Tag Archives: television

My January

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good couple of weeks. Mine have been pretty busy, with quite a few things going on. A lot of people this month chose to not drink alcohol with quite a few also being sponsored to do so. Therefore enjoying the health benefits themselves of not drinking for thirty-one days and raising money for their chosen charities. I have abstained from alcohol at this time of the year in the past. In fact one year I went two months without having any. And I have to confess I felt great, had loads of energy, was sleeping brilliantly and found I was up earlier in the mornings. So getting more from my days. So it is worth doing if you can. The best I managed this year was two weeks off the booze but there was a big celebration that I was involved in this month, which was part of the reason for that.

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A couple of Saturday’s ago my parents reached the landmark of their fortieth Wedding Anniversary. To mark the occasion my mum and dad along with my sister and I had a very enjoyable weekend in London. We had booked in to a nice central hotel in the capital. So we went there first to get ready for our big night out. Here is a tip for you. If you are in London with a group of four or more people. It is actually cheaper to get a black cab to your destination rather than by buying individual underground tickets for the tube. Plus it is quicker and you arrive exactly where you want to.

The plan for the night was to go out for a meal and then see a West End musical. All of which had been booked in advance. And I have to say all excellently organised by my dad. The restaurant he had selected was literally right across the road from the theatre. Where we had a fantastic pre-show meal. The venue was amazing, the food was perfect, the staff were friendly and very efficient, plus the wine was decent to. It all made for a great all round dining experience. And a very fitting way to start the celebrations.

Family Meal
Family Meal

After we had polished off our puddings we made our way across the street to Her Majesty’s Theatre to see The Phantom Of The Opera. It is one of the few shows that I had not seen before. And it was the first time I had visited that particular theatre. I liked the place. As I do all the old fashioned West End venues. I love the feel of them and the way they look. Although to be fair there was not a massive amount of leg room inside the auditorium at this one. We had really good seats and were only four rows from the front.

The show itself was breathtaking,intriguing and captivating in equal measure. The staging, the props and the scenery is spectacular. The whole cast were excellent, making it so entertaining and the time there watching it just fly by so quickly. The story and the way that it is set up right from the beginning is very clever. Not to mention the extremely catchy tunes in the show courtesy of course of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. I always feel on such a high when leaving the theatre after seeing a great show. We then headed back to the hotel to have a drink and a chat before bed. A truly memorable weekend. Massive congratulations to my mum and dad on their forty years together.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I mentioned previously that I was reading John Bishop’s autobiography “How Did All This Happen”. Well I have now finished it and it was a very interesting read. There are some slightly odd things that happened in his life, many of which had already been revealed in interviews and on television shows that he has appeared on. The funniest thing possibly, ironically is that he only started doing comedy to take his mind off his marriage problems and because he could have nights out on his own without getting his friends out. Who were all married and settled down with children.

Then he almost seemingly accidentally got quite good, pretty quickly. And shot up the rungs of the ladder to getting paid to do big gigs. Which he continued to do alongside his very well paid sales job. Until it reached the point where something had to give. So with no guaranteed work. He left his well paid job to try and make it as a full time comedian. Sometimes in life you have just got to throw caution to the wind, bite the bullet and follow your dreams. It certainly worked out well for him. And speaking as someone who also left a pretty well paid job to move in to radio fourteen years ago. When I had nothing at all lined up to do. It does make life a lot more exciting and I have not regretted it for a second since.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I finally got round to watching the latest Lee Mack stand up comedy DVD, that I was given for Christmas, last weekend. I do like him and think he is brilliant on Would I Lie To You. In the last episode of the current series. They had the wonderful June Brown on. She admitted to once going skinny dipping with Letitia Dean. When they were on holiday together in Spain. That revelation came as no surprise to me as I was lucky enough to meet June backstage at T4 On The Beach in Weston-Super-Mare one year. And then during that conversation see told me that she often sun bathes naked in her friends back garden. Quite how this came up while were talking I have no idea, but I don’t think I have watched EastEnders since.

