Tag Archives: Strictly Come Dancing

Back to The Future

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

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley – Look at the screen behind

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

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

Neil Quigley with The Beatles
Neil Quigley with The Beatles

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

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

Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium

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

Ivel FM Studios
Ivel FM Studios

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

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

Neil Quigley in London
Neil Quigley in London

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

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

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

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

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

Neil Quigley with Christopher Biggins
Neil Quigley with Christopher Biggins

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

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

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

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

Under My Skin

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really good couple of weeks. Mine have been busy with lots going on. I do spend a lot of time in and around London. Which with my tea drinking addiction means I visit a lot of Coffee Shops. To keep myself topped up or sometimes just to kill some time before meetings. I went in to one of these establishments at Waterloo Station recently.

It was the chain where they ask you your name and then write it on the cup, supposedly to make it easier to collect your drink when it is ready. It always seems a bit of a waste of time though when you order tea. As they generally do this straight away and then hand it directly to you anyway. I was pretty sure when he asked my name I said Neil but I can only presume he did not believe this and actually thought I was a character from The Matrix. As when I received my cardboard container of tea it said “Neo” on the side.

Neo's Tea
Neo’s Tea

I was back at the Elstree Studios the other Friday to see another edition of Celebrity Juice being recorded. It has since been shown on television. It was the one that featured Ben Hanlin, Sara Cox, Rylan and Judge Rinder. It was totally hilarious. And if you thought some of the stuff that went out on air was too rude. You should have seen some of things that did not make the final edit. It was a bit of a crazy evening and it is fair to say that a couple of the regulars really got in to the spirit of things. At one point Holly was threatening to try something that she believed she could definitely do. But was actually so dangerous the stage manager had to step in and stop her.

Judge Rinder looked pretty confused through pretty much all of it. If you saw it on TV you will know. He read out two of Lemon’s Law’s on the show. There was a third one that they got him to read out in the studio, which almost caused me to hurt myself laughing but which can very much not be repeated.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It was as ever a good fun evening. I was sitting right at the very front in the middle. I was that close I could have almost reached out and touched Keith Lemon. It was brilliant to see Sara Cox in person. I have liked her on the radio for years now and I think she sounds excellent on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show. When she stands in for Chris Evans. Rylan seems like a very nice bloke, who is up for a laugh and doesn’t take himself to seriously. And I will never tire of seeing Holly Willoughby in action in a TV studio.

Last time we spoke I said it would be good to see Andy Collins again. Well I did not have long to wait, as he was doing the warm up duties for the evening. He was on top form. And kept the whole audience pretty much on the edge of over excitement all night. If you saw it, you might have noticed a lot of the crowd were standing up and cheering. They were so hyped up. It is such a wild and crazy show but so entertaining. And such a good laugh.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I was working behind the scenes at the NFL American Football Game between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets at Wembley Stadium a few Sunday’s ago. It is always a huge spectacle, when they come to town. From the pre game gatherings in Regents Street in London the day before to the big fan park that appears outside the ground on match day. The whole thing just builds and builds right up to kick off.

My role was to assist VIP guests to get to where they needed to be. This included showing one of the Miami Dolphin’s Vice Presidents to their Box. Taking the coaching teams to and from the vantage points that they were watching the game from. And directing the New York Jets players back to their team bus. I also got to witness Laura White sing the National Anthem before the start. She has an amazing voice and always does a splendid job. I did also manage to spot the force of nature that is David Hasselhof pitch side, enjoying the game.

Dolphins V Jets
Dolphins V Jets

I quite like watching American Football but I can’t claim to completely understand how it works. But it does seem very tactical. I did not have a team that I supported. But this may now have changed as I discovered that I have a namesake playing for the New York Jets. Ryan Quigley wears number four and is the Punter. So therefore I am now adopting them as my NFL team. Well at least until he either leaves the club or retires from the sport. So as I said I had to help show the players back to the team bus after the match. They were all so polite, nice and a pleasure to work with.

To put this in English Football terms that would have been like me talking to all the Tottenham Hotspur squad. Which would have been amazing and highlights how cool this was, to be that close to these superstars. If you think our footballers get paid a lot of money have a look at what some of the big NFL stars get paid. As ever it was a terrific experience working at this event. I am hoping I may also be involved in some way in the other two matches that will be taking place at Wembley Stadium in the next month or so.

