Tag Archives: london

The Sky Bars The Limit

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really good couple of weeks. Mine have been busy with lots going on. I mentioned previously that a member of the Wembley Stadium management team was leaving. Well on his last day there, they arranged a few drinks in the evening at the Sky Bar at the Wembley Hilton. The hotel is used by a lot of the teams, who play at Wembley. And also by artists who are performing at the Arena next door. It was though the first time that I had been in there.

It is a very cool bar. Which would have wonderful views right across London. If it wasn’t for the great big stadium in front of it. You do get a brilliant view of the stadium. And from that vantage point you can see what a spectacular building it is. It did provide a lovely backdrop for the occasion.

They also had potentially the most addictive bar snacks ever in there. They were like miniature chilli flavoured rice cakes. It was impossible to just have one and walk away. You could not stop helping yourself to at least three or four every time you walked past them. Trust me they seemed to disappear very quickly. Personally I thought they complimented the drinks very nicely but then you would expect that kind of class from a hotel of that calibre.

Wembley
Wembley

I was once again working behind the scenes at the final NFL American Football Game of the year at Wembley Stadium between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Detroit Lions. It was a fun weekend working with both the teams, VIP guests and the officials from America. Also at the game were the Spurs forward Harry Kane and the singer and actress Alexandra Burke. So I was in very good company. It was great to see the Military Wives performing the National Anthem. They did a brilliant job and looked to be having a good time.

The pre-game show saw Madness perform three of their biggest hits. I was lucky enough to be one of the few people inside the ground when they were sound checking. So it did feel like Suggs and the gang were giving me a bit of a private concert. They were sounding fantastic and as you would expect went down an absolute storm before the start of the game. It was great seeing over eighty thousand folks all doing their best Madness style dancing in the stands.

It was another successful NFL International Series at the home of English Football. There will be at least two matches played at Wembley Stadium next year to. If you ever get the chance go along and give it a try the atmosphere is always electric. The Americans really do know how to put on a great show.

Dolphins V Jets
Dolphins V Jets

I hope you enjoyed a safe and fun Fireworks Night. For the first time in as long as I can remember I did not actually go to a display this year. As much as I do like them. It was nice to take a break. Owing to working in Radio for over a decade. I have been to and hosted a lot of these big events over the years. I have also sometimes organised the entertainment element of them. So I have booked acts to perform, hired staging plus Sound and Lighting. I have even stage managed a few of them.

Making sure everything goes to time. This normally included having the Fireworks set to music. So as you can imagine the timing on something like that is very critical, to say the least. I have loved every minute of doing them. I had great fun being involved and standing up on the stage, seeing the people really enjoying themselves. But it was certainly a nice and refreshing change to have a slightly less stressful Bonfire Night. This year I just kicked back and relaxed with a nice cup of tea. While watching others’ displays from my window.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley point’s the way on stage at the Mix 96 Fireworks.

I do like live comedy. And I do like to see as many different comedians as I can perform in person. Last week I managed to tick another person off my must see list. When I went and saw Sean Lock do a Work in Progress gig at the Leicester Square Theatre in central London. The last time I was there was about twelve months ago. When I was taking part in a Stand Up Comedy competition myself. It is fair to say that there were slightly more people there to see Sean.

I have seen quite a lot of these warm up kind of shows from many different comics and most bring on bits of paper and books to remind them of their new material. He had a big white board flip chart on stage with him. Mind you it seemed to work a treat as the new stuff he was doing seemed to flow expertly and effortlessly. And most importantly it was very funny.

All of the top comedians do tend to have their own brand and style. So nobody else could do the jokes and material that he does. As it would not really work without his personality and seemingly slightly grumpy outlook on life. They talk about finding your own voice in comedy. That is something all the top performers have. It is not just about telling the jokes. It is about making it sound conversational and natural. It was a top night out. If you have tickets for his tour, you are in for a treat.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Something else that I would recommend seeing is the latest Derren Brown Show called Miracle. It is on at the Palace Theatre in London until the 16th January next year. I was lucky enough to go along and see its opening night in the Capital. It has been on tour around the country earlier this year but will now be based in the West End for a couple of months.

I am massive fan of what he does and I have seen him live before at The Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury. This latest show has got all the magical ingredients that you would expect from one of his appearances. All of it just leaves you thinking. How on earth did he do that?

There is plenty of audience interaction with lots of different people involved in the elements of the evening. There is also a lot of humour and jokes in the show. Which all just adds to the entertainment. I like the way he makes no secret of the fact that he will be able to slightly manipulate people to do what he wants. Yet there is nothing at all you can do about it. It does touch on one of his earlier Channel  4 televisions shows (which I also love), for a bit.

