Saturday, 23 July 2011

Albatross, birdie, bogey………..

No… this blog has nothing to do with a nasally impaired bird, but everything to do with golf!

We do like to stretch our horizons here at A1 VOX and this week saw Mr Nove out on the fairway, sharing a cuppa with none other than footballing legend, Mr Jimmy Greaves.

Jimmy Greaves is considered to be one of the finest goalscorers of his generation.

In fact he is England’s third highest international goalscorer, the highest goalscorer in the history of Tottenham Hotspur football club and more recently a successful television pundit.

They certainly don’t make em like they used to, and I doubt people will be flocking to the theatre to watch Wayne Rooney in ‘an audience with’ 30 odd years after his football career is over!!

Many of you that aren’t football fans will still probably remember Jimmy’s partnership with Ian St. John. Together they hosted a popular Saturday lunchtime football show called Saint and Greavsie from 1985 – 1992.

Greaves worked frequently for TV-am as a TV critic as well as co-hosting the popular Saturday morning kids programme, The Saturday Show. He briefly had his own talk show and has been a columnist for The Sun newspaper for many years.

In 2002 Greaves was made an Inaugural Inductee to The English Football Hall of Fame. He released his autobiography, Greavsie in 2003 and is in demand as an after-dinner speaker.

For the past twelve years Jimmy has taken part in The Jimmy Greaves Theatre Show giving the punters an insight into football drama’s both on and off the pitch. It seems, from my sources, that Jimmy is a very funny man and sends his audiences into peals of laughter proving that the guy really is in a league of his own.

Charles left A1 early doors on Tuesday morning to ensure he arrived at The Notleys Golf Club, Cressing, Essex, in plenty of time.

In what has gone down as one of the wettest weeks in July the sun shone brightly for the entrity of Charles’ visit. He even messaged me at his astonishment in the change of weather from London, and I assured him that it is always sunny in good old Essex county.

We thought Charles was to meet Jimmy at the golf course so he could record his lines for The Daily Mirror and then get on with the serious business of 'clubbing and putting' the day away. Well as it turns out not only does he play at Notleys Golf Club….he bloody well owns it!

Ah the perks of a footballers wage.

So Charles was thoroughly spoilt the whole time he was there. He said that Jimmy was incredibly nice and jovial, and that everyone at the golf club, far from being all toffee nosed and in a club clique, (as he had half expected), were very down to earth and made Charles feel at home.

In fact the only time that our Mr Nove felt threatened on his whole magical mystery tour of Essex, was when a bloke in a grey hoodie and tracksuit bottoms got on the train at Braintree, looking decidedly shifty and up to no good. Cliché much Charles?

Charles was worried for a split second as he had his laptop and recording equipment on him but the Essex guardian angels must have been looking down on him for he didn’t get mugged, no profanities came his way, and he wasn’t even spat it. A successful trip I’d say!

So the recording over Charles decided to make the most of the lovely sunshine and walk across the fields to Cressing Station. Jimmy was having none of it.

With one click of his fingers, and a nod of the head, Charles found himself on a golf buggy crusading across the green towards said station.

Now that I would have love to have seen and to quote Jimmy in his trademark catchphrase – “It’s a funny old game”

(You can catch Jimmy in his new upcoming tour with none other than Paul Gascoigne from June to November 2011. To book tickets go to or for VIP tickets


It has been a busy one and with Chris now on holiday we have the lovely Mr Ross Burman on hand to keep things ticking over in the studio.

Ross is so tall that he is officially categorised as a giant! No Joke! So if you are coming in to the studio this week make sure you go and say hello to a man that definitely knows if it's raining before anyone else does.

Until then make sure that you don't slip beneath par, and always strive to hit a hole in one.

That is me tee'ing off until next week folks.

Friday, 15 July 2011

A1 VOX is a funny old place. You go weeks without a celebrity and then just like buses three or more come along at once.

This week saw the return of Paul Barber of Full Monty fame, Stephen Tompkinson (Wild at Heart), Ashley Jenson (Ugly Betty), Jeff Brazier (Jade Goody’s ex and presenter of numerous shows) and John Woodvine (An American Werewolf in London).

