Monday, 28 June 2010

So England are out of the World Cup, but at least the sun hasn’t let us down and continues to shine.

As temperatures soared last week our air conditioning was working overtime. All our sound equipment generates a lot of extra heat so we have to crank up that dial to make sure everything works at an optimum rate and enables our guest artists and clients to chunter away comfortably.

One such cool customer was Dave Lamb of ‘Come Dine with me’ fame.

A true gem in Channel 4's daytime schedule, cookery show Come Dine with Me sees amateur chefs compete against each other to prove that they are the perfect dinner party host and claim a £1,000 cash prize. Resident voiceover man Dave Lamb, oversees proceedings with his witty observations and sarcastic commentary and is heralded as one of the main reasons for the programme’s enduring popularity.

Dave doesn’t write the script himself though they do leave gaps which means he gets to ad-lib around it. "There's a lot of extremely unusable filth. When I do the voiceover I try to feel as if I'm sitting around with people watching it, so sometimes I let myself go! It's being funny without being too cruel. I like the gentler, poking fun angle." Having watched it myself it isn’t just what he says, it’s the way he says it. Simply classic!

Amid all the fuss and furore over breakfast show presenters – the toings and froings of Wogan, Evans, Moyles and Webb – there are those who are happy to get on with the job, sans plaudit or plaint. Shaun Keaveney, of 6Music, is such a man. Shaun came into our studio last week and it was a case of BBC Radio Two meets BBC 6Music as he and Charles met for the first time, despite being neighbours over at Broadcasting House.

Keaveny took over from Phill Jupitus two years ago, and is now as comfy with his programme as a Labrador with a pair of old slippers. With the standard-issue 6Music northern accent (he's from Leigh, near Wigan) and the requisite strong musical connection (in an indie band in his youth), he fits in nicely.

“It’s a ridiculous job in many ways,” Shaun says “and you become quite blasé about stuff that is so exciting to the outsider.” Keaveny has interviewed some of his idols from the comic rock genius of Spinal Tap to his ultimate hero, Jimmy Page. Nice.

Things got a bit racy last week as our Chris had to record a session for ‘Playboy’. After much deliberation over what the voice artist would be like – all boob and no brain? – it turned out to be a lovely, very down to earth voice artist called Caroline from the good ole U.S of A. Never mind Chris, a buxom beauty may still walk through those doors of A1 for ya yet.

Last week also saw the return of Jessica Bowles to A1. Jess used to engineer in the bygone days at VOX Towers. Covering Chris, who was making haste to deepest darkest Kent to record a senior corporate executive making a motivational address to his staff, Jess took on the arduous task of an all day session in Mandarin. Nice to have you back Jess and thanks for successfully pulling it out of the bag.

As the final series of Big Brother is aired to the nation we will be getting our own dose of BB fever as Craig Phillips winner of the first ever Big Brother visits our studio this week. We will let you know in next week’s bulletin how we find the self made ‘brickie’, entrepreneur and TV presenter. Do not swear - you are live on the web.

Soho News…and Mysteries:

Yes, we have added a wee section on Soho mystery this week. See if you have any ideas on the below conundrum?

The landlord of the building in which A1 VOX resides spent an inordinate amount of dosh last year on netting to keep the rodents of the sky (that’s them there pesky pigeons) off the building. We even had abseiling engineers scaling the brickwork and roof to attach said bird prevention. So how the devil did these two unlikely rascals manage to break our impregnable defences?

Any insight would be most appreciated!

Ok, so some of you will be thinking that I am obsessed with all things food but there are so many good places to eat in and around Soho that it is hard not to tell you about them. Last week saw the opening of ‘Gelupo’ in Archer Street, opposite its ‘head office’ – Bocca di lupo. This new venture is styled as a gelateria, delicatessen and espresso bar and we are told that the Gelati, which are made fresh every day, are the best this side of the Alps. One of its other unique selling points are the hand-made sausages and the serving of ‘Bicerin’, a self-indulgent cuppa that teams espresso coffee with thick drinking chocolate and cream. Mamma Mia!!!!!!!!!

Till next week folks keep it articulate, don’t mince your words and enjoy the sunshine.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Hello one and all.

