Author Archives: Bob Simpson

About Bob Simpson

The Ojays were right about me - I Love Music, any kinda music! Brought up on The Beatles, wandered through the seventies dancing to anything from reggae to Led Zepplin and took up the microphone and decks all around East London and Essex when I wasn't doing my boring day job. Entered the world of radio in July 2011 and feel home at last. Thanks for visiting. Send me a message or request via Facebook on the link below - you are most welcome.

Brian Hughes from Rainer Hughes Solicitors – Mediation and Divorce

With Scott Ross away today it was good to welcome Scott’s regular guest Brian Hughes to the studio.

Brian Hughes

Now in recent weeks, Brian has been looking at issues concerning property and leasing issues but today Brian turned his attention to issues relating to mediation in the event that a relationship should break down.

Both Brian and his late wife qualified as mediators so he is well placed to offer advice on this potentially thorny topic.

Listen again here to what Brian had to say on this subject today: –

Legend of Comedy Sir Ken Dodd Dies

I was very sad to hear of the passing of Ken Dodd this morning.

Back in September 2013 I was honoured to be able to interview Ken. It was one of the major highlights of my time at Phoenix FM and Ken was very generous, giving me a full half hour of his time. He was warm, very funny and engaging and talked about his childhood, his early days in showbusiness and a very funny interview with The Beatles.

You can listen to an edited version of that interview here –

Thanks Ken and Rest in Peace.

Billericay Lions Club at Buckingham Palace

The Lions Clubs of the British Isles are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Lions Clubs International.

Lion’s Patron, The Countess of Wessex hosted a Reception at Buckingham Palace yesterday (Wednesday) to help Lions Clubs mark this milestone.

Club President Trevor Hull represented Billericay Lions and joined with members from across the British Isles at the Centenary Reception together with the organisations’ charity partners.

Billericay Lions help their local community through fund-raising and organising events such as Santa’s Christmas Sleigh and the Billericay Beer Festival.

Lions Clubs International support major projects that address diabetes, youth, the environment, hunger relief, childhood cancer and sight issues affecting communities throughout the world.

You can see Trevor and his colleagues talking about The Lions Club of Billericay here –


Rucksack Appeal a Great Success! Thank You Brentwood and Billericay.

Back in December last year I reported on the appearance of a wheelie bin in Billericay library asking for donations to help the homeless. This turned out to be the social project “Cool to be Kind” in association with the Essex Youth Offending Team. You can read my original post here

Well now I have just heard from the Essex Youth Offending Service – The appeal was a great success!

Over the past six weeks the young people, who are carrying out reparation work with the YOS, have collected, sorted and prepared items donated by the public, including warm clothes, sleeping bags and non-perishable food.

The group packed a total of 177 complete rucksacks ready to be delivered to people living on the streets in Essex and beyond.

Dan from the Cool to be Kind project said: “On behalf of myself and the team, I would like to thank everyone from Essex Youth Offending Service for their tremendous effort in galvanising young people and members of the community, and donating so many full rucksacks.

“The rucksacks are full of essential items that will benefit a homeless person during these cold months and have been distributed, not only in towns across Essex, but also in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

“These donations also make up just over 50% of the total rucksacks donated to the project this winter and I hope we can replicate these efforts again next winter. “

Karen Sinclair, Referral Order Co-ordinator for Essex YOS and Essex County Council lead for the rucksack project, said: “Our collaboration with Cool to be Kind has been such an astounding success and we have been amazed at the generosity of the local community and everyone involved.

“We are very proud to have helped the team with the work they do to support homeless people, and happy to have been able to give our young people the chance to contribute to this important project.”

Essex YOS work with many young people aged 10-18 who carry out ‘reparation’ as part of their court order.

The service ensures all its reparation work with young people is restorative and involves giving back to the local community, including charities, not-for-profit agencies and those who are most vulnerable in our society.

Councillor Dick Madden, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “I’m really proud of the efforts of our Youth Offending Service and the young people that work with them.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in supporting the Cool to be Kind project, including our local communities for the generosity they’ve shown.”

The YOS is always looking to contribute to projects to help vulnerable individuals across Essex. If you have an idea for the team, please contact Karen Sinclair on or 07921 912509.

The Fold Arts Centre Billericay – Angie McGlashon

The Billericay Arts Association was set up in 1979 as a registered charity to run The Fold in Billericay, as a community arts centre. It is run and staffed by unpaid volunteer members
Today I was pleased to welcome Angie McGlashon to the studio to tell us all about what goes on at The Fold and in particular the children’s show that they have planned for tomorrow (Friday)

Angie McGlashon

You can listen to our chat here –

The Fold’s website is here

Here are the details of tomorrow’s show –

Captain Cauliflower and Marvin the Mischievous Moose
Friday 16th February

Come and join the invincible Captain Cauliflower and his faithful companion Marvin on an unforgettable adventure, filled with extreme silliness and unquestionable danger.

Marvin the Mischievous Moose presents Captain Cauliflower with a mystical magic hat that gives him super powers. We then follow his adventures into outer space and deep under the ocean, saving those in peril, but can he beat his arch nemesis the evil and odorous Onion Man?
Dan Lees and Neil Frost invite you on an adventure that combines clowning, playful games and chaotic fun that’s suitable for all the family.
Ideal for children 3+. Performance lasts 50 minutes
Tickets: £5.00 children and £8.00 adults
Family offer (2 adults & 2 children) £22.00


Billericay Acts of Random Kindness with Matt Everard

Local hero Matt Everard came into the Phoenix studio to tell us all about this new group dedicated to spreading kindness and bringing the community together. In a very short time the group now has over 1500 members and has already carried out many kind acts in the local community.

