Sunday, 23 October 2011

Hello one and all and welcome to this weeks blog.

I have devised a slight twist on the normal format by calling this weeks Blog - Fact and Trivia, which does exactly as stated and gives facts and then trivia about each of our guests. So get reading people and find out what has been keeping A1 VOX ticking this week.

First up we would like to draw your attention to the New Bentley Continental GTC advert.

And why in the name of A1 VOX have I done this?

Dynamic style, and breathtaking performance - that’s why….. and no I am not talking about the iconic piece of machinery, but the man behind the wheel on the ad - our lovely guest voice artist Mr Al Convy.

He is the Brad Pitt of the voice over world and we are lucky as the main man visits us on a regular basis. Take a look at the ad and see for yourselves. Nice Brogues Al!

Al tells us that it was a tough day at the office - driving a Bentley around, filming in exotic locations, with a pretty hot looking female as his companion….all this and he got paid for the priviledge!!!! I have said it before and I will say it again – I am in the wrong job people.

So if you are looking for the enchantment of open-top motoring, there’s no better place to experience it than it the wheel of a Bentley….unfortunately Al does not come with the car so probably best to watch the advert ladies.

Ex Radio 1 DJ Dixie Peach joined us last week and what a jolly fellow he was.

Dixie played American style rock and funk and first hit the airwaves on Saturday nights in 1984. Great year – I bought my first ever vinyl single in 1984 - ‘Hey you the Rock Steady Crew’, an awesome track, but I digress.

On Dixie’s 2 ½ hour Midnight Runner show he featured artistes such as Bryan Adams, Nils Lofgren and Rick Springfield.

Dixie was also involved in the worlds most famous off shore radio station, which is still on air today – Radio Caroline.

Yes Dixie once rocked out on the water during what some class as Radio Caroline’s golden era.

This comment is from one avid listener of that time who comes all the way from California!!!!

"Chapter 10 of the series, treating the return of Radio Caroline in 1983, brought back some very happy memories. I vividly remember the days leading up to the first broadcast from the Ross, the test tones, the — usually incorrect! — media reports and the shock of hearing just how powerful the signal was. I'd never heard anything like it before. Nice to think about Dixie Peach, too. Have you ever met the guy? (yes I have actually!), I could never figure out if he was "high on life" or high on some of that famous Falls Head Herb — usually found in the Overdrive studio, so John Bennett tells me (vicous rumour!). Wonder where he is now? The late 1970's model of Radio Caroline is still my favourite, despite the fact they were on and off the air more than a partisan station in WW2."

Well I can tell you where Dixie was last week….. up at VOX Towers is where - reminiscing about his jock days. A lovely chap, with a warm smile and fond memories of Radio through the 70’s and 80’s – I could almost see myself in my green ra ra skirt, hair in a side pony and a bat wing jumper, roller skating at Roller City to Salt n Pepper as he spoke. Ah them be the good old days.

Our Dixie Peach trivia is that his real name is Bernie Michael, so no his parents weren’t just lovers of fried chicken and ripe juicy peaches….it just sounded cool.

Next up to join in the fun was Daniela Denby-Ashe.

Daniela appeared in sitcom My Family as daughter Janey for eleven years. Daniela says:

“I was really surprised by the success of the show. I don’t think anyone expected that”

Daniela got her big break in 1995 when she landed the role of Sarah Hills in Eastenders. She has since been in the BBC drama adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, Torchwood and also the role of Saffy’s daughter in an episode of Absolutely Fabulous.

A little fact-bite about Daniela is that she speaks English, French and Polish. How tres Rozumny!!!

('Very Clever' for those of you out there that may not as well versed in these particular languages).

Lastly, but by no means least, the actor Bill Paterson joined us to record the voice over for a TV Commercial promoting the once derelict village of Polphail.

Polphail lies in Portavadie, Scotland, and was built to accommodate workers at a planned oil platform construction yard. The yard was never completed, and the village was never occupied.

One story from the time describes Portavadie as home to the world’s largest man-made hole, said to have been dug at a cost of £14 million or £4 million, for oil rig construction orders which never materialised. The figure given may be a typo, or simply result from different accounting practices used to produce alternative reports. Whatever the actual figure, it appears to have been a very expensive hole!

