Tag Archives: tottenham hotspur

Flash Bang Wallop

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

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

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

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

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

Waxy O'Connor's
Waxy O’Connor’s

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

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

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

England
England

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

Saturday Night Takeaway
Saturday Night Takeaway

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

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

BGT London
BGT London

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

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

BGT London
BGT London

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

Irish Times

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

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

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

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

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

Windsor Races Winning
Windsor Races Winning

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

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

Neil Quigley & Jeff Nolan
Neil Quigley & Jeff Nolan

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

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

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

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

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

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

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

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

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

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

St Patrick's Day
St Patrick’s Day

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

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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

BBC Radio Theatre
BBC Radio Theatre

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

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

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

London Palladium
London Palladium

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

Play Away

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really good couple of weeks. Mine have been very busy with lots of fun things going on. Although I did not make it up to Manchester as planned a few weekend’s ago, sadly. I was meant to be heading north to see an old school friend and his family for a few days. As part of the visit we were going to a party to celebrate his in-laws fortieth Wedding Anniversary.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

About an hour before I was due to catch the train I got a phone call from my mate saying his wife and children had been struck down by a sickness bug which appeared to be working its way through the family. So we had a chat and we decided I would not go and see them. Which was a shame but made sense as you do not want a house guest when you feel rough and I will be totally honest I did not fancy getting it.

So instead I stayed at home and had a quiet night in breaking my self imposed month long ban from alcohol with a few glasses of a very nice red wine, while listening to some ace music. The plan now is to go and see my friend and family in a few weeks time instead when they are all back to full fitness. Unfortunately none of them were even well enough to attend the party themselves but the good news is they are all better now.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

A couple of weeks ago now I went to an audition to be on another brand new fun general knowledge television quiz show. Which will be on one of the major networks. It will be hosted by an excellent presenter, who has presented big classic television contests in the past and is also known as a sports broadcaster to.

As ever this experience involved going to the production companies office, playing a few light hearted games and talking to them about my favourite subject, me. Then we actually got to play a quick trial version of the show’s end game. Which was brilliant fun. All of this is filmed, so the casting team can watch it back and then decide from the footage who they want to appear on the show.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

There were some interesting people there including the actor who used to play the postman in Rainbow. He also appeared regularly in Super Gran for a bit as well. I also met the women who was surprised live on national TV last year by This Morning when Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby took over her house and presented the whole of the show from there. Everyone was great fun, all fascinating people with some great stories to tell.

I am still currently in contention to appear on the show. Which if that comes off will be brilliant. It is due to be filmed around the middle of March. So fingers crossed I get selected to do it. I cannot say any more about it at the moment but when I can I will. I will let you know if anything develops with it and ultimately and also hopefully when I will be on your television screens playing it. It is a simple, fun and new concept for a game. Which I really do like.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Last Friday I went along to the Press Night for the latest West End production of Nell Gywnn at the lovely Apollo Theatre in London. It is written by Jessica Swale and stars Gemma Arterton in the title role. It has most recently enjoyed a highly successful run in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Before getting a new cast and then moving to its new home until the end of April. Which is the Apollo.

Nell Gwynn
Nell Gwynn

I had no real idea what to expect if I am totally honest but I really enjoyed it. And I had a fantastic evening. I thought Gemma Arterton was absolutely sensational in the lead role. She played it brilliantly even to the point where as her status in life improved by association, so did her accent. As it got a little bit posher. Nell Gywnn is a quite amazing historical character. With her confidence, humour and straightforwardness you could argue that she was well ahead of her time in many ways.

The whole cast were brilliant and it really was a slick performance. There is lots of clever and in parts slightly risque comedy with plenty of innuendo thrown in for good measure. Plus some singing and dancing to. So it is the total all round entertainment package. I would recommend seeing it, if you at all can. It is an intriguing story told perfectly by a talented bunch of performers and will leave you feeling upbeat and possibly humming to yourself as you leave the theatre. And finally watch out for the cutest little dog almost stealing the whole show.