Ryan Quigley
Ryan Quigley

It has been another brilliant series of the Radio 4 Extra topical news show Newsjack. The last episode of the current run was on Thursday night. I have really enjoyed writing jokes for it once again. Several of my jokes have made it in to the scripts and been performed in front of the live audience during its recording. But unfortunately none of them have quite made the edit and made it on to the show this time round.

It will next return to our radio’s for a new series in the new year. Congratulations to all the writers who had their material included. Having experienced it in the past it is a nice feeling and gives you a nice warm glow. When you get something on it. The cast and producers have done a wonderful job and I have really enjoyed listening to each programme.

Radio 4 Comedy
Radio 4 Comedy

It is no secret that I am a massive comedy fan. A couple of years ago now I got to see the Geordie Chris Ramsey perform at the Queen’s Park Art Centre in Aylesbury. As part of the Tringe Festival. It was just at the time when he had filmed the sitcom Hebburn. But it had not been on television. So I guess you could say it was just before his career really took off. It was basically a warm up gig for his Edinburgh Festival Show about rolling the dice and the concept of chance. It was proper laugh out loud funny.

There is actually some video footage of me reviewing this show somewhere. In it I am pretty sure I said something along the lines of “with his slight Geordie lilt, it is just like having a lovely chat with a mate” it all felt very warm and inclusive. He is returning to the Queen’s Park Art Centre next year on Friday 4th March. With his latest show “All Growed Up”. I would recommend going to see it if you can. You will not be disappointed.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I had a brilliant evening at the London Palladium seeing Sinatra recently. Firstly I have to say it is just such a great and iconic theatre to be inside. Just being there gives me a buzz. The show features a twenty-four piece orchestra and a massive troop of dancers plus video footage of Frank Sinatra himself. Who appears singing all the songs and telling you little snippets about his life. So you get a brief behind the scenes history of his career in his own words. And a great selection of his best known songs. In effect performed on stage by him. It is all very cleverly done and nicely put together.

London Palladium
London Palladium

During the interval I got talking to the man sitting next to me. It turned out that he was a huge Sinatra fan. And that he had actually been at the Palladium watching when “Ol Blue Eyes” made his first appearance on stage there in 1950. It was a brilliant show, which has now sadly finished in London.

I saw one of the last West End performances of it. To make the evening a bit more authentic the person I was with suggested we should drink Whiskey during it. I am not even really a fan of the drink at all, but I went with it and oddly it did feel right and add to the occasion a little.

Neil Quigley at Sinatra
Neil Quigley at Sinatra

I was very sad to hear of the death of Jim Diamond. A lovely man and amazing singer. I had the pleasure of interviewing him once when he came in to my radio show at Ivel fm in Somerset. A total professional and very easy person to talk to. I do remember having a slight argument with him about his best song. I was saying it was “I should Have Known Better” and he was adamant it was “I won’t Let You Down” which he released when he was the lead singer with the band PHD. On reflection he was the best man to judge it, so I am happy to accept his suggestion as the correct one.

Then on the day things got even better. When he got out his guitar and was joined on the saxophone by the legendary Snake Davis. He performed a couple of live acoustic songs. His voice was out of this world and it honestly made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It was an big honour to see him and Snake play in that small room with just me sat in there with them, listening intently. RIP Jim.

Snake Davis
Snake Davis

It was also the first time I met the brilliant Snake Davis, a sublimely talented musician and also one of the nicest blokes you could wish to meet. He was in the M-People. He has toured with Simply Red, played at several Prince’s Trust concerts and with the Eurythmics. And my favourite Snake fact is….. it was him that recorded the famous Sax solo on Take That’s “A Million Love Songs”

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

My chosen couple on Strictly Come Dancing this year nearly fell at the first hurdle as Jamelia and Tristan found themselves in the bottom two on the first vote off moment. Happily they survived and Iwan Thomas with his partner Ola Jordan became the first couple to leave. I am still sticking with them as my favourites. Even though I have to say other partnerships are looking much better notably Jay McGuinness and Aliona Villani. Their Pulp Fiction inspired Jive was ridiculous for week three of the competition.

