Tag Archives: radio ninesprings

Art of Management

I still have not taken advantage yet of any of the relaxations of the rules. Due to the unique way that it grows I have been cutting my own hair for over a year now. I have no fashion sense so I have not rushed out to the shops to buy any clothes that do not suit me. Plus I still have a pretty impressive supply of wine at home. Add to that the fact that I have not quite got the desire to sit outside fully wrapped up while having a pint of cider. However if you have quite reasonably been out and about more sampling things I hope you have enjoyed it and felt safe.

It is nice to see a lot of my friends now getting their first jabs as well as my parents and older relatives receiving their second injections. I should get my next one in another four weeks, which I am obviously looking forward to. The more protected I am the better as far as I am concerned. As a long time sufferer of Asthma and also someone who needed several pints of blood after a nasty haemorrhage when I was nine I have been happy to rely on medical science to keep me alive. I can confirm that my opinion on its worth has not changed.

I will slowly ease myself back out into the world, seeing friends and going to pubs when I feel the time is right. Everybody can decide to do things again when they want to and at their own speed. As long as we continue to look after ourselves and each other the new roaring twenties are just around the corner. That is going to be some decade of partying. I am branching out a little bit, my girlfriend and I are off to stay in a Shepherd’s Hut in the middle of nowhere next weekend for a slight change of scenery, which we are both looking forward to.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It was the Grand National a fortnight ago today. I am usually up in Liverpool for the event and I hope to be back there for it next year. It was a bit weird watching on the television with no fans at Aintree. It always amuses me when they travel over the Melling Road as I have driven up and down that road lots of times, although not on a race day of course. The big race itself did not disappoint. It had as much drama and excitement as always. It is arguably the most challenging course for jumps horses and one of the biggest tests of stamina that the animals involved will probably ever face.

It was won this year by a horse called Minella Times, which is trained in Ireland by Henry De Bromhead. It was ridden to victory by the ace Rachel Blackmore, who in doing so became the first ever female jockey to win the race. She has already established herself as one of the top riders in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Both of them had already had a brilliant Cheltenham Festival, which is the other really big meeting in the jumps racing calendar. I happily had backed her to win so that earned me a few pounds. I also had the fifth placed horse on an each way bet, so it was a decent afternoon for me.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The evening then got even better. One of my horses that I have a few small shares in Stage Star was running in the final race of the day at Aintree. Therefore after I had celebrated my Grand National win I settled down to watch this race. Originally Harry Cobden was due to ride him but he got injured after falling in an earlier race and had to go to hospital. Then Bryony Frost was lined up to do it but sadly she also had a fall in the National and ended up in hospital to. In the end Harry Skelton ended up taking the ride. It was a big step up for Stage Star but he had run well in his last race at Ascot just being beaten by his stable mate Knappers Hill.

He started well and was travelling nicely in the middle of the field. It was a big race with twenty runners. With about three furlongs to go his jockey gave him a shake up and he went to the front. At this point I was screaming and shouting getting very excited. As it looked for a few moments like he could win it but he was overtaken once again by Knappers Hill in the final furlong and then passed by a second horse as he ran on to finish third. It was a great run from a horse that we hope has a lot of potential.

He went off at a price of 22/1 and as I had an each way bet on him he did win me a little bit of cash. It was a National Hunt Flat race but the plan is to run him over hurdles in the autumn, which we think will suit him better. That will be after he has had a well deserved break this summer. I am looking forward to a time when I can once again see my horses run in person at the track. The adrenalin rush you get watching them challenge for the lead in a race is brilliant. Not to mention the feeling when they win!

Neil Quigley and Stage Star
Neil Quigley and Stage Star

It is pretty easy to manage my Gluten Free diet at home. It simply means that I have to think about my meal choices a little bit more in advance. Or if I want something particular I have to hunt down the Gluten Free version. I have just found a food company who produce and do home delivery of their own products. Mainly I have used this to expand my snack options like biscuits and bars. Although I have found a new cereal to try, it is the closest to my old favourite one that I have found.

Thanks to my girlfriend I had my first experience of Gluten Free pasta last Saturday in a Lasagne she made. It tasted amazing and I would challenge anyone in a taste test to be able to spot the Gluten was missing, you honestly could not tell. The week before it was a Gluten Free Pizza to try, which again was lovely. She is basically working through the things that when I was first diagnosed with Coeliac Disease I thought I would no longer be able to eat.

