Tag Archives: St Patricks Day

Star Man

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really good couple of weeks. Mine have been busy and fun. If you remember the last time we spoke it was March 17th or to give it its other name St Patrick’s Day. I have an Irish Surname, my Granddad was born there and I am always up for a fun day out. Therefore I do try to celebrate this day in some way every year.

There was a bit of a spanner in the works for this year’s plan. My intention would normally be to go straight to Waxy O’Connor’s off Leicester Square in London nice and early to get a place and get in before the queues. However my football team Tottenham were in action in the FA Cup Quarter Finals against Swansea. Kicking off at a quarter past midday.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The Irish Pub were not showing the football and there was no way I was going to miss the game. Luckily the fantastic Comedy Pub just down the road were showing it. Fair play to them they put the game on a big screen on their third floor. The room was full of Spurs fans, so it was a great place to watch it. With quite a good atmosphere for a pub game.

I did still get in to the spirit of the day by having a couple of pints of Guinness during the match. It all went perfectly for my team. We won quite convincingly. Much to the annoyance of the one Swansea fan in the room. Who left about twenty minutes before the end of the game. The afternoon had started very well with Spurs making it through to the FA Cup Semi-finals.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Then the plan did go a little pair shaped, as I feared it might. It was the final of the Rugby Six Nations that weekend. On St Patrick’s Day afternoon England were playing Ireland. That game started fifteen minutes after the Spurs game ended. It was also a Saturday, so more people could get to the pub earlier. Therefore when I tried to get in to Waxy O’Connor’s after the football. There was a queue round the block.

I am not one for queuing at the best of times but especially not when it is freezing and snowing. So I then decided to head to All Bar One in Leicester Square for a drink. I concluded there was little point trying to get into my favourite bar. Until at least after the rugby. Next then, mainly so I did not have to walk to far. I went and had a drink in the Hampshire Hotel Bar. It is a bit up market, so there was no Guinness on offer and I had to have a red wine.

Finally I wandered around to Waxy O’Connor’s and managed to get in and have a couple of pints of in my opinion the best Guinness in the capital. They had live Irish music. It was absolutely rammed, as usual. The atmosphere was great and it was lots of fun. I am already planning next year’s St Patrick’s Day. When hopefully I will be able to get straight in to Waxy’s and spend a bit longer in there. Football matches willing of course.

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

I attended the unveiling of the world’s first David Bowie Statue in Aylesbury. The reason he is being remembered in this way in the Buckinghamshire town. Is because he made his first ever appearance as Ziggy Stardust there. He appeared at the very popular, iconic and now legendary Friars Music Club. The driving force behind the art work was the man who run the club David Stopps. He set up a kick starter campaign to raise the one hundred thousand pounds needed to fund the project.

It was designed and sculptured by renowned artist Andrew Sinclair. It took him around a year to complete. It is a very detailed piece of work featuring Bowie depicted at various different stages of his life and career. He was there on the day and talked us through every bit of his masterpiece explaining the ideas and reasoning behind certain parts. Which was interesting to hear from his point of view being its creator.

David Bowie Statue
David Bowie Statue

Also on stage and speaking at the event were some other famous local musicians including Howard Jones and a couple of members of the Aylesbury band Marillion. Plus the town’s MP David Liddington. He is someone I have known and interviewed several times over the years. It was nice to catch up with him for a bit after he had finished addressing the crowd. It was all nicely done with a stage set up in the Market Square showing David Bowie videos mixed in with some live performances from local bands.

It is certainly an eye catching thing. And is a fitting way to mark a man of his stature. Although you could argue his ties with the town are slightly tenuous. I have met the man behind it David Stopps a few times over the years. He is fiercely passionate about his music and has worked in the industry all over the world with some very big names for over forty years, so he knows his stuff.

His first real venture, which was the Friars Music Club, as well as bringing David Bowie to Aylesbury. Also saw Genesis, The Police, Lou Reed, Roxy Music and Gary Numan play in the town, After quite a break he bought it back in 2009. Therefore he is still putting on music concerts in Aylesbury on a pretty regular basis, Which I think is great.

David Bowie Statue
David Bowie Statue

I went and saw the force of nature that is Danny Baker doing his final Cradle to the Stage one man show at the Shepherds Bush Empire. I was in good company as Jonathan Ross and Kate Robbins were both there to enjoy it to. I remember watching him on the Six O’clock show as a kid. I loved the original TFI Friday programmes. That he made with Chris Evans. And I have read his first two books and liked his autobiographical TV comedy Cradle to The Grave.

I have also for years admired his work on the radio. I have been lucky enough to see him around at the BBC a few times recently. The next logical step was to see this show. Which is basically him telling many stories about his life and work in show business. We have always known the man can talk. But despite it being a near on three hour performance. I felt he only got to touch on a small selection of his anecdotes from his crazy life.

Danny Baker
Danny Baker

Literally as he finished one story, it reminded him of another which then led to another. He had to keep censoring himself to move on and actually get on with the show or we could all still be there now. For a man who admits he has been lucky and is a bit of a chancer. He has met everyone you could possibly imagine from the world of entertainment over the last forty years. And has a story to tell about all of them.