Elstree Studios
Elstree Studios

Anthony Ogogo and his partner Oti were the next two to go. I always get drawn in to this show. I love it and know absolutely nothing about dancing. I only lasted just one session when I tried Salsa lessons, many years ago now. Once again Zoe Ball and the team are doing an amazing job on It Takes Two. The nightly spin off show. Where you get all the behind the scenes gossip and can just enjoy the wonderful relationships developing between the celebrities and their professional dance partners. I am still hoping to find time to go and see one of the live Saturday shows his series. Fingers crossed.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

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

Relatively Interesting

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Neil Quigley Enjoying the Sun
Neil Quigley Enjoying the Sun

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

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

Neil Quigley in London
Neil Quigley in London

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

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

Press Conference Room
Press Conference Room

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

England
England

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

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

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

ITV Studios London
ITV Studios London

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Last Days of Summer

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good couple of weeks. Mine have been great with lots of fun things going on. I hope you enjoyed the final Bank Holiday Weekend of the Summer. After what was quite a busy period of work. I had a nice relaxing one, catching up with some friends and family. On the Saturday I met up with a couple of my good mates in a pub over in Beaconsfield. The plan was to have lunch, then find somewhere to watch the football later. The game was Tottenham against Everton. I support Spurs and my mate supports the Toffee’s. So we figured it made sense to see it together, just so that the winner could make fun of the loser in person.

Goodison Park
Goodison Park

The food part went well. I really enjoyed mine. Which was the duck’s leg with roasted sweet potato, honey glazed pineapple and orange sauce. Yes you are perfectly correct, it was quite a fancy establishment we were in. After the meal. We then set about finding somewhere to see the game. We quickly discovered that football watching is not a very popular past time in this town at all though. And that none of the pubs there actually have Sky TV.

We were told by at least two different people that they knew of one pub that would be showing it. In a village just outside Beaconsfield. So we phoned a taxi to take us there. It dropped us outside and left. We then walked in to the empty venue to find that they were not showing the football after all. So we then had a very quick drink there. While we called the taxi company back to come and get us. Predictably they sent exactly the same car and driver. Which was a little bit embarrassing. But we styled it out.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

We then ended up going to High Wycombe. As we were sure a pub we knew there would have it on. We got there in time to see the whole of the second half. Then after all that drama, just getting in front of a television screen to see it. It ended in a goalless draw. It was a top afternoon larking about with friends though. While also enjoying a couple of nice car journeys around the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside.Winning!

Then on the Bank Holiday Sunday I went along to a party to celebrate the Fortieth Wedding Anniversary of my Auntie Shelia and Uncle Mick. At their house. It was not the greatest afternoon weather wise but they are seasoned party holders, so had put a couple of marquees up in the garden to keep us all dry. It was really nice to catch up with the family and enjoy some finger food and cakes. Always a highlight of any gathering for me. When I arrived my Uncle just happened to be setting up the sound system. So I ended up helping him out with that. Well it is kind of my department that, I guess.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It was all very well organised. And nicely topped off with a lovely speech from my cousins’ congratulating their parents on their fantastic achievement. With some music and even a bit of comedy thrown in. This was swiftly followed by a champagne toast for the happy couple. We know how to do things properly in my family. By that I mean we are aware of the importance of having alcohol at key moments during these sort of occasions.

Family do’s are like buses it would seem. I do not have any for ages then a few come along at once. This weekend it’s been my cousin’s Wedding Celebrations. I will tell you about them, next time we speak. I do love a good excuse to dig out a nice suit and dress up a bit.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I have had another couple of busy and very enjoyable weeks at Wembley Stadium. Showing lots of different groups of people around. Including a boys football team on behalf of the England Team’s main sponsors Vauxhall. I got to give them an hour tour around the home of football with a very special surprise for them half way round. Waiting for them in the changing room was the Arsenal and England defender Kieran Gibbs.

England Changing Room

It was great to see their faces and the excitement. When they walked in and saw him there. He was brilliant with them all, chatting to them, signing autographs and posing for photos. The media is always quick to point out the negative things sports stars do and rarely report the good and positive stuff. Good to see him in the latest squad for the next two European Qualifying games against San Marino and Switzerland. I am going along to the Swiss game. And I am really looking forward to it. I am of course hoping that I get to see Harry Kane in action once again in that one to.

England at Wembley
England at Wembley

Also at Wembley I bumped in to the former professional footballer and TV presenter Jeff Brazier. Who was there with his children. He is such a lovely man, very friendly polite and generous. Plus I like his positivity and outlook on life. He looked like he was enjoying looking around as much as his kids were. I also randomly run in to Ben Moorhouse. He is the man behind the brilliant Tringe Festival. Which is a massive annual comedy event in Tring. It just keeps getting bigger and better every single year. Some of the people that he has given a platform to are now starting to make small waves in the world of comedy themselves.