Gluten Free Lasagne

After we had finished our food we had another online comedy night to watch. It was hosted by Laura Lex, who I once saw do the warm up for Ben Elton’s Upstart Crow. And perform as one of the headline comics at the Tringe Festival Roving Comedy Night. She was great and did a top job setting the tone for the show. The first act on was Tez Ilyas who was excellent, really enjoyed his set. Then it was Troy Hawke, who is a character act, which I honestly think some of the audience did not realise. To be fair it did take me a bit of time to get on board with it, but he did make me laugh.

The headline act was somebody who I really like. I have seen him live twice at Glastonbury and then doing some new material at the Old Rope Comedy Night in London. It was the hilarious Ed Byrne. He has such an entertaining way of telling his stories, while doing very unique and individual to him jokes. He knows the craft of comedy inside out and is so comfortable on stage. He even added an extra couple of jokes to his performance as he was not happy about the laugh that his last planned joke received. He told the audience exactly what he was doing and blamed us for it, which I thought was great. Top fella!

Ed Byrne
Ed Byrne

I recently watched Shaun of The Dead for the first time. I appreciate as ever with regards to films I am a bit behind the times with this one as it was released in 2004. It has a great cast and is good fun. It was a bit weird watching a Zombie Apocalypse after the year we have all had. Many aspects of it in a way strangely seemed quite familiar. There are some great quotable lines in it. Plus a lot of good cameo appearances. I will hold my hand up as someone who does not like horror or any blood. As a result there were a few bits that I found too gory and had to look away from the screen for. I am so bad I cannot even watch Casualty. I hate anything injured body or flesh related.

The film starred Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. It was directed by Edgar Wright. Three years after this one the three of them teamed up again for a movie called Hot Fuzz. A lot of it was shot on location in Wells in Somerset. I was working for Ivel fm in Yeovil at the time. After the big London premiere they then decided to have a smaller one in the cinema in Wells. One of the journalists who worked at the station with me got wind of this and managed to get hold of the person who was organising it. He tried to get us tickets to see the film but the cinema there is pretty small, so all they could offer us were two tickets for the after show party in a bar next door.

We went along of course, even though it was a midweek event. I think he drove us there so I had a few beers. The place was packed Nick Frost and Edgar Wright were both there but Simon Pegg was unable to make it. They both gave a short speech. Then the DJ took over. As it happened he was somebody I knew anyway, so I got all the gossip about the film from him. It was a strange night to be honest so we did not stay too late. I have still not seen the whole film. I did once almost get invited to the London Premiere of a Guy Ritchie film but that is a story for another time.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Tim Lovejoy formerly of Soccer Am and currently of Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 is doing quite a few podcasts at the moment. One of these is a football one called A-Zidane of Football with a Derby fan mate of his called Blake. I make a brief appearance on the S episode edition talking to them about my team Tottenham. This was prior to the two big pieces of news to come out of the club in the last week. It was fun to do and good to talk to the both of them. If you missed it and fancy having a listen here is a link to the one that I was on. https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/ep-235-a-zidane-of-football-letter-s/id1196671475?i=1000517361706

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Well where do I start with the last two weeks in the life and times of my team Tottenham Hotspur? As I feared we were well beaten by a not even firing on all cylinders themselves Manchester United team. Then we drew away to a similarly lacklustre Everton Side. The game was so bad that both sides deserved to lose. At the end of the match to add injury to insult Harry Kane limped off with what looked like an ankle injury. I did apply to be one of the two thousand fans at Wembley to watch us play Manchester City in the League Cup Final tomorrow but I was not successful in the ballot.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Although with hindsight, what has happened during the last seven days makes that pale into insignificance. First there was that “big” announcement about the so called big six clubs in England wanting to be part of a new European Super League in their eyes replacing their involvement in the Champions League and Europa League. I am ashamed to say Spurs were one of these clubs. This proposed league was fixed with always with the same teams and no promotion or relegation. Therefore completely pointless, it was totally driven by greed and they massively misread why fans support their clubs. It is now not happening thankfully after all the English clubs pulled out after pressure from their fans.

I have not renewed my season ticket yet. This latest money driven elitist stupid failed plan means that I will have some serious thinking to do to decide if I will renew it or not? I was already on the edge with VAR ruining things but this could well be the last straw. I love going to the match and cheering on the team, I want to see them win things. Not play in a pointless midweek European non-competition. That will not be the case now, but even so the way it came about has left a bitter taste in the mouth. Realistically I will probably renew it as I enjoy it and it did take me over forty years to be able to get one.

The day after that story broke Tottenham then decide to sack the manager Jose Mourinho. I was not a fan of his before he joined us and I would say to anyone who would listen before he came that I did not like or enjoy his style of football. And that I did not want him as our boss. I was a huge fan of Mauricio Pochettino and was upset when he was fired. I had grown to accept Mourinho as a man but the way he had the team playing and that fact we were not winning were hard to accept.