Bill’s brother lives in the area and so when he was approached to put his voice to the new development, (which has since been created to transform the eyesore into something exclusive and worthwhile), he jumped at the chance. It is good to see that this high profile actor is still in touch with his roots and willing to take on smaller projects that are close to his heart. What a guy.

Bill spent much of the 1970’s in John McGrath’s theatre company 7:84, touring the United Kingdom.

Bill’s career then took him into the world of the small box which included a turn in the 1978 BAFTA award winning drama Licking Hitler. He did not entirely neglect theatre however and in 1982 he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for his performance as Schweyk in Schweik in the Second World War, at the National Theatre.

In the 1980’s Bill took the move to the big screen, including The Killing Fields, Comfort and Joy and A Private Function.

In later years he appeared in Truly, Madly, Deeply, Chaplin, Sir Ian McKellen’s Richard III, Bright Young Things, Miss Potter, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and Creation.

Much of his later work has been for the BBC and since 2009, he has appeared as George Castle, the head of the CPS in Law & Order: UK.

A little trivia about Bill is that he broke the law whilst filming classic movie Comfort and Joy. The actor had to drive around Glasgow for the comedy about a DJ who finds himself in the middle of an ice-cream turf war.

He has now revealed he did not have a driving licence. Naughty Bill.

“I had done lessons and I could drive. I wasn’t a danger to others around me – which is just as well because I had Chris Menges, one of the best and most treasured cameramen around strapped to the bonnet of the car”


Our second piece of Bill Trivia also centres around Comfort and Joy:

“Of course there’s no shortage of people saying that it’s their favourite film – in fact Quentin Tarantino is a fan and has named it as one of the ‘coolest movies of all time’.

The director, Bill Forsyth, even jokingly wonders if Mr Bunny the ice-cream man (played by Alex Norton), influenced the Oscar-winning director’s naming of characters in Reservoir Dogs, who included Mr Pink and Mr Brown. Tres Interesujacy!


So there you have it.

Fact – that is the end of this weeks Blog

Trivia – This is the 64th blog that A1 VOX has published and we still love sharing our very unique little world with you all - so until next week, Keep it Audio-Tastic people.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Club Tropicana drinks are free……… and sunshine there’s enough for everyone!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh what a treat the last week has been. All the girls in Essex were going fake tan crazzzy and the boys of Old Compton Street were having a ‘body off’!


Charles was ‘the voice of the balls’ on Friday night and took the live performance, (as always), in his professional stride. Never have balls been in better hands!

Charles also commandeered the drive time slot on BBC Radio Oxford this week. You can catch him back on his ‘home from home’ this Monday and Tuesday early mornings, on BBC Radio 2.

Some of the A1 VOX team are off to watch Cool Hand Luke for the press night on Monday so I will be able to report back to you on how our Andy’s show is shaping up . Too excited for words!

So with Stephen Critchlow (39 Steps), and Andy Loudon (Cool Hand Luke), monopolising the West End for the boys I thought I would share the goss on Joan Walkers ‘treading of the London boards’ for the gals.

Joan can be seen in Sir John Vanbrugh’s The Provoked Wife, presented by Perfect Mayhem, at The Greenwich Playhouse from 12th October – 6th November.

Trapped in a bad marriage, Lady Brute contemplates her fate, her reputation and her options. Should she leave her abusive husband Sir John Brute, or take a lover. Joining this tragicomic rollercoaseter of a Restoration play are Lady Brute’s niece Belinda and the young love interests Heartfree and Constant firing off witty retorts between the florid conversational dialogue.

Serving up an extra slice of chaos, the cast of characters is topped off by the deluded Lady Fancyfull, played by the wonderfully fantastic, Joan Walker, and her pert French maid Mademoiselle.

Sir John Vanbrugh had a colourful career – the army, navy, political activism, theatre management, playwriting, architecture, a committed Whig and even imprisoned ostensibly for espionage! See, it just goes to show that you don’t always come out of uni or school and knowing exactly what it is you want to do - mix it up, that’s what I say.

As a playwright of his particular era, Sir John offended many people with the sexual explicitness of his plays and their then outrageous notions of women’s rights.