I am also a fan of Lee Mack’s sitcom Not Going Out. There are some very clever and very stupid jokes in equal measure in that show. And I appreciate them all. Anyway his latest live show “Hit The Road Mack” was very funny, and like all the top comics he very much has his own style on stage. I have also read his autobiography. And it is also quite interesting how he ended up in comedy and how his sitcom actually came to be made.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am still spending time at Wembley Stadium and I narrowly missed bumping in to another comedian there the other week. I was there during the day and then later that evening Chris Ramsey was there doing a corporate gig in one of the function rooms. For a well known chain of restaurants, which he does seem to enjoy using when he is out on tour. I only know all this because I follow him on Twitter. I am not stalking him. Although I did see him live at the Queens Park Arts Centre in Aylesbury a couple of years ago. He was doing a warm up gig for his Edinburgh Festival Show. As part of the excellent Tringe Festival.

It is a nice little venue for comedy and it was a fun night. The show was very funny and I thought he was really good, coming across as being very friendly. Which made for a lovely atmosphere in the room. At that point he was just at the stage where he was starting to do a little bit of television here and there. While now he regularly appears on lots of different panel shows including Celebrity Juice and he was in the sitcom Hebburn, which ran for two series. Now he is just about to start recording a pilot episode of his own brand new television Show. He seems like a top bloke, so I hope that all goes well for him.

Neil Quigley TV Presenter
Neil Quigley TV Presenter

I was in central London the other day for a couple of meetings and to do a few bits and pieces. While I was there I did manage two celebrity spots. I walked past the well respected film critic Mark Kermode by New Broadcasting House. Which would make a lot of sense, as he does do quite a bit of work for the BBC. Then a bit later on just off Drury Lane I saw Duncan James from Blue getting out of a cab in front of me. He has done some musical theatre, so as he was in that area I wonder if he is lining up something else along those lines for himself.

I had a spare hour so I thought I would try and inject a bit of culture in to my day. So I went in to the National Portrait Gallery. Which have to confess after five minutes of looking around, I decided it was not for me and left. The exhibits I saw were good but art and photography have never really been my thing. I mean I still can’t even manage to colour within the lines now. If we all liked the same things in life it would be boring I guess.

On the way to BBC New Broadcasting House
On the way to BBC New Broadcasting House

I am delighted that my football team Tottenham Hotspur have made it to the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley Stadium against Chelsea on Sunday 1st March. I watched both legs of the semi final and as ever we made it difficult for ourselves and at the same time very exciting. I have said it before and I will say it again with the huge range of different emotions you experience as a Spurs fan during a game supporting them is bad for your health. I did have a very slight conflict of interests in the game with the League One team Sheffield United, as I am a shareholder in the club. This is because about twenty years ago a mate convinced me and another friend to invest a little bit of money in the club. He said they would get to the Premiership and we would make some money.

So we each put in one hundred pounds and bought some shares. And to be fair Sheffield United did make it to the Premiership but we did not make any money. In fact the only reason we still have the shares still is because they are worth so much less than we paid for them currently. That there is no point in cashing them in. Therefore I was very much one hundred percent behind Tottenham as I always am in all games. I am now really looking forward to the final and hoping to be there in the crowd cheering them on to victory.

Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium

This weekend I am catching up with a mate of mine for a slightly crazy two part plan. He used to work at Mix 96 in Aylesbury, so is coming back to visit the town on Friday. To have a look round and see a few people he knows.Then in the evening we are off to a birthday party in Oxfordshire. Before heading up to Liverpool on Saturday to go out there and celebrate his birthday. I do always have a great time up there, so it is sure to be fun. But it is a whistle stop one night only outing as I have to be back at a reasonable time on the Sunday. I am thinking may be I should hire a tour bus for the weekend.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I’m off to see the first episode of a brand new ITV2 show being filmed next week. It is a new comedy panel show from the producers of Celebrity Juice hosted by Stephen Mulhern with Emma Willis and Joel Dommett as team captains. They will be joined by celebrities and reality stars to discuss and dissect the latest happenings in all things reality TV. Which is why the show is called Reality Bites. It is always interesting to see new ideas and programmes, to see if they work or not. I will of course know if that is the case or not with this one in a few days time.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am looking forward to attending one of the London auditions for this year’s Britain’s Got Talent at the Dominion Theatre. As a long time admirer of Ant & Dec I can’t wait to see them live for the first time, well on stage at least. I did see Ant McPartlin in a nightclub in Oxford many years ago. It will be interesting what I think of seeing the acts do their thing in a random order and it does mean I will see all that is on offer not just the stuff deemed good or in some cases bad enough to make it into the edit and on to our screens. I will tell you what the experience was like next time we speak.