It is a positive and feel good production. Which will leave you feeling upbeat and with a big smile on your face. The stuff he does on that stage is amazing. You can clearly see the dedication and hours that have gone into honing his almost super humans skills. Not to mention the way that he and the production team have put it all together, in to such a great piece of theatre. With his breath taking mind skills. He is the nearest thing that I have ever seen to a real life “Jedi”.

Derren Brown
Derren Brown

Later tonight I am going to the last ever Laughing Badger Comedy Night. It is a comedy club that was set up by Hertfordshire impresario Lee Bryant around three years ago in Hemel Hempstead. I was honoured to be one of the acts who performed at the very first one. It was my fourth gig after the Roving Comedy Night at the Tringe Festival. Night one was headlined by the former Hollyoaks and Casualty actor turned comedian James Redmond. Who is a top bloke and really funny. It also featured the brilliant Flange Krammer. He is well worth seeing by the way, if you get the chance to.

I did about four or five of the Laughing Badger Nights and really enjoyed them. It is a shame that they are ending. But I am assured by the main man that they are going to go out with a bang. It will be a memorable end to what has been a fun venture. I am really looking forward to it.

It will be lovely to catch up with some friends and have a good old giggle. No one knows the list of comedians who are performing yet. But I have a funny feeling that Lee has some good things up his sleeve and lined up for us all. Congratulations to him for running them for the past few years and I wish him all the best with his future projects and plans.

Laughing Badger Comedy Night
Laughing Badger Comedy Night

This weekend is packed full of comedy for me. Tomorrow I am going to the BBC Radio Theatre in London to see two separate stand up comedy shows recorded for a new BBC Three show called Live at the BBC. They are keeping the acts a surprise at the moment. So at this point I do not know who I will actually be seeing. I am also not sure when it will be shown on television either. But I am really looking forward to spending Sunday afternoon in a lovely venue. Enjoying some top quality comedy. I will let you know who the comedians were next time we speak. But I am confident it will be a great line up.

BBC Radio Theatre
BBC Radio Theatre

 

Many years ago when I was working in Yeovil I met a great gentlemen called Neil Sands. Who came on to my radio show to talk about his Country and Western show that was playing at the Octagon Theatre in the town. He is a very interesting man who has done a lot of cool stuff. He was a professional wrestler for a while for starters.

And if anybody of a certain age remembers going to Bagley’s Warehouse near Kings Cross on a Sunday to enjoy the crazy party that was “The Church”. He was actually one of the main people and promoters behind that. Next Friday I am looking forward to catching up with him in Chesham. Where he is performing in his latest show called “Christmas Memories” at the Elgiva Theatre at 2pm.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

And finally my favourite television programme of the year also starts tomorrow night. I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here returns with Ant & Dec at the helm expertly steering the ship. I have met two of the camp mates on this year’s show. But you will have to wait until my next update to find out which two that is. In fact I have met one of them on more than one occasion.

And if I am honest they are such a top person I already want them to win the whole thing. Even before the competition has started. This series I fear will pretty much take over my life for the next few weeks. Well certainly my evenings at least.

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

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

Back to The Future

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good couple of weeks. Mine have been good and very entertaining. So on Wednesday 21st October it was “Back to The Future Day”. The actual date Marty and the Doc headed to when they went into the future in the 1989 film Back To The Future II. If I am honest the biggest issue for me with this was that as someone who remembers 1989 and who is now living in the actual 2015.

I have not really noticed much of a difference. Except we do have a bit more technology at our disposal. And I have got a little bit older. Well at least physically so, if not mentally so. That and of course the film makers were wrong about us having flying cars and hover boards now. Which with the amount of air traffic controller strikes in Europe, is probably a good thing.

So what does all this really tell us? Well surely do not take fun family films set in the future too seriously. Or expect them to predict the future. That said it would still be pretty cool to own a DeLorean.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley – Look at the screen behind

While we are talking about blasts from the past. TFI Friday has returned to Channel Four for a one off series. After the success of the one off birthday special earlier in the year. I used to love the show when it was on first time around in the ninety’s. It was at the time when Brit Pop was possibly at its peak and Chris Evans was flying on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show. As well as presenting the official start to everyone’s weekend. Live from the River Side Studios at 6pm every single Friday night.