Matt Everard

You can listen to our chat here –

Bob and Matt

If you would like to get involved in this great new movement in Billericay, can offer or need help, you can join the B.A.R.K. Facebook group here


Marathon Man Dr Eric Watts – Cancer Support and Changes to NHS Services

As a survivor of teenage cancer Dr Eric Watts took up a career in medicine and worked as a GP in Clapham and Canada before specialising in haematology.
Eric became a consultant and later became a clinical director at Basildon Hospital.
One of Dr Eric’s current projects is The Brentwood Cancer Support and Survivorship Group otherwise known as Tea and Talk at Toby’s which has been running for well over a year now.

Dr Watts came into Phoenix today to give us an update on the cancer support group and to talk about proposed changes to local NHS services.

Dr Eric Watts

You can listen to our chat here –


There is a consultation about the proposed changes going on at the moment. You can add your own views here

Tea and Talk at Toby’s now has their own Facebook page. You can find it here

Dr Eric is also an athlete and will be running in this year’s London Marathon in support of The Teenage Cancer Trust. You can donate here

Billericay Acts of Random Kindness

There’s a stirring in Billericay! But it’s a good one.

Matt Everard

Back on the 12th January Matt Everard, someone better known for his great sense of humour and wit, posted the following on Facebook –

“Indulge me in a serious post for a moment.

This year I want to gather an army of Billericay people.

I want to hear from Billericay folk who are prepared to give up a few hours a month to join me.

We are going to work together to improve things in our town and create a great community by pooling our resources to help others.

The people of Billericay are going to tell us what needs doing and the army are going to solve it.

There won’t be lots of meetings and committees – decisions are going to made quickly to achieve the fastest and maximum results.

I want to encourage and engage in “random acts of kindness” in our town.

I am looking for individuals, couples, groups, community figures, local businesses and people of all ages and ability.

By organising a group, people will make new friends in the town, maybe have a laugh and feel happy.

Personally, I want to be happy. I have read that helping others is a great way to feel happy.

So yes, in that way I am doing it for Matt Everard.

Good things are already starting to happen and it’s not been a week yet.”

What a brilliant idea!

So I’ve joined the Billericay Acts of Random Kindness Facebook group. It’s early days yet and we don’t quite know how it’s going to work in practise but there are already more than 500 members ready and willing to join Matt’s Army.

I thought I’d try something simple the other day when I was out and about, simply smiling at people, and I was surprised that most people smiled back.

Give it a try, it could even start a conversation. And why not join the group and spread the kindness?

The BARK Facebook page is here

I Hope to get Matt in for a chat on air soon. Let’s start a movement!

Matt takes on The Billericay Soapbox Derby last year

Billericay Rugby Football Club Supporting the Local Community

Towards the end of last year one of my guests on the show was Joe Clarke, president of Billericay Rugby Football club who came in to tell us all about the club and how they were connecting with the community.

Well now Billericay Rugby Football Club has donated £1,225.00 in support of Basildon Hospital Children’s Unit for Maintenance Chemotherapy.

Members of the NHS team Dee Harris and Clair Grayston met up with club members to collect the cheque and discuss how the money will be spent.

Left to right – Dee Harris, NHS, Clair Grayston, NHS, Angela Jasper, Alicia Jasper, aged 10, Geoff Maynard, Joe Clarke, President BRFC, Dave Watkins, Members of Billericay RFC committee

Joe said “Former player and club member Jake Fisk’s young daughter Ceci was diagnosed with Leukaemia just days before her first birthday in 2016.  Although Ceci continues to undergo extensive chemotherapy treatment, it is hoped that this will come to an end in February 2018.  We all have our fingers crossed and wish Ceci and her amazing family the very best for what has been a very tough journey.”

“With incredible care coming from Gt Ormond Street and that of the Children’s Unit at Basildon Hospital, albeit with limited resources and equipment, it gave the community rugby club the idea to hold a VP’s lunch.”

“Two of our junior members, Willow and Alicia Jasper aged 10, held a sale of their ‘soft toys’ to raise much needed funds.  These funds were initially identified to go toward child friendly IV/drip trolleys at the Basildon Hospital rather than using adult versions.”

“Should you wish to make further donations we know the family would also love you to support CLIC Sargent – they fight for young cancer patients to ensure they thrive, not just survive.”

CLIC Sargent’s website is here

Analyse My Dream and Introducing Song Connections

Really enjoyed todays show which was a bit of a surprise as I was still reeling from a very strange dream I had last night.
After a disastrous photography assignment where I couldn’t get the camera to work properly I had to report back to David Attenborough at the BBC. In the lift I couldn’t remember whether David was located on the 5th or the 6th floor so instead of pressing either button I pressed the button marked “Prawn Sandwich £3”
A prawn sandwich appeared but I kept pressing the button and I ended up with armfuls of them without being charged. If anyone knows how to analyse dreams perhaps you could let me know the meaning of this one!

I also introduced a new feature on today’s show – Song Connections.

Three songs with something in common. Guess the connection,

I made the first one really easy, they will get much harder!

Maximo Park – Girls Who Play Guitars

Justin Hayward – Blue Guitar

The Beatles – While My Guitar Gently Weeps

You don’t need me to tell you the connection this week but look out for future Song Connections, you’ll be scratching your head!

Bye for now…