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.

Stage and On Screen

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good couple of weeks. Mine have been pretty quiet really, just easing myself in to the year nice and gently. I did head out on the first Friday night of 2015 with a mate of mine. To go along and support a colleague of his who was involved in launching a new pop music night at a pub in High Wycombe. It was at a place that I had not been to for about twenty years. And during that time I think it has changed its name at least three times. The aim was to play as many different types of popular music from the fifties to the current day,and fair play they certainly achieved that goal. I listen to a lot of music and they managed to play a few songs that even I had not heard for years. It was a pretty laid back,cool and fun night out. Although of course it is traditionally one of the quietest weekends of the year for people to be heading out. So it is fair to say the place was not exactly full to the rafters. But hopefully as the year goes on they can build up an audience and make it a slightly different and fun way of spending an evening. Having a few drinks and a bit of a dance. I may have to pop back to it later in the year and check that out for myself.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I usually like to read in January. I am not sure why. Though I think it’s mainly because it is dark and cold and as there is rarely anything on television I like to watch at night. It is a good way of passing the time before I go up to bed. So I have just started reading John Bishop’s autobiography “How Did All This Happen”. Which I got given for my birthday. This may seem like quite an obvious thing to say and bear in mind he has not even thought about comedy yet,at the stage I am at. But his early life on the whole seems as if it is pretty normal and straight forward. While at the same time with the situations he seems to get himself in and out of. You can see he has the gift of the gab as well as the drive and determination to succeed in what he wants to. I am enjoying it so far and at the moment he has only just left college and got his first proper job. So I have not even got to the point yet where he starts telling jokes. I had also forgotten that his brother was actually a professional footballer, and I certainly never knew that he once worked as a bouncer in Guernsey. Once I finish his book I have John Cleese’s autobiography ready and waiting to be read. Which I am really looking forward to.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

FA Cup Third Round Weekend threw up a couple of interesting ties including Yeovil Town against Manchester United. As I spent five years working at the radio station for Yeovil, Ivel fm, Which then became Midwest Radio. I do have a soft spot for the Somerset team. While I was working there we used to cover their matches, so I have been to Huish Park on many occasions and know a lot of people from the club. In fact before I started full time at the station I got invited to play in a media versus staff football match. For a bit of end of season fun at the stadium. This was probably the closest I ever got to feeling like a professional footballer, which is what I wanted to be as a kid. I drove myself down to Yeovil on the day of the game. And met my mate Andy Holmes who was also playing in the match, at Ivel fm. After recording some interviews with the news team ahead of the big game. We headed off to Huish Park. On arrival we got to go through the players entrance to the ground and in the changing room all the kit was hanging up there ready for us. We were wearing the away kit and the staff team were wearing the home kit. Which on reflection seems fair.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I was sub but didn’t care I was just happy to be involved and it was a brilliant feeling running out on to the pitch to warm up. As kick off approached I took my place on the bench wearing my Yeovil Town warm up top, which in itself all felt great. The staff team included the then manager Gary Johnson, his assistant Steve Thompson, and was managed by former Glover and now commercial manager Dave Linney. And on the media team we had ex-Yeovil player’s and all round top men Tony Pounder and Paul Thorpe. During the first half I was pretending I was on the coaching staff, So was just shouting encouragement and some helpful advice to my team. To be fair it was an even game. The staff side were much more skilful but our average age was a bit lower,so that was balancing things up a bit. I got on at half time and got to play the whole of the second half. I absolutely loved it, so much fun and great to be on that wonderful pitch with those former professional, who were just top class. I did have a couple of chances to score. And in fact I did have the ball in the net but it was harshly in my opinion anyway ruled out for offside.