It was a funny, entertaining, interesting and amusing evening. I must confess he has a better singing voice than I was expecting. He is of course super talented. You do not achieve the success he has had or be involved with the shows that he has been over the years without it. You can see why so many celebrities over the years have ended up hanging out with him. He would be great company in a proper old fashioned pub. Where you could just drink beer and chat. Well you could chat, if you could get a word in edge ways. Which may be the only issue.

He is going on a brand new tour soon called Big Time Charlie. In which he will talk more about his early days at the NME. Where among other things he was in Led Zeppelin for thirty five minutes, he went shoe shopping with Debbie Harry and hung out with Michael Jackson for a few days. As you do. I am looking forward to seeing that show. Hopefully later in the year.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I have often said on here what a big fan I am of the work of Ant and Dec. Who I do think are brilliant presenters. That opinion has not altered. However I have lost a lot of respect and appreciation for Ant after his arrest for drink driving. I am aware that he is facing several personal problems. Which he needs to deal with. I hope he gets the care and support he needs to overcome them. But stepping behind the wheel when over the legal limit is unacceptable.

On a lighter note congratulations to the other half of the duo Dec. Who has announced he and his wife are to become parents for the first time. News I guess, he would have liked to have revealed at a more stable time for his career. But life rarely works like that. It will be interesting to see how it works and how it feels with him hosting Take Away by himself. He is a great presenter. He will do a top job.  But seeing his mate not stood next to him will completely change the dynamics of  the whole thing.

BGT London
BGT London

A friend of mine, who is a fantastic singer and performer has a new song coming out. It is set to be a big tune in the clubs across Europe this summer. Her name is Nickita. The song is called Body Whine. Keep an ear out for it. Also she is often out gigging, so if you get the chance go along and see one of her shows.

Nickita
Nickita

I had a great day out at Wincanton Races with my former boss Steve Carpenter in the week. I used to go there quite often when I worked at Ivel fm. But this is the first time I had been there for years. I went there and back in a day on the train. The race course run a free shuttle bus from and to the train station in Templecombe.

Neil Quigley with Steve Carpenter in Yeovil
Neil Quigley with Steve Carpenter in Yeovil

There was a nice surprise in the parade ring when I arrived. The winner of this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup Native River was in there. He was trained by one of the local trainers to Wincanton Colin Tizzard. I also saw another local top trainer in Paul Nicholls within seconds of arriving.

Native River
Native River

It was a good day. I had a couple of small winners. Then in the final race I backed a horse at 33-1. Which came in second but being an all or nothing kind of guy. I had not done it each way. It was great to catch up with Steve and remember some of the classic moments from my time is Somerset.

The shuttle bus picked up more or less straight after the last race and got us back to the train station for six. The train back to London was not due till quarter to seven. Not a problem, we will just have a quick drink in the local pub, we thought.

However it turns out there is nothing in Templecombe, no pub, no fish and chip shop. There is just one shop in the whole place. Much to our amazement. I think it is the first train station I have ever been to that has not got a pub near by.

Neil Quigley

I had a first this week. An issue with a product I ordered from Amazon.  I have been looking around for a new pair of going out trainers for a while. I finally saw these Nike ones that I liked. I think mainly because they reminded me and the ones that Michael J Fox wears in Back To The Future.

Anyway I ordered them and about five days later they arrived. I opened the box and instantly liked the look of them. I excitedly took out the right one and tried in on. It fitted perfectly and felt instantly comfortable. Which is unusual for new footwear.

I then took out the left one to try that on and found myself struggling to get my foot in to it. I scrunched my foot in to it but it felt so tight I started to lose feeling in it. At this point I am thinking may be my feet are slightly different sizes. And I had just somehow never noticed. But then I take them both off to discover the right trainer is UK size 7 my shoe size and the left one is UK Size 6.

They had sent be the right trainers in different sizes. I have had to send them back. I now have to wait two weeks for the replacement. Which I have to admit is really annoying. As I was looking forward to wearing them. And now I currently have nothing to wear with the red body warmer I got to go with them.

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

Thoroughly Modern Me

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really good couple of weeks. Mine have been fairly busy with some fun stuff going on. Now as I have mentioned before I am a big fan of Strictly Come Dancing. One of my current favourite dancer’s on the show is the brilliant Joanne Clifton. So when I discovered she was going to be starring in the new touring version of Thoroughly Modern Millie. And that it was coming to one of my local theatre’s. I decided that I had to get along to see it.

Therefore a couple of Tuesday’s ago I did just that at The Swan Theatre in High Wycombe. I have to confess that although I am a huge fan of musicals, it was not one that I had seen before. I did not even know what the story was about, which actually made a nice change. Seeing something that was completely new to me. I was genuinely surprised and absorbed by the plot.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Happily and conveniently for the show’s title I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. The whole cast were fantastic. The songs were great. It featured a live Orchestra, which always enhances any performance, I think. It is quite a high energy, fast moving show with a relatively small cast, so some of the actors have to play a couple of different parts. It is fair to say that everyone is working hard while on and also off stage. As ever, like with most musicals it has a story line that looks at perceptions, decisions and morals with an element of good versus evil. But there are a few clever twists in it, which I really liked.

Now we come on to the main reason I went in the first place. The gorgeous Joanne Clifton, who shines in the lead role and carries the whole show so effortlessly. She really has not taken the easy option here for her first big production. As this part requires her to do an American accent. Which she does perfectly. She seems to have an aura around her, which attracts your attention and means you cannot take your eyes off her. Which I believe demonstrates star quality.