Sorry we have been off the radar the last couple of weeks but I have been relaxing on holiday and getting myself proposed to! Yes, yours truly has just returned from a magical and enchanting trip to St Ives in Cornwall. It was after a week of gorgeous weather and more Cornish cider that you can shake a ‘Rattler’ at, that Dom decided to make an honest woman of me. Ah shucks.

In my absence a lot has happened at A1.

Johnny Vegas stopped talking to a knitted, orgasmic monkey over a cuppa and decided to talk into our microphone instead.

Johnny is known for his bizarre rants, portly figure, husky voice and avid consumption of Guinness. Many think that due to these associations Johnny is a bit of a prickly and obnoxious character. This couldn’t be further from the truth as Johnny is one very down to earth celeb.

On appearing at VOX Towers he was asked if he would like a drink to which he humbly replied “I don’t want to be a diva but could I have a cup of tea”. Bless his Northern cotton socks.

Another regular to our studio is Mr Sean Pertwee, son of the third Doctor Who, Jon Pertwee. Sean is a celebrated vocal artist, whose voice is frequently heard in a variety of television commercials, documentaries and video games, including Killzone 2 and Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior.

On arrival to the studio Sean has often just leapt off his motorbike and ascended the stairs like a virile gazelle to reveal a tanned and ruggedly handsome face. Yes ladies, he is a one way ‘hot ticket’ to swoonsville!

He is also the voice behind the Northeast's tourism advertisement which started broadcasting at the start of 2009 and is presently working on the film Devil’s Playground, a zombie horror film directed by Mark McQueen and starring alongside Danny Dyer. The film is due to be released October 2010.

Sean is a very popular voice-over artist and anyone who has ever heard his fantastic, unique voice knows why (this man could just read out from the phone book and I would be putty in his hands...). I am an engaged woman now so obviously such thoughts are mere exaggeration. Very nice to see you again Sean.

Well, dear reader, Charles is now back on dry land following his second TOGS’ Voyage. The TOGS are the hardcore followers of Terry Wogan and his now defunct Radio 2 breakfast show. The show may have gone, but happily, the TOGS and their fun, games and splendid charity work live on.

Saturday morning, in the Grand Theatre the entertainment bill offered A Natter With Nove, in which, with the excellent interviewing assistance of the lovely Reverend Ruth Scott (of Pause for Thought fame) the assembled ladies and gentlemen were treated to the story of Charles’ life and haphazard career.

This was followed with Uncle Charles’s Newsreading Challenge, in which a number of brave volunteers were dragged to the stage to have a go at some News bulletins, of the Radio 2 style. Charles assures me that they did very well, and were pretty brave to get up there and give it a try in front of their fellow passengers. Rather them than me!

The British Airways cabin crew strike and the Icelandic Volcano then conspired to obstruct the carefully constructed plan of Charles coming back to Blighty,and Alan Dedicoat joining the cruise. With Alan unable to leave London, there was only one thing for it: Charles would have to stay on the ship for the duration.

This was, clearly, terrible news for Charles (cough cough).

Back aboard, Sir Terry Wogan joined the frivolity in time for a bit of book signing, meet & greet and general bonhomie, culminating in the shipboard version of his Weekend Wogan Show. Here's Charles getting stuck into a round-up of some of the voyage's many goings-on....

So, there we have it! The good news is that the efforts of the TOGS on the voyage, combined with the generosity of all at Cunard, raised over £81,000 for Children-in-Need.

That, plus a good time had by all, is what I call a result!


So we are well under way in South Africa’s World Cup, with England, not too surprisingly, holding on by a wing and a prayer. I have no finger nails left after Fridays match against Algeria and am almost glad I will be unable to sit through Wednesday’s game against Slovenia.

Talking all things footie, the flags are out again in neighbouring Frith Street, where the patrons and staff of Bar Italia are renowned for their enthusiastic following of Italy’s footballing adventures.

Here’s how it looked as Italy surged towards victory in the World Cup 2006. 4 years on, can they do it again in South Africa? Hmmmmm, one thing’s for sure, we’ll know from the cheers how well it’s going!

And so we sadly close our ranks for another week but not before giving a big shout out to our very own Beth Chalmers. Betty is showcasing the pilot for a radio drama written by herself and her good friend Amy. It will be recorded in front of a live audience with a plethora of stars taking on many of the roles. For once Beth will have to watch as others vocalise her carefully honed penmanship. A1 VOX is right behind you Beth – Go get em Tiger!