Neil Quigley in Football Action
Neil Quigley in Football Action

The player of the match for me was the Yeovil Town assistant manager Steve Thompson. He would have been in his early forties and me my late twenties but he was the fittest player out there by a mile and he scored a couple of cracking goals. At one point I was through on goal and had I reckon a twenty yard head start on Mr Thompson. Now I have never been the fastest but he had caught me up and tackled me by the time I got to the penalty spot. Great fun, so pleased to have been involved with it. That evening I stayed in Somerset and went out for a meal with Andy. Who took great pleasure in talking me through his goal which stood from the game. I thought Yeovil Town were a bit unlucky against Manchester United. They are a truly great club, with ace fans. I really do hope they can get themselves out of trouble and stay in League One. I wish Garry Johnson, Terry Skiverton and Darren Way the best of luck for the rest of the season.

Neil Quigley TV Presenter
Neil Quigley TV Presenter

The episode of Room 101 which I went to see recorded was shown on television the other Friday. Hosted of course by one of my comedy idols Frank Skinner with guests Fay Ripley, Gary Lineker and Jack Dee suggesting what they would like to see banished from our world. I watched it and it was very entertaining and funny, even though of course I had technically seen it all before. Jack Dee is so clever, witty and good at arguing his points and the show of course very much suits his on stage demeanour. I would urge you to go and see a television show being recorded, if you do ever get the chance to.

The thirty minutes that the programme lasted on screen was of course easy to watch and be entertained by. But on the night we had around three hours of entertainment that was then edited down to make the show. Often in these situations some of the funniest moments will not make it on to the television for very various reasons. But that makes being in the audience more like being at the theatre. As you are seeing a one off show in full. People who watch at home in their living rooms, will only in effect see the highlights. Plus things are always funnier when people are laughing together in a big group, so the atmosphere at these recordings is usually great.

Arriving at Elstree Studios
Arriving at Elstree Studios

I did allow myself one guilty pleasure recently. I am not particularly a big fan of the show and I only ever watch one episode of it a year. But I did treat myself to watching the launch show for this year’s Celebrity Big Brother. It is fair to say it has already had a few issues this time round. None of which I have witnessed I am happy to report. I do always like to watch programme one though. To see which Celebrity’s are on it. Just to see if I have met or interviewed any of them in the past. Now none of them this time round fell into that category but a couple of them came close. Many years ago when I was working at Mix 96 in Aylesbury the first time around. Alexander O’Neal did a one off gig at the Chicago Rock Cafe in town. He came in one Tuesday or Wednesday night and did a thirty minute set featuring all of his big hits. I will be honest I can’t remember to much about the performance, but I do remember that it was a warm night and he spent a lot of time in between singing wiping his brow with a white hankie.

The second member of the current Big Bother House I have a story about is Keith Chegwin. He once appeared in pantomime at the Aylesbury Civic Centre. A few days after Christmas that year me and a few mates went in to Aylesbury for a few drinks and some food. There was about seven or eight of us. Anyway we went to a pub in the town that also did food and got ourselves a table. We were having a drink and about to order our food when Keith Chegwin entered with the entire cast of his show. After a conversation with the manager. We were then asked if we would mind moving tables, so the panto lot could have ours. So basically we had to move so Cheggers and his gang could all sit together. I would like to stress there was no problem, there were more of them and they just all wanted to sit together, but I sometimes like to tell it as the Keith Chegwin got us thrown off our table story. I hold no grudges and we follow each other on Twitter. I would actually like to see him win Celebrity Big Brother. So good luck Keith, stay strong in there, with them nightmare house mates.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Stars in Their Eyes has made another comeback this time with Harry Hill at the helm. I have not seen the new show but from what I have heard the new host puts a very different slant on it. Which some people seem to really like and others really do not. I am not here to judge and to be honest it is very unlikely that I will see any of this series. The reason I mentioned it though is it reminds me of a disco gig, I did around eighteen years ago now. Me and a mate of mine were booked to DJ at a big party in the function room at Kempton Park Racecourse. We were performing alongside two musical acts both who had previously been winners on the television show Stars In Their Eyes.