Nell Gwynn
Nell Gwynn

I actually enjoyed a theatre double bill last weekend. On the Saturday night I went to see the new Matthew Perry play. That he stars in and has written called “The End of Longing” I was a massive fan of the American sitcom Friends, to be fair I mean who wasn’t? And I will confess that although I did really fancy Jennifer Aniston. Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing was always my favourite Friend.

I think I liked the fact he was constantly trying to make a joke out of every single comment he heard and every situation he was in. I think he may have reminded me of somebody! When I found out this production was on in London. I decided I had to see it. The play in itself is a very modern piece and supposedly slightly autobiographical about some of the demons and problems he faced during his own alcohol addiction issues.

The End Of Longing
The End Of Longing

It is quite a dark play dealing with some very tough and serious subject matter. But it is funny with lots of laughs. The dialogue is quite fast paced. The plot and the story unfold very nicely and cleverly in front of your eyes. It has a lot of pathos to it and personally I liked the way it showed a lot of us are all fighting our own addictions and issues whatever they may be. But that with the support and love of the right person it can make these manageable.

If you are expecting to see a version of Chandler from Friends on stage you will be disappointed. But if you want to see a gritty hard hitting current yet humorous play then make sure you go and see it. The whole cast led of course by the writer and star Matthew Perry are all excellent. Especially in my opinion Jennifer Mudge, who plays her role of the stars love interest brilliantly. It was another lovely night out at the theatre. Which I really did enjoy. You cannot beat any live entertainment in my opinion.

The End Of Longing
The End Of Longing

So I am currently reading Chris Evans’ latest book. I have read his previous two, which were both autobiography’s about different stages of his life and career. This third one though appears to be a more overall look at life in general. And from his own individual perspective what considerations should he be making as he approaches his fiftieth birthday this year.

It is interesting and he has looked at health and marriage speaking to experts in each of those fields. But I just want to know a bit more about his life and what happens at Radio Two. I will be sticking with it as there is a good chance I may well learn something from it. Plus I think the later chapters describe how one of my favourite television shows TFI Friday ended up making a big comeback.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I am still in a little bit of shock at the moment. I have been a Tottenham Hotspur fan all my life. They are very much my team. I support them in every game they play in. I remember crying in the garden after Coventry beat them in the FA Cup Final in 1987 and I remember the huge celebrations at the old Wembley Stadium when we beat Leicester in the Worthington Cup Final in 1999.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

But never in all my years of supporting Spurs can I remember them in mid February being second in the Premier League. Just two points behind the leaders. This has never before happened in my lifetime. And I can’t believe I am saying this but there is actually a chance my team Tottenham could win the league. Whatever happens between now and the end of the season I am going to be proud of my team and support them in every game. As the club motto says To Dare is to do. Come on you Spurs!

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The excellent Radio 4 Extra topical comedy show Newsjack is back for a new series currently. It is on every Thursday night at 10.30pm for the next five weeks. I will once again be writing some short one liner jokes for this series. I really enjoy trying to write up to the minute topical comedy, that is of course perfectly suitable for the type of listeners that the show attracts.

It is being hosted for the third series running by Nish Kumar. And I have to say he is sounding brilliant on it. He has made it very much his own. I will keep you updated about the programme as the series continues and do rest assured I will let you know which of my jokes make it in.

BBC Radio Theatre
BBC Radio Theatre

I did pop along to the wonderful Hospital Club in London the other week to see a recording of Alan Davies As Yet Untitled. The show he makes for the digital television station Dave. It is such a great and iconic renowned showbiz gathering place. The studios there are cosy but well laid out. If you have not seen it the programme involves the comedian talking and drinking around a little table with a selection of guests. The one I saw had a nice mix of personalities and people, all with some great if not occasionally slightly harrowing stories to tell.

You know what its like when you and your mates are sitting around having a few drinks and just chatting, random things come up in the conversation. Which in turn reminds different people of different stories from the past. Well that is exactly what the show was like. I think as it is quite an intimate setting some of the guests might even forget they are being filmed momentarily judging by some of the things they admitted to. The new series comes out later this year, so do keep a look out for it.