It really is a stunning performance. She has a great voice and really belts out those big numbers. Her acting is believable. And there is of course no need to question her dancing, she is a world champion in that arena.

She is definitely going to go on to star in more musicals. And I would be amazed not to see her in the West End sometime soon. Right at the end, as the curtain was falling, after the play had finished. She and one of the other actors gave us a little bit of a classic jive to enjoy, which was ace. She was giving it her all right to the very last second. She seemed to be loving it and I must admit I loved watching it to.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I also spent another night in High Wycombe recently checking out a new shop that has opened there. It is called the Brewery Shop. And it does what it says on the tin. It is a shop serving a huge selection of different beers from lots of various independent and local brewery’s.

It does also have a decent bar area with a huge selection of different guest craft ales on tap. So you can sit in there and try lots of different drinks. It seemed nice and friendly in there. Plus the selection of drinks they had was impressive. I tried a couple of them while I was there. I would imagine that I will be going back there again to sample some more of them at some point.

Beer
Beer

Saturday Night Take Away is back on television for another series. And once again I am really enjoying it. It is one of the maddest show’s of the year. With the two Geordie geniuses acting as ring masters to the huge Circus. I have said this before but they have cleverly taken all the best bits from every Saturday night entertainment programme that there has ever been. Put them all together and adapted them to their own unique style.

I went and watched a show live in the studio last year and that was brilliant. The atmosphere in that studio is electric. It is just like one big giant party. The ninety minutes go so quickly. It is fun seeing them get things ready and set things up  during the advert breaks. It is just plain old fashioned silly fun and very entertaining.

Saturday Night Takeaway
Saturday Night Takeaway

The two of them are in their element and are given a bit of freedom to ad-lib and create magic moments in this inclusive and live environment. Now while they are not comedians, the relationship and comedy timing that exists between them does at least slightly remind me of Morecambe and Wise. They certainly have that connection together and the ability to make the audience feel we are all in on the joke with them.

I like the new weekly serials that they have added over the last two years. They are both ridiculous and hilarious, full of silly and amusing jokes. And feature some great cameos with the lads very happy to send themselves up in them. Plus the end of the show show is of course always a winner. And in many ways the idea behind that, seems like another nod to the two comedy legends I mentioned earlier. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the series. It is simply fun, which is what the world needs more of in my opinion.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The Nightly Show has now started on ITV1. I went to see the pilot version of it. At that time I felt it still needed a bit of work to get it right. And three weeks in I have to say I still think it does. It is the type of programme that the United Kingdom has been missing. They have been doing this kind of show very well in America for a very long time. Now I do really want it to work and for it to become a regular thing. But having watched a couple of episodes over the first few weeks. I think it is trying a bit too hard, it all seems a little too forced and they are trying to pack too much in, making it quite a difficult and awkward watch for me personally.

Although I appreciate it is not easy writing funny and topical material to order, every single night. But for me the opening monologue’s do need to be better. To set the tone, get the audience on side and give it that sense of the day. To make it unique and up to the minute. If you want to do a nightly topical show, it does need to be just that. Some of the guest choices have been a bit odd to. And I am not totally convinced the quick games with members of the public really add anything to it either.

I saw via social media that Danny Baker has offered his services to mould this show and build it up. Now love him or hate him. He has got form with this sort of thing from his past TV work. Which suggests he could may be give it the kick start that it needs. I do really want it to work and for it to be good. I hope they can tweak it and find the right vibe for it. That said the viewing figures for it are pretty good for a new show at that time, but I genuinely think it can be better.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Last Friday night I went with my dad to the Official Wycombe Wanderers Supporters Association Dinner at Adams Park. The home of the football team it assists. Both he and my mum are season ticket holders at the club. And members of the aforementioned organisation, as am I. It was a very pleasant evening including an enjoyable three course meal. That featured the best chocolate mousse dessert I have had for a while.

Since it was formed over twenty five years ago. It has donated over seventy-five thousand pounds to the club. It was good to see the manager Gareth Ainsworth there supporting the event. They auctioned off Myles Weston’s shirt from the FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur, which was signed by the whole squad. Plus there was a raffle in which I won a bottle of red wine, which topped off a very enjoyable evening, very nicely.

Wycombe V Barnet
Wycombe V Barnet

Talking of the mighty Tottenham Hotspur our season has been going through another quite decent spell. Well if you completely ignore crashing out of the Europa League that is. Certainly in the Premier League, things have been looking good with wins and good performances becoming the norm.

Still cannot see us getting past Cheslea though, I think they have the title sewn up already. The most exciting thing for me though is reaching the FA Cup Semi-Final. It has been far too long since we have been in one. Although we do now have to get past Chelsea in that to get to the final.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

My only ever trip to Old Trafford was to see us lose to Newcastle in a FA Cup Semi-final, several years ago now. I have always loved the competition and it has been to long since we have had a shot at the final of it. When you consider that we have not won it since 1991 and that was the last time that we were even in the final.

We must be due another appearance, I hope. If for no other reason than Chas N Dave can release a new Spurs song for the occasion. I can’t wait for the Semi-final it is going to be huge. And if we get to the final I will have to try and get a ticket for that somehow. Come on you Spurs.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Yesterday it was the seventeenth of March and therefore of course St Patrick’s Day. I do have a surname of Irish origin. My Granddad was born there. Plus I have been over to Dublin four times. So as far as I am concerned that qualifies me to be able to spend this very special day in a pub, having a few drinks. This year was no different. I went to my favourite pub in London.