Tottehham Hotspur
Tottehham Hotspur

The timing of the dismissal was crazy. It should either have been done a month ago when we were still in touch with the top four or at the end of the season. Doing it the week before a Cup Final in a competition he has a good record in seems mad. It would have been a huge ask against City but he has pulled off some big shocks over the years, so to relieve him of his duties now is very hard to justify. There does not appear to be any one lined up so Ryan Mason and Chris Powell are stepping up from the Under 23’s to take control until the end of the season.

They are both great guys and I am sure they will do a good job but it is not the ideal preparation for a club looking to win their first silver ware since 2008. I will be watching the action from Wembley on my television tomorrow and cheering the team on as always. No one is really expecting us to win but stranger things have happened. Jose did not seem to have a clue what his best side was seventeen months into the job. I hope the two new coaches can make firm decisions a lot quicker and find I hope a more attacking formula. To Dare is to Do! Come on your Spurs!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Amazingly my weekly lockdowns’ Pop Quiz is one year old this Tuesday. I started doing it around a month into the first national lockdown purely as something for people on a Tuesday night to do. Everything was shut and you were not allowed to socialise or visit anybody. It gave me something to work towards and prepare each week. I had a lot of fun putting it together, designing the rounds and writing all the questions. Lots of people were joining in and enjoying the music based fun, which was great.

The first series lasted until the end of lockdown one. I stopped doing it when we were allowed back out. I honestly thought that was it and I had put it to bed. Then in November the second national lockdown happened, so I brought it back on the same night and in the same time slot as before. It was great to see all the old participants return for the latest version. This one only lasted about five weeks but did also lead to me doing a Christmas Special during the festive period.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I thought that it might be a fitting way to end it but then in January this year lockdown three occurred. Therefore what else could I do but bring it back for a third series. During the last twelve months I think I have written well over one thousand questions. I dressed up as Elvis Presley for the end of series one as I did think that one could be the last ever quiz. In all of the other shows I have worn the same grey jacket. In every one Pinky Punky from Mallet’s Mallet has sat just behind me.

For the anniversary programme I am going to do an hour long special of “Quigger’s Plays Pop” starting at the earlier time of 8pm. As well as having more questions than usual I will bring back a few of the old rounds and may even test people’s memories with some of the same questions I used during the heady days of the first series. It should be a good laugh. As ever as well as the quiz itself I will try and throw in some facts or stories of some of my encounters with people from the world of music. Join me this Tuesday at 8pm for the birthday pop quiz. If you missed it here is the link to last week’s show. https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10164939561950591/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley


You can listen to me on Saturday afternoon’s between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Jump Around

I will be honest I am still pretty much just keeping myself to myself despite the easing of the lockdown regulations. I am happy to wait a little bit and see what happens as people mix in controlled situations together. Plus as we can only meet outside at the moment I am also waiting for the weather to consistently warm up a bit. I am not a fan of the cold. When the temperatures start averaging around twenty degrees then I will start catching up with people.

There are more business’s being allowed to reopen from Monday including hairdressers. I appreciate that some folk are very excited about that but as I have been cutting my own hair for a year now I no longer require their services. Pubs can serve food and drinks if they have an outside area or beer garden. However I think I am going to once again wait a bit to see how that is going before I sample it. I am still being extra careful but also as much as I want to go to pubs I do want it to seem like a place of fun rather than having a drink in your local doctors’ waiting room, if you know what I mean?

Everything so far in the United Kingdom looks quite encouraging as we slowly unlock things. The latest measures in place appear to have been working and hopefully if we are sensible and courteous we can keep things under control going forward. As much as I would love to head off on holiday somewhere exotic, some other countries do not appear to quite be on top of things yet. I understand how if this is not managed properly it could undo a lot of our hard work. Frustrating though that is for everybody. It could be the year for exploring those parts of Britain that you have been meaning to but never got round to.

Neil Quigley

I hope you had a fantastic Easter Bank Holiday Weekend and got to eat lots of chocolate, it is what Jesus would have wanted. Mine was brilliant, even though I did not set foot outside at all during the four days. I did however manage to find plenty of things to do to keep me entertained. On Good Friday evening my girlfriend got us a ticket for an online comedy night. It started quite early I thought at 7pm. Mind you I was already on the red wine by then to be fair. The event was hosted by Kiri Pritchard- Mclean. She was excellent and did a top job warming up an odd gig with a small Covid safe live audience there in the room alongside the now normal Zoom audience online.

