Friday, 8 October 2010

Well the term it’s raining cats and dogs might be an understatement for poor Chris last week. The young chap took his daily bike ride to A1 VOX when out of nowhere the heavens opened and dropped more H2O than the Atlantic.

Chris arrived at the studio drenched to the bone only to find all the alarms going off in the building and none of our neighbourly occupants able to switch them off. Chris to the rescue, (after greeting his clients, making them tea and mopping the floor!), managing to turn the said alarm off and thus releasing everyone from audible hell. Well done Chris!

Now Chris is a very organised, client facing, professional, and as such he always brings a spare change of clothing to work with him. So all was well...until after the session. Once Chris could finally relax and took himself off to the loo, he found his face smeared with mud – remnants from a co cyclist that morning it would seem! Poor fella. He also had to walk around with bare feet after forgetting a second pair of socks and then managed to stub his toe whilst mooching around the office. Ouch!

So if I said to you... an Inspector Called at Casualty only to be greeted by Santa Claus singing along with Chas and Dave you would probably think I had gone mad! It just so happens that they are all little links as to what some of our in-house voices are up to this week.

Ellie Howell had her opening night of An Inspector Calls last Wednesday at 'The Torch Theatre' and it was a rip roaring success. We didn't expect anything else from the lovely lass with the four pronged ‘S’ vocal chords – Soft, Sensual, Spicy and Self-assured. You better believe it mama!

The ending stays with you long after the play is finished, with its chilling twist, throwing the whole play into a completely different light. It will make you want to go back and re-watch certain scenes with a very different perspective. Just like our Ellie - you never know how she is going to turn – she tried to kick me in the head once – no really – she is 5 foot 11 and I barely reach her armpit – plus I was sitting down! Good luck with the run Ellie, we can’t wait to have ya back smiler.

Casualty comes in the form of Mr Stephen Critchlow - no he is still in one piece folks and able to voice another day – but he has been filming for the TV programme ‘Casualty’ in Bristol for the last two weeks.

Whilst on the blower to him the other day he said that he would be filming his stunt scenes that afternoon. Well, as you can imagine I was very impressed but Critch was quick to point out... ‘Sarah...I am no Fall Guy....though I do look a little like 'Lee Majors' - my stunt consists more or less of stumbling into a wall!’ Well we can all be the judge of that once it hits our screens. What a man.

We recorded our first Christmas advert in July - that’s right - record it and weep people, but that isn't the Santa Claus link that we are here to discuss. I am actually inferring to the very sassy and sexy in house voice member Charlie Norfolk. The Christmas TV ad she recorded for Hasbro Games last year was such a hit that they have just started re-running it.

Catch our scintillating brunette sitting on Father Christmas’ knee telling him what she wants to find under the bauble laden tree...steamy stuff people...and what is Charlie’s yearning ....”Brad Pitt dipped in chocolate” – Well I’m with her on that one, but unfortunately the likelihood is that Charlie will actually find a My Little Pony or Star Wars action figure under the evergreen if Hasbro have their way. There’s always next year and hopefully there will be another year for Charlie to sizzle her way onto Santa’s knee. You go girl!

At last the moment you have all been waiting for.....a Chas and Dave musical!!!!

Call them what you will – but Chas and Dave are the biz when it comes to no nonsense cockney rock n roll – some may call it ‘Rockney’.

The rockney style was from the start intentional, as they felt an alternative to the way British bands copied, American accents was needed. Chas has said “I was singing in an American accent. I thought, 'You're being a fraud, you should sing in your own accent', and that's when I started to work on the idea”.

Well they both benefited from such golden thoughts and now Chas & Dave have joined forces with legendary comedy stage writer Ray Cooney to create 'Stop Dreamin' - a musical based on the music of Chas & Dave with a great story and script.

It’s London in the 1960s and family man Fred has a lot on his plate: a troubled marriage; wayward children; and a father who is slowly losing his grip on reality! Thankfully help is at hand in the form of “Mr Music,” a mysterious new ‘friend’ who is invisible to everyone but Fred. Hilarity ensues in this feel-good comedy about family, love and the inspirational power of music.

It is still in production at the moment and the superb cast is led by Cliff Parisi who is best known as the loveable Minty from 'Eastenders'. He is joined by Trevor Bannister, famous for his long-running role as Mr Lucas in the classic British comedy Are You Being Served, Vicki Michelle, who shot to fame as the saucy Yvette in 'Allo Allo' and well known actor Royce Mills.

But forget all of that comedy rabble, cause it also features none other than our gorgeous songstress, with the smile that lights up any room - Miss Felicity Duncan!!!!!

Flick trained at the Webber Douglas Academy and has enjoyed a great mix of theatre and voice work. In 2009 she travelled the world with the touring production of 'Mamma Mia'.

One critic said of her performing the song Take a Chance On Me - This is sung by Rosie (Felicity Duncan) and Bill (Damian Myerscough) just before the wedding and is probably the funniest song of the show. It's one of ABBA's most popular songs, and the audience loved it, clapping along and laughing aloud. Even Felicity Duncan had trouble keeping a straight face whilst she was singing, which was great to see. I do love it when an actor cracks up onstage! Her voice was very polished and strong.