There was a Shirley Bassey impersonator. Who when she arrived for the sound check in just her normal clothes looked and sounded just like the singer she was going to perform as later that evening. Then this quite pale looking geezer from London with a cockney accent arrived with fairly short hair ready for his sound check. Now I knew the singer he was there to be. So I do have to admit having seen him I was quite amazed when this stunning Tom Jones singing voice came from him as we started the sound check. But nothing prepared me for the shock of when we introduced him to perform at the party. And he steps out looking tanned, with a massive head of hair and speaking with a Welsh accent. It was like the impersonator in that famous episode of Only Fools and Horses, except the guy we had could actually sing brilliantly. It was a really good night and we closed the show to rapturous applause. Which is always a nice way to end a night.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

This weekend I am off to London to see The Phantom of The Opera as part of my parents 40th Wedding Anniversary celebrations. Which I am really looking forward to. We are also having a nice meal before the show and staying up in the capital, so it will be a good laugh. I have never seen it before but I have seen several excepts of it being performed by my mate Mike Sterling, who used to be in it. So I am looking forward to the experience and I always like a night at one of the proper old and traditional West End Theatres. There is something magical about them. I will let you know what it was like next time we speak.

Neil Quigley in London
Neil Quigley in London

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

So Here It Is Merry Christmas

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good couple of weeks. Mine have as ever been very busy, with plenty going on. So it was my birthday on the tenth of December. Thanks very much for all the nice messages I received on the day. I have to confess this huge annual event is something I do like to celebrate with at least a couple of different gatherings. On the day itself I just went down my local pub for a couple of drinks with a few mates in the evening. It was great to catch up with everyone and we did have a good old fashioned laugh. Although I did somehow manage to knock over a whole pint. When I managed to catch it with my bottom. I am still not exactly sure how this occurred, as I am not exactly Kim Kardashian in that department. But it did not spoil what was a brilliant night, despite me having to do a bit of mopping.

Neil Quigley Birthday Selfie
Neil Quigley Birthday Selfie

As I have already stated I never knowingly under celebrate the occasion of being born. So on the following Saturday after my birthday I then went out in London with a few friends. It was another top night out. We went to a combination of my favourite bars in the capital, mixed in with a few places that I had always wanted to go to. But had not got round to, including the Radio Rooftop Bar. I have to confess I do like a bar with good views over London. And as the name suggests this one very much falls in to that category. It is the set piece bar of the ME London Hotel on the Strand, just near the Covent Garden theatre district. So it would be a great place to visit for a pre show drink in my opinion. It is a very stylish bar, with friendly staff, a nice selection of drinks and stunning views over London. I was in there just as it was getting dark, so when I went and had a look out on the terrace everything was lit up and you could see a lot of the big tourist attractions very clearly, it looked amazing.

View from Radio Rooftop Bar
View from Radio Rooftop Bar

I was once again back at Elstree Studios the other week to see a recording of the Christmas Day and New Years Eve Top of The Pops specials. I do not think I am giving too much away by saying this. I am pretty sure everybody realises it is not live and that all the bands and people have not chosen to spend the day together in this way. To give you some idea how difficult the logistics of organising all the acts and giving them the relevant recording time is. I can tell you it was filmed in four separate parts over two days. So when you sit down to watch it there will be four different audiences featured on the programme, with it cutting between them as they move from song to song. So bearing this in mind the bit I saw featured performances from three different artists.

Top Of The Pops Fun
Top Of The Pops Fun

The first performance was from the great George Ezra. Now as this was for the New Years Eve Show the production staff handed out New Years Eve hats. They then run through the song twice, so they can record lots of different camera angles, then pick the best ones in the edit.Then we moved on to the Christmas Show, so had to change in to Christmas hats before seeing Professor Green perform his song twice next. Then we had Tom Odell on to do his current song, you know the one. The song from the John Lewis advert featuring the penguins. He ended up doing this three times, with him on the piano while being backed by a full strings section. Lastly George Ezra came back out to record “Budapest” for the Christmas Show. All the acts were great and so consistent. Every performance was a complete replica of one previous.

Top of The Pops
Top of The Pops

In between the live music elements the brilliant Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates were there recording their links to the camera. They to had to start out in their New Years Eve outfits then change in to the Christmas clothes to correspond with which one of the two shows we were currently filming. Complicated business this TV stuff you know. They were so good, really on it, and virtually one take wonders with no auto cue. They were learning the bits first, just before delivering them. A nice presenting master class from the both of them. It was weird but great being in the famous Top of The Pops studio. A quick mention for Danny the warm up man stroke head of motivation and stage direction. He did a great job keeping the energy up and things moving along nicely. It was a great fun afternoon out. Which now means you can all play the can we spot Neil on television on Christmas Day game. To help you out a bit I will be the one dancing, just out of time with the rest!