Which just so happens to be an Irish Bar called Waxy O’Connor’s. Where I enjoyed a few pints of Guinness. The atmosphere in there is always top quality. To add to the flavour of the occasion they have music playing all day plus a traditional Irish Trio performing live a few times during the day to.

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

Last year I won a competition on social media for my photos of the event. That prize pack included T-shirts from the place, which I really like. I was tempted to wear one of them this year but then I realised that I would look like the staff and end up having to serve people pints or tell them where the toilets were all day.

It was brilliant fun as ever and made even more entertaining by the fact they showed the Cheltenham Gold Cup live on the big screen. For a second during the race it almost felt like I was there. I always enjoy this day, every year.  It was lots of fun celebrating with a great group of people.

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

I am looking forward to next weekend visiting and exploring somewhere that I have never been before. For my fortieth birthday some friends of mine got together and got me a travel voucher as a present. So I have used that to enjoy a weekend away in Barcelona.

I have never been to main land Spain before, so I am very excited. I have heard great things about the place from friends who have been before. I will tell you all about it and let you know what I got up to next time we speak.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Flash Bang Wallop

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really good couple of week’s. Mine have been quite busy with a few fun things going on. Last time we spoke. I was telling you about the brilliant St Patrick’s Day I spent in Waxy O’Connor’s in London. Well it actually got even better a few days later.

On the day I was putting a few photos up of me enjoying myself at the pub on my Twitter page and of course was tagging the venue in to. So I was both surprised and delighted to receive a tweet from my favourite Irish drinking establishment in the Capital. Telling me that I had won a special goody bag in their St Patrick’s Day competition.

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

I will be totally honest with you. I had no idea I had actually entered a competition or that they were even running one. It was only when I looked back through their Twitter. That I discovered they were encouraging people to send them pictures of the day. For the chance to grab a prize pack. They were really nice people to deal with. They are a really great team in there. It was agreed that I would go in and collect my prize from them the Saturday after the big day itself.

It was not until I walked in to the place at the arranged time. That I realised Ireland were playing Scotland in the Six Nations Rugby. So needless to say it was totally packed. I treated myself to a Guinness and made my way to the main bar to speak to Caitlin and Sean, the management team. When I found them. They were fantastic. Despite the bar being absolutely heaving with people. They still went and got the goods and gave them to me straight away. Firstly of course pausing for a quick photograph to mark this great moment.

Waxy O'Connor's
Waxy O’Connor’s

The goody bag contained a bottle of Jameson Whiskey with some branded metal measures and tumblers. A Guinness hat, and some comedy shamrock green sun glasses. Plus my favourite part. Two of the Waxy O’Connor rugby shirts that the staff wear. One in black and the other in green. Now I have secretly wanted one of these for years.

And I now own a couple of them. It is great to have some cool mementos from my favourite London Pub. I am thinking of may be wearing one of the shirts next time I go there. Then just quickly hopping behind their bar. Pretending that I am a member of staff and pouring myself a nice pint of the black stuff.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I have since found out that Shane Lynch from Boyzone was also in there on the day to. I did not see him on St Patrick’s Day but I have met him before. Many years ago I helped host a live music event in Great Missenden with Richard Carr. I think that may have been the one and only time we worked together on stage as a double act. It was after Shane had left Boyzone the first time round. He was performing with a band called Redhill. I got to meet him and have a quick chat with him just before the gig. He was lovely, friendly and very relaxed.

The only other things I remember about this event are. It was staged managed by the same man who had been doing that same job for Steps last tour. And the other presenter working with us was from the ITV Children’s show Diggit. All I can remember is that she was female but I can’t remember her name. It was a good fun evening though. To be fair any time when I have a microphone in my hand and I am on a stage. That is always good evening.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The other weekend my former boss from when I was working at Ivel fm in Yeovil, Steve Carpenter. Was up from deepest darkest Somerset to do a DJ set at a very high class event at the Hilton Park Lane in London. So I went along there to see him for a nice chat and a bit of a catch up. Before he was required to entertain the invited guests. It was all very showbiz, as you would imagine. First we grabbed a nice cup of tea in the performers green room area with the band and dancers. Who were also on the bill.

There were plenty of feathers and sparkle around backstage, mostly supplied by the dancers. We then nipped down to the Traders Bar at the hotel for a quick drink before showtime. It was brilliant to see him. It was nice to reminisce about old times and talk about the future and upcoming plans. I did have lots of fun and memorable moments, while I was working in the West Country. Then he headed off to do his thing behind the decks and I headed off home.

Neil Quigley with Steve Carpenter in Yeovil
Neil Quigley with Steve Carpenter in Yeovil

While I was there before the guests arrived I managed to have a quick look in the room and hear the sound check. It all sounded and looked great. He has performed all other the world and is a class act.

I remember once Steve and I headlined a big gig in a field in Yeovil. After a fun disco concert night with live performances from Odyssey, The Real Thing and Gwen Dickey. Not a bad little show line up to close in front of thousands of people. Another brilliant night, just messing about and having fun on stage!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I mentioned previously about my friend’s series of Radio Plays called The Andy Holmes Angle. There are six in total and I feature in two of them. The first of which was released a few weeks ago. And the second one this week. I have quite a big part in the previous story. But in this latest one I have a little cameo role. Playing a radio presenter, ironically. So therefore hopefully not testing my acting ability too much.