Neil Quigley

First on was Daliso Chaponda who if you remember was on Britain’s Got Talent and has since had his own show on Radio 4. He was ace as he has been every time I have seen him, very funny and clever. Then it was a comic who I actually discovered via TikTok. He is a one liner comedian in the style of Tim Vine and Milton Jones. That style of comedy is a lot harder than it seems and requires an exceptional amount of wordplay skill and the ability to be very economic with your words, which is why I could never do it. His name is Mark Simmons and I really enjoyed his set it had some lovely lines in it.

The headline act was Nina Conti. I have been trying to see her live for a while and this is the closest I have managed so far. When I was in Edinburgh last I wanted to see her show there but it was totally sold out. She is an amazing Ventriloquist who mainly performs with her trusty sidekick Monkey. But she also has a bit in her act where she gets people up from the audience and puts puppet masks over their faces and makes them talk, which is always hilarious. As ever I thought she was great!

I have been a fan of ventriloquism for years as a child I used to love Roger De Courcey and Nookie Bear, as well as Ray Allan and Lord Charles. The gig was a wonderful start to the long weekend. All the performers were good despite the strange way it was set up and the fact that none of them had performed live for a while, obviously. I do hope that they do more of these gigs as we build up for the return of actual live comedy with some bigger audiences. There are so many brilliant venues I regularly used to visit to see top comedians do their thing. I cannot wait till these reopen and I am once again able to laugh out loud with a room full of strangers.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

On Saturday afternoon we ended up watching Shrek. It is one of those films that you can watch over and over again and it does not require too much attention, which is always a winner for me. It is a brilliant film with a great singalong soundtrack. Which character are you? I think I am definitely “Donkey”. It is hard to believe it is twenty years old this month. I spotted something watching it this time that I think I had seen online somewhere and then totally forgot about.

The logo lettering for the ruler of the town of Duloc, Lord Farquaad is a white f on a blue background. It does look kind of familiar to how a well-known social media networking website looks. Facebook was launched in 2004! Mark Zuckenberg would have been I guess about seventeen years old when the movie was released. Even if he did not mean to I reckon at the very least he saw it and subconsciously used that for his site design. Or that is what I would have told my lawyers anyway!

Neil Quigley

Later on that evening we watched Creation Stories which is loosely based on the life of Alan McGhee, who was the man behind Creation Records. Irvine Welsh helped write the screen play and apparently did shall we say embellish certain aspects of the story. It is directed by Nick Moran who was in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. I do think that you can detect the influence of that film and Trainspotting in this one.

It is mainly about how Alan achieved what he did while seemingly being constantly out having a great time. That in a way does make his success even more impressive and surprising. His record label’s biggest discovery was probably Oasis. They do get referenced in this but they are very much on the fringes of things. Paving the way for a biopic of the Gallagher brother’s, which if they make very soon they can use all the actors who played the band in the McGhee story and save a bit of time during the casting process.

Neil Quigley

It was for me an unusually film heavy weekend. But we did also enjoy lots of top quality food, some decent red wine and in my case a bit more Gluten Free Beer. The final movie we saw was the Spike Lee directed Blackkklannsman. It is based on a true story about a black police detective who wants to infiltrate his town’s branch of the Klu Klux Klan. He makes the initial contact with them via the phone and then speaks to the leaders of the group on the phone throughout the movie. But for obvious reasons he could not meet them in person, so another white but Jewish detective pretends to be him to get in with the organisation.

It is a fascinating and terrifying story. It was very cleverly told and although a massively serious subject there is a lot of comedy in it. The main man Ron Stallworth is played by John David Washington. The character is kind of like the original Beverley Hills Cop in style and brashness. Adam Driver plays his colleague who has to pretend to be him when meeting up with the white supremacists.

I felt quite a bit of tension throughout it and you so want the good guys to win and there are moments when you fear they will not. At the end of the film there is some footage that shows the language that these guys were using back in the seventies appears to be the same as what Donald Trump was reciting in a lot of his speeches. Certain key words and phrases really stuck out. Having just seen the movie it definitely struck a chord with me.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It is the Aintree Horse Racing Festival this weekend culminating in The Grand National later this afternoon. The event did not even take place at all last year. Before that it was always a highlight of my year. I would travel up to Liverpool on the Thursday afternoon to go to my mate Jeff’s place. We would then get all dressed up in our suits and go to Ladies Day at the course on the Friday. That was always a top quality occasion and if I am honest quite a big day on the alcohol front.