It was listening to him during those Radio 1 days. That made me decide that I wanted to work in radio. It sounded like he was having the time of his life every morning and then you could see the pictures proving that he was on the television every Friday. First time around the show did seem to get crazier and weirder the longer it went on.

But then we have learnt since, thanks to his books. That it was only really echoing his personal life. And the direction that was heading in at the time as well. It did however make for must watch television. As you really did not know what was going to happen next. And a lot of the time, I am not totally convinced he did either.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I have really enjoyed the revival series so far. The guests have been amazing, U2, Take That, Steve Coogan, Dawn French, and actor Nicholas Hoult to mention just a few. The latter having the honour of being the first person to swear on this new incarnation. Even though it is now on at 8pm instead of 6pm. It was still very inappropriate for that time of the evening. But with plenty more shows still to come, you would not bet against him being the last person to do that.

I think may be because it is such a mad atmosphere, that kind of feels like you are just out in a pub with a few mates. It sees people so relaxed they almost forget where they are. And that they are on television sometimes. It is my dream to be in that bar having a few drinks on one of the current shows. That would be amazing!

It is still brilliantly odd and unpredictable. They will get people in to be guests and then just give them thirty seconds on the show and make them do ridiculous things. Chris is a bit older. And we all know he has calmed down a little bit. So it is slightly harder to conjure up exactly the same magic as before. But he looks like he is enjoying it. And even all these years on. There is absolutely nothing like it anywhere else. It is positively unique.

And he is using it to get all his family and even some of his ex wives some air time to. Good luck to him, if you are in that position of course you would do that. I am still hoping I might just get the chance to see one of them live in the studio before this series ends.

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

I was at the lovely Tabernacle Arts Theatre in London the other week. To celebrate another television programme enjoying an anniversary. Would you believe that the Fast Show is Twenty-One this year. To mark this occasion I was there for a recording of a special show featuring its two creators Paul Whitehouse and the excellent and very personable Charlie Higson in conversation with Danny Wallace.

They talked about the show, how it came about, what it was like making it and much more. Then played a few classic clips and sketches from it. I am not sure exactly when this will be shown on television but it is certainly worth keeping an eye out for it. I had a very enjoyable time there. And credit where it is due. I have to say the fish and chips I had there before the show were very nice. So compliments to the Chef. Who judging by the amount of other people who were dining was having a very busy night.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

A member of the Wembley Stadium management team is leaving this week. So the other day we held a surprise social gathering and presentation for him. It was in one of the brilliant pitch view restaurants there.  We got there first and then he was lead in to the room to applause and cheers. Then a few people gave some short speeches, talking about his time working there and also including what he did before he joined the place around thirty-five years ago.

Here is what he used to do. And how cool is this? He is a hugely accomplished Bass Guitar player. Who used to be in a big rock band called Taste. They played in front of around two hundred thousand people at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970. On the same bill as Jimi Hendrix and The Who. I have seen the footage on DVD and it looks amazing. He went on to play with several other bands including The Spencer Davis Group for a few years in the seventies. A really top bloke. And such a talented fella. I would very much like to wish Charlie McCracken all the best for the future.

Neil Quigley with The Beatles
Neil Quigley with The Beatles

Last Sunday I was again working behind the scenes for the latest NFL game at Wembley Stadium. It was a big clash between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills. It is always such a fun event to be involved in. During the course of the day I ended up escorting the Jaguars Video teams to their positions for the game, showing coaches and owners to their boxes, plus helping the VIP guests get to and from pitch side to watch the players warm up. And finally directing the Bills to their team buses at the end of the contest. Always an interesting day. You get to help and meet such interesting and lovely people.

Congratulations to the Jacksonville Jaguars who won their first ever game in London beating the Buffalo Bills by 34 points to 31. Their owner Shahid Khan also owns Fulham Football Club. So the whole of the American Football Team squad went and saw their English football counterparts play at Craven Cottage the day before. Seeing them come from behind to win clearly also inspired the American team.

Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium

A win in London is good news as they have signed to play one game a season at Wembley for the next five years. I asked one of the coaches from the Jaguars just before kick off. If he had enjoyed his latest trip to London? His answer was “I will let you know in about four hours”. With a win under their belts as they flew home on their plane that evening. I am guessing that he did.

Ivel FM Studios
Ivel FM Studios

Having worked in the radio industry for more than a decade I know lots of different people from all over the country. Due to the nature of the beast you just have to up sticks some times and go where the work is. One of these people is my mate Robbie Lane. He now lives in Lincolnshire. But I met him when we were both working at Ivel fm in Yeovil. He happened to be in London the other Monday and organised a get together with me and a few of his other friends, in a nice restaurant in Covent Garden. We went to the exquisite Tuttons.

