, after introducing myself to the organiser and deciding where I would be appearing on the bill. I started talking to the other comedians taking part.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I know I have said this before but everybody thinks comedy is a cut throat business where everybody is just out for themselves, while hoping everybody else fails. This could not be further from the truth. All the comedians I have met are lovely, great to talk to and very supportive of each other. We want the whole line up to go down great and get lots of laughs. As it creates a better atmosphere and we all enjoy ourselves more. This was very much the case for this competition. I was on second, so got up and did my five minute set. It went pretty well, I got a few laughs and nobody threw anything. Which I always count as being a successful gig. It was a strong line up with some good acts on and most importantly, great fun. I really enjoyed it. Well done to the three acts that progressed through to the next stage. Very well deserved and I wish them all the best. This competition was actually won in 2009 by a certain Rob Beckett. Who I believe will once again be involved with one of my favourite television shows I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, which is back next month. It was great to get up and do some stand up again and it has motivated me to get out and do some more of it. So watch this space for more details of appearances.

Neil Quigley doing Stand Up
Neil Quigley doing Stand Up

I am really looking forward to catching up with my mate Mike Sterling tonight. We met when I was working at a radio station in Yeovil. He came in for an interview on my radio show one morning. And from there we ended up doing a few gigs together and also were on a couple of talent show judging panels with each other. Mike first came to prominence in 1987 when he reached the New Faces final that year, finishing just behind Joe Pasquale. He then went on to play the lead roles in both The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. He is a sensational performer and a top bloke to. Therefore I am really looking forward to seeing his latest show Stars of the West End at the Cadogan Hall in London. And meeting up with him after. He is joined by other talented West End Stars and they will be performing songs from big smash hit musicals. For more details about the show click here –  https://www.facebook.com/events/267373066796664/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming 

Mike Sterling
Mike Sterling

It is a busy weekend for me as once again tomorrow I am working at Wembley Stadium behind the scenes at the latest NFL American Football International Series match between Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons. I am really looking forward to it, being involved with helping out when and where I am required throughout the day.The atmosphere will be amazing. They always put on a spectacular show when they visit London do the NFL. The pre game show for this game will include a performance from the 2011 X Factor winners Little Mix.  One of the girls in the band like me is from Buckinghamshire. And when they got to the final to show support at the radio station I was working at we changed our name to Little Mix 96 for the day. So I will be expecting a thank you from them for that on Sunday afternoon. I will of course tell you how the day went and which celebrities I spotted there the next time we speak.

NFL takes over Wembley
NFL takes over Wembley

On the plus side despite the action packed weekend I do still gain an extra hour in bed as the clocks go back and British Winter Time officially begins. Remember to adjust your time pieces correctly. Do not be the person from your group of friends who turns up an hour early for a meeting with them and accuses them of being late. When they are actually on time and the error is all yours. The modern pitfall is this nowadays remember that most mobile phones auto adjust the time themselves. So if you forget this and put the time back on your phone an hour before you go to bed. When you wake up the time will be wrong and you will be out of kilter. Some free advice for you there. I will not give any names out but I do know someone who did that and no it was not me.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Still in life sometimes there is nothing funnier than when things go wrong on television. This is of course best captured in the programme “It’ll Be Alright on The Night” This is a show I have watched since I was a kid and always find it to be very funny. Which is good news as I will be going along to the ITV studios in London on a week Monday to watch the latest instalment of this iconic creation being recorded. I am looking forward to enjoying Griff Rhys Jones witty remarks and seeing our favourite stars getting it wrong in a room full of people, all hopefully laughing. It should be a good night out.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

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

That’s Entertainment

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good couple of weeks. Mine have as ever been very busy and involved lots of fun things. The first event was a nice meal out with my immediate family at a favourite eatery of ours to mark my Mum’s recent and deserved retirement. She has just finished working at a place where she had been for the last eighteen years. Within a company that she had been with for over twenty odd years. I think my record for staying at one place of employment currently stands at five years. Which I was quite impressed with personally. We had a really nice time having a chat and reminiscing about her working life over our food. I obviously hope she enjoys having a bit more free time in her life. But as I am a little concerned that she may not keep herself busy enough during the days. I will be preparing a list of jobs and tasks for her to do. So she fills her time constructively. Well done Mum enjoy your retirement.

Family Meal
Family Meal

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be working behind the scenes at the first NFL International Series American Football match of this year at Wembley Stadium. It was a game between the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders. I do enjoy it when the NFL comes to town. The American’s really do know how to party. The pre-game activities started outside the ground around seven hours before kick off. Before the match I was assisting with meeting and greeting any VIP guests and helping them get to the side of the pitch. From where they were allowed to watch the players warm up. I was then on stand by to look after the owners of the Miami Dolphins. So in football terms that would be like escorting Roman Abramovich around the place to wherever he wanted to go and making sure he was happy. As I am sure you can imagine I did meet some interesting people in the lead up to the start of the game.