Perfect Mayhem is therefore warning people in advance, and apologising (though not very sincerely), for the content of the play and for jarring any conservative sensibilities. So basically leave any prudeness at the door and unleash your inner beast to embrace this frolicking, riotous romp which is sure to dazzle with much aplomb!!!!!!!

Trust Joan to pick another boring, conservative role eh!

Tickets can be purchased by calling 020 8858 9256 or by going to

A1 VOX Guests

This week we had a very exciting guest to visit us at A1 VOX. Jodie Whittaker may not be a name or face that you would instantly recognise but you bet your bottom dollar that you have seen her both on TV and the big screen.

In her own words Jodie says ‘I love my chameleon face’ and it is this that helps her shun the celebrity lifestyle. Professionally, she is one hot and upcoming English actress.

Her big break came in 2006 when she made her movie debut as a tracksuited ugly-duckling-turned-swan in the film Venus. Jodie was just a 23-year-old-newbie when she was picked by Roger Michell, director of Notting Hill, to play a tenaged misfit opposite a veteran Peter O’Toole.

Fast forward a few years and Jodie appeared in the BBC1’s star-studded bonnet-saga Cranford, as well as alongside her pal Gemma Arteton in Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and starred in the two St Trinian’s films, as Rupert Everett’s blingtastic secretary Beverly.

‘Rupert was a right laugh, but then no-one is going to be in a bad mood on St Trinian’s are they?’ she says.

She was also drafted in at three hours notice to play the lead role of Nina in several performances of Chekhov’s The Seagull at London’s Royal Court after Carey Mulligan contracted appendicitis.

The list of work continues from Marchlands, to Abi Morgan’s, Royal Wedding, and Jimmy McGovern’s The Accused, and even in the recent aliens-verses-hoodies sci-fi comedy Attack the Block.

Jodie is often such a serious mournful screen presence, that on meeting her it is genuinely surprising that she is chatty, bright, funny and extremely down to earth, however, she says that this was not always the case at school:

‘I was the attention seeking child in class who needed everyone to look at meeee…..’ she laughs. But then perhaps her characters way of saying “Don’t look at me” is really a clever way of saying “Actually look at me”.

She managed to ditch the doom and gloom by playing Anne Hathaway’s best friend in current box office smash One Day. Well I say….they are some sharp shooting creditentials right there!

She can next be seen playing Dougray Scott’s abused lover in A Thousand Kisses Deep and then in Ashes, a film about a road trip, featuring a bloke with early onset Alzheimer’s. All that and playing an idealistic Nazi opposite Viggo Mortensen could have led me to cry out ‘we’re not worthy!’ but she was so darn nice that I felt I could open the door to the Green Room where in between voicing takes she would wander out and mix with all the A1 VOX crew. What a lege!

So from a movie star to a movie filmmaker.

Mr Kevin Brownlow is best known for his work documenting the history of the silent era. He has rescued many silent films and their history.

His interest in World War II prompted the creation of an alternative-history film, It Happened Here, in which the Nazis have conquered Britain, Brownlow began to collaborate with Andrew Mollo on the film which was completed in 1964 with the last-minute aid of Tony Richardson.

After this cinematic feat Brownlow began another project, Winstanley, about Gerrard Winstanley and the Diggers commune following the English Civil War.

On 13th November last year Kevin Brownlow received an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement alongside Francis Ford Coppola. In his letter of nomination none other than Martin Scorsese declared that:

“Mr Brownlow is a giant among film historians and preservationists, known and justifiably respected throughoutthe world for his multiple achievements: as the author of The Parades Gone By, a definitive history of the silent era, and ..a biography of David Lean…and as the director with Andrew Mollo of two absolutely unique fiction films, Winstanley (1975) and It Happened Here (1964)…On a broader level, you might say that Mr Brownlow is film history”

This pretty much sums up the extraordinary record of a remarkable Englishman.

We at A1 VOX found him utterly charming and I think it is fair to say we have had a pretty epic week!

Till next week then my budding Voxers when I will be a year older (cringe), yet hopefully wiser, (every cloud!), and Daniela Denby Ash of My Family fame will be in to see us. Now go forth and catch the last rays of summer!