So to the lady of the pack – Ashley Jenson.

Having spent a lot of time in my previous administration editing Ricky Gervais’ Extras for DVD I am more than familiar with the role that shot Ashley into TV superstardom.

Her role as the socially inept Maggie Jacobs was pure genius and Ashley portrayed the character with sheer brilliance.

She managed to bring the right amount of honesty, dizziness and warmth to the role enabling the punters at home to recoil in horror at her faux pas, giggle at her ribbing and ‘putting her foot in her mouth moments’, with Andy Millman (Ricky Gervais’), and shed a tear as her friendship with Andy is tested and questioned. That is a mighty fine combo to pull off.

To prove this point Ashley has commented that she believes comic acting is more difficult than serious drama because with comic acting you have to look not only for the truth of a line, but for the comedy in a line. In drama you’re just finding the truth in the moment, within the relationship.

[Andy and Maggie, in costume as a German refugee and a Nazi soldier, are discussing her new boyfriend between takes]

Maggie Jacobs: [quietly, embarrassed] He likes to talk dirty on the phone. He'll call me up and he's coming out with all this filth.

Andy Millman: Why... would you tell me that?


Andy Millman: What does he say?

Maggie Jacobs: He calls up and says things like "Ooh... what are you doing?"

Andy Millman: What do you say?

Maggie Jacobs: Well I didn't know what was going on at first - I didn't realize - and I was just honest with him and I said "Oh, I'm just cleaning out the vegetable drawer to the fridge."

Ashley received best television comedy actress and newcomer awards for her role as Maggie at the 2005 British Comedy awards. In 2006 she received two comedy awards and a BAFTA nomination, and her role in the 2007 Christmas ‘Extras’ Special earned her an Emmy Award nomination.

Extras was imported to HBO shortly after airing in the UK and became just as much of a success over the pond as it had here in good ole Blighty.

This meant that unlike Geordie lass Cheryl Cole, Ashley was accepted by the American viewers, Scottish accent and all, and landed a role as “Mode” in-house seamstress Christina McKinney on the hour long Hollywood telenovela, Ugly Betty.

Ugly Betty quickly became a hit and remains one of Ashley’s high profile roles to date.

On arriving at A1 VOX we were greeted by a very smiley Ashley Jenson and a mini me version – her 20 month old son Frankie.

What a wee angel. He was ever so good as Ashley did her thang in the booth, and was intrigued to see mummy on the screen as he sat with Chris and pointed out various things in the room to us. A very wide vocab for one so small, and probably the up shot of having a verbally minded, famous mother!

You can catch Ashley as the frog in recently released film Gnomeo and Juliet also starring, Dame Maggie Smith, Emily Blunt, James McAvoy, Jason Statham, Matt Lucas, Jim Cummings, Ozzy Osbourne, Sir Michael Caine, Sir Patrick Stewart and Stephen Merchant.

It seems this bonny lass from Dumfries has her feet firmly locked in A-List celebrity soil. But will she be polishing her Oscar anytime soon – watch this space people:

Maggie's Boyfriend: So all that stuff about your husband "polishing his Oscar", was that supposed to mean *******?

Kate Winslet: Yep.

Maggie's Boyfriend: And your basement meant?

Kate Winslet: My fanny.

Jeff Brazier cut a fine figure as he sauntered into A1 VOX suited and booted, with hair slicked to within an inch of its life.

He had been filming and presenting all day yet still made time to jump from the set to Vox Towers without seemingly breaking a sweat.

Jeff has been deeply embroiled with the world of reality celebrity. It was taking part in Channel 4 reality TV show Shipwrecked that brought the wannabe footballer into the bright lights of TV land in the first place.

His stay on a tropical island without any creature comforts was noted for a number of factional squabbles during which Jeff appeared to be an amiable and conciliatory figure. People seemed to like him and this brought presenting roles such as Simply the Best, Dirty Laundry, a reporter for OK! TV and even a Big Brother panto alongside June Sarpong.

In 2003 he appeared in Celebrity Wife Swap with his then girlfriend Jade Goody.