Neil Quigley and Scott Temple
Neil Quigley and Scott Temple

Tonight sees the return of another one of my favourite shows Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Take Away is back. The total entertainment show. Where a member of the audience can win a huge prize, celebrities get tricked, members of the public get surprised and then there is always the great end of the show, show as a finale. It is a cross between Noel’s House Party, Game for a Laugh and The Generation Game on acid and then all rolled in to one. But I do absolutely love it, it is top weekend fun.

BGT London
BGT London

The two Geordie’s are for me the masters of live television, so natural and funny. I am really hoping that I can manage to get along to watch one of the episodes from in the studio this series. I am working on trying to make that happen, so fingers crossed hopefully it will soon. This series will feature a weekly whodunit comedy drama written by the creator of Broad Church no less and featuring an all star cast.

If you remember from a few years ago when Michael Buble ended up doing Karaoke from a pub at the end of one of the shows. I have been in there for food and drink a couple of times. I have to say it is a lovely place and also it is so handily close to the studios. I am really looking forward to watching the chaos unfold on our screens later.

Neil Quigley in London
Neil Quigley in London

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

New Year Same Old Me

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you had a really good festive period. Mine was great with plenty of fun things happening. I had a lovely family Christmas Day with my parents and my sister. We had a fabulous Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings including Christmas Pudding and cream. Followed by a fun afternoon. Which was spent firstly playing table tennis on the Wii.

I have to admit that all games in the Quigley household become very competitive and we do all really want to beat each other very badly. Which can often lead to a fair bit of banter, a few insults and big in your face celebratory actions, when any victory is achieved. That said it was a good laugh and we all really enjoyed it.

Family Meal
Family Meal

My parents have a Karaoke machine set up at home, so next we took it in turns to serenade the rest of the house and possibly accidentally the rest of the street with our favourite songs. Now when it comes to singing my strength definitely lies in the very low in the mix backing vocals or ideally just introducing the acts and shutting up.

It was a good giggle and I would like to apologise for any crimes I committed against music during this period. My final act on Christmas Day was to pretty much single handedly finish off a whole box of Mint Chocolate Match Makers. I only have them once a year and the speed in which I eat them is the main reason for that.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I was once again very lucky on the present front and got some fantastic gifts for Christmas. I got a new Tottenham Hotspur Mug which has a picture of me signing for the club with the manager holding up my shirt. Which I think is almost too good to drink out of, although I have relented and I am now using it as my main tea vessel.

I have said before that I am a massive fan of autobiographies, so I was delighted to get the latest one from Chris Evans and the life story of the greatest jump jockey of all time AP McCoy. Both of which I cannot wait to read. This is how I will be spending my evenings in January.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I also received an I-phone Docking Alarm Clock, so I can charge it up over night and then use it to wake me up in the morning. I got the first live DVD from Chris Ramsey. Which I am looking forward to getting round to watching. I saw him perform in Aylesbury a few years ago and he was brilliant.

I was also given something I used to get religiously every year but have not had it for a few years now a Kylie Minogue calendar. I can confirm that they are as good as I remember still, if not even better. Something that very much does seem to improve with age. Finally owing to my age I did get a pack of socks. Once you reach a certain age it is a tradition to receive this every year for the rest of your life, if you are a man.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

I had a very nice last minute surprise on Boxing Day. When totally out of the blue a mate contacted me to tell me he had a spare ticket to go and see Tottenham Hotspur play Norwich at White Hart Lane, that was mine if I wanted it. All I had to do was get over to his place within half an hour and he was even going to us drive there.

So obviously I went along. I am great believer of living for the moment. I have to confess it had been a while since I had been to a game there. So it was great to have a look round the club shop and have a pint in the pub next door before the match.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Fair play to my friend he had some cracking seats, so we had a great view of the action. It was nice to be back around the Tottenham family and we played really well and managed a very convincing three nil win. Which certainly aided my enjoyment of the day. I thought we looked really good and strong and I thought all of them played their part.

Which looks a good sign for the rest of the season, I hope. It was a brilliant off the cuff day, seeing my football team playing and also catching up with some good mates. I do plan on trying to see at least a couple of more games there before the end of the season, with a bit of luck. Come on you Spurs!