Silky at Roving Comedy Night
Silky at Roving Comedy Night

He puts on a great line up of top quality comedians not only just during the month the festival itself is on. But at various points throughout the year at the wonderful Pendley Court Theatre in the town. He also was the person who organised the Roving Comedy Night where I made my stand up comedy debut. So it was great to see him and have a nice catch up. His latest acquisition is a vintage mobile cinema. Which is a fantastic vehicle. Which can be hired to arrive pretty much anywhere in the UK. Then set up ready to show whatever film you have managed to get your hands on. A cool addition to any small gathering. Or a reason for a get together all on its own.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I will not be making an appearance on 1000 Heartbeats with Vernon Kay this series. I met up with the producers a few weeks ago to talk about being a contestant but this will now not be happening this year. I was also in discussions with the BBC about some possible production work on a few of their radio stations. It now looks like this will not be happening, well certainly not within the next six months at least. But this situation may alter then. So we will just have to wait and see what develops there.

Neil Quigley with The Beatles
Neil Quigley with The Beatles

However the brilliant Radio 4 Extra topical comedy show Newsjack returns this week. And I can once again confirm that I will be writing some jokes for this series. It will again be presented by the excellent Nish Kumar. Whose Edinburgh show was nominated for the top award at this year’s festival. I have had my material used on the programme before, so I am hoping to hear some more of my stuff on there this time round. It will be broadcast on Radio 4 Extra Thursday night’s at 10.30pm for the next six weeks. It is a good place to catch, up and coming comedians and comedy performers. With many people having used it as a good stepping stone to move up the comedy ladder.

BBC Radio Theatre
BBC Radio Theatre

About a month a go I was involved in a run through of a brand new game show idea with a production company who are trying to get it commissioned by one of the major television channels. They have now presented it to some television executives. Who have come back to them with a few requests of changes they would like made to it.

So I have now been called back in to help them with the further development of the project. Yesterday I went along to the production companies office to rehearse the show and the amendments to it. I have been paired with a partner called Rob and we get to play the game. As if we are a couple of contestants, trying to win the money.

Rob is also an actor. And one of the things he does is appear in a “Dinner with The Trotters” style live experience. He plays Rodney in that show. He is very tall and does look a bit like him. So when we play the game together, as I am quite a bit shorter than him. I feel like I should throw on a cap and a camel hair jacket and pretend to be Del Boy. At the very least I find it a struggle not to say lovely jubbly when I am standing next to him.

We are going back to the ITV London Studios in a couple of weeks to once again show case the quiz to some television executives. I hope they run with it. As I think it is a great idea and will make a really fun and entertaining show. That people will really enjoy playing along with at home. Plus if it does make it on to ours screens. I will be very proud to have been involved in it. And I will at that point finally be able to reveal the format to you.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The brand new series of Strictly Comes Dancing launches tonight. I am not the best dancer in the world but I am always keen to have a go on a night out. However there is something about this show that I do love. I just get totally drawn in to the whole drama and excitement of it all. All we discover tonight is which celebrity is paired with which dancer. I have seen the full line up of Celebrity’s for this year and I think it will be a good competition this time round.

There is a nice selection of different abilities. At least this is what I am guessing from the names on the list. I have always been a fan of Jamelia. So I am really looking forward to seeing her on the show. I also think Peter Andre, Ainsley Harriott and Kirsty Gallagher will be good value for money. I also like all of the professional dancers to. As they are very much the stars of the show now. As we know them all so well. So I will wait to see who is paired up with who before I decide on who to support this year.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It is a bit of a shame they have announced that Joanne Clifton will not be dancing with a celebrity this year. But it is great news that she will play a big part in the spin off show It Takes Two. They do always get fabulous musical acts on to perform as well. It is just great all round entertainment for the whole family. I went and saw the launch show a couple of years ago now. And this year I am hoping to get some tickets to see one of the live Saturday night shows. Which if it comes off, that would be brilliant.