Neil Quigley and Jeff Nolan
Neil Quigley and Jeff Nolan

Then on Grand National Day itself we would find a nice pub in or around Liverpool to watch the race in both of us hoping to have backed the winner to justify the party we were actually going to have regardless of the result. This will be the second year I have missed but hopefully things will be at the stage by next year, where we can restart this wonderful tradition. It is always such a funny and lively weekend. Plus a great excuse to get dressed up and cheer on some of the best horses in the country.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

One of my horses “Stage Star” is actually running in the final race of the festival, which takes place after the main event. He is set to run in the 6.20pm at Aintree. It is a National Hunt Flat Race and only his third appearance at a track. It is a big step up even though the first couple of appearances were encouraging this will be a much bigger test. I hope he runs well, enjoys himself and comes home safe. If he does happen to win I will be celebrating, that is for sure. It is a shame that under the current restrictions I cannot be there in person but I guarantee I will be watching from home.

Neil Quigley and Stage Star
Neil Quigley and Stage Star

I have really settled in to my Gluten Free diet now. Generally it does not cause me any real issues but every now and again there will be something that I discover I cannot have. Or more accurately I will have to hunt down the Gluten Free version of. There does seem to be one for pretty much everything, which is nice.

As a result of my Coeliac Disease diagnosis I had to have another vaccination this week. It is recommended that sufferers get the Pneumonia Vaccine due to an increased risk of complications if it is contracted. Quick simple and painless as with all these things and I now have the little bit of extra protection I need.

Gluten Free Food

There was a break from Domestic football as the International scene took centre stage for a few weeks. England managed three wins out of three. That means we top our World Cup Qualification Group. Harry Kane managed to add to his goal tally and is at number six on the all time scorers list, six goals behind fifth placed Michael Owen and nineteen goals behind first placed Wayne Rooney. I certainly would not back against him beating that record the man is a goal machine!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Tottenham returned to action last Sunday. You can always rely on them to ruin a decent weekend. The performance was actually not too bad but we conceded a goal in the last ten minutes to draw away at Newcastle. A win would have put us into the top four. That has kind of been the story of our season so far, we have very much flattered to deceive.

We face Manchester United at home tomorrow and I have no idea how it will turn out. I fear the worse but hope for the best. Whatever happens I will be fully behind the team cheering them on. As that is what supporting the team means to me.

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

My Pop Quiz continues every Tuesday night at 8.30pm still. I plan on keeping it going at least until we are allowed to sit back inside pubs and restaurants again. That seems like it will be at least a month or so away.

Since I started it last April I have set and asked over one thousand questions. Here is the latest episode of “Quigger’s Plays Pop” in case you missed it. https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10164882543415591/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I have now been doing my Saturday Show on Radio Ninesprings in Yeovil for over a year. That seems to have gone very quickly. If you have listened in at any point thanks very much I hope I made you laugh or at the very least made you shout at your radio! You can listen to me on Saturday afternoon’s between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil

Park Life

It has now been over twelve months since the United Kingdom had its first National Lockdown. We are now in Lockdown three and like The Police Academy films ideally we would have all liked them to have ended after the initial one. They both basically followed the same story and sadly did become a little less entertaining. However we are hopefully moving in the right direction and starting to get on top of the situation regarding this very nasty virus at last.

The real test of course will come when everything slowly starts to open back up again. Then we will get the chance to try to remember how to order drinks in a pub, sing at football matches and purchase a ticket for the theatre. We are not quite there yet and it will not just be enough to get things under control here. For things to truly begin to get back to somewhere near to normal the whole world needs to be able to contain this thing together. Sadly it does seem that some Countries are faring better than others at that.

Obviously nobody is totally enjoying the current situation. Life I think is about how you look at it. Try to concentrate on the things that we can do over the next few months rather than the things we cannot. Then make the most of everything you can still do within the rules. People will also begin to allow themselves to do things at their own speed when they feel comfortable enough. Some will jump back to it straight away some may wait a bit and see what happens. Each to their own! We all have to make the right decisions for ourselves.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I have now been Gluten Free for over a month after being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. Happily I am still finding it easy to adapt my regular diet accordingly and do not really feel that I am missing out on too much. I still get way too excited when I check a bar code on my phone application and the smiley face appears telling me that it is safe for me to have it. My girlfriend is doing a sterling job giving me Gluten Free desserts as my general motto when it comes to food is that you should always end a meal with something sweet. I feared that I might have to stop with that philosophy but it is still possible even with the new restrictions I have.

I can no longer have standard Lager, Beer or Stout so I am on a little bit of a mission to find the best Gluten Free version of these options. I have already found an early leader in the Lager category. It is called Daura and made in Spain by the people that make Estrella. It is so far the closest to the real lager taste that I have found. It is completely fine for me to drink, in moderation of course. It is actually approved by Coeliac UK and has their emblem. That sign is basically a big tick for me on anything I see it on. I have studied food labelling in the last month more than at any time during my entire life.