NFL Wembley
NFL Wembley

At pretty much all their big sporting events the American’s do like to put on some sort of a pre-game show. The one before this particular game featured a very special performance from Def Leppard. Who came out and played some of their biggest hits on a makeshift stage for around half an hour. As this was all taking place I was lucky enough to be hanging around by the tunnel area and then by the side of the pitch. So I got a great view of what was happening and I have to say they sounded brilliant. It was two weeks ago but I’ve still got “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Animal” going round in my head. Then just before the action finally got under way. The lead singer of the Fray Isaac Hayes strolled past me to head out to the centre of the stadium to sing the American anthem. I have to admit that sounded great from pitch side where I was standing.

NFL Fan Park Wembley
NFL Fan Park Wembley

Then during the match itself I was working with the Oakland Raiders coaching team. They had their own cameraman who filmed every quarter of the match from basically the highest vantage point in the stadium. Which was sensibly named the High 50 Area. Because it was right on the fifty yard line at the very top of the stand directly opposite the players tunnel. My job at the end of every period of play was to collect a memory card containing that last quarters play from the cameraman . And get it as quickly as I could to another coach waiting outside the locker room. So he could then load it straight on to his laptop and start analysing the plays. This was a fun task as I had to master getting past the fans, down lifts and stairs as well as getting round the side of the pitch past the cheerleaders to deliver the goods as quickly as possible. Which to be perfectly honest was quite challenging on occasions but most importantly lots of fun. Then my final task of the day was to escort all the football players back to their coaches. Just in case you were unsure I  can confirm that some of those American Footballers are big units. It did amuse me seeing them walk past with their individual giant pizzas, noodles and crisps. I am guessing the calorie intake for these guys must be epic. There is a chance I could be working at the next NFL game at Wembley at the end of this month to between the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions.

NFL Dolphins v Raiders
NFL Dolphins v Raiders The Team

The other Tuesday I was lucky enough to be at the Elstree Studios watching the first episode in a new series of Room 101 being recorded. I am a big fan of the show’s host Frank Skinner. And have been for many years. However this was the first time I had ever got to see him in action, in person. He did not disappoint he was absolutely brilliant. He really does drive the show himself and has total control of it. So he can lead the conversations and question the guests how he wants to. As well as having a free reign to link in to any of the additional items that they have lined up, as he sees fit. Which he does effortlessly in his own unique and very funny style. The three guests who were there arguing the case to have their choices banished from society for ever were Jack Dee, Gary Lineker and Faye Ripley. They were all really good fun and argued their selections well. At one point Mr Lineker told us a very funny story that will definitely not make the final edit owing to some of the language it contained. But it was certainly worth telling I thought. Well it made me laugh anyway.

Arriving at Elstree Studios
Arriving at Elstree Studios

I went along to this with my mate Dan Makepiece. If you have seen the show before. You will know they give an audience member the chance to suggest something they think should be put into Room 101. Which then Frank and the whole panel discuss before Mr Skinner makes the final decision. Before the recording started I noticed that they were pointing the camera at the audience, near to where I was sitting. I was trying to pretend not to notice while basically staring right down the centre of the lens. The studio floor manager then comes over to talk to me. At first I thought she might have recognised me or was about to offer me a last minute more prominent role in the proceedings. But it was very much the opposite. I was wearing a very white shirt, which was causing problems and proving very distracting for the audience shot they needed for the person in the crowd suggesting an item. Who just happened to be behind me and also wearing a white shirt. So I was asked to swap places with my mate Dan. Which I of course did straight away. Then when they filmed the audience bit, the gentleman now behind my friend stood up to do his thing. While this was going on I was watching the monitor like a hawk. And as the guy was talking perfectly positioned in the bottom of the shot was my mate’s face. So when the programme goes out on the TV watch out for Dan making a starring on screen appearance. While you are watching him just picture me out of shot shaking my head, looking frustrated and screaming inside my head. That should have been me. If only I had worn black!