The latest episode is called “Video Killed The Radio Star”. Which weirdly and I promise you this is totally true. Used to be my mobile phone ring tone for many years. If you would like to listen to it and see if you can spot my very brief appearance as a guest star. Here is the link to it. Just click on it to play it. Video Killed The Radio Star

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am not going to lie I am still very excited about the end of the football season. I can’t see Leicester City slipping up currently. They look like they have just forgotten how to lose. But with Tottenham Hotspur in second anything could still happen. So I might still see my team win the league for the first time in my lifetime. Which would be pretty cool, to say the least.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It was also nice to see the Spurs players helping England to beat Germany in Berlin. I know it was only a friendly, still a win is a win. And personally I enjoyed seeing my team’s stars shining for the National team.

I am even starting to dream of potential Euro 2016 success. What is that famous quote about the England Team? Oh yes that is it. “It is the hope that kills you”. Then we went and lost to Holland at Wembley a few days later of course. So point proven there. I guess!

England
England

I had a nice and relaxing Easter Bank Holiday Weekend. I just watched the England game on television on the Saturday. Then I had a nice family roast dinner with my parents on the Sunday. Here is the really impressive bit then. I only had one Easter Egg. It was an Orange Matchmaker one and I have to say it tasted amazing. I even managed to avoid having any hot cross buns to.

As Easter breaks go it was a relatively healthy one for a change. It was an hour shorter this year. As the clocks went forward in the early hours of last Sunday morning. I hope you remembered and were not late for any appointments or for work as a result of these changes. The best thing about being tired due to a lack of sleep from the lost hour. Is that it does mean the evening’s will be staying lighter later. Which is always a bonus I think. More day to work with.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

So today it is the last in the current series of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. When they will be doing the whole show live from a cruise ship in Barcelona full of competition winners. I mean what can possibly go wrong.

I think it has once again been a great run. As the programme is so popular and entertaining. It is getting harder for them to come up with new fun stuff that has not already been done before. And like all productions of course some things work better than others.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

But it never fails to make me laugh out loud. With the two Geordie’s the perfect ringmasters at the centre of the circus. I really enjoyed being there in the audience for show three. It was interesting to see behind the scenes. Seeing what it is like in the studio. As opposed to what you see when you are sat at home watching.

The atmosphere there is brilliant. The audience are kind of the heartbeat of the show. That the two presenters and the guests all feed off. And the eagle eyed people amongst you will also know that it did give me a little bit of Saturday night prime time screen time. Including a few shots of me dancing to Little Mix’s Black Magic.

Saturday Night Takeaway
Saturday Night Takeaway

Next week sees the return of Britain’s Got Talent to Saturday night’s for the auditions stage. Which does mean we will still get our weekend fix of Ant & Dec. I went and saw one of the London recordings.

Brace yourself then for the normal selection of terrible acts and amazing performers. Plus those random and unbelievable moments when the judges put someone through seemingly just for a laugh. Or possibly because they can see something that I am pretty sure that the rest of the country will not be able to see.

BGT London
BGT London

It is good fun entertainment. So just remember none of the performers are there against their will. Some of them will already know they are awful but are doing it for a laugh or just to get on television.

Stick with it and remember normally for the final they will find at least five really good acts. That all said, I think I did see at least two or three acts at my audition alone. That I would expect to see in the last show. And who could actually win it.

BGT London
BGT London

Tomorrow I am going to the NEC in Birmingham for the Gadget Show Live. I have never been before, so I do not really fully know what to expect. I imagine that there will be lots of stands with some amazing new bits of as yet unreleased top technology on. Hopefully that I can test and try out for myself. I have never been someone who is at the forefront of new gadgets and technology.

I even resisted getting a mobile phone for ages at first. And I was one of the last of my mates to get one. I do not own a tablet of any kind. And I would rather read old school paper books than use a new electrical device for them. But who knows I could well find a new passion for flash new tools after a couple of hours wandering around, trying the goods and talking to the makers. I will let you know how it was and what life changing items I purchased while I was there. In the next instalment on here.

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

I am very excited to be heading up to Liverpool next weekend. For the Aintree Grand National Horse Racing meeting. This will be the third time that I have been there for the event. It is brilliant, the atmosphere is top quality and everyone dresses up and makes a real effort. So needless to say my best suit has already been dry cleaned and is ready for action.

Our big day at the races tends to be Ladies Day. Which is on the Friday. This is the day I will actually be at Aintree. It is a quality day from the start to the finish. And it is fair to say the whole of Liverpool is rocking once the days racing is over.

My mate lives near the course. And when I see him during non Grand National times. We always have a drive down the famous Melling Road. The one that the famous National course crosses over. It will be a lively and exciting three days. That is for sure. Last year I had the National winner in a sweepstake. I am hoping to repeat this feat once again this time round. Fingers crossed.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Irish Times

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good couple of weeks. Mine have been by my standards fairly quiet really. Which has actually been quite nice. A bit of calm before the storm, as the next month or so is going to be nice and busy for me. Although short listed to be a contestant on a big new ITV show I did not in the end get chance to go on it and play the game.