As it happened I had actually eaten there once before. A while ago now, as part of my twenty-fifth birthday celebrations. It is in a great location and if you can get a window seat. You can see all the goings on at one of the capitals most popular tourist attractions. Which if you like people watching as much as I do is fantastic. The menu was impressive and varied. The staff and the atmosphere in there were also both great. Just in case you wanted to know. I had the Lamb Cutlets, which were delicious. It was really nice to catch up with everybody. I do like eating and talking, two of my favourite pastimes. So it was another fun night looking back at the past and forward to the future at the same time.

Neil Quigley in London
Neil Quigley in London

I am still enjoying Strictly Come Dancing. Even though my favourite couple of Jamelia and Tristan continue to struggle and ended up in the dance off last weekend. Thankfully they in my opinion deservedly survived leading to Ainsley Harriott and Natalie Lowe leaving the contest. Don’t get me wrong I do like them both to, but I did think my girl did perform slightly better on the night.

The competition is very fierce this year and a lot of them could be in with a chance of walking away with the glitter ball. Statistically it is looking like it will be a women who wins. Mainly because all the celebrity’s who have gone so far this time around have all been male. I think Jay McGuinness and Peter Andre are the only two men, who can possibly trouble the ladies for the series title. As ever good luck to all the couples ready for this weekends Halloween Special.

Neil Quigley talking to Victoria Pendleton
Neil Quigley talking to Victoria Pendleton

The countdown is on to my absolute favourite television show of the year. I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. Ant & Dec are hilarious on it. They are just so good at poking fun at all the camp mates. ITV have not confirmed the exact date it will start yet. But have said that it will be around the middle of November. Already the rumours have started about who will be doing it this year. I hope they are fun and up for a laugh. As well as the challenges.

I am hoping there will at least be a couple of people that I have met in the past in there. I have met four of the previous Kings or Queens of the Jungle in the programmes, now thirteen year history. Do not expect me to do much during the three weeks it is on, watching it will play a large part in most of my evenings during that time. It is the best thing on television in my humble opinion.

Neil Quigley with Christopher Biggins
Neil Quigley with Christopher Biggins

In the next week or so I am very much looking forward to seeing the excellent comedian Sean Lock perform live for the first time and seeing the latest show from Derren Brown in London. I have been to one of his stage shows before. I love what he does and think it is so clever.

I would like to have his skills. When it comes to pretending that he can mind read. That would be great fun if you could do that. If it was used in a responsible and fun manner like he does, of course. I will tell you about both of these things, when we speak next.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

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

London Beat

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good couple of weeks. Mine have been great with lots of fun things going on. We are in the middle of the Rugby Union World Cup in England currently. I cannot claim to be a massive fan of playing the sport and hated it in games lessons at school. I had to go in the scrum as a second row forward. When I would have much rather stood out of the way on the sidelines as a winger. As I could have just avoided the ball more and stayed away from the action. I am always happy to watch and support England in any competition. I made sure I caught the Opening Ceremony on television.

I thought it was really good. A twenty minute production with more than a couple of nods to the Olympic opening in 2012. Including another Royal on screen cameo. This time from Prince Harry. Who also delivered a speech from the centre of the pitch. Which I thought was very nicely done.

Also well done to the comedian, TV Warm Up Man and Buckinghamshire resident Andy Collins. Who was charged with getting the capacity crowd fired up and ready for when the eyes of the world were on them. I look forward to hopefully bumping in to him at a television studio, once again in the near future.

Rugby World Cup 2015
Rugby World Cup 2015

I had a brilliant morning at the ITV Studios on the South Bank the other week. I was there to help a production company called Chalkboard with a live run through of a brand new game show. That they are trying to get commissioned. And hopefully on our televisions soon. They are a fantastic group of people very friendly, enthusiastic and professional. We all met up in reception before heading in to the lift and up to the Thames Room. We got set up, had a cup of tea and a quick practice of the game. Before the TV executives that we were trying to impress arrived.

We were also joined by two French TV Producers. Who have already made a pilot version of the quiz, that we were show casing. I have seen a clip of it and it looks great in their studio. The executives arrived in the room. And me and my co-contestant Rob played a couple of rounds of it. So they could see the format. How it plays and all works.

It went really well and everybody left the room happy. Fingers crossed they take the show and then make it. It would be nice to see something that I have played a very small part in the development of, being successful and getting a good run on the television. If and when I get any news that I am able to tell you, rest assured I will.