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur

As I had been hearing quite a few good things about it from various sources, on a free day off between Christmas and New Year I decided to check out the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. I understand it is busy at weekends but I went during the week and managed to get straight in without queuing and have a good walk around the place.

It is free to get in but if you want to take part in any of the activities there like ice-skating, some of the rides or their ice-bar, you have to pay and book in advance. I was perfectly happy just having a wonder round to see what it was all about. As well as the rides, there were lots of stalls and places to eat or drink, most of which were themed.

Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland

I am a fan of German culture and entertainment and I have been to the Oktoberfest in Munich twice. So I found myself drawn towards the Bavarian Village. So after I had finished looking round I thought I would pop in there for a beer or two. Now basically it cost £5.50 for a pint of Bavarian Gold out of a plastic pint glass but if you paid £9.50 you could get a pint in a glass pint stein.

The extra £4 was a deposit on the glass, so as long as you when you had finished returned the glass and the token that they gave you. You would receive your £4 back. This was a complete no-brainer for me, I mean who wants to drink from a plastic glass. And it is basically still the same price.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

There were several different bars and areas to the village including a massive beer hall that must have held at least a thousand and that had a live band playing. There was also a central bar area that had a revolving stage over it. Where a live singer was performing classic songs and playing disco music in between. Fair play he was a really brilliant singer but it did make for some surreal moments.

As one minute he was singing a Frank Sinatra classic and then a few minutes later people were dancing round the bar to Whigfield’s Saturday Night. If I am honest I did like the randomness of it all. I had a brilliant time there, it was great fun. And I would recommend going to have a look at it when it returns towards the end of the year in December.

Bavarian Village
Bavarian Village

Being a DJ I have worked a lot of New Year’s Eve’s over the last twenty years but this year I decided not to and to have it all to myself. What I had not considered much is what I should actually do. When I am working there is always a party that I turn up to and get paid to attend. This time I had to find my own entertainment.

On the plus side it was nice not to have the pressure of making sure everybody else there had a memorable night. In the end me and my mate Andy went to an Irish themed pub in High Wycombe, which thanks to its name I felt very at home in. It was the first time I had been out in a town on this particular night for quite a while.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The place did not really start getting busy till about ten o’clock. Normally this pub has a band on at the weekends and I would say it is a bit of a party style venue. But for New Years Eve it had a DJ on playing dance music all night. And very much unlike every gig I have ever done he did not even have a microphone. Which meant the countdown to the new year was courtesy of a pre-recorded special mix that had a countdown on it from 60 seconds, which is a long countdown.

When it ended it left me thinking right so is that actually mid-night? Is it the start of the new year? It just felt a bit odd to me or certainly different to what I am used to. That said I did have a brilliant evening having a few drinks to see out the old and see in the new. Plus I did not get to bed until gone three in the morning. Proving that I am still very rock and roll.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

There was another Christmas present that I received that I did not mention earlier. My parent’s got me a tour of White Hart Lane, the home of course of the mighty Tottenham Hotspur. It was brilliant to look behind the scenes of the club I support. Our first stop was the Press Conference Room. The one place that I had actually been to before. When I was an extra in a scene with the main character Jason Bent in the pilot for “The Lee Nelson Well Good Show” for BBC Three. I played a club press officer and sat up on the stage, last time I didn’t get a picture but this time I made sure that I did.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

From there we went in to the Directors box and I tried out the Chairman Daniel Levy’s seat for size. I have to admit he has a pretty decent view of the action from where he is. We also looked in a few of the business lounges and some of the executive boxes. For the record I would love to have a box at the Lane for a season, they were pretty cool. Lastly we headed down to the players tunnel to see both dressing rooms and then the dug out area where the players walk out and the manager sits or to be honest in Mr Ponchettino’s case mostly stands.

I think I had a massive smile on my face all through this part of the experience. John our guide who showed us around was brilliant. It was a fun afternoon, which made me feel like a child again. I hope to catch a few more games there over the next eighteen months and I also look forward to seeing the new stadium.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

During the festive period I did take a two week break from my usual exercise routine. Just to give my body a little bit of time to recover from a year in which I worked out pretty much every week. Now the celebrations are well and truly over and I have returned to my programme with the intention of actually working a little bit harder and getting a little bit fitter during 2016. Well I have a big party at the end of the year which I really do want to look my best for.