Gluten Free Lager

For the first time since I was eighteen there was no Guinness for me on St Patrick’s Day this year, as I am no longer allowed to drink it. For many years I went to Waxy O’Connor’s in London, had a few pints of the black stuff, enjoyed the live Irish music and basically had a great time. I did not get to go last year which was a real shame. That place is my favourite pub in the Capital and I am looking forward to going there when we are allowed to once again. I will have to find a new drink to enjoy there of course.

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

I have always felt I qualified to celebrate because not only do I have a name with Irish origin “Quigley” but my Granddad was actually born there. The family had a small holding in County Mayo. I have not had the chance to go there yet, my Uncle has and sadly the actual farm is no longer there. I would like to visit one day. I imagine it would be a bit like Ant & Dec’s DNA Journey and it would turn out that I was in some way related to everybody in the local pub. This year I raised a cup of tea to St Patrick, while wearing my green rugby shirt that I won in a competition at Waxy’s about seven years ago.

Neil Quigley

I hope you somehow managed to give your Mum a nice little treat on Mother’s Day this year. I appreciate this may not have been easy and there is a chance you have not seen her for a year or possibly longer. I ordered mine a card from a well-known greetings card website. Their name rhymes with “Spoon Wig”. It has been a tough year for everyone so I thought I would splash out a bit as she deserves it. As I was placing the order I saw an option that said giant card. I thought I would get her that. I did not bother looking at the dimensions as I honestly presumed giant meant A4 size. Why would you need one bigger than that?

Anyway I also sorted out some chocolates and arranged to get them delivered to her on the day. That afternoon she sent me a picture of her holding the card and it was massive! It was almost as big as her. It looked like one of those oversized cheques that they mock up to give big prize winners. My Mum liked it but my sister was annoyed as she got a normal sized card, so it looked like I had tried to outdo her in the appreciation stakes. That was not my intention. In fact it was simply due to me not really paying attention. I just hope she does not think all of her future cards will be this size or she is going to be very disappointed.

Giant Card!

I am generally very clumsy. In fact it is a bit worrying how often I seem to catch my arm on door frames or hit my head on cabinet doors. I often compare myself to a cross between Frank Spencer from “Some Mothers Do ‘Ave’ M and Mr Bean. I sometimes think that I could have been a slapstick comedy superstar like Norman Wisdom or Charlie Chaplin. I reckon I could easily have fell through that bar like Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses. I am not sure how I seem to manage these things.

The other week I was just walking down the stairs to get a glass of water albeit with nothing on my feet. When I tripped and somehow fell forward on to just one of my toes, which buckled under me and for a brief moment had all my weight on it. At this point it made a bit of a strange noise as I regained my footing. I thought I had broken my toe initially but now I think I might just have sprained it. Either way it has gone a very impressive colour and I have had to rest it. There is nothing more annoying than injury yourself doing something simply unexpected and ridiculous.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It was the Cheltenham Festival recently. I am a big horse racing fan so this is always one of the highlights of my year. I normally try to go on the Wednesday, obviously I could not do that this year and sadly I did not manage to get there last year. Although as that was when the Pandemic was starting to take hold of the country I was totally fine with that situation with hindsight. I watched all of the races from the comfort of my home this time. The television coverage is very good to be fair. They do it really well and make it as inclusive as possible.

Cheltenham Festival
Cheltenham Festival

The racing is always top quality at this event. It takes place at the home of National Hunt Racing. The course is set in the countryside of the Cotswolds and looks stunning. As part of the meeting there is a competition between the Irish Trainers and the rest of the United Kingdom. Ireland ran away with it this year. They had the winners of pretty much all the big races. Ireland’s Rachel Blackmore became the first female leading Jockey at the event, riding the most winners over the four days.

When it comes to any gambling the golden rule is never bet more than you can afford to lose. For example when I actually go to the races I budget in any stake money as part of the cost of the whole day and expect to spend it. If I have any winners and return with some money that is just a bonus. I had quite a good Cheltenham. I saw and had a bet on every race and ended up fifty pounds up for the week, which I was obviously very happy with. Next up in a couple of weeks it is the Grand National Festival at Aintree. I would normally be there but of course cannot do that this year. However one of my horses might be running there, which is very exciting.

Neil Quigley and Stage Star
Neil Quigley and Stage Star

I watched the film Wild Rose last weekend. Unusually this one was kind of my suggestion for a change, much to the surprise of my other half. It is about a young Scottish woman who is desperate to make it as a Country singer. That is what peaked my interest as I am a fan of that genre of music. Plus I had heard some good things about it. The cast list is impressive it features Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo and Jessie Buckley who plays the title role. It was quite a good watch. I was hoping there would be more music in it than there was. It has a pretty gritty and real storyline.