ITV Studios London
ITV Studios London

I am a massive fan of live theatre and musicals but I very rarely watch any films. About a year ago I saw the Jersey Boys movie and absolutely loved it. Since seeing it at the cinema I decided that I really wanted to see the stage version. Which was about long before the film. Finally last week I managed to find some spare time and catch the matinee at the Piccadilly Theatre in the West End. It tells the story of the group the Four Seasons, from the very early days through to the end of their careers. While giving a good feel of what the area of America they came from, was really like back then.

It is pretty real and gritty for a musical. And it is fair to say they all have issues and problems both individually and collectively along the way. But the thing that really holds it together and makes it great, is the songs. They had some very big hits and they are all sung live by the very talented cast.

It is a real life story of how money and success can alter friendships and situations. But also how certain bonds are built up with people that just cannot be broken. The music and the harmony’s are so good. It will leave you feeling happy and hyped up, like any good musical really should in my opinion. I am really glad I finally went to see it. But I already knew beforehand that I would not be disappointed by it.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I enjoyed a fun night out recently with a few of the people I work with at Wembley Stadium. A fairly low key night. We just met in pub that is part of a well known chain of Irish Bar’s in Kings Cross. Whose full name is pretty similar to my first name. We then went on to a bar around the corner. Where the fantastic Rockaoke band were playing.

Just in case you are not familiar with these guys. They are a group, who provide a slightly different take on karaoke. They play the songs totally live and supply all the words. You just hop on stage with them and sing. I met them in January at a birthday party in Oxfordshire. They were brilliant then and my mate Jeff Nolan got up and did a few numbers with them. Which was ace.

Rockaoke
Rockaoke

They have also played on most of the Chris Moyle’s Show Tours, at Carfest events and backstage at some pretty cool places including the V-Festival. They were once again excellent. And they do seem to attract a better class of singer than normal karaoke’s. Although I guess to get up there and sing with a full band. You at least have to have a little bit of confidence. That you know what you are doing.

That said the group are ace and would help you out were it required vocally, I believe. To save the ears of the audience if nothing else. They were very popular in the pub that night. When we arrived there all the slots to sing for the rest of the evening had already been booked up. I look forward to seeing them live again soon.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I have been lucky enough to go to the actual Munich Beer Festival, the original Oktoberfest on two previous occasions. Both times I went with friends and we stayed at a camp site about thirty minutes from Munich. It is an amazing event. They have around fifteen big Bierkellers, all of which represent the different beers and hold around four thousand people. You end up drinking, talking, then as the evening wears on singing and dancing with people from all over the world. The atmosphere is electric. Everyone is there to just have a good time. Plus the Oompah band’s play their own versions of lots of very well known party hits. All of which sound great after a few steins and may be a large pretzel.

Anyway so last Saturday I went to an Oktoberfest Night at a Bavarian Bar in the Tower Hill area of London. It was organised by Lee Bryant, who runs the Laughing Badger Comedy Club in Hemel Hempstead. He spoke to me ages ago about it and told me that he was dressing up for the occasion. So I said that I would do the same.

After much debate about how we were going to get there and where we were going to meet. He suggested I stay at his so we could travel up and back to the Capital together. As I did not really fancy moving through London on my own in an unfamiliar outfit. I took him up on his very kind offer. Specially after he guaranteed that he would cook me a big fry up the morning after.

Oktoberfest London 2015
Oktoberfest London 2015

He lives near Harpenden, so we caught the train in to London from there. Both dressed up in our Lederhosen’s. I am not going to lie to you we did get some pretty strange looks. People were either trying to completely avoid us, not get eye contact with us or engage us in a short conversion. I think the latter just wanted to make sure we were heading somewhere appropriate dressed in these strange clothes.

The tube across London was not any less of an embarrassment. With everywhere full of people and everyone accept us in more normal weekend attire. We arrived at the venue, met the other six people in our party. Only to find out that with the exception of the staff and one other group of four people we were the only ones who were dressed up in the whole place.

Do not worry this did not stop us having a great time. Everyone there was very friendly and I lost count of the number of people who wanted to have a go with my drinking hat. The waitress who looked after us Ella from Frankfurt was lovely. The beer flowed rather nicely and the three piece Oompah Band they had wandering around were a right laugh. They were happy to get involved, do requests and have us sing along with them. Plus in between the band they also played in some big party songs. So we could have a good old sing and dance.

