Tuesday, 22 May 2012

I know you lot out there are all waiting to hear news from the Nove camp, and I can tell you that whilst he is still not back at the office, he has managed a couple of voice over sessions in his local area - and even taken part in a live broadcast!

It seems you can take the leg from underneath him, but you cannot take the wind out of his vocal sails. 

Picture if you will our very own Mr Nove gathering cobwebs, (as one does), sitting n the waiting room of the fracture clinic; leg in brace, phone in hand, - jabbering away to Radio Berkshire!

Not only that but he was being interviewed by none other than presenting veteran - Anne Diamond

It really beggars belief.

It seems that Anne has also had a recent stumble and was doing an impromptu piece on falling over.   

One of her colleagues at the station, (happening to be a mate of Charles), regaled her with Mr Nove’s own sorry tale and ‘hey presto’, radio gold was created…(live and un-solicited to the good folk of Berkshire and beyond).

Well it passes the time doesn’t it!?

Before we launch any deeper into this weeks blog I would like to say a massive CONGRATULATIONS to our beautiful Eleanor Howell who got hitched to her very own superstar boyfriend, Steve Meo

They had a festival theme for their big day and even named the event WEDSTOCK – genius!

They really are a gorgeous pair and everyone here at A1 VOX wishes them all the very best.  (We will post some pics for you as soon as we have anything hot off the press peeps).


Of a morning I often catch up on Hollywood celeb gossip from Los Angeles based correspondent Ross King as he reports back to Daybreak and Lorraine.  So it was with some excitement that I got to meet him at VOX Towers only the other week.

Now I know I usually say how nice our guests are but Ross has to be one of my all time favourites.  Yes…. he was sporting a rather LA type perma tan, and…. Yes….. he had a very jazzy powder blue suit on, but living in LA for 12 years will leave its mark people.

One thing it hasn’t tainted or changed is Ross’ ……Rossiness!?

He turned up early and was quite happy to chat away in the Green Room with his usual on screen, relaxed persona, (not a farce folks).  It was like watching the telly except I was the one interviewing him!

I asked him what it was like living in LA and he really seems to love the place, though he also likes to get home and across the pond as much as possible.

We got talking voice over chit chat and he told me that over there you have to audition for absolutely EVERYTHING.  In fact you even have to audition to get a voice agent.

So it seems that someone as established as Ross still had to take his time to break into the American scene.

Luckily he kept going and now has a voice agent over in the States and hob nobs with all of A-List society.

Once I started researching Ross, I couldn’t believe how much he has already done ahead of his successful LA career.

He is one of Britain’s most vibrant and versatile award winning performers having worked on stage, screen and radio. He made his first stage performance at the tender age of five, first radio broadcast when he was 15, and his television debut at 17!

Ross has been on national American television hosting "The Hollywood Christmas Parade" and "The Critics Choice Movie Awards Red Carpet" for VH1. For five years, Scottish born Ross was the Entertainment Anchor on KTLA/The CW Channel 5’s Prime News, winning four Emmys and a Golden Mic award along the way.

His film credits include "The Day After Tomorrow, “Half Past Dead”, ”Cruel Game”, ”Do It For Uncle Manny”, and “Trust Me”, playing US talk show host Ray Lungo. He played himself in the movies “Young Hercules” and “Who’s Your Caddy”. He even voiced the role of “Jinkins” in “Star Wars, Jedi Fighter 2” for Lucas Arts. 

He was nominated for a prestigious Laurence Olivier Award playing “Frank-n-Furter” in “The Rocky Horror Show”.  He had 6 days to learn the songs, words and dance routines and then takeover from pal Jason Donovan.  No mean feat!

His relaxed and informal style has resulted in some of the best interviews with many of the world’s biggest stars including Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Robin Williams, Catherine Zeta Jones, Michael Douglas, Clint Eastwood, Brad Pitt, and even Prime Minister Tony Blair. Never one to miss an opportunity, Ross has also “sung and danced” with Diana Ross and Donald O’Connor.  (Now he's just showing off!)

On radio Ross became Britain’s youngest daytime host on Scotland’s Radio Clyde, winning many awards in the process… the highlight being a prestigious Sony Award. He has hosted thousands of radio shows, including London’s Capital Radio and the Euro Chart for the UK.

He also achieved a lifelong ambition co-hosting the American Weekly Top 40 countdown alongside the Legendary DJ Rick Dees.

His radio show "The King in LA" is syndicated across the UK and Ross is the voice of American Express...but sadly he can't pay off your debts.