Top of The Pops
Top of The Pops

With it being the run up to Christmas I have like everyone else been out quite a bit for food and drinks, with lots of different groups of people. I had a really nice catch up with a former work colleague at Giraffe on the South Bank in London. Decent meal with great company and conversation. I arrived at the restaurant a little early so had a bit of walk around first and discovered a German style log cabin pop up market. Which seem to be everywhere at the moment. It was a chilly night and it felt quite festive so I treated myself to my first glass of mulled wine of the year, from one of the stalls. Which tasted good and certainly left me with a bit of warm glow.

I have also been out for a few seasonal drinks at my favourite pub in London, with some work associates. It is Waxy O’Connor’s just off Leicester Square. A place I have been going for around eighteen years now. In my opinion not only does it serve the best Guinness in England, but there is always a great atmosphere in there. The music is good and I really do feel very at home there. If I am in London and have some spare time, there is always a good chance you might find me in there having a pint.

View from the South Bank through Mulled Wine eyes
View from the South Bank through Mulled Wine eyes

So another series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here has been and gone. I really enjoyed this year’s show. I liked the fact that most of this year’s camp mates got on with each other and had a good laugh. I would much rather watch people interacting in this way than shouting and screaming at each other. I appreciate that there was a small amount of this that went on. But on the whole it was like an antipodean Hi De Hi. Huge congratulations to Carl Fogarty on winning the competition and being crowned the new king of the jungle. I am very pleased for him. Not only because I have met him and he is a top bloke. What you see it was you get. He his nice, polite, funny, tough and humble.

But I am also very pleased he won because he was the person I tipped right from the start to walk away with the title. I thought he came across as a lot of fun and just very real. He has been busy since he has been back in England handing out awards at the BBC Sports Personality of The Year Awards and The British Comedy Awards. Due to his success in the world of motorbike racing, he always signed his autograph with a number one on the end of it. And after this recent success he can of course continue that tradition. Nice one Foggy, well done mate!

Carl Fogarty
Carl Fogarty

I have always loved the Royal Variety Show and although I have never been to the theatre to see it in person. I have watched nearly all of them when they have been shown on television. I am a massive fan of variety acts in general. Obviously I like comedians and musical acts. But I do also like watching dance groups and some of the more off the wall acts that come from a traditional circus background. I do still think being selected to be involved in the Royal Command performance should be a huge highlight and even a pinnacle of your career. I think it is something that should be earned, as I guess I am quite a traditionalist. And I am aware of the long and great history of it.

I watched this year’s show, which I believe is the first one that Prince William and Princess Katherine have attended. It is nice to see that it is being passed on to the younger generation. There were some great acts on and some fantastic performances. The whole thing was marshalled brilliantly by Michael McIntyre as the host. The only thing that I wasn’t quite sure about was this. For me a few of the performers appeared to talk directly to the two Royals, which I thought was a no no. Sure a quick comment or joke at their expense in the right taste is good and traditional. But is seemed a bit weird when at times some appeared to be playing to the Royals and almost ignoring the audience. My view is you are there to perform for the audience in the presence of the Monarchy not the other way round. That said I did enjoy it and thought it was a good and very well balanced show.

Neil Quigley Stand Up Comedy
Neil Quigley Stand Up Comedy

Last week I was back at BBC New Broadcasting House in London for another meeting about some potential work opportunities next year, Which is all very exciting and it will be amazing if it does come off. While I was there I did see a tanned and sun glasses wearing Scott Mills walk past me on the way to do his Radio One Show. There are four different lifts there and each one has a different BBC Radio station playing in them. It is a lottery which lift arrives first and therefore what your soundtrack will be. On this most recent visit I got the 1 Extra lift, which made for quite an upbeat journey up to my required floor. It is such a cool and yet such a busy building with lots happening there.