Oktoberfest London 2015
Oktoberfest London 2015

Now many, many years ago when I started out. I used to with a group of friends of mine do disco’s for Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio. We developed a bit within our performance’s. Where we would bring in a few little props and then lead the dances to a few big floor fillers. Our main number was the YMCA complete with all the head gear required to replicate The Village People. When we did it back then it always used to go down a storm.

Well last Saturday night in that bar. Along with Lee and the staff. For one night only I joined in with a special version of that dance. I can confirm that I can still remember all the moves by the way. I am just hoping that no one was videoing it on their mobile phone. That really was not a problem when we were doing that the first time around. Nobody even had phones let alone ones that could film things.

Oktoberfest London 2015
Oktoberfest London 2015

It was an excellent evening out and I would definitely head back there again at some point. And also Lee Bryant’s breakfast promise was fulfilled and it was delicious. While I remember, if you fancy some live comedy in the Hertfordshire area. Then check out the latest Laughing Badger Comedy Night taking place on Saturday 14th November. Click here for more details Laughing Badger Comedy

Neil Quigley Stand Up Comedy
Neil Quigley Stand Up Comedy

So for my Mum’s slightly belated Birthday treat I took her for a day out it London. She told me that she had not really been sight seeing there for about thirty years and fancied having a look round. So I obliged. We started off in Piccaddilly Circus then headed through Leicester Square. Just as we were going past the Capital Radio entrance Amanda Holden came out of there and started walking right behind us.

Then suddenly a few photographers arrived on the scene trying to take pictures of her. The photographers were in front of me and my mum. While Amanda was walking behind us still, trying to use us as a bit of a shield I think. She eventually over took us and then jumped straight in to a waiting car. She must get that all the time but it did seem a bit odd with people shouting at her and all these camera flashes going off. Although secretly I may have enjoyed it a little bit. By the way for the record she looked stunning and was very friendly and polite to everyone.

Global Leicester Square
Global Leicester Square

From here our huge walking tour of London took us via Trafalgar Square, St James Park. Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Horse Guards Parade then to Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, South Bank and finally on to St Paul’s Cathedral. Where opposite we found a really nice Italian Restaurant for dinner.

Before continuing on to Fleet Street, Covent Garden then ending up in my favourite pub in London Waxy O’Connor’s to enjoy a well earned pint. A successful and fun day spending time with my mum. And enjoying the many delights of our Capital city. Plus the weather was great. London always looks amazing when it is sunny.

London 2015
London 2015

So since we spoke last Chris Moyles has returned to the airwaves. He is now back presenting The Chris Moyles Show on newly launched Global station Radio X. I am a big fan of his work, so I did listen in to his first Breakfast Show.

It is going to be interesting to see how he will manage to compete with the big hitters on what nationally is mainly just a DAB station. But I am sure he is up for the fight and will give it a good go. He has started nicely and the station have spent quite a bit on publicity for it. Which should help a bit.

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

I have met him twice over the years. Once through the glass of what used to be Chiltern Radio in Dunstable. As an enthusiastic teenager I went for an interview late one evening for a Technical Operator’s Job for the AM Super Gold station that broadcast from the same studio complex. I could see him through the glass doing his show and I have to confess was watching and staring at what he was doing. When he then came on the studio talk back to advise me that he wasn’t a goldfish.

The second time was at a book signing in Yeovil. When I was working at a radio station down there. I nipped out in my lunch hour to get a copy of his book signed and have a brief chat. I thought it would be amusing to give him a pen from Ivel fm. Where I was working at the time. I wonder if he still has it? He in turn asked me to give him a mention on my afternoon show. Now as much as I like him. I was certainly not going to suddenly promote another radio station. So I just gave a shout out to Chris from Leeds down in Yeovil and wished him luck with his new book. He will do a great job at Radio X.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Relatively Interesting

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really good couple of weeks. Mine have been busy with lots going on. Including quite a few special occasions. The first of which was my cousin’s Wedding Reception in the Dairy at Waddesdon Manor. I have to confess that it was the first time I had been there. It is a beautiful venue. And I had a lovely evening catching up with the family, while just having a few social drinks and a bit of a dance. I can confirm that I can still bust some moves on the floor. There was a band there. The fantastically named “Carte Blanche”, who were truly excellent. Congratulations to Sarah and Stuart. Who are now off enjoying their honeymoon in Italy.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Before they jetted off. The day after the reception we continued the celebrations with an afternoon party at my Uncle and Aunty’s. I do love doing this. As you can talk about what happened at the Wedding and relive all the fun you had the night before. Or check on anything that you are may be slightly unclear about, if you need to. There was lots of delicious food on offer. The happy couple made an appearance of course. As this event was being held in their honour. It was great to be able to have a nice chat with them and wish them well. While also having a look at some of the photos. One thing I learnt from that weekend is that my family still know how to party. It was all good fun.