The first series of it was filmed up in Manchester last week. It is a fun quiz called Alphabetical. Which is hosted by the excellent Jeff Stelling. It is really just an old school style general knowledge quiz with a couple of nice little twists to make it more original. Watch out for it on your television screens later this year. It is definitely worth a watch. It was lots of fun to play at the audition.

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

A while ago now I did some recording sessions for a project a very good friend of mine Andy Holmes was working on. He has written a series of short radio plays. Which have now been produced starring an all star cast, including me. He is starting to release them on a weekly basis.

So far the first two episodes have been made available. I am personally involved in two of them. Playing a futuristic tour guide in one of the stories and then popping up and making a quick cameo guest appearance as a Radio Presenter in another of them.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It was good fun going in to the studio to record my bits for these productions. I have worked with Andy Holmes on several things over the years and we always have a good time working together. It was a little different for me getting to play characters and doing a little bit of acting.

I am of course just more used to being myself on the radio. The great thing about radio plays of course is you do not need to learn the script as you can just read your lines during the recording itself.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The first one featuring me was released last weekend. The series is called The Andy Holmes Angle and the episode I appear in, which is episode two. Is called “The Empty Space”. That is the one where I play the Tour Guide in a galactic fantasy trip set in the future. A snapshot of what holidays could be like in the feature and in many ways a suggestion that the human race learns very little from past experiences.

As I said it was great fun to record and do listen out for an uncanny Ruth Madoc impersonation from me about half way through it. So here is a link to the play, for you to enjoy at your own convenience. Just simply click on it to hear it. The Empty Space

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am still suffering from nose bleeds due to my team Tottenham Hostpur still being up in second place in the English Premier League. This is the first time ever in my life that I have felt that just may be we could actually have a slight chance of winning the league. It is an odd and strange feeling that I am totally not used to at all. But that said long may it continue, please.

It was a bit of a shame going out of the Europa Cup to Borussia Dortmund. But the main prize of winning that is a place in the Champions League. Which hopefully we should achieve from our final league position. It is going to be an exciting run in with lots of twists and turns still to come, I’m sure. I just plan to enjoy every minute of, whatever happens in the end. Come on you Spurs.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am looking forward to going up to Liverpool for the Grand National Meeting next month. However this week it was the other big event in the jump horse racing season the Cheltenham Festival. Unfortunately I did not manage to make it along to the famous race course this time around. Although lots of my mates and even my parents enjoyed a day’s racing there this year.

I watched as many of the races as I could on television. It really is a great spectacle. It is retired former champion jockey AP McCoy’s favourite meeting. This year was the first year he had not had a ride there for twenty years. He was there still though working for Channel 4 and I found his comments and insight into the whole thing fascinating personally.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It was an exciting week’s racing and you really get to see how close nit the racing community are. They are very competitive but at the same time very supportive of each other and do seem genuinely happy when others are successful. They really do love and take great care of those horses. There were also bumper record crowds there to witness lots of great races.

I thought the television coverage was brilliant and because they are all known people within horse racing, presenting it. They get access to and so get to speak to everybody. And because they know them all personally you get some really nice and intimate interviews with the jockey’s, trainers and owners alike.

Windsor Races Winning
Windsor Races Winning

The festival this year also saw a debut appearance from the Olympic Gold Medal cyclist Victoria Pendleton. She has retired from professional cycling and has dedicated the last twelve months to horse riding. With the big aim of being certified to ride in one of the biggest racing occasions in the world. She has been taught by the best and worked with some great trainers and top jockeys along the way.

She rode a Paul Nichols trained horse “Pacha Du Polder” in the prestigious Foxhunter Chase on the famous Gold Cup Day of the championships. Over the Gold Cup course itself. So from having never ridden a horse before to going over the jumps at one of the most testing race courses in the whole world inside twelve months is quite an achievement.

Neil Quigley & Jeff Nolan
Neil Quigley & Jeff Nolan

I was lucky enough to meet and interview Victoria Pendleton a few years ago at a cycle event she was an ambassador for at Whipsnade Zoo. She was I have to say absolutely lovely and clearly very passionate about her sport and keen that as many people as possible should get involved with it. To enjoy the obvious health benefits and at least some of the satisfaction that she got from training and competing at the high level that she did.

She clearly had great drive and dedication. So I was not surprised that she managed to fulfil her horse racing dreams. She is a great person and I wish her all the best with her next project, whatever that may be. This lady can probably just do anything she sets her mind to, to be honest.

Neil Quigley with Olympic Gold Medal Cyclist Victoria Pendleton
Neil Quigley with Olympic Gold Medal Cyclist Victoria Pendleton

Last Thursday it was of course St Patrick’s Day. Now as someone with some Irish roots (my Granddad was born in Southern Ireland) and a name like Quigley. I always like to celebrate this special occasion. In my opinion the best place to do this is at my favourite pub in London Waxy O’Connors. So I was in there during the afternoon enjoying a few pints of Guinness and listening to some brilliant live music. The atmosphere inside the place was as ever brilliant and perfect for the day.

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

I got in there just after midday and they had a band called Walking on Cars booked to play a short thirty minute set from around one thirty. They were brilliant and are definitely a name worth looking out for in the future. I spotted Chris Moyles’s producer the very lovely Pippa Taylor in there enjoying the music to. And the friend that I was meeting there Kayleigh Gill had an even better celebrity spot. As she saw Suggs from Madness having dinner in a restaurant on her way to the pub.