The king of the UK Country scene Bob Harris makes a brief cameo appearance in it as does his real Radio 2 producer. The best bit for me was when Rose-Lynn goes to Nashville. I have been there and I loved it there, so it was great to see it on screen. It brought back lots of memories of my trip there. I would happily go there again. Such a cool place with live music pretty much everywhere all of the time. I do not want to spoil the ending but they kept the movie true and pretty realistic, I would say.

Nashville Broadway
Nashville Broadway

I started my weekly Pop Quiz during the first Lockdown thinking that I would do it for a few months and that would be it. It has had a few breaks but we are now on series three. Within the next month it will celebrate its first anniversary. I am planning on doing a one hour long special birthday programme. It began as a bit of a distraction and some music related fun on a Tuesday night. I never intended to still be doing it now but here we are. I am still doing it and enjoying it.

You can join in with the latest episode this Tuesday on my Facebook page at 8.30pm. As ever there will be thirty questions spread over six fun and different rounds. There is always an audio round to test your skills for recognising songs from short clips of them. I always wear the same “showbiz” jacket when I present it. I might give that away on the very last show. I really enjoy doing it but when I have to stop that means everything is back open and we are out socialising again. Here is last week’s Quigger’s Plays Pop to enjoy in case you missed it. https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10164825151995591/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It has not been the best few weeks for Tottenham Hotspur. We were beaten by Arsenal in the North London Derby, which means both of us won our home games against each other this season. We then got knocked out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb despite being two goals up from the first leg. We lost three nil after extra time. It was such a disappointing lacklustre performance it almost made me angry.

We did thankfully manage to beat Aston Villa away before this latest international break. That leaves us still sniffing around the top four places in the Premier League. We need one big final push between now and the end of the season.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

You can still listen to me on Saturday afternoon’s between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.

Online and Doing Fine

The second national lockdown in England has ended. We now find ourselves in a selection of different tiers. It is almost as if they have based the latest policies on a sketch from The Frost Report in 1966 featuring John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett. I am in a Tier Two area. It will not change what I have been doing since March. I am still working on the policy the less people you come into contact with the less chance you have of catching or passing on the virus.

I will admit I am being extra cautious but as an Asthma sufferer I feel this is a sensible approach to take. I do not really have the desire to return to a pub or even the theatre until they are more like how they used to be. When you could order a beer stood at the bar or sit next to other people. Plus the whole point of going to the pub was to have a break from the people you live with. Dragging them there with you just defies the reason for going in the first place.

I hope whatever situation, you find yourself in you are coping with it all currently. There is some light at the end of the tunnel. We will get through this and at some point things will return to normal. And we will be able to go back to doing the things we love. We just need to be a bit sensible still and to respect each other. Like everybody else I have lost pretty much a whole year’s worth of events. My diary is the emptiest it has been for years. But on the plus side I have seen many more films this year than in the last ten!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I took part in my first ever online Zoom Games Night recently. It was organised by a friend and former radio colleague of mine. He got in touch with everyone using the new way to liaise about every event now by setting up a “WhatsApp” group for it. He did oversubscribe it a little as there were only eight places available on the night. These were allocated on a first come first serve basis and I made the cut for the inaugural edition.

The way it worked was we had a Zoom Meeting that we all signed in to using the secret ID of course. Therefore we could all see and chat to each other. Once we had finished catching up we got down to the business in hand. For the games the person hosting had set us up on an American website that offered online games. We could see the screen on the Zoom Call. Then we also had to log into the website Jackbox Games on our own mobile phones.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

At the start of each game we got given a special code to enter which connected us all to the same one. The way it worked was we could put our answers into our phone and then when the time was right these would be displayed on the main screen for everybody else to see. We played three different games, although they were all along the same lines. We had to fill in missing words or give joke meanings for phrases. Then two of us were randomly pitted against each other with the rest of the players voting on who had given the funniest or best suggestion.

It was a bit weird at first and took a little getting used to but when we got the hang of it, it was a good laugh! The games we played were quite silly and simple. Light hearted fun and the chance to have some interaction with other people. I am ultra-competitive so I was a bit disappointed that I did not win any of the games. That said they were not quizzes with exact answers more like parlour games designed for a laugh. I would definitely do it again. Plus it gave me the chance to use my green screen and put up some different backgrounds, simply to amuse myself really.

Neil Quigley

I watched yet another film last weekend making this year a record breaking one for me on that front. I normally average at best five of them in any twelve month period. I am definitely into double figures now, as ever though I am still a bit behind the times with my movie selections. They do also have to fall into a certain category to make me want to put them on and commit to them. This latest one was written by Richard Curtis and directed by Danny Boyle. As I have in the past enjoyed both of their work this convinced me to at least give it a try.