He and Jade had two gorgeous boys (Bobby and Freddy) whilst together and since Jade sadly lost her struggle with cervical cancer in 2009 Jeff has been raising both as a single parent.

He seems to be doing a damn good job of it too!

He has since taken the kids out of the limelight and says that his priority is to give them stability, love and plenty of time – the kind of paternal relationship he never had.

What many of you may not know is that Jeff’s own childhood was far from smooth. He never met his biological father Stephen Faldo, who was the skipper of the pleasure boat Marchioness, which sank on the River Thames in 1989 killing him and 50 others.

Jeff says:

“Through all these things that have not been ideal throughout my childhood, and certainly the incidents over the last couple of years, the way I take it is that it gives you something as a person: it makes you grow. It adds another link to your armour”.

Sounds like those two boys are very lucky indeed and will hopefully grow up grounded and much loved.

In 2006 Jeff joined the presenting team of ITV2’s I’m a Celebrity…Get me out of Here! alongside Kelly Osbourne and since 2006 to the present day he has been part of Simon Cowell's money making, winner spinner, The X Factor.

His stint on this ever popular programme has seen him reporting on final nights from the contestants homes including JLS’, as well as hosting The X Factor live tour.

He currently writes a column in the Daily Mirror every week and has regular stints on the daytime series This Morning.

So the boy from Romford done good!

So to A1 News.

This week sees Mr Stephen Critchlow opening in Loyalty at The Hampstead Theatre London starring Maxine Peake and Lloyd Owen.

Loyalty is the debut play from writer and journalist Sarah Helm, opponent of the war and wife of Tony Blair’s then Chief of Staff, Jonathan Powell.

Drawing from her own experience, she has written a uniquely informed fictionalised memoir of what it was like to share a husband with the Prime Minister at key moments in the crisis.

Aren’t you going to tell him? Are you going to tell anyone? Is anyone going to tell anyone?

Go and see our Critchy in what is sure to be a much publicised role, and controversial stage production.

For tickets, visit:


I still haven’t managed to extract a quip of the week from Joan – I secrectly think she peaked too soon with her Fresian/P***/Thistle quote and needs time to think of something equally auspicious.

So instead we have a favourite quip from our very own Mr Nove –take it away boss:

“As much use as a one legged man in an arse kicking competition”

As Charles comments through watery eyes – “this just works on so many different levels”

Next week A1 VOX hits the road as we record legend Jimmy Greaves in his home town, which also happens to be spitting distance from my very own home, in Essex – The Motherland – good luck Charles, I know how travelling any further East of London than Shoreditch gives you a nose bleed!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Okay so before I commence, you must be informed that the person behind the keyboard is not who you are expecting.. aka, this is not Sarah…. Is it a bird? IS IT A PLANE!? No.. it’s Emili (sorry to disappoint, a plane would have been much more exciting). Im here at A1 VOX doing the lovely task of experience of the work variety!!!!!!!! (work experience just in case you didn’t catch that, hehehe). Im here for a lovely total of 5 days and this is to be my 3rd.. right in the heart of Soho (EXCITEMENT MUCH!).

First off, lets just get it clear that A1 VOX is actually in the perfect location. Apart from being spot on for all manner of voice artists to drop in and record whilst filming or rehearsing in the neighbourhood, there are also exciting streets to wander around aimlessly, and plenty of mental hair cuts and piercings to secretly stare at without being noticed.

However, the wonders of A1 VOX are not sprawn across the world that is Soho, but hidden behind the cutest little blue door, and up the stairs where all the magic happens. The stairs are counter-acted by the charming welcome at the top by the wonderful Sarah, Charles, Chris and the in-house voices (all very wonderous, talented and lovely people may I add).

I’m not gonna lie, I was expecting everyone to speak as they do on the adverts, BIG and LOUD, a world of cartoon characters stuck in human bodies, and for my voice to be shunned by the professional speakers as being the only average one in the building, but so far, everybody seems pretty..… normal, believe it or not!