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

The staff and customers in there are always so nice and friendly. It really is a wonderful place to spend the afternoon. The decoration and styling of the place is also amazing.  Some parts have a church feel to it, some parts are like an old fashioned country pub. And who does not like a pub that is right in the middle of Central London and has a tree running right down the middle of it. You are in the heart of the city but once you head down the stairs and in to the lower bar. You feel like you are miles away from anywhere.

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

The music was great and perfect for the occasion all afternoon. Then from six they had yet more live music for the evening with a traditional Irish Trio featuring of course a fiddle player. They played a host of classic Irish Songs. Which had the whole place singing along to them. It was quite a sight with the bar full of people wearing Guinness hats and waving Irish flags. It was another brilliant St Patrick’s Day celebrated in my favourite pub in London.

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

The latest series of Newsjack has come to an end. The topical news comedy show will return to BBC Radio 4 Extra for another run later in the year. It was as ever brilliant fun writing jokes for the show once again. It is produced and performed by a very talented team. Plus it is a great stepping stone for new comedy writers to cut their teeth and progress their careers. A lot of people credited on the show have gone on to write and produce on a more regular basis for the broadcaster. So to be just a small part of that is a lovely feeling.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Newsjack is recorded in the Radio Theatre, which is part of the BBC Broadcasting House building in Central London. They record lots of top comedy radio shows there and that is where Radio 2 also do a lot of their music specials from. So if you hear that a band or singer is playing a small gig for the radio station. That would normally be coming from the theatre.

BBC Radio Theatre
BBC Radio Theatre

I was there though at the end of last year to watch a television show being filmed. It was called Live at the BBC. It is a new comedy show showcasing new and upcoming acts many of whom were spotted at the latest Edinburgh Festival. They are on line on BBC Three plus they have started showing some of them on BBC Two as well. They are well worth a look. I saw both James Acaster and Felicity Ward do their full latest stand up shows during the recording and they were both very funny. So do keep an eye out for it.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

I do have a few exciting things coming up over the next month of so. I am going to see a recording of the television show Safe Word in London in the next couple of weeks. I will also be at one of the new Tonight Live at The Palladium shows. That is always a great theatre to visit and I do really like a bit of variety, so that will be fun. And next month I will be attending the Gadget Show Live at the NEC in Birmingham. Which I am sure will be very interesting and a good laugh.

London Palladium
London Palladium

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

Viva Las London

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good couple of weeks. Mine have been nice and busy, with quite a few fun things going on. I have made no secret of my total appreciation for Ant & Dec. And the great job they do on our televisions. I was watching Saturday Night Takeaway on ITV player a couple of Sunday’s ago and was surprised to see Wembley Stadium featured on the show.

You know how they always use different locations to display the audiences faces for when they randomly select one to play “Win the Ads”. Well they were using the giant screens at the front of the stadium to do this. Now I was working in the Wembley area on that Saturday evening. I did wonder why the central Arch was fully lit and bright red in colour, as I was waiting at the train station to go home. Then obviously when I caught up with the programme the day after, I realised why. If I had known in advance I would have gone there and tried to get myself in the shot. May be that is why nobody told me.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

Well I can confirm I did use my surname and my minimal Irish roots to justify going to London to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in style this year. I went to my favourite pub in the capital. Which just so happens to be the Irish Bar in Rupert Street off Leicester Square called Waxy O’Connors. I have long maintained that they serve the best Guinness in London.

And I certainly enjoyed having a few pints of the black stuff in there on this special occasion. It was as you would expect packed full of lots of very happy people, who were dressed mostly in green. There was traditional Irish music being played by a live band. The atmosphere was great, everybody was just there to have a good time, a few drinks and a bit of a sing-song. I really enjoyed it. It was a great way to spend the day.

Waxy O'Connors St Patrick's Day
Waxy O’Connors St Patrick’s Day

While I was in London celebrating I managed to also catch up with a couple of friends, who I used to work with. Including one who just happened to have randomly been up in London for a few days from his home in Cornwall. It just shows you the power of social media. I put on Twitter my plan’s for the day ahead. I then saw that he said he was coming to London, so we exchanged messages. Then a few hours later we were meeting up in a pub for a couple of drinks.

His name is Scott Temple. I used to work with him at Ivel Fm in Somerset. So it was great to see him and have a good catch up. Which did of course include a bit of reminiscing, as well as a more general conversation about radio. He is currently working at Pirate Fm in Redruth. So all things considered the day worked out perfectly. I think I might do a very similar thing next year on March 17th.

Neil Quigley and Scott Temple
Neil Quigley and Scott Temple

I went to see the Book Of Mormon last Wednesday. It was a musical I have been wanting to see for a while and I had heard some brilliant things about it. So I was excited to finally get to see it. I have to confess that prior to going along I did not do any further research on it at all. So I had no idea about the plot, the cast or what to expect at all. It is currently showing at The Prince of Wales Theatre. Which is one I do like and one that it easy to find, as it is right in the middle between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. I had a decent seat near the front of the balcony. Which I settled in to just before curtain up, with absolutely no idea of what to expect.

Prince Of Wales Theatre
Prince Of Wales Theatre

From the opening number, which was an upbeat real show setting song. That was brilliantly written and cleverly performed, I was transfixed. It does warn on the tickets that it contains explicit language and I would agree it is not for the faint hearted. But you need to remember that it is written by the people behind South Park. So you should already realise that no subject is taboo. And that they will be happy to use the full colourful range of the English language that is available to them. As they confirm beyond no reasonable doubt about ten minutes into the performance.