Sunday, 25 September 2011


Dragline: He was smiling... That's right. You know, that, that Luke smile of his. He had it on his face right to the very end. Hell, if they didn't know it 'fore, they could tell right then that they weren't a-gonna beat him. That old Luke smile. Oh, Luke. He was some boy. Cool Hand Luke. Hell, he's a natural-born world-shaker.

Ahhhhh – this is one of my fellas favourite films and demonstrates how some folks can keep getting back up on that horse, no matter how many times they have been whipped or ridiculed. An inspiring story, showing the strength of the human spirit.

Cool Hand Luke opened this weekend at the Aldwych Theatre London. It runs until 7th January 2012 so I have given you plenty of warning to go see this beaut of a West end show, which has been directed by none other than our very own Mr Andrew Loudon. What a talented fellow he is!

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the tale, Cool Hand Luke is an American crime drama telling the story of Luke Jackson, a decorated World War II veteran who refuses to conform to life in a Florida prison camp and frequently tries to escape. The other inmates try to live vicariously through him. There's always one isn't there!

Starring Marc Warren (Hustle, Mad Dogs) as the charismatic rebel, Cool Hand Luke is the hard-hitting story of a true original. He'll play it real cool in the face of brutality. He'll always get back up after a beating. He'll eat fifty eggs in an hour, to win a bet. A man who won't conform no matter what it costs.

Marc is known for his British television roles as Danny Blue in Hustle, Dougie Raymond in The Vice and Dominic Foy in State of Play, but he won't have any problem with the American accent since he was also part of the starry cast in Stephen Spielberg's Band of Brothers playing an American Marine.

As Andy has been extremely busy with the show I haven’t had a chance to touch base with him as yet, so I would just like to take this opportunity to say all the best for the run Andy – we are sure – Hands Down… it is gonna be a cool success.


It has been a bit Corrie V’s Eastenders when it comes to our guests this week.

The bubbly and vivaciuous Sally Lindsay came bounding into the studio, like an excitable northern banshee. This Stockport lass is best known for playing Shelley Unwin in Coronation Street.

She has been bessie mates with Peter Kay since she was twenty four and they have subsequently appeared together in Phoenix Nights and the video for the comic relief single “Is this the way to Amarillo”.

If any of you read the blog last month you will have seen the piece on Mark Radcliffe, well in a weird twist of showbiz fate Sally was a regular guest, and contributor, to the Radcliffe and Maconie Show on BBC Radio 2. Keep it Real, Keep it Northern eh.

As of this month Sally has joined the gaggle of women to become a permanent panelist on Loose Women, and she reckons she was born for the job:

‘I’m a mother, a step-mother, a sister – everything to do with being a woman, which is what Loose Women is all about’

Meanwhile Sally also reappears on our screens with another of her former Corrie buddies Angela Griffin in new series Mount Pleasant.

The show stars Sally as Mancunian lass Lisa and follows her as she navigates the highs and lows of life with her best friends and workmates. The show features an ensemble cast including Bobby Ball, Pauline Collins, Liza Tarbuck and Paula Wilcox. Sally says:

‘I’ll tell you why this show is new and different. Because you know what, it really isn’t grim up north….it seems to me the only portrayal we have ever seen is all flat caps and whippets and back-to-back terraces. I think this is a portrayal of life up North now, not for everyone, but life isn’t the same for everyone anywhere’

Hear, hear!

So it looks as though ‘our Sal’ is one busy lady at the mo, getting Loose, in a Pleasant way!

So from an Ex Corrie artist to an Ex Enders player.

Joel Beckett is probably best remembered for playing Jake Moon, Alfie Moons cousin. He ended up shooting his brother Danny dead (who was about to kill Phil and Grant), and left the series seven months later under very mysterious circumstances!

He also played Lee, Dawn’s fiancĂ©, in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s The Office.

Jake says that one of his career highlights was hanging out with Tom Hanks while filming for HBO’s world war two series Band of Brothers (which in another spooky A1 twist ,featured Marc Warren as blogged above!):

‘Working with Tom Hanks was incredible….he was such a nice guy’

Tom wrote all the actors a personal letter after filming and Joel remembers sharing a joke with the famous actor over a cup of tea and thinking ‘I just made Tom Hanks laugh!’

Oh to mix with A-List gentry!