Neil Quigley Enjoying the Sun
Neil Quigley Enjoying the Sun

Then the day after it was Mum’s birthday. So I went and spent the afternoon with her. It was a nice day, so we sat out in the garden for a while. And a couple of her sister’s came round. It was really good to catch up with them. We are all very busy with our own lives but it is good to take a little bit of time out when you can and catch up with your relatives. We finished off the day with a Chinese Takeaway. Which is always a winner in my eyes.

The present she wanted from me was a day out in London. She says that she has not really been to the Capital and seen all the big tourist attractions since she took me there as a child. Which it is fair to say was quite a long time ago now. So I will be repaying the favour at the end of this month. And taking her to see all the sights. Which I must admit I am really looking forward to. I have already started planning my route for the day and organising a few surprises for her along the way.

Neil Quigley in London
Neil Quigley in London

I have once again been spending some time at Wembley Stadium during the last fortnight. One day I took my friend and his son for a look around the home of football. I am not sure who was more excited my mate or his kid. The boy is only four years old but already in his short life he has changed his football allegiance from Chelsea to Manchester City. Either he just likes the colour blue or is choosing to support the team most likely to win the title each season.

From the visit they have got a nice picture of them, sitting up on the stage in the Press Conference room. Looking like they are talking to the media after a game. The stadium is getting ready this weekend to welcome the first of two big Rugby Union World Cup matches. New Zealand play Argentina tomorrow and then next Sunday Ireland take on Romania.

Press Conference Room
Press Conference Room

I was also at Wembley on Tuesday 8th September for the Euro Qualifier between England and Switzerland. That date saw a little piece of history being made. I was really glad I was there to see it in person. We have got game day for international’s perfectly sorted. We arrive early, so we can have a nice meal in one of the restaurants near by. Then we go to a bar I know near the ground. Which is never too busy. So you can always get in there and get a drink really quickly. Then we head in to the stadium in time to see the players warm up. I am not going to lie to you the first half of the match was not exactly amazing. And I was querying my decision to go at that point.

England
England

But things then did pick up a bit in the second half. When a certain Harry Kane came on. I have never watched him live and not seen him score. And luckily this record continued. As he got the first goal. May be he should hire me to go to every game. England seemed to relax a bit at this point plus Switzerland actually had to try and attack now. To get something from the game. Which gave the home team more space. Then something happened that gave us the moment we had all been waiting for. Wayne Rooney going in to this game had scored 49 goals for his country. He was joint top scorer with the legend that is Bobby Charlton.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

So when the Manchester City player Raheem Sterling was tripped in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. We all knew who would be stepping up to take it. The chants of “Rooney Rooney” echoed around the ground. Then after quite a lengthy delay he took it and smashed it into the top corner of the goal. So therefore breaking the all time scoring record for the England National Team with his 50th goal.

I was sitting right behind that goal to witness that historical moment. The shear delight and in many ways relief in his face was really great to see. Big congratulations to Wayne Rooney. That is a truly amazing achievement. There is a great video of him accepting a special shirt from the Manager Roy Hodgson. And then giving a very gracious speech in the dressing room after the game. It was fantastic to be there, to see it all unfold.

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney

Do you remember what seems like ages ago now I said that I did a little bit of filming for the latest series of the Sky One show Duck Quacks Don’t Echo with Lee Mack. I took part in one of the experiments they do, to prove or disprove theories the guests bring on to the programme. Well the other week the episode I was in was shown. I just happened to be in and able to watch it for myself. As it has been on TV. I guess I can say a little bit about what it was.

I was hooked up to an electric shock machine. While sitting in a completely empty and totally white room. Basically when I got a bit bored I could press a button, which would give me a little shock. Now I do have a really low attention span. So yes I did actually give it a try to see what receiving the shock was like. The results of which you can very clearly see on the television. It was a fun morning spent shooting it. And it was equally as much fun to watch the finished product on screen.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I had a great time once again seeing an episode of Celebrity Juice being recorded at the Elstree Studios. That show is just total madness but lots of fun to watch and be involved with. I can’t wait to see how much of the really funny stuff. They will actually be able to show on the television. When it goes out. My initial guess is a lot of the most hilarious bits will be a bit to hot for TV shall we say. For this series the two team captains are Holly Willoughby and Gino D’Acampo both of who were great. I said previously that I had hoped Kelly Brook might be replacing Fearne Cotton, as I quite fancied seeing her. Well imagine my delight when she was one of the guests on the night I was there.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The other panellists were Louis Walsh, Hayley Tamaddon and the brilliant Jimmy Carr. Everyone was top quality. That is the first time I have seen Jimmy Carr in person. And he did not disappoint. He was hilarious. Everybody joined in and took the jokes about them in their stride. I have to say Hayley Tammadon really threw herself in to it all and was thoroughly entertaining.

