Category Archives: Drive

Movie Review with Mark Searby

On the Drive show every Friday at 3:30, we invite Mark Searby, our popcorn-hating, Pacino-loving movie guru into the studio to talk film choices for the weekend…

Cinema :
The Incredibles 2 – Is the sequel to one of Pixar’s greatest films worth seeing