Next week I will be delving into the life and times of Kevin Brownlow - filmmaker, film historian, television documentary-maker, author, and Academy Award recipient!!!! Blooming Heck, now there’s a CV and a half. We will also be finding out the latest from A1 Queen of Sass - Ms Joan Walker.

Until then enjoy this reprieve of glorious September sunshine!!!!!

Friday, 9 September 2011

An Autumnal good morrow to you all.

Let us bat away the putrid summer and embrace roaring fires, roast dinners and nestling into the sofa for DVD afternoons. May the cosy times begin!

I made it back in one piece from Estonia…..just - and truth be told it pretty much turned into a stag do with the my posse of ladies assuming the antler pose for many a piccie whilst yelling out the obligatory AWWOOOOGGGAAA. Essex and Slough girls on tour…not a pretty sight.

So back to your favourite studio - and as the children started trickling back to school this week it felt like a new term at A1 too.

With back to back bookings nearly every day, and a few new clients to welcome into the curriculum, it certainly feels like we have hit September running.

Long may it continue.

Maybe it is the fresh new outlook that is coming together to create the re-vamped A1 VOX premises.

This is me sitting in a now newly decorated and carpeted room. There are exciting times ahead and we will keep you updated with photos and information on A1 VOX’s version of Trinny and Susannah as we undergo our stylish transformation.

This week has seen a couple of beauties pass through the doors of A1.

First up was glamorous veteran actress Cherie Lunghi.

Cheri is probably familiar to some of you for Strictly Come Dancing, Casualty, Dalziel and Pascoe, Cutting It, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries and the sexy Kenco Coffee ads to name but a few.

Cherie looks incredible for her age (59) and so it came as no surprise to see her raunchy scenes in Adventures of a Call Girl, where she plays high class call girl Belle de Jour’s (Billie Piper’s) agent.

In one scene she is even tied up in military uniform for a bondage scene, but then Cherie is no stranger to peeling off for the camera. She made her name on TV throughout 1989-90 in the Manageress, which sees her character Gabriella Benson take over a top-flight football team.

Further back than that she was involved in a particularly steamy scene in John Boorman’s Excalibur (1981) in which she played Guinevere. Careful where you put that sword Lancelot!

Second to grace us with her natural flawless beauty was Zoe Lister.

Zoe’s first and only professional role to date has been the role of Zoe Carpenter in Hollyoaks. Yes folks she got to keep her own name to prevent her being a “moron” – her words not mine.

Zoe had more than her fair share of racy story lines during her stint with the teen angst soap, including falling for her best mate Sarah’s dad, Mike.

This relationship ended in tears though, after Zoe slept with Sarah following a drunken night out. Crikey!

Zoe then went on to fail her degree after using Mike’s work and passing it off as her own…..still with me?... and finally ended up in the slammer after Sarah’s girlfriend framed her for her murder.

Jeez Louise!

I can happily report that the real life Zoe is doing a lot better than her alter ego and even went on to win a British Soap Award in 2010 for the category of Spectacular Scene of the Year for “The Parachute Jump” in which poor Sarah looses her life.

She has also been nominated in the category of Sexiest Female and is indeed a very fair maiden to behold. We wish her luck with her career ‘post Hollyoaks’ and are sure that her Chester antics will put her in good stead for future roles.


Mr Stephen Critchlow made a very welcome visit to A1 VOX this week.

He will be resuming his role in 39 Steps in October of this year so get yourselves down to The Criterion and see ‘our Critchy’ working his theatre-land magic! It doesn’t get better than this.

Lucy Petrie-Scott has been busy looking after her three boys throughout the summer, moving house and finalising architecture plans.

How does she do it all?!....I guess hubby Al Petrie is on hand….but wait.. - she really is super mum, as Al has been racking up the acting credentials like Ralph Fiennes on speed dial.

Al will be playing the character of Felix Finch in the adaptation of the book, Cloud Atlas.

Cloud Atlas is a 2004 novel, and the third book by British author David Mitchell. It won the British Book Awards, Literary Fiction Award and the Richard and Judy Book of the Year award, and was short-listed for the 2004 Booker Prize, Nebula Award and Arthur C Clarke Award, amongst many others.

Sounds like a pretty nifty read I’d say.

The novel consists of six nested stories that take the reader from the remote South Pacific in the nineteenth century to a distant, post-apocalyptic future.