Elstree Studios
Elstree Studios

Strictly comes from the Elstree Studios. And I am off there on Wednesday to see an episode of Celebrity Juice being filmed. While Fearne Cotton is off this series Gino D’Acampo is stepping in and will be the other captain alongside Holly Willoughby. I am really looking forward to the recording. It will once again I am sure be total madness but at the same time a lot of fun to witness in person. I still have not managed to find out who the other guests are on the show as yet. But let us just hope that they are familiar with the show and are happy to get involved and just go with the flow as that always makes for a funnier show. I will report back when we speak again. By which point you will have probably seen the evidence for yourself on television.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

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

Happy New Year 2015

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good festive couple of weeks. I had a fantastic Christmas basically just seeing my family and friends. While eating and drinking lots. It all started a few days before the big day. When I attended a Christmas Party at a hotel in London with a group of people I work with. We had just booked a table at a big pre-organised event. So there were loads of different people there from lots of different companies and organisations. When we arrived for drinks in the bar we noticed a few Nuns standing on the other side of the room.We must have had at least a ten minute conversation trying to work out if they were actually real Nun’s or not, the costumes were that good. We were still undecided, when one of our group realised she knew one of them. And that they were actually teachers.

We later had a chat to them and they told us they just thought it would be a good laugh and cause a bit of a stir. They were certainly right about that. I spent quite a bit of the evening on the dance floor trying my best to look cool and failing miserably. I did enjoy throwing out a few shapes though, it was the first decent dance I have had for a while. But it is fair to say that I am a long way off the Strictly Come Dancing standard. Unfortunately it did not feel like being in The Sound Of Music on the dance floor as the Nuns had changed into their civilian clothes straight after the meal.

Neil Quigley enjoying the festive Spirit
Neil Quigley enjoying the festive Spirit

The day after that party I had the annual Quigley Pre-Christmas Family Drinks at my Aunties house. This is where we all get together to get festive, have a good catch up on the last twelve months and try to plan or at least work out any big family events that are due to take place during the next year. This is always a fun occasion. Some of the highlights this year included an organised family carol singing session complete with very our own specially printed hymn sheet’s and guest conductors for each song.

My cousin’s husband’s special home made beer. Which he has been lovingly nurturing and perfecting over the years. And which comes complete with its own gas supply to help with the pouring and the overall appearance. Fair play to him it tasted really good and I found it actually managed to provide its own gas supply the following day to. The evening ended with a fun conversation, where we addressed a lot of difficult and sensitive issues and possibly solved a lot of the worlds problems. Unfortunately none of us can remember what we decided. Which is the mark of a good time I think.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I spent Christmas Day at my parents, where it followed the normal set of traditions, that have been the mainstay of our celebrations for many years. It always starts with a nice big greasy fry up. Just to get you up and running, get the energy levels up and to prepare your body for the big day of food consumption ahead. After we have let the first meal of the day go down, it is present time. I did very well once again this year, I got John Cleese’s Autobiography, Lee Mack’s latest Stand Up Comedy DVD, a new Tottenham mug, some going out trainers and a lovely huge proper comfy scarf. The scarf is brilliant, it is so warm, I have never really owned a proper one before and now when it is cold I really can’t contemplate leaving the house without it.

Then at midday it was off to the pub with my dad to meet my Uncle and some other members of the family. For a few cheeky lunchtime pints and a good old fashioned chat and laugh. It’s a very social part of the proceedings. Next it was back home to enjoy a traditional and excellent full Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings and a nice red wine. During the afternoon it was all about playing board games and getting the Karaoke machine out to perform a few of our own special versions of a lot of well known classics. Just be thankful that you don’t live next door. I finished the day watching the Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special and Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Show before bed. I did watch a couple of others things on television to, which I will tell you about next.

IMG_0119

 

If you remember a few week’s ago I went and watched part of the Christmas Day Top Of The Pops being filmed at Elstree Studios. So as you can imagine when it came on Christmas Day afternoon. I was sat in front of the television watching. As ever with these shows the set looked much more amazing on the screen than it did in real life. Don’t get me wrong it felt cool to be there, but it looked more magical watching it back from the comfort of home. I was enjoying watching the acts who I did not see play at the recording that I was at. But I have to confess when the singers I saw live performed I was watching the audience rather than them.Well for starters I had already seen them and secondly I was trying to spot myself.

I thought I just caught a glimpse of myself on one or two occasions but I definitely saw the mate I went with on screen quite a few times. Dancing along to the music and having a good time.There was a brother and sister, who we got talking to while we were there. They were good fun and they seemed to be in lots of the shots. I think we should all probably be grateful that the producers had the foresight to keep my terrible dancing hidden away, so as not to spoil anyone’s Christmas. It was great fun to be there in person. It was very nicely put together and easy to watch on screen with brilliant work from Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates in linking the whole thing together. Two total professionals showing us how it should be done there.

