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!