The film was “Yesterday” which was released last year. That for me is like watching something almost brand new. The premise of it is that a strange synchronised event happens at the same time worldwide. Kind of like the year 2k bug that never materialised. The outcome of this is that nobody remembers The Beatles and there is no record of them existing. The star of the piece somehow avoids the meltdown of the planet and he still remembers them. He is a musician so then starts releasing their music pretending that they are all his songs.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

This leads to him supporting Ed Sheeran on tour. Ed appears in it as himself. It is a Richard Curtis film so obviously ultimately there is a massive love story at the centre of it. The best thing about it for me was all The Beatles’ songs that it features. It does have a great cast to. I appreciate when you put the plot down in writing it does sound a bit odd but it all kind of makes some sense when you are watching it. Apart from one bit towards the end which seems to put a massive whole in the concept of it. I will not spoil that here though, you will have to work that out for yourself.

I would say it is an easy film to watch and enjoy. You do not really have to concentrate too much. It does you could argue have a fairly predictable ending. But then you could make that argument about a lot of movies. I did find that when it had ended that I had to listen to all the other Beatles songs that it did not include. It really put me in the mood to hear their music and that is never a bad thing.

Strawberry Fields
Strawberry Fields

Owing to the fact that I am so rock and roll nowadays I have been playing a few games of Scrabble during the last couple of weeks. It has now turned into a bit of a Sunday afternoon pastime. I had not played for years until a few of weeks ago I challenged my girlfriend to a game. It was all going very well by which I mean I was winning and managing to use up lots of my letters. Then she put down the word “Phoenix” on a triple word square and then in that one move I basically lost the game. I did keep playing until the bitter end but it was all in vein. I was defeated!

After that I was not overly keen to play again but the following week we found ourselves going head to head once again. This time it was a timed game as I made it very clear that we had to be finished before the Chelsea v Tottenham game started. It is important to have your priorities right in life. This time the letters and the board worked in my favour. I managed to make two decent words including a Z both on extra points squares. I went on to win and level things up in the series doing so five minutes before kick off. I suspect we may have to play the decider this weekend as we are both very competitive. We may struggle to leave it as a draw.

Scrabble

I have enjoyed this year’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. It has been different with it being at the castle but they have kept the key elements the same the best they could. Ant and Dec have been on top form throughout it. They are more relaxed at the trials so are laughing at the camp mates a lot more, may be because they are in Wales and not being bitten by bugs in the jungle. I was pleased that they all got on with each other. They have all supported and helped each other when they have been struggling. That has been great to see.

I never had a favourite this year so was not bothered about who won the crown. It has just been a bit of fun and a nice distraction every night. Just like catching up with old friends or more accurately eaves dropping other people’s conversations. Having now worked in radio myself for over twenty years I have got a fair few showbiz stories to tell. I am not sure if I should hold on until I can get into the jungle to spill them or maybe I will just write my autobiography. I have already got two titles standing by for it either “The Real Neil” or “Power On Basically” If you want to know why “Power On Basically” is one you will have to read the book that technically does not exist yet.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I finished a run of four brand new episodes of my online Pop Quiz last Tuesday. I did them weekly during the last national lockdown. I also did sixteen of them during lockdown one. They are all still free and available to watch on my Facebook page. Each one is about half an hour. It is just me having a bit of fun and asking some music based questions. Here is a link to the latest edition, if you fancy checking it out. https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10164325111415591/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

As things stand at the minute Tottenham Hotspur are still top of the Premier League. It has been a long time since that has been the case at the beginning of December. I am not getting carried away or too excited as there is still a long way to go. But as someone who likes to live in the moment I am enjoying it right now.

We have another huge game tomorrow with the North London Derby against Arsenal. It is a match that could go either way. I am looking forward to it and hope we can take maximum points from it but it will be tough. COYS!

Neil Quigley

It is my birthday this coming Thursday 10th December. I do like to try to take the day off for it when I can. That will seemingly not be a problem this year. I am somebody who embraces and enjoys my big day. Every year you complete in this game called life is always worth celebrating. Although events this year mean it will be pretty low key. I think I might just stay in cook myself a nice meal and may be have some drinks.

Staying in is the new going out. Plus Tottenham are playing at home in the Europa League that night so I can watch that on the television and pretend I am there. That is where I would have been if the world was normal. Just to clarify for the 19th year in a row my showbiz age will remain at twenty-five!

Neil Quigley

You can listen to me still on Saturday afternoon’s between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.