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

I have also decided to have a month off the alcohol in January. Not for any real or particular reason. I just think it is a good opportunity to focus on what I want to achieve, get my fitness back and feel re-energised. I have not done it for a few years and always feel better for doing it. You do tend to sleep better, have more energy and not risk wasting weekends. But come February normal service will be resumed, as basically from time to time I do simply like a drink.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I wish you a happy and healthy 2016 and hope you achieve everything you want to and most importantly have a lot of fun and memorable moments along the way. Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil.

TV and Radio Times

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a good couple of weeks. Mine have been great fun and I have managed to get up to some pretty cool stuff. I will tell you all about that in a bit. But first Happy Valentines Day to you. I really hope my postman will not have to take six weeks off work again this year, after giving himself a hernia delivering all my cards last year. To be honest I have never really celebrated it much myself. Surely you should show love and appreciation every day of the year and not just once every three hundred and sixty five days.

That said a lot of my friend’s seem to make an effort, as pretty much all of their first born children arrived in November. You do the maths. One Valentine’s Day does stick in my mind though. It was Saturday 14th February 2009, when I presented my last show in Somerset at Midwest Radio after spending five years broadcasting in the West Country. They did not even send me some roses or give me a box of chocolates. Although to be fair we had been out for my leaving do the night before.

Sarah Parish started the Neil Quigley Fan Club
Sarah Parish started the Neil Quigley Fan Club

I few weeks ago I went to see the first episode of a brand new ITV 2 show called Reality Bites being filmed at The London Studios on the South Bank. It is a new comedy panel show based around reality television. It’s hosted by the excellent Stephen Mulhern with team captains Emma Willis and Joel Dommett. They just talk about reality programmes and then play some silly games. Which also sometimes feature current or former reality television stars.

In the show I watched, Emma Willis was joined by Jimmy Bullard and Joe Lycett and on Joel Dommett’s team were Bruno Tonioli and Luisa Zissman (who apparently was on the Apprentice and Celebrity Big Brother but I have to confess I had never heard of her). By the way if you think Bruno is over the top or unpredictable on Strictly Come Dancing you should have been there to witness this. He was great value and very funny but man he has got some energy. He will not sit still and if you are looking for an innuendo, he will give you one.

South Bank London
South Bank London

They had three special guests on the show to help play some of the games. These were White Dee from Benefits Street, Charlotte Crosby from Geordie Shore and Alex Sibley from Big Brother three. It was a great laugh in the studio, everybody was on good form. Stephen Mulhern did an ace job steering the ship. And the three hours we were there during the filming passed by very quickly. I would like to congratulate the producers and the editors, who some how managed to edit it down to a fifty minute programme. Which was then broadcast on ITV 2, two days later.

As ever with these things some of the funniest bits on the night never made it in to the show. In some instances because they were unsuitable for broadcast, even after ten thirty at night and on ITV 2. Let us just say we learnt quite a lot about some of the members of the panel. Much more than we really wanted to know. The warm up man for the show was the brilliant comedian and entertainer Andy Collins. Who as ever did an excellent job. Making sure that the audience were primed and ready from the start and kept focussed and amused during any short breaks in filming. I have been lucky enough to meet him on quite a few occasions in the past. So it was really good to be able to have a very quick chat with him as I was leaving the studio.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

I met up with a good friend of mine the other weekend for a few days of reminiscing, catching up and partying. I met him when he was working at Mix 96 in Aylesbury. He joined the station fourteen years ago and was there for around two years. So it is now twelve years ago since he left. As he is from and lives in Liverpool he had not been back to the town for quite a few years. So a few Friday’s ago Jeff Nolan ventured down from up north. And we met up in Aylesbury to have a look round the place and talk about the old times. We were joined for a chat in a coffee shop by another former colleague of ours Richard Carr.

Before the three of us then went to Mix 96 to meet up with Nathan Cooper. And have a look around the studio for old times sake. It was really nice to see everyone and see the station doing so well to. While I was there it was good to have a quick chat with Chris Maskery. Who I have to say has grown the most extraordinary beard since I saw him last, it is huge. Before we left Aylesbury Jeff and I grabbed a bite to eat in a venue that under its previous guise, we had both watched Alexander O’Neill and the Three Degrees perform there.