In 2009 it was announced that the Waschowski Siblings had bought the rights to the novel. Warner Bros will distribute the film in North America while Focus Features will handle international sales of the screen play written by writer/director Tom Tykwer.

On April 12, 2011 it was announced that Tom Hanks was to play the lead with Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, and Ben Whishaw included as supporting cast. The movie which began production in Germany this summer, has a budget of $100 million, making it one of the most expensive German films ever.

Al has two non speaking parts, and two speaking parts, with non other than Tom Hanks and Halle Berry!!!!!!. The lucky cad.

I guess this means Lucy will have to shake something spectacular out of her closet come red carpet time. OOO the little minx - and here was me starting to feel sorry for her being left home alone!

And that, (as they say), is a wrap.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Welcome back intrepid A1 followers.

This week we have been somewhat taken over by Manchester City fans!

A1 Voxtraining mentor, Philippa Starns, came into the studio to carry out an interview with English broadcaster to the BBC, and one of Britain’s most recognised DJ’s, Mr Mark Radcliffe.

Mark has worked with the BBC since the 80’s and is an avid Manchester City Fan.

Although Chis Evans is held as the Man who saved Radio 1 he certainly owes a lot to Radcliffe. In the late 70’s when Radcliffe worked for worked for Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio Chris was also working there as a junior. Despite being very enthusiastic 'The Ginger One' managed to delete the tape containing an exclusive interview with Bob Geldof & he would have been sacked if Radcliffe hadn’t persuaded his boss to give Chris another chance. What a good chap.

Ironic then that in later years The White Room, which Mark presented, was dropped due to the success of Chris’ TFI Friday. In another twist of the Mark and Chris showbiz tale Mark became the person who filled in for Chris on the Radio 1 breakfast show when he was away. Hmmmmm – wonder if Mark wishes he had kept his mouth shut all those years ago!

Mark joined BBC Radio 1 in 1991, presenting the one-hour Monday evening show Out on Blue Six. In 1993 Mark presented Skyman, an odd show which he presented in character as a visiting alien, and all the records he played were space-related. Certainly different and though Mark may have come across as mad as a box of biscuits it seemed to work quite well. Go Figure!

His most famous work however was as part of the act Mark and Lard on Radio 1. (Lard is also a Man City supporter!).

In the late 70’s Mark Radcliffe moved to Radio 1 where he produced the sessions for the John Peel Show. As legend tells it was at one of these sessions that Mark Radcliffe and Lard first met.

Radcliffe eventually took Lard on as his sidekick and so the most important partnership since Lennon and McCartney was formed – though some people may disagree with me on that one, A1’s Chris certainly wouldn’t, as he admitted to me last week that for once in his capacity as studio manager he was a little bit star struck.

It seems young Chris grew up listening to the now infamous 10pm – midnight show, (otherwise known as The Graveyard Shift), that the duo began in 1993, and developed a bit of a DJ crush on the pair.

And why wouldn’t he!? – The show was unique for Radio 1 because it was based around non-playlist music and featured live music sessions, poetry readings and comedy. These sessions featured bizarre quizzes such as ‘Fish or Fowl’, and a play list that rivalled John Peel in terms of eclecticism.

The show also held some of the best sessions from up and coming and alternative bands of the time, including Throwing Muses, Moloko, Nick Cave, Pulp, Baby Bird, The Divine Comedy and Mice.

Some other stars weren’t so lucky however and were constantly ribbed by the terrible twosome – Arse Kelly, Manic Street Sweepers, and Alanis Nicorette to name but a few!

Radcliffe’s unique blend of great music, humour, quality items, and of course Lard, quickly built up a cult following. In the words of Mark and Lard their show was the ducks nuts!

Radcliffe left Radio 1 in March 2004 and moved to an evening slot on BBC Radio 2 in June of the same year, with Riley moving to BBC 6 Music.

In 2007 Radcliffe joined forces with Stuart Maconie to present a new show on BBC Radio 2 to much critical acclaim, including winning the prestigious Sony award for the best Radio show of 2009.

Just goes to show that it isn't just Madonna who can keep re-inventing herself and maintaining that all important finger on the consumer pulse, Mr Radcliffe has managed to keep a hold on the airwaves for decades and continues to do so.

