Author Archives: Bob Simpson

About Bob Simpson

The O'Jays 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 Zeppelin 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 – Redundancy

It was good to welcome back BRIAN HUGHES, consultant solicitor of SHENFIELD based RAINER HUGHES on today’s One 2 Three.

Brian Hughes

We talked about the dreaded R word – that’s REDUNDANCY.

Not just redundancy but other reasons why someone might lose their job or be fired and how having a solicitor on your side is always a good idea.

You can listen to our chat here –


The Billericay Reading Rooms – Andy Maddocks

The Billericay Reading Rooms are historic premises dating back to the mid 19th century, located in Billericay High Street
If it had not been for the forethought of local residents in the mid-1800s who were concerned about the “need to educate the working classes and to aid their growth and improvement” this building would never have been built.
The Reading Rooms continue to this day so I was pleased to welcome Vice Chairman of The Reading Rooms Andy Maddocks to tell all about this historic community resource.

Andy Maddocks

You can listen to our chat here –


The Reading Rooms Hall and Committee Room are available for hire for private and public functions and viewing of the facilities may be made by appointment.

Telephone 07917076490 or email

The reading Rooms website is here

Billericay’s Free Family Fun Summerfest – Yvonne Kyndt

Billericay town’s popular Summerfest event is organised by Billericay Mayflower Rotary Club will take place at Billericay Sun Corner this Sunday 8th July 2018. Time: 11.00am – 5.00pm

There is something for everybody to enjoy the day together with the family and friends and it’s free!

Joining me today to tell us all about this year’s Summerfest was Yvonne Kyndt.

Yvonne Kyndt

You can listen to our chat here –


Billericay Summerfest website is here

Billericay’s Boots2Africa – Iain Finch

Phoenix FM presenter Bob Simpson has lead an appeal in Billericay for used football boots and sports shoes to send to underprivileged children in Africa via the Boots2Africa campaign.
Iain Finch is the founder of Boots2Africa and Bob was very pleased to welcome Iain to the Phoenix FM studios to hand over the latest batch of 100+ boots donated by the good people of Billericay and B.A.R.K (Billericay Acts of Random Kindness)

Bob and Iain Finch with just a few of the boots!


Millions of children across Africa, have no shoes, for school, life and playing games. Disease, infections and snakebites kill thousands and injure and incapacitate many others every year.
Boots2Africa collects, transports and distributes donated boots to Africa’s children and young adults through relief organisations.

You can listen to our chat here –

Bob would like to add his thanks to the people of Billericay who over the last few months have donated over 120 pairs of boots and sport shoes as well as a good deal of kit. The donation point is still there in Billericay outside 9 Burleigh Close CM12 0YG so if you do have any good condition Boots or sports shoes or sports kit that your children have grown out of please continue to donate.

More boots and kit!

The Boots2Africa website is here

The Cromer Park Family Fun Day – Anthony Simpson, Wayne Hannaway and Scott Hannaway

We’re well and truly into summer now and it’s the time of year for some great community days out with Summer fairs and fun day’s going on all over the place. One such event coming up is a  fun day that not only has a fantastic line up of entertainment for all the family, but is raising funds for charity too, It’s the Cromer Park Family fun Day taking place on Saturday July 21st, and today I was joined by Anthony Simpson, Wayne Hannaway and Scott Hannaway from The Cromer Park Foundation, to tell us all about it!

Anthony Simpson, Wayne Hannaway and Scott Hannaway

You can listen to our chat here –


Tickets available here

And you can find out more about the fun day on Facebook here

Amazing Me – Tackling Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools – Tracy Richardson

Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.
Alarmingly, however, 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.
That’s why I was pleased to learn that a new initiative to tackle mental health problems in children, is taking off locally.
Amazing Me, is designed to provide primary schools with a programme packed full of accessible and engaging materials to build good mental health and wellbeing, and my guest today was Tracy Richardson, who came in to tell us all about it.

Tracy Richardson

You can listen to our chat here –


You can find out more about Amazing Us and their Amazing Me programme here

Or you can email Tracy direct at

Billericay Beer Festival

Preparations are now well under way for the return of the Billericay Beer Festival; the 8th edition will take place on Friday June 22nd – Sunday June 24th 2018 at Hannakins Farm Community Centre in Billericay.
As well as trying to provide a fantastic community event it’s purpose is to raise as much as possible for the Billericay Lions Charity which help people in the local community as well as supporting Lions global projects. It all kicks off on Friday.

Friday 22nd June 5 pm – 11 pm Entry £3.00
Saturday 23rd June 11 am – 11 pm Entry £3.00
Sunday 24th June 12 noon – 6 pm Entry free
At all sessions – refundable souvenir glass deposit £2.00

It’s all happening at Hannakins Farm Community Centre, Rosebay Avenue, Billericay, CM12 0SY.

The Rutles at Cambridge

I went to a great gig in Cambridge on Tuesday. Now you probably need to be of a certain age to remember The Rutles but hang on because this is good stuff.