He's one of the few people to have played Wembley three times. Twice scoring a goal, (he could have been a contender Charlie), and once supporting Bros.

And who could forget Ross, and pal Pat Sharp rapping "Rapper's Delight"......erm hopefully….everybody !?

His childhood heroes were (and still are) his Dad and legendary Scots comedian Jack Milroy. His grown up hero is his sister Elaine who he describes as ‘indescribable!! She's simply the best!’

I think it is this last fact which sums up Ross beautifully. 

He may mix with the A List but if he had his own guest list to create the people at the top would be his family.  He obviously has solid grounding, which has definitely been a winning attribute to his success.

I saw first hand what a genuine person he is as on his way out of the studio he made a point of stopping by my office, popped his head round the door, and said ‘Thanks and goodbye Sarah’ – yup, he even remembered the name of little old me!

What a gent, and what a resume!


Stephen Critchlow is currently treading the boards at the Criterion Theatre in 39 Steps.

But what does a London west end cast do in its down time?

West End Eurovision Contest is what!!!!
A packed Dominion Theatre exploded with glamour, glitz and sequins in a glitter-strewn tribute to the continent’s cheesiest pop competition in aid of the Make A Difference Trust.
Stars including Pixie Lott and Gok Wan were among the audience for the late-night show hosted by Gaby Roslin and EastEnders actor John Partridge.
The event, in its fifth year, saw West End casts compete by singing old Eurovision songs, aiming to win the votes of the audience and celebrity judges.

Tony Blackburn, on the celebrity judging panel, said: 

“Personally I think this is better than Eurovision, because at the end of the night someone from England walks off with the prize”

Critch told me that:

‘The contest was won by the cast of Sweeney Todd who actually had Michael Ball reprising his 1982 entry One Step At A Time. How can you possibly compete with that? Talk about rigged!’

You were robbed Critch!

According to Critch, This is the historic moment that changed the way we think about dance’

Yes folks…What you are seeing is the cast of The 39 Steps performing the Schmetterlinge 1977 Eurovision entry, Boom Boom Boomerang.

Critch was immediately offered 18 months in Shrek.

That is apparently not true but you can still catch him at the Criterion.

Join us next week when we will have some gorgeous pics from Ellie’s wedding, we will be talking to the super lush Max Beesley, and we will see how Nick Chambers is doing as he continues to ham it up in the Great Gatsby.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Sorry we have been off the radar for a little while but things have been joyfully busy at A1 VOX, with the studio ticking over nicely.

Unfortunately Charles has had a nasty fall which means he won’t be making an appearance at A1 VOX for a wee while. But whilst he won’t be with us in body he is quick to let us know that he is still very much with us in spirit, and electronically, as we continue to use the marvellous inventions of e-mail, the telephone, and even other studios, to aid and abet his continued presence.

We all wish you the very best Charles and look forward to hearing your comforting tones resonating the walls of VOX Towers sometime soon.

This week we have a mixed trio for you in the form of comedian, sports presenter, and actress.

Mickey Hutton started his career as a musician playing guitar with Jimmy Nail in the wonderful world of the working men’s clubs.

Jimmy used to outrage audiences by performing on stage in a dress and pit boots. As a result the gigs often degenerated into all-out brawls.

So Mickey left Newcastle for the bright lights of London, moving away from music, and instead trying his hand at stand up comedy.

‘My most heart-stopping moment was when I was about to step on stage and one of the crew told me Robin Williams was three rows back. I was petrified – he is my all-time comedy hero and here he was watching me!’

Mickey became so successful that he started touring as a comedian until his career took another turn as he got the chance to host live on Sky for TV show, Saturday Night. He interviewed guests as diverse as Grace Jones to Frank Carson.

‘Grace was actually a sweetheart and no problem at all because we had music in common and got on fine – I played harmonica for her in the dressing room’

Mickey went on to act in numerous TV programmes including Spender (with pal Jimmy Nail), A Street Car Named Kevin, Monarch of the Glen, and Breeze Block. To top it all off he's also had his first novel, Massive, published.

Mickey performed at the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival and brought his comedy prowess to countless countries across the globe including, The Falklands, the Middle East, Hong Kong, Jakarta, and Bangkok to name but a few. However, none of these places can compete with his Tyneside roots. He is especially fond of the old North East Quayside:

‘There was a bloke who used to run a portable pet shop on the Quayside market and his patter was brilliant. He used to say “Here’s your rats, here’s your mice. Feed the pets, starve the kids'

Hmmmm – With this years budget and tax debarcle it may well be a lot cheaper to raise mice than children so perhaps this chap had a point!