Neil Quigley in a still from the Mix 96 behind the Scenes Video
Neil Quigley in a still from the Mix 96 behind the Scenes Video

Our next stop on our crazy weekend tour was Bicester. Where we had booked in to a small bed and breakfast above a pub to stay for the night. After attending a Birthday Party that evening. The party was being thrown by Stuart Hosking, who was of course famously one of the contestants in Big Brother 2, to celebrate his 50th. Now Jeff and I met Stuart at Mix 96 not long after he left the famous reality show house in 2001. After being a guest on the breakfast show hosted by Chris Blumer and Jeff. The station offered him the chance to present a Sunday morning radio show.

A programme which I ended up producing for a short while. Which is obviously how and where I met him. While working together we did go for the occasional drink after the show. Which was always good fun. I remember one Sunday we managed to get a man from Aylesbury who had been on the previous night’s Blind Date in for a chat. That was interesting to find out first hand exactly what it was like being on a big show like that. If my memory serves me right, I think he also came for a drink after the show with us that day.

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

Anyway we had a few drinks in Bicester before jumping in a taxi and going to the hotel where Stuart’s party was taking place. He had hired out the whole of this very nice hotel just on the outskirts of Oxford. On arrival it was pretty easy to spot the birthday boy as he was dressed in all white and wearing a set of angel wings. So we said our congratulations and had a quick catch up with him, bearing in mind it was probably about eight years since I had seen him last. Whatever he is doing it is working for him as he was looking really well. There was free ale on a self service tap. It would appear Jeff is better at drinking it rather than pouring it as he managed to lose about a pint of it on the floor because he couldn’t turn the nozzle off. I did think about just laying under it Homer Simpson style but I then thought this might look a bit uncouth.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The entertainment was fantastic. There was a magician who was walking around doing some table magic and card tricks. But the main attraction was a band who were called Rockaoke. And yes you have guessed it they are a live brilliant band who play while you sing in a Karaoke style. If you are a big fan of Chris Moyles you might just remember that he did a big tour with this band around the country. We managed to have a chat to one of the band and they have done some pretty cool stuff. They have supported the Foo Fighters and played in the VIP tents of a lot of big festivals. So you can imagine the kind of people who were joining them to perform in those situations. They are so good and can play so many different songs. They so effortlessly move from one song to another. And they do have a singer who will sing backing, harmonies and also just chip in if you need a bit of help to keep the song going, to make you sound much better as well.

Jeff Nolan Performs
Jeff Nolan Performs

Now unfortunately I can’t sing and I am completely tone deaf. Which is a real shame as I would have loved to have got up there and belted out a tune with the band. Jeff Nolan however can sing a bit. So he treated us to a version of the Oasis song Rock N Roll Star with more swagger and attitude than even Liam Gallagher could manage. And while doing nothing for regional stereotyping. He also treated us to some Beatles and a bit of Day Tripper. We were trying to convince Stuart, the band and anyone else that would listen that we should close the night with a version of Let It be. Where we all sing an individual line each, in a kind of Band Aid sort of style. We were over ruled and Stuart and his rugby mates performed Thin Lizzy’s The Boy’s Are Back In Town as the the last song. Which on reflection seems fair and makes sense. It was a great night. The venue was lovely, the guests so friendly and the entertainment top quality. So thanks very much to Stuart Hosking for letting us join in the celebrations and a slightly belated happy 50th birthday to you sir.

Stuart Hosking Sings
Stuart Hosking Sings

The day after the party Jeff and I were up early and back on the road up to Liverpool. We left Bicester with the plan to stop at the next Mcdonalds we saw and have a little bit of breakfast. It would seem this particular fast food establishment is not so popular on the motorways as may be it once was. As the first one we saw was at a Service Station just outside Crewe. So we were virtually at our destination before we managed to get some food. We arrived at Jeff’s house in Liverpool just before eleven and I think we were in the pub for midday. I have said this before I but I do like Liverpool and always feel very at home there. May be that is because my granddad grew up and went to school there.