The familiar voices from TV suddenly appeared when I sat in on sessions with Chris in Studio A and with the in house team in Studio B, otherwise known as the small but perfectly formed, Voxbox (don’t forget that all good things come in small packages, darlings).

Whilst here I’ve been lucky enough to pin my ears back and listen to the voicing diversity that A1 VOX produces. From a strong spoken Irishman (Peter Macdonald) to the smooth, endearing voice of Beth Chalmers, and not forgetting the unmistakable talent that is Trailer ManMr Redd Pepper. The quality of the microphones shocked me, don’t think I’ve ever heard a northern accent so clearly!

So yesterday beheld an awesome experience for me; you might find it a bit weird.. but this is coming from a country girl who loves the city….. I was sent on a treasure hunt to………DRUM ROLE PLEEEEASE!........ Tesco’s (DUN DUN DUUUUNNNNN). yep.. that’s right, Tesco’s. It may not be the X on everyones map, but hey, anything to help out the team here at A1 VOX…. THEY’RE AWESOME. Im positive that my wisdom of all things A1 VOX can only grow over the rest of the week, so wish me luck! Farewell, best wishes, ADIOS AMIGOS! Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Ah – the lovely Emili – she is very young and has been the source of much jealousy amongst the A1 girls as we all take ourselves back to when we hadn’t even taken our GCSE’s, or the equivalent!!!!! – so thank you for making us feel so old Emili.

Joking aside she has done a grand job for someone who isn’t even old enough to vote so watch this space people as she could be the producer of the future.

So onto the A1 VOX round up.

Chris was holed up in the studio for most of last week recording a corporate piece in a multitude of languages.

After four hour stints of hard graft he would come downstairs to see the light of day, squinting and looking a little dazed and confused. On top of that he was also whisked away for an outside recording and returned to the studio to turn the project around in ball breaking time.

Well done Chris – a busy week, and as per usual, all done with good grace and a big smile. We salute you!

So just when you thought last week had exhausted the theme of ‘wedding’ another one leaps up and embraces you like a warm hug on a winters day.

This week saw the turn of Mr Mark Straker who wed the gorgeous Willow in Vienna, (which incidentally is where they first met) – AWWWWW.

This monumental occurance only happened on Thursday so hopefully we can lavish you with some decadent photos on their return. CONGRATULATIONS GUYS – may it be a wien-tastic experience!

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to nail Joan down to a ‘quip of the week’ so instead we thought we would show you a picture of Peg Leg Pru the one legged pigeon who lives outside my office window.

During a quick conflab one afternoon Peg Leg Pru had this to say about her unfortunate predicament:

“Being a pigeon in London can be a cut throat world Sarah. I have resided in Soho since I was a mere fledgling. Those heady days of my first London summer are but a distant memory now. That was when I could hop from one leg to another, balance on any wall I was to come across, and squat without fear of falling in my own feaces. Heady days indeed. Still, the benefits are pretty good, I mean look at my belly and shiny coat - beats having to peck around in the dirt all day to earn a crust!”

Straight talking, wonky walking, Pru there ladies and gentlemen.



Whether you are a follower of the books, films, both, or neither, there was no denying that last nights Harry Potter London premiere was more than a little bit special. Us Brits sure know how to pull out all the punches when it comes to auspicious occassions and this final show down was no exception.

More than eight thousand fans packed out Trafalgar Square to say goodbye to the most successful British film series of all time.

The rain held off as the cast walked the longest-ever red carpet, at nearly a mile, from Trafalgar Square up to Leicester Square.

This premiere marks the end of an era for the entire Harry Potter cast and emotions were clear to see on the night as Emma Watson and J.K Rowling shed a little tear together as they waved to the many fans who had staked out a spot to watch the action.

Film stars and celebs alike may now have seen the final instalment of the Harry Potter series, but eager fans still have a little longer to wait as the film kicks off in cinemas next Friday (July 15).

So there we have it.

I hope you all tuned in to Eastenders and caught the divine Tracy Wiles in her somewhat dour grey outfit, as Ronnie’s laywer and join me next week when I will attempt to dish the dirt from Felicity Duncan’s Wimbledon experience.