Mickey was full of beans on his visit to us and managed to charm not only Chris and myself, but the clients on the other end of the ISDN too. Nice Job!

Steve Rider could have been on a track in Bahrain, or commentating from the Olympics and he would still exude the same calm, controlled, delivery that he had when voicing at A1 VOX.

Steve is one of the best known sports presenters of our time having worked for both the BBC and ITV. Indeed his defection to ITV is still one of the most high profile from BBC Sport since Des Lynam.
Steve has been an anchorman for ITV football, and Formula One, as well as being the lead presenter for their coverage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

In December 2011 it was announced that Steve had joined Sky Sports to present F1 Legends for Sky Spots F1. The channel was debuted in March 2012.

Steve has always maintained a low-key and professional style in fronting major sporting events in marked contrast to presenters who some feel try to steal the event’s spotlight.

“I’m not that bothered about the environment that should surround a presenter at the beginning of a programme. That is meaningless to the audience, it is just a macho thing for a production team. We used to have these discussions: wouldn’t it look great if you were standing by the 18th green as Nick Faldo putted out and you would say “No that would get in the way of everybody’s enjoyment of the event”

That is what true presenting professionals are all about Steve, understanding their role in things and not over egging their own performance, or ego. Mr Rider – we salute you.

We’re used to seeing Joanne Froggatt looking drab, decked out in an apron with no make-up and her hair scraped back playing Anna Smith in the hit period drama Downtown Abbey. However, when Joanne turned up at A1 VOX she couldn’t have been further from her on screen persona, donning lovely tousled golden locks and a perfectly made up face.
We got to talking girly stuff and it turns out that she is planning her wedding. So being freshly hitched myself this opened up a whole can of Brides-are-Us worms, from the planning, and the dress, to little tips from oneself (straight from the ‘I do’ trenches).

Talking of dresses Joanne said that her one complaint abut Downtown Abbey would have to be the frocks!? You see her character was somewhat limited in her wardrobe options and whilst the set was positively dripping with stunning Edwardian gowns…she wasn’t!

“Every day I went ‘Ohhhh. I’ve got such costume envy’. Every.Single.Day. I bet they were sick to death of me. I’d be like ‘Oh this is beautiful! Oh look at the boots!’ I was obsessed”

But Downtown isn’t the only gleaming accolade in this young woman’s repertoire. She won an award for most promising newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards in 2010 for her film role in, In Our Name.

She plays Suzy a soldier coping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and immersed herself in research for the part including speaking to female members of the armed forces and visiting Combat Stress, a charity dedicated to working with sufferers of PTSD.

“That was probably the most useful research because after having all the facts and figures it was amazing to sit with people and talk to them and get the human side”

So it looks like this lass from Yorkshire is doing pretty alright for herself.

I am just waiting for that all important wedding invitation to land on my doormat. Yes!….. I can see it now.... me sat next to Dame Maggie Smith on the big day and commenting on how good it is to finally see dear Joanne in one hell of a fancy frock!


A few weeks ago I received a letter from Pink Pussycat Films (yes really!), informing all at 20 Old Compton Street that a day’s location filming would be taking place on Greek Street for the film ‘King of Soho’.

Oh woe me then as due to the fact that I was slaving over a ‘hot telephone, A1 VOX, stove’, I completely missed the opportunity to snap some pics for ya, so I have instead added the pictures below, all courtesy of Big Pictures.

Steve Coogan, the comedy actor, who made his name as arrogant and incompetent chat show host Alan Partridge, has taken the lead role in the biopic.

Starring alongside the 46-year-old is former Brookside actress Anna Friel, who more recently appeared alongside Bradley Cooper in Limitless. She will play Raymond's long-suffering wife, Jean.
Both Steve and Anna were spotted out on the streets of Soho shooting some of the first scenes for the film, with Anna dressed in a fur-lined vintage coat and Steve looking dapper in a navy suit, tie and grey overcoat.

The film charts the life and times of Raymond, who began life as a self-confessed black market 'spiv' before going on to open Britain's first strip club, The Raymond Revuebar, in 1958.

He later published a number of pornographic magazines and had begun handing his estimated £650 million empire over to his daughter Debbie when she died from a heroin overdose in 1992.

So if you want an inside glimpse to the seedier side of all things W1D, and find out a bit more about one of Soho’s iconic characters, don’t miss the – ‘King of Soho!’