Neil Innes and The Rutles

The Rutles are a rock band known for their pastiches and parodies of the Beatles. Originally fictional band, created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes for Idle’s UK television comedy series Rutland Weekend Television, The Rutles, became an actual group – whilst remaining a parody of the Beatles – which toured and recorded, releasing many songs and albums that included two UK chart hits.
The Rutles gained fame after being the focus of the 1978 television film All You Need Is Cash (also known as The Rutles). Former Beatle George Harrison appeared in the film and assisted in its creation. Encouraged by the positive public reaction to the sketch, featuring Beatles’ music pastiches, It had 20 songs written by Innes, which he performed with three musicians as the Rutles.
Well The Rutles are back with their Major Happy Tour and on Tuesday I was lucky enough to see them perform in Cambridge. It brought some great memories back of their songs, most of which I probably haven’t heard for 30 years or more.
The Rutles Tour continues until the end of next month, catch them if you can

Billericay Rugby Football Club – Season’s End Community Review – Joe Clarke

Billericay Rugby Football Club has been nominated for the inaugural Saracens Community Awards. As one of only 40 clubs selected within North London, Herts Kent and Essex the nomination recognises outstanding achievements made in developing community rugby.

Joe Clarke

Club President Joe Clarke said, “For me, this not only reflects on the impact we as a club have made to our local community through our rugby initiatives like the Saracens summer camp and the Derby day at the London Stadium but also the hard work all of our coaches put in on a weekly basis through our age grades to deliver the best experience we can in a safe and friendly environment.  Indeed, the hard work that Andy Collings has put in throughout the local schools and especially, more recently, in developing girls’ rugby on a Saturday morning should get a special mention.

But even outside of rugby, our club’s involvement in supporting local charities this season has been tremendous – from Tom Warr & Elliott Palmer’s very brave white collar boxing for Cancer Research UK; Keith Young organising the Tony Bond memorial that raised an amazing amount of funds for Prostate Cancer; as well as donations to Basildon Hospital Children’s cancer ward in support of Jake Fisk’s family; the Royal British Legion and the U16’s laying a wreath and Tyne Cot as well as supporting Pancreatic Cancer and the Fight Against Bullying at our recent Beefest.

I would like to thank Paul Bolton personally for his hard work in managing the summer camps and the tremendous effort he has put into the Derby Day’s over the last few years.

This is a truly a tremendous effort and one we should all take huge pride in.

Well done Billericay Rugby Football Club.

Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards 2018

I recently received a nomination letter for the prestigious ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’ as part of the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme which provides grassroots rugby clubs and the rugby community with opportunities to recognise and reward the volunteers who make up such an integral part of the game.  These awards are presented in conjunction with the RFU and specifically, in this case, Essex RFU.

Whilst I am both honoured and humbled by the nomination it is without doubt a true reflection and culmination of everyone’s efforts and sustained hard work within Billericay Rugby Football Club.

This committed and sustained effort continues to provide the very best environment for all members to enjoy their rugby whether at age grade or senior rugby and is immeasurable in every way.  As a club we have had an amazing season from our TV appearance through to our annual Beefest.

Personally and on behalf of the Club I would like to thank each and every one of you that have contributed to what has been an outstanding season both on and off the pitch as well as within our local community.



Billericay Volunteers Network – Carl Roberts

The Billericay Volunteers Network was set up in November 2016 in order to facilitate the growth of the volunteer community in Billericay. In June they’ll be holding their event “Volunteer Billericay 2018” Showcasing and celebrating volunteer opportunities in Billericay.
Joining me today to tell us all about it was Carl Roberts.

Carl Roberts

You can listen to our chat here –

You can find out more by visiting the Billericay Volunteers Website here

The Billericay Volunteers Network is proud to announce the launch of their first event, ‘Volunteer Billericay 2018’ taking place on 16 June 2018 at Billericay Library.

Featuring a selection of Billericay’s leading community groups and charities, this will be your chance to meet with community champions and learn about the volunteering opportunities available across the town.


Gilbert O’Sullivan – A New Album and Tour

Nearly fifty years after his first chart success Gilbert O’Sullivan continues to compose, record and perform his music.

With a new album out soon and a tour currently under way he’s a busy man right now, so I was more than pleased to welcome Gilbert O’Sullivan who joined me on the line today.

You can listen to our chat here –

You can find out more about the new album “Gilbert O’Sullivan” and the rest of the tour on Gilbert’s Website here

The Billericay Soapbox Derby 2018 – Peter Greene and Les Sheppard

It’s almost time for one of Billericay’s major annual events – The Billericay Soapbox Derby which raises thousands of pounds for charity. This year’s event takes place on Bank Holiday Monday 7th May. Today I was joined in the studio by Peter Greene and Les Sheppard from Billericay Rotary Club.

Peter and Les

You can listen to our chat about this great family fun event here –

You can find out more about the Soapbox Derby here

You can purchase tickets in advance here

Tickets can also be purchased in various local businesses and shops. Details are in the interview.