And so to the third and final Man City FC supporter of the week – English writer, comedian, actor, radio and television presenter – Jason Manford.

Jason began his career in 1999, while working at the Buzz Comedy Club upstairs at the Southern Hotel in Chorlton, Manchester. Jason was collecting glasses when a performer didn’t arrive for an evening set, Jason, who was 17 at the time stepped in to fill the gap, an event which marked the beginning of his comedy career. Six gigs later he was crowned The City Life North West Comedian of the Year. Why did I never get the chance to showcase my comedic talents when working down the pig and whistle? Some guys have all the luck!

His first major television appearance was as a guest on the Channel 4 panel show 8 out of 10 cats presented by Jimmy Carr. He would eventually go on to become a team captain.

Jason has performed on many stand up on television progammes with his most high profile appearance being a full show on Live at the Apollo in 2008.

He began hosting a breakfast show on XFM Manchester and also presented his own shows on television. The first lone presenting job was in Premier League Allstars Extra Time which was a live show of slightly chaotic drunken interviews with former footballers, celebrities and fans who had just finished playing 6-a-side football. Interesting and potential car crash TV!

In 2010 Jason was announced as the new presenter of The One Show. He resigned in November 2010, following allegations surrounding his private life.

Jason is currently on his second National tour which runs until the end of 2011.


Though I have seen some gorgeous photos from Mark and Willows wedding I haven’t managed to get one on line as yet. However, we were lucky enough to taste the gorgeous cakes that were made for their ‘wedding party in the park’…………

Aren’t they beautiful – they tasted bloody good too, though I am not taking anything away from our Cake Fairy or Eleanor Howell, (who made some exceptional banana bread for everyone at A1 this week). All this cake does not bode well for my dress fittings – naughty people!

This week we started the second phase of the big A1 make over. As I write this blog the builders are slaving away on a new floor and pristine walls in what was the old office. Good on them for giving up their bank holiday to get our studio looking ship shape - Bravo boys!

I am off to Estonia for my hen do this week. If I make it out of Tallinn in one piece I will fill you in on all the crazy antics in the following weeks blog.

Till then toodle pip everyone and Bon Voy-hen-do-age!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Nessa: ' What’s Occurring?'

A1 Sarah: This week’s blog Nessa.

Nessa: ‘Oh.. Tidy’

A1 Sarah: It’s gonna be a real belter.

Nessa: ‘I know..…I feels it’

Yes… we have all been re-living those Gavin and Stacey days here at A1 VOX this week.

The gorgeous Joanna Page paid us a visit and the likeness between her and Stacey is uncanny. At points I had to stop myself from asking how Nessa, Gav and Smithy were doing.

Gavin:(On the phone) Babe, where are you. You just walked off?

Stacey: I know, but there was this woman next to me in a veil, fiddling with her shoe and I thought "oh my god" terrorist.

Gavin: Oh right so your just gonna leave me here to get bombed?

Stacey: I know and I do feel bad but I was going to text you.

I’m sure Joanna wouldn’t do this to real life hubby and actor James Thornton of Emmerdale fame, so we will just say, that like her on-screen persona, Joanna is refreshingly childlike in her enthusiasm. We even got the occasional high-pitched giggle out of her.

Joanna graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 1998. She appeared in From Hell, Mine All Mine, Love Actually and Miss Julie as well as several productions at the Royal National Theatre. She even starred as Mark Owen’s love interest in his music video for “Making Out”. Take That!

But it was playing the role of ditzy, yet lovable, Welsh Stacey, that propelled her into the limelight.

“I’ve always been in work but I’ve never been famous. I’ve just carried on doing my job. So, you know, suddenly to reach this age and be famous, I can’t take it seriously”

Bless her little Welsh cottons.

Joanna’s next project is for Sky1 HD in a brand new six part comedy titled Gates. It aims to explore the funnier side of school life for parents and kids alike.

Keeping Joanna company are Sue Johnston (The Royale Family) and Tom Ellis (Miranda).

Gates casts an eye on how relationships with parents formed during fifteen minutes of a school drop off and pick up can so easily take over your life. Let’s face it those gates can be an unforgiving, socially exposed, and political minefield. Sign me up to the firing squad over that any day of the week!