And finally not forgetting the main man, Keith Lemon. Who was fantastic. The perfect ringmaster, creating the magic and the madness and to be fair also marshalling things brilliantly. You may have seen the show on Thursday night. If so you may have spotted me clapping in the audience. I did tweet the main man to tell him how much I enjoyed it. And he did send me back a nice reply. I have already organised to go and see another one filmed in a few weeks time. It is a great way to spend an evening. If you enjoy laughing a lot at crazy and surreal situations, that is.

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

Staying with the television theme last Saturday evening I went along to the filming of the latest It’ll Be Alright On The Night. At the ITV Studios on the South Bank. Most television shows have a warm up person. Who comes out first, explains what is going to happen and gets the audience laughing and ready for when the stars walk on. Now last time I watched this particular show Ted Robbins was doing that role.

Since then he quite publicly suffered a heart attack. While on stage performing in the Comic Relief stage version of Phoenix Nights. Happily he has made a full recovery and was once again back at the studio for this recording. And I must say on top form. It was good to see him again. It is presented by the excellent Griff Rhys Jones. Who is so slick, professional and funny. While he is linking all the sections of bloopers together. It featured all new never seen before out takes from all over the world.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Lots of them were proper laugh out loud funny. A few of them featured some of my favourite and the best known presenters in the county. Once again proving that no matter how good you are, things can still go wrong. And it is how you react to them. That shows your true value and class. It is actually a pretty quick show to record.

As there are no real set changes or breaks. Plus it is just Griff talking to camera between the videos. They do get played to the audience in the studio. So the reaction to them can be recorded and of course used on the programme. When it is then shown on the television. Which for this show will be sometime during the Christmas period on ITV 1.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

I really enjoy spending time in TV studios and always feel quite at home there. We were all done by about eight O’clock. So I treated myself to a few weekend drinks in London. The city was vibrant and great fun as ever. With lots of people in fancy dress for the opening of the latest production of the Rocky Horror Show. I have only seen that once at the theatre, so far. And in that version Jonathan Wilkes was Frank N Furter. Fair play though I have to admit there were some brilliant and brave costumes on show in the pubs, I was in.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Also last weekend on the Sunday I went to the christening of my friend’s two sons. It took place at the church were my friend and his wife got married. It was the first time I had been back there since. It is a lovely little village church. Which is actually over nine hundred years old. The ceremony itself was fun. As there were quite a few children around the parents seemed busy keeping them all interested and in some cases under control. Which as someone who has no kids I found mildly amusing.

The two stars of the show were great. Well after the older one had two failed attempts to run out of the building that is. Afterwards there was a lovely reception at their house. With a Bouncy Castle for the children and nice food with great company for the adults. It was lovely to meet up with and talk to lots of people that I had not seen for ages, many years in some cases. So another fun time was had by all. And predictably, as with all social occasions I attend. I was again one of the last to leave.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

So we now know who is paired with who on Strictly Come Dancing, ready for the start of the new series. Firstly it is great to see Anton Du Beke paired up with Katie Derham. Normally he seems to get difficult ladies to teach. But this year I think he might have a chance of doing very well with this one. And hopefully going a long way in the competition.

My favourite dancer is still Aliona Vilani and she is with Jay McGuinness from The Wanted so I do want them to do well. Both Peter Andre with Janette Manrara and Kirsty Gallacher with Brendan Cole could do well in the competition. But the duo I am supporting are Jamelia and Tristan MacManus. I have always liked her and I thought he was great last year. So they are my tip to win the Glitter Ball trophy this year. I am looking forward to it starting again.

ITV Studios London
ITV Studios London

This Tuesday I am going to the ITV London Studios to help out with a game show run through for a brand new format idea in front of some executives from ITV. It will be lots of fun and I hope they pick it up and make it. As I think it is a great concept and genius idea for a quiz. I have to be there quite early in the morning. So I am hoping I might spot some of the Good Morning Britain presenter’s, when I am there. Or may be even Philip or Holly from This Morning. I will let you know how it goes the next time that we speak.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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.