It is also now where the One Show Studios are. And you can actually look into the set through the giant window, you can see behind the presenters on the TV. The day I was there, it would appear that they were having a big musical performance on the show because they were setting up a stage and piano in the outside area. In case you are interested the man who sat at the piano and played on the show was Jools Holland. They also had Cameron Diaz on to. You have no idea how much I now wished I had stayed up there to watch the show and may be try to meet her. I just think she is an amazing person! Who is very attractive.

On the way to BBC New Broadcasting House
On the way to BBC New Broadcasting House

As I have mentioned before I am a big fan of Elvis Presley, both of the man and his music. He truly was an exceptional performer. Now my mum as a teenager had lots of his albums and his posters up on her wall. So it is fair to say that she is also a big admirer of his. So yesterday me and her went along to the brand new Elvis Exhibition at the 02 in London. It features over three hundred different items, which have been loaned from the King’s Graceland Estate. The display charts his life right from his birth all the way through to the Las Vegas years. With lots of very personal items including his actual Birth Certificate, some of his army uniforms, original recordings and even a couple of the cars that he actually owned.

Elvis Presley Car
Elvis Presley Car

It was both brilliant and amazing to see all these stunning things together in one place. I thought I knew a lot about him and his life but I learned plenty of new things about him, including what a well respected soldier his was judging by his discharge letter. And also how good his manager the Colonel was at supplying merchandise and making extra money on the side. Even to the point where as well as making and selling I love Elvis badges they also produced some I hate Elvis badges. Genius, why limit your potential market, when you can just please everyone.

Elvis Presley's American Eagle White Jumpsuit
Elvis Presley’s American Eagle White Jumpsuit

My favourite pieces on show, were the actual American Eagle style white jumpsuit that Elvis wore for the Aloha from Hawaii shows. Some of his other amazing jackets and coats that he had. And finally the massive TCB Ring that his wife Priscilla bought him. It is completely stunning. TCB stands for Taking Care of Business. Which was a kind of motto for his personal and professional life that he adopted. It was something which a select group of musicians and friends were included. Taken in to this kind of inner circle. It made sure people worked hard, got paid and got on with each other. It was his way of making sure everything was going well and everyone was looked after. And there was even a special TCB logo designed. Which was used on lots of different jewellery pieces that he and his friends used to wear. Although the ring he had, has to be the most spectacular item in that collection.

Elvis's Taking Care of Business Ring
Elvis’s Taking Care of Business Ring

The exhibition is on at the O2 in London until next August and if you have any interest at all in Elvis Presley or just the world of music in general it is a must see event. This is the first and possibly only time so many of these actual original items will be here in England. As you walk around you hear lots of the great man’s music and see lots of clips of him in action. Plus you can get yourself some fun photos at the end. Me and my mum had a great time there.

Neil Quigley and Elvis Presley hanging out in the 70's #crazydays
Neil Quigley and Elvis Presley hanging out in the 70’s #crazydays

It is another busy weekend for me, I have a Christmas Party at a hotel in London tonight and then on Sunday it is my families traditional pre Christmas Drinks gathering. With a schedule like that I am very pleased that I have already finished all of my Christmas Shopping. Which I did in my normal way, all in one day and all at one place. It simply involves just writing a list of everything I need to get. And then going to a shopping centre to buy it all in one go, it works every time.

Neil Quigley Happy Christmas
Neil Quigley Happy Christmas

I am planning to have a fairly quiet family Christmas with a traditional dinner, lots of chocolate and cheese. And may be even a couple of drinks. Whatever you are doing over the festive period have a fantastic time. I hope you have been very good this year and that Father Christmas brings you what you want on the big day. Have a very Happy Christmas! I will catch up with you in a couple of weeks, in the New Year. Have fun, Cheers Neil.

Shows and Tells

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

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

NFL at Wembley
NFL at Wembley

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Neil Quigley TV Presenter
Neil Quigley TV Presenter

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

London
London

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

The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre

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

The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre

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

Ha Ha Hood
Ha Ha Hood

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

The Route To Funny

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

Neil Quigley in Liverpool
Neil Quigley in Liverpool

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

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Westminster London
Westminster London

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

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Neil Quigley doing Stand Up
Neil Quigley doing Stand Up

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

Mike Sterling
Mike Sterling

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

NFL takes over Wembley
NFL takes over Wembley

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

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