Sounds just like our Flick getting right stuck in and loving every minute. If you want to see her injecting the same life and soul into another performance then stop ‘rabbiting’ and go get yourself some tickets to Stop Dreamin’ (Theatre Royal Windsor - opening night 13th October 2010).

As it is mainly A1 gals this week, we have injected a little masculinity for you in the form of Mark Straker and Nick Chambers.

Well I say masculinity, but Mark appears to be doing his best impression of Louie Spence from 'Pineapple Dance Studios'!!! OOO Give Over.

Nick and Mark have both been linked by the new Harry Potter film 'The Deathly Hallows'. Mark has been recording some ADR sound effects for the new film and if you listen closely you may hear him as one of the scary Dementors.

Nick has turned his hand to a spot of drama school teaching and some of his pupils star in the upcoming film. Well I never.

We have some pictures of some of the A1 gals in black and white this week so as a little nod to one of our in house ladies who we haven’t seen for a while, but all hope to see again very soon..... here is a little tribute for Tracy and a classic picture that I know she loves:

So no London News this week but hope you enjoyed our little round up of A1’s more personal bulletins and catch us next week when we can tell you if Aled Jones is still as white as the ‘snowman’ driven... well...snow, and if Gyles Brandreth still wears those crazzzzy coloured jumpers. Till then Ta-Ra.

Friday, 1 October 2010

I have turned another year older and am hopefully a little wiser for it – I don’t feel like a whole lot has changed, unlike the seasons. I don’t know about you but I kinda like autumn as the leaves turn, crimson, gold and russet and fall to the floor and we get to cosy up at home and give the weather as an excuse for staying in and not having to do anything much.

This week at A1 it has been about The 3 B’s - brains, beauty and brawn.

For the lads we have the gorgeous Gail Porter and for the ladies we have six pack hunk Rav Wilding. Humana Humana!

The brains comes from Dervla Kirwan who on her second visit in two weeks told me about going to 'The Cloth Shop in Berwick Street' to pick up interesting patterned material to make individual duvet covers from. Brilliant idea. Shows she’s not just a pretty face.

Another face that wasn’t too hard on the old eye is Rav Wilding’s. He is also absolutely huge and gives Arnie a run for his money. He managed to pretty much take up all space in the Green Room as he sat in a tight white T-Shirt showing off his olive skin and bulging biceps – I know, I know ladies, my job ‘is’ hard sometimes!.

Due to his stature and physical fitness Rav was selected to undertake parachute training on joining the British Army at seventeen, but a broken leg sustained on a training run cut a career in the, Parachute Regiment short. After four years he left after medical staff advised him that it would be highly unlikely that his leg would ever be back to full fitness.

On leaving the army in 1999, Wilding started working at Harrods store in Knightsbridge as part of the security team and after approximately nine months at 'Harrods', Wilding's application to join the Metropolitan Police Service was accepted and he started training school.

Whilst based at Peckham in Southwark, Rav was involved in the high profile police investigation surrounding the death of Damilola Taylor. Wilding was part of a specialist unit specifically created in the aftermath of the murder where he would work solely on the tough North Peckham estate where Damilola died.

After two years as a policeman he responded to an advert for people to partake in a jungle adventure, to live for three months in an Australian rain forest for a new television programme on Channel 4 called Eden. After numerous auditions and around 50,000 applicants Wilding was picked for the programme and flew out to New South Wales.

After three months in the jungle, Wilding returned to Britain and went back to work in the police but this time in to the CID. He was quickly selected for Detective training and soon became a Detective Constable for the last six years of his service.

Wilding had to go through numerous interviews and auditions as well as formal television presenter training to get to where he is today. Having also auditioned for Blue Peter, he was offered the part on BBC Crimewatch, where he has been since 2004. After taking a period of unpaid leave, Wilding resigned from the police force in February 2008 to concentrate on TV work.

Rav is now a regular reporter on crime issues for BBC One's The One Show and has been co-presenting a new programme called Missing Live, shown every weekday morning on BBC One. Wilding has hosted three series of a fly-on-the-wall series following the lives of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Helicopter Heroes on BBC One.

Since April 2008 Rav has appeared in various magazines and publications, including full page pieces in editions of Heat and Now Magazine as well as recent appearances on Ready Steady Cook, Something for the Weekend, Saturday Kitchen, Celebrity Masterchef as well as appearing on and winning the celebrity edition of The Weakest Link.

On 25 August 2009, Wilding was revealed as one of the contestants in the 2009 series of Strictly Come Dancing and was partnered with Aliona Vilani. Rav was made fourth favourite by bookmakers behind former boxer Joe Calzaghe and actor Ricky Whittle, however he became the third celebrity to be eliminated on the show after failing to be saved in a dance-off with Linda Bellingham.

'Strictly' between us it seems that Rav may have bagged a former Miss Wales and Big Brother contestant in Imogen Thomas.

A pal said: "Rav's smitten with Imogen and she's pretty taken with him. He's a good-looking guy and he has that athletic build she likes. They can't keep their hands off each other".