So needless to say I had a fun afternoon having a few drinks and watching some football before returning to Jeff’s in the early evening to enjoy what was a massive sixteen inch pizza. Which somehow I managed to finish. I think it is reasonable to say I have a decent appetite. The tour ended the following day when I got the train home. Which took slightly longer than I hoped. As it did require a bus replacement service for part of the journey, but that is Sunday travel for you.

Neil Quigley in Liverpool
Neil Quigley in Liverpool

On the train journey home from Liverpool I started reading John Cleese’s Autobiography So Anyway. As you would expect from a man so clever and intelligent as him. It is brilliantly written in a very informative and entertaining way. He does go in to quite a bit of detail about his early life, explaining it in such a way that you really get a flavour of what it was like being him at that point in his life. I have only read the first six chapters. He has got a place at Cambridge University but he has not started his course yet. He is working as a Teacher in what was actually his first school as a child. I did work experience when I was eighteen at my Secondary School and that was weird enough. So working full time at his old school must have been properly odd.

I am a huge fan of Fawlty Towers and all the Monty Python films. So I am really looking forward to him talking about them in the book. But he has already mentioned how things he saw or witnessed as a kid, in later life gave him ideas for character traits or comedy situations. It is a really fascinating read and I am looking forward to finishing it. But even after what I have already read, I would recommend it to any comedy fan.

Neil Quigley TV Presenter
Neil Quigley TV Presenter

As a Tottenham Hotspur fan I am afraid I can’t not mention last Saturday’s big game. Over the years I have seen us lose to Arsenal on so many occasions and sometimes quite heavily. But when I sat down to watch the North London Derby on television last weekend. I did feel very calm and confident that we would at least get something out of the game. Well done to the whole team, I thought everybody was fantastic and it was a truly great performance. Watching any Spurs game is always a roller coaster of emotions and this one was no different.

I would like to apologise to my neighbours for the shouting and screaming after Harry Kane’s equaliser and then again after his second. A brilliant header that won us the game. I have pretty much only just got my voice back. Great day for my team, I have to admit I was buzzing all week after that victory. Now I hope we can get our first trophy since 2008 by beating Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in the Capital One Cup Final on Sunday 1st March.

White Hart Lane
White Hart Lane

I went to see one of the London heat’s of Britain’s Got Talent last Wednesday at the Dominion Theatre. Just as I was arriving at the venue I witnessed Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden making their way through the front doors, with about thirty tabloid photographers trying to get pictures of them as they walked past. Then just before I went inside I saw Stephen Mulhern do a bit of filming with the audience that had gathered for his ITV 2 spin off show More Talent. Then it was time to take my seat ready for the action to begin. The warm up man Ian Royce comes on first to get the crowd going and then Ant & Dec come out to say hello and have a quick chat.

Ant & Dec
Ant & Dec

That was pretty much the only time we saw or heard from them all night. Because of course you will know, if you watch the show. They do all their work off stage talking to the acts before and after their performance’s. Next the four judges are then bought out and they to have a chat to the crowd. Now the next bit surprised me a little as the acts, when everything is ready for them. Seem to randomly wander on to the stage without being introduced. So we know nothing about them until they have that chat with the judges before they do their thing. Which does explain the sometimes rather odd applause they get, when they come on stage. As it kind of depends on at which point the audience spot them. I do not want to give anything away but it is fair to say there is the usual mix of good, bad and deluded acts on the show once again this year.

BGT Dominion Theatre
BGT Dominion Theatre

I did see some good acts but if I am honest I don’t think I saw this year’s winner. The banter between the judges is good. And to be fair on the whole they were being very nice, even to the not so good ones. One thing that did amaze me was how loud the buzzers are. When they go off it does make you jump. So no wonder the acts always look confused and pause for a second when one is pressed. It was a fun night out and I am looking forward to seeing the whole series on television later this year. There was a really bad singer on near the end. And I found myself walking straight past her as she was leaving the stage. I just chose to smile and say nothing. Which in that situation, I think was the politest thing to do. Mind you see did not look happy after getting four big no’s.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

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