Have a fun day supporting this great local charity event!

Barry “Bash” Galvin – Interview and Live Session

When my colleague, sports presenter Chris Hood told me he had a guest for my show I was unsure what to expect. Barry Galvin is a regular contributor to Chris’s show The Orient Hour on Sunday evenings, but Barry is also an accomplished singer/song writer, and it was in this guise that he joined me today.

Barry Galvin

I’m delighted to say that Barry was a fabulous guest who writes brilliant thoughtful songs and performs them flawlessly. My favourite was “Your Soulful Eyes” the final song he performed.

You can listen to the entire session and interview here –

Thanks Bash!

BeeFest – Billericay Rugby Football Club

Billericay Rugby Football Club is holding its annual BeeFest on April 28th from 10am until late at their club in Stock Road. Traditionally a day set aside, in part to thank all the members of the club, but also to mark the end of the rugby season.

This year is no different and there will be the usual bouncy castles; coconut shy; ball games; and the sale of BRFC merchandise and goodies as well as the traditional family 7’s tournament and plenty of hot food with a hog roast and barbecue as well as other food and drink being available.
This year the club are showing their support for FAB – the Fight Against Bullying. Bringing Awareness to a new social media movement, to stamp out bullying in all forms. Get involved and follow @FABcampaign. With a large and diverse membership it is the club’s priority to ensure that they continue to provide a safe and secure environment for all to enjoy, learn and develop their rugby.
There will be a large marquee as well as the club house available should we be forced inside due to bad weather
In addition, the club will be awarding their annual age group prizes and medals to the minis and junior members in the marquee by their respective age group coaches in the morning.
Truly a fun family day out and supported by the Brentwood Imperial Youth Band who will be performing during the day. So if your son or daughter is interested in rugby at any age then make sure you get along to Billericay Rugby Football Club, Stock Road, Billericay on 28th April.

The Billericay Streetlife Strollers – Anne and Frank Woods

The Streetlife Strollers are a Billericay walking and social group that meet in Lake Meadows in Billericay once a week.
Joining me in the studio today to tell us all about the group were Anne and Frank Woods,

Anne and Frank Woods

The Streetlife Strollers meet in Lake Meadows by the gates near the cafe every Tuesday morning at 10am. You don’t need to book, just turn up to take part in this friendly group.

You can listen to our chat here –

You can find out more information on The Streetlife Strollers by joining The Billericay Discussion Page on Facebook here

Board Games are Back! – Billericay Board Game Club – Duncan Popham

There is an enormous rise in the popularity of traditional board games. With Board Games Cafes opening across London and recently in Chelmsford it seems that many people are turning away from online gaming towards the more sociable side of gaming where your opponent is actually in the room with you.

I was pleased to discover that Billericay has it’s very own Board Games Club and joining me today to tell us all about it was Duncan Popham.

Duncan Popham

You can listen to our chat here –

If you would like to get involved or just find out more about the club their Facebook page is here

We Have Visitors! – Toni Richardson and Taylor D – Rizzle Kicks Too!

I had some VIP guests in the studio today, and what a pleasure it was!

A few weeks ago we received an email here in the studio from Toni Richardson. Toni is mum to her son Taylor.

Toni said in the email, “I wonder if you can help. I have a 17 year old son called Taylor, who has Cerebral Palsy. He loves his music and dancing and I wonder if it is possible to arrange a visit to look around your studios.”

Taylor and Toni

Well we were very pleased to arrange this and Taylor and Toni visited our studios in the Brentwood Centre and thoroughly enjoyed their visit. Presenter Bob Simpson gave them each a Phoenix FM Mug and played some of Taylor’s favourite music on air as well as a special message for Taylor from Rizzle Kicks, one of Taylor’s favourite bands.

Here’s a brief edit of Taylor’s time in the studio in which you can hear me chat to Toni –

If you go on to Youtube and search for Down With The Trumpets, Taylor D you can see an amazing video starring Taylor with a contribution from Rizzle Kicks themselves.

Here it is –

Taylor’s Mum was very grateful and in a later email to Phoenix said, “Just got back home and wanted to say thank you so much for your time today. We both really enjoyed the experience! It was lovely to meet you and it was fascinating learning a little about how a radio station works. Taylor has been full of it and says that he wants his own station now!!

Taylor D

Brit Award Winners Blake Back with a New Album and Tour – Stephen Bowman

The vocal group Blake are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. It was a great peasure today to talk to one of the founding members of Blake, Stephen Bowman.

Stephen Bowman

Blake’s first album shot to the public’s attention when it received the Classical Brit Award for Album of the year in 2008.

The debut album went straight to number One in the UK Classical Album Chart and into the Top Twenty Pop Chart.

With over a million albums sold, No.1 hits in ten countries and approaching 150 TV appearances around the globe, these three young men continue to enthral fans the world over.

You can listen to our chat below

Blakes new album is entitled The Anniversary Album out on the 30th March and you can find out more about Blake and their upcoming tour on their website –

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.