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

Has this ever happened to you? I did some clothes shopping recently to get a new outfit for an event I was going to. So I had about six different items of clothing. And if I am honest I was not paying that much attention while the assistant was ringing them into the till and putting them in bags for me. The shop in question had a sale on so the overall price was favourable, which was my main concern. I then took the goods home and got them out of the bags ready to try them on and see how good I looked. Everything fitted perfectly and I was very happy. Until I saw the back of the suit jacket I had bought. Somehow the assistant had managed to leave the security tag on it. I was due to wear it the following day and quickly figured that it would not be a good look to have the tag on during a night out. Even if I had the receipt with me to prove that I had actually paid for it. Have you ever tried to get one of those things off? They are impossible. I had a quick go myself as to go back to the shop would mean going an hour out of my way. But it quickly became apparent getting them to remove it was the only option. So I went back the next day. And the moment I walked in to the shop the security machine went off and a member of staff was standing next to me in seconds. I explained the situation, she removed the tag for me and I wore the jacket out with no problems. It would however have been a lot more useful if the tag had set the alarm off when I left the shop the day before!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I was really pleased that I managed to get a last minute ticket to go along to the Court Theatre in Tring a few Fridays’ ago to see the brilliant Dara O’Briain in action. The Irish comedian was there performing a work in progress warm up show for his upcoming UK tour called “Crowd Tickler”. Needless to say he was very funny and he creates such a warm and relaxed atmosphere amongst the audience when he performs. That makes the whole experience very enjoyable. I ended up sitting in the front row. If you have ever seen him do any stand up. You will know he likes to chat to the people in the front row and kind of make them a very small part of the show. I have never been good at staying in the background or out of the spotlight. So yes I did end up getting selected by Dara to talk to him. Which I really enjoyed, even though it did of course mean him having a bit of fun at my expense. But to misquote Kenny Everett it was all done in the best possible taste. I also liked the way he was giving notes about what he planned to do with parts of it in the final finished version, Which as someone who does a bit of stand up comedy I found fascinating and I have to say very useful. If you get the chance go and see him in action on this tour. You will not be disappointed and will have a great night out. Thanks to Adam Hollier for the picture see more of his excellent work at http://www.adamhollier.co.uk/

Dara O'Briain
Dara O’Briain at Tring picture courtesy of Adam Hollier Photography 

I was up in London last Saturday night attending a couple of my friends joint fortieth birthday drinks. I booked a hotel room for the occasion, so I could really let my hair down and enjoy myself. That started things off very nicely because as I was waiting for my room to be available at check in. I was treated to a complimentary pot of tea before they informed me they were going to give me a free upgrade to a bigger room. Then the porter kindly carried my bag up to it for me. I could get very use to this kind of lifestyle. Then after popping to Nandos for some pre party fuel. I headed to meet everyone else at the venue. We went to a brilliant place called Floridita. Which on a Saturday night is basically a Cuban themed cocktail bar with a live band playing. If you are a fan of Strictly Come Dancing they have held some of their after show parties there and it has been the venue for the MOBO Awards nominations in the past to. It was great fun, the music was brilliant with a really relaxed, cool atmosphere and vibe to the place. Plus I got to try out the one Salsa dance step that I learnt at my one and only Salsa lesson. That I went to about eight years ago now. I tried it once and to be honest I wasn’t very good, so I never went back ever again. I can assure you that decision was no great loss to the world of Latin dance.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

On the way home from London the following day. After stopping off for a pint of Guinness at my favourite bar in London Waxy O’Connor’s (well it would have been rude not to) I bumped into Russell Brand in the toilets at Marylebone Station. We were both washing our hands at the sink when we met. Not next to each other at the urinals thankfully or that could have been embarrassing. Our paths only crossed for a few moments but there was a smile and a polite hello exchanged. Weirdly though it did take me a few brief moments to recognise him. Even though I am pretty sure no-one else in the world has hair exactly like him, that beard and such a distinctive dress sense. Although I reckon he was off to watch West Ham. And that is certainly not an outfit that I would want to be wearing at Upton Park. This meeting did remind me that I have accidentally bought a pair of skinny jeans. I was in a shop and saw some blue jeans in my size at a greatly reduced and very reasonable price. So without really looking to closely at them I thought I will have them. It was not until I got them home and tried them on did I realise that they were skinny jeans. It was not a pretty sight so as a result I think it is very unlikely that I will ever wear them out in public.

Guinness at Waxy's
Guinness at Waxy’s

I am very excited to be taking part in a stand up comedy competition at the Leicester Square Theatre in London on Monday 20th October. It is going to be lots of fun and there are loads of very good comedians taking part. I have my five minutes fully prepared and ready to go, so bring it on. If you fancy something a bit different you can buy tickets to come along to this and see me in action. Click on this link for more details https://www.facebook.com/events/1496576503962063/ 

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I went to see England play San Marino in the Euro 2016 Qualifier at Wembley Stadium. It was another good night at the home of football. I went with my parents. We went for a lovely meal first. And we had really good seats with a absolutely fantastic view. The game itself was pretty functional. We were all over them and they got everybody behind the ball yet we managed to still get five goals against them. So I for one was happy and satisfied with that. And being a Tottenham Hotspur fan is was great to see Andros Townsend come on and get his goal.

England V San Marino
England V San Marino

I am really looking forward to seeing a very talented friend of mine Mike Sterling perform in Stars of the West End at the Cadogan Hall in London on Saturday 25th October. Mike has previously played the lead roles in musicals including Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera. I have worked with him on live stage events and on judging panels for talent competitions in the past. The rest of the cast in this show are also exceptional performers and it features many classic songs from some of the biggest shows to grace the stages of London and New York. Click here for more details https://www.facebook.com/events/267373066796664/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming&source=1

Neil Quigley with The Beatles
Neil Quigley with The Beatles

This weekend I am up in one of my favourite cities in the UK, Liverpool. I will tell you all about that next time we speak but until then. Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil.

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.