Top Of The Pops Fun
Top Of The Pops Fun

I also watched another programme on Christmas Day that I was as interested in seeing the audience as much as I was the actual performers. And that was Strictly Come Dancing. The reason being a friend of mine and his wife were at the recording of the Christmas Special. His wife’s brother is the celebrity producer on the show, so he looks after all the people taking part. Making sure they are happy, know what they are doing and when they are doing it. And have everything they need. As he works on the show, he managed to get my mate some decent seats. So they were actually sat right behind Bruno Tonioli. With him of course being one of the judges and someone who it is fair to say is pretty expressive in the way he speaks and is liable to move around a bit. I thought there was a very good chance of seeing them on the television.

I am pleased to say I was right. I spotted them both on several occasions as Bruno bobbed and weaved around in his usual manner. While giving his unique feedback on the dance’s that he had just witnessed. My mate when he told me he had been to see it said he was a bit worried as he thought he would be sat in the corner out the way so had not had a shave before going. He did dress up in a suit though. And to be honest even in HD I could not tell that he had not shaved but that probably says more about his ability to grow facial hair than anything else. Going back to the dances I really enjoyed the show. It was nice to see Sir Bruce Forsyth back on as a one off and I thought Louis Smith and Aliona Vilani were the deserved winners of it.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I did end up going to see a lot of television shows being recorded towards the end of the last year. They were all great fun to see. Another one of these was shown during the festive period. The latest offering from It’ll Be Alright On The Night. The out takes show where you get to see the great and good in television basically getting things wrong. It does seem to be human nature that when something does not quite go to plan whatever it is, we laugh. There were some great moments including some very recent and up to date clips for example Susanna Reid interviewing the actor Dan Stevens and possibly wishing she had phrased her question in a slightly different way. It is still funny that, no matter how many times you see it.

As ever we saw a giggling Philip Schofield, who is brilliant. It is just when you do as much live television as he does occasionally things are going to go a bit pear shaped. After narrowly missing out on appearing on Top of the Pops I did get featured on this show a couple of times. I was just sitting and laughing in the audience, not on screen making any mistakes I would very much like to point out. Having been there to see it recorded and then watched it on television. I do still find it fascinating the way they cut and edit it all together, into a seamless show. That was obviously a bit more stop and start on the night, The magic of Television.

Neil Quigley TV Presenter
Neil Quigley TV Presenter

I hope you had a fun and enjoyable New Years Eve, whatever you were doing. I was out working on New Year’s Eve, as I have done for most of them over the last fifteen years. I was performing at The Ellesborough Golf Club Dinner and Dance. It was a black tie event, so I was in my Tuxedo looking like a budget James Bond. I must admit I do quite like dressing up smart for events. It was a good night, the audience were great and really up for it, so we had a lot of fun and saw in the New Year in style. Always good to start the New Year on a high and it was nice seeing a room of happy people wandering off in to the night. And not only that but the gig was only ten minutes away from where I live, so I still managed to catch the end of a family party before I went to bed.

Neither Shaken or Stirred
Neither Shaken or Stirred

It has been a little while since I have had a decent celebrity spot. I think the last one could have been Brendan Cole on a train, or may be Johnny Vegas in the street in London. But last week I nearly literally bumped in to Charlie Brooker as he was getting off a train and I was getting on it. Because I was more concerned with getting out of his way. I only realised it was him just as he went past me. Trains and train stations do seem to be a good place to spot famous people. I was on a tube train with Stephen Merchant once, have seen Ken Bruce waiting for a train and was once on another train trip with Matt Allright. So do keep your eyes open when using public transport, you never know who you might see.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I do not really make New Year’s Resolutions I kind of think that if there is something that I need to improve or change in my life. I should do it then and there and not just wait for the start of a New Year for it. The most important thing for any year is to be healthy and happy. And to try to spend as much time as possible with the people you want to. I think you have to attack the twelve months ahead, work hard, be motivated and always be looking to move forward. While at the same time enjoying and appreciating, where you are at that moment. So what ever you wish to try and achieve in 2015. Remember it is pretty much in your hands with how you apply yourself to the situation. I wish you a very Happy New Year. I hope you laugh loads, have lots of fun and can look back on it with very fond memories. Don’t just sing it, bring it!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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