Joanna says:

“I’m so excited to begin filming with such a fantastic cast on Gates. As soon as I read the scripts I could completely identify with my character Helen, and I’m looking forward to the world of the school run and the games and mayhem that go with it. Tom Ellis is a hunk of a husband to be working opposite and my maternal instincts are being brought out working with my adorable daughter”

Do we hear the tiny pitter patter of feet…..could life be imitating art??? If so I hope she doesn’t invite Nessa over to help bathe the bouncing baby:

Nessa (in bath): Oh Stace, will you do my back?

Stacey: Yes

Nessa: The razor's by the sink.

So from a popular female comedy icon to one of the male variety. Enter Mr Dean Lennox Kelly of Shameless fame, (Kev Ball the Gallaghers’ barman neighbour).

Dean has been mentioned on the blog before but we have never been able to grab a piccie of him as he is always flitting here, there and everywhere. This visit he actually took offense that we didn’t have a picture of him on our wall of fame, and hadn’t asked him for one before. Tsk…actors!

So here it is. A ‘do I look devastatingly handsome in this moustache’ shot. Answer – Yes, oh be still my beating heart!

The ‘tache’ is for his latest role, in which he has to age up to 20 years.

‘My paunch sag will help – I’ll slowly release my stomach muscles during the play to show the ageing process’ quips Dean.

Dean plays warm-hearted patriarch Frank Gibbons in a Peter Hall Company revival of Noel Coward’s This Happy Breed, a portrait of the playwright’s lower-class suburban origins between the wars.

Dean feels this is his most challenging role yet, since it was originally played by none other than Noel Coward himself, both on stage and screen. A daunting prospect I would proffer!

Dean says of the play:

“It’s like the original soap – it’s a slice of life. It’s moving and witty with real depth because everything has been influenced by the First World War”

Apart from his dramatics, Dean says that family is everything to him, but he’s done so many love scenes over the years that there have been plenty of opportunities for other women to inspect the chest rug that Eugenie (his wife) nicknames ‘the Forest of Dean’.

“Since having kids, I’m a bit more concerned about taking my clothes off and being crude”.

AHHH God damn it!!!!!


Andy Stanson has run off to his second home in Crete for the school summer holidays - the lucky bugger. I received an e-mail from Andy last week telling me how much he was enjoying his extended holiday, which is often accompanied by an ice cold Mythos beer (Grrrrrrr).

However it isn’t all R and R for Mr Stanson as he has also been doing some volunteering with Archelon, a Greek conservation charity which is dedicated to preserving the endangered Loggerhead turtle.

He has been monitoring nests along the local beaches and even took part in a nest excavation one evening to help some baby turtles out to the sea which he says was fascinating and exceptionally moving. Esme, Andy’s daughter, absolutely loved it and gave them all names as they made their way down the beach. A memory she will never forget I am sure.

Charles has been gracing the airwaves on BBC Radio Oxford for the last week or so. You can catch him there until this Wednesday morning, though you will have to be an early bird to listen in as he starts at 5am and finishes at 7am! This along with A1 VOX and Radio 2 duties plus running the bus company mean Mr Nove is in somewhat of a weird funk right now. In his words:

“The bounce is definitely out of my bungee!”

He is a trooper and a first class broadcasting pro – we salute you Charles.

Lastly we would like to say a big Congrats to our very own Mark Straker and his gorgeous new wife Willow who after a successful wedding in Vienna spent this weekend with their nearest and dearest by having a party in the park. I am sure the champers was flowing and that kiddies and adults alike had a fab time – WELL DONE GUYS!


Visit Sweden is transforming Soho Square into a little piece of Swedish heaven from 24th August - 26th August.

The three-day event will feature a picnic and pop up parlour serving Fika, the Swedish equivalent to high tea. However, instead of Earl Grey, special blend Lila coffee is served accompanied by 7 different flavoured cookies.

These will be served by world-famous chocolatier and pastry chef Jan Hedh, who will be aided by a team of traditionally dressed old ladies!

All sounds pretty bonkers to me but that is the beauty of Soho – Anything Goes!

So that pretty much wraps up another week at your favourite sunny studio. Join us next week for more fun and frolics as we all look forward to the final bank holiday of the year!