Imogen is desperate to settle down and start a family and Rav has apparently been gushing about wanting to get hitched. So sorry ladies it seems that this pound of muscleman flesh is off the market! Doh.

The delectable Gail Porter bounded up see us on the fourth floor this week and was ever so chatty, making a positive impression on everyone at the studio.

Gail studied a BTEC HND in Media Production at West Hertfordshire College and after making an unsuccessful bid to join the presentation team of the BBC children's show Blue Peter (just like Rav, funny coincidence!), Gail has tended to present family-friendly television programmes, or ones aimed directly at children. This includes The Movie Chart Show, Top of the Pops, and Live and Kicking, work for CITV, and other programmes such as The Big Breakfast and Gail Porter's Big 90s for VH1.

It was whilst working on Top of the Pops that she met our very own Andrew Stanson.

Andy and Gail caught up in the Green Room and reminisced over the golden olden times they shared together. One such story was when they both stepped out with the Manic Street Preachers and got severely, err.... tiddly! Andy left at a somewhat respectable 2am whilst Gail, being the stuff of Rock and Roll legend, partied till 7.30am. She allegedly nipped back home for a shower and change of clothes and two hours later was presenting on live TV!!! – What a gal.

When asked if she gets hangovers her response was: “no, I’m Scottish!” – Fair enough.

In the late 1990s she began to pose for photos in men's magazines such as FHM. Probably the best-known product of her many photo-sessions is one particular still in which she is seen completely nude from behind. The image became well known due to the events of one night in 1999, when FHM beamed an enormous projection of her onto the exterior of the Houses of Parliament, with an accompanying message urging people to vote for Gail in the FHM Top 100 Sexiest Women Poll. In her autobiography, Porter claims that she did not know about the stunt until it was reported in the news the following day.

She married Toploader guitarist Dan Hipgrave in August 2001, and had a daughter, Honey, by him in 2002. They separated in the summer of 2004, and Porter has spoken publicly about her ensuing battles with stress, drugs and post-natal depression.

In 2005 her conditions triggered alopecia areata, causing her to lose much of her hair. She refused to wear a hat or wig, deciding instead to maintain a public profile and raise awareness of the condition. She became Ambassador for the Little Princess Trust, a charity which provides wigs to children with hair loss. As of 2010, her hair has grown back on over 75% of her scalp, and she is beginning to colour and style her hair.

She had been quoted as saying that she’d prefer to stay bald to which she responds – “It was a bit odd, because it started to come back patchy and I was like, Come on! I want one or the other. But now I love it. Its about 1inch long and I’ve bleached it white. I get up in the morning and give my daughter the hair gel and just say, Do what you want! I’m not embarrassed, I’ll wear it any style: flicked up, left down, two horns or whatever, I really don’t care. It’s just such a luxury for me after not having it for so long”.

Gail has met, and seemingly hung out with, a lot of stars in her time, so we asked if she ever get star struck? “Oh god! I had to go and interview Robert De Niro once and I nearly passed out. But then I met Madge from Neighbours and nearly passed out then as well. When I was presenting The Movie Chart Show I got to interview quite a few people. I did Edward Norton and he was so rude, probably the worst-behaved celebrity I’ve ever met. I know they get tired doing interviews over and over again but I hate it when they’re mean. It’s like, how much are you getting paid for this? But some are just lovely, Leonardo DiCaprio was just brilliant, he was so funny”.

Asked to describe herself in three words she says, “Small, happy and I’ve got some hair”

We at A1 VOX think she is strong, beautiful and inspirational and it was a pleasure to meet her - fur and all.

(Her autobiography, Laid Bare: My Story Of Love, Fame And Survival, was published in September 2007).


Johnny Depp commuting to work in London everyday by boat !

Continuing with the beautiful theme this week I have dug out a story on every woman’s swoon fest – Johnny Depp.

The Hollywood star has chartered a yacht to sail down the River Thames in London so he can get to the set of new movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides on time.

He boards the luxury vessel - nicknamed 'The Jolly Roger' - from Battersea before winding his way up the waterway to Greenwich, where he is reprising his role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the fourth instalment of the Disney franchise.

A source is reported to have said: "Johnny chose to charter a boat for the week because it's the easiest and quickest way to get there. He's been flying in from his home in France some mornings and hopping on the yacht at Battersea and He's been enjoying the views from the water."

Depp's new found love of water comes from his joy at playing character Captain Jack Sparrow in the movie series.

The 46-year-old star - who is reportedly earning £21 million to appear in the sequel - admits the eccentric seafarer has stolen a place in his heart.

Speaking about the role, he said: "Sometimes you fall in love with who you're playing. As filming winds down, you hear the clock ticking because you know you're going to leave your character behind and a kind of odd separation anxiety kicks in. You get irritable and just sort of melancholy."

Well I for one can’t wait to go watch the movie and considering all the ruddy tube strikes of late I may just look into this boat thing.....purely to get on work on time you understand – Ahem.

So let’s say hello to October and embrace the change in weather and I will see all you beautiful people next week.