Neil Quigley Drawing
Neil Quigley Drawing

It is so hard to do a funny musical with songs that are catchy, that contain great lyrics and that make you laugh out loud. But the team behind this production manage that with ease. The cast many of whom have come with the show from Broadway are all brilliant. Aside from the main plot itself. There are so many small sub plots and lots of random and sometimes surreal visual jokes. That you really have to concentrate on what is happening on stage or you might miss something.

It is a totally brilliant show, thoroughly entertaining, extremely funny. And you might find that it can actually start some big serious conversations about life and your views on it. If you are not easily offended, are open minded and fancy a laugh. I would go and see it while you can, as it closes in London fairly soon.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I finally got round to going for a meal at my local Indian Restaurant last week. It has only been open for about ten years. May be I have been somehow subconsciously avoiding the place. As the building it is in used to be a library when I was a young child. So I think the last time I had previously been in there was when I got a book out when I was about five. Anyway the reason I went along really was because my mate Alvin was there doing his Elvis Show.

It was an all in fixed price for a set menu meal with the entertainment included. Firstly I have to say the food was fantastic. A great big selection of starters to share. Followed by a huge selection of main courses to pick from with rice and naan bread included. So for that alone I will be definitely be going back there. The staff were really friendly and helpful to. So it was a nice all round dining experience.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I have seen Alvin perform many times in the eighteen odd years I have known him. In anything from small venues to big West End Theatres and he always puts on a great show. With the same energy and enthusiasm. Which is the mark of a great performer. My mum is a big Elvis Presley fan so he once made an appearance at one of her birthday parties for me. He was brilliant and brought the house down. As ever on this night in the Indian he was great to.

He is a massive fan of the man he portrays and has studied every detail of the performances his idol used to give on stage. And brilliantly recreates them. Alvin is also a very good comedian, so he mixes his great vocal portrayal of the King with lots of jokes and lots of humour. If you know anything about Elvis. You will know that he himself had a great sense of humour. He liked to laugh, be a bit cheeky and have some fun while on stage performing with the audience. Which is something Alvin replicates in his shows. So we had a funny night, enjoying classic songs, effortlessly sung by a mate, who was rocking a very stylish Elvis Presley white jump suit.

Alvin Printwhistle
Alvin Printwhistle

My comedy teacher has just released the third version of his book “Get Started In Stand Up Comedy (Make Em Laugh). That man is Logan Murray. As well as being an author on the subject. Logan also runs lots of Stand Up Comedy Courses at various locations throughout the year. I was lucky enough to attend one of his eight week courses in Tring a couple of years ago. When I became part of the brilliant Roving Comedy Night as part of the Tringe Festival.  This was when I finally got my first taste of doing some stand up comedy. After thinking about giving a try for about the previous five years. Logan is a hugely experienced comedian and a brilliant teacher.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It was quite intensive in that the sessions were three hours long. But the time flew by as it felt like we were just messing about and having a laugh the whole time. Doing many improv and joke writing exercises. While trying to release our inner child. Then after seven weeks of basically pratting about each of the group had produced five minutes of original material to perform four times in four pubs in Tring on the Roving Comedy Night. Not only is he a great teacher, funny, interesting and engaging. He is so encouraging and is happy to give up his own time for you to go through your routine and to give you some one to one coaching in the lead up to your first big performance.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

If you have ever wanted to try stand up comedy. My advice would be just go out there and give it a go. You will never know if you are any good or not until you try. I would recommend having a look a the book first or even better if you can why not do one of the courses. Even if you do not become the next big thing and if the gig at the end of it is the only one you ever do. It would still be worth it for the great experience. And you will still learn things that will help you with your everyday life. Doing the course does give you a great insight into comedy and it will certainly give you a good giggle, which I personally think is very important in life. Make jokes not war.

Neil Quigley doing Stand Up
Neil Quigley doing Stand Up

I did manage a celebrity spot, while I was in London recently. Well I did thanks to a little bit of assistance anyway. It was while me and my sister were walking through the ticket barrier at Marylebone Station. As we were going through I saw a women with blond hair heading towards me. I thought I recognised her. I was convinced I knew her or had at least met her before somewhere. So I gave her a very nice polite smile as she walked past. Then moments later my sister turned to me and said did you see Jo Joyner just then?

Now I have to confess I do not really watch Soap Opera’s. So I did not realise it was the actress who played Tanya Branning in Eastenders. Now as I said she did look familiar, but I have never met her previously. So I now just hope she did not think my smiling at her was too weird. I was only being friendly to someone I thought I already knew.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

April is already looking like it is going to be a really fun month. It is of course Easter Weekend next weekend. So that means you can legitimately have chocolate for breakfast right? And who doesn’t enjoy a nice Hot Cross Bun or two? I am going up to Liverpool for the Grand National weekend, which I am looking forward to. It will be absolutely buzzing up there for that event.

Then at the end of the month I have been offered the chance to go along and see an episode of Celebrity Juice being filmed at the Elstree Studios. I am a big fan of the show. It normally gets some very good guests on it. It is crazy enough on television, so I am expecting it to be total carnage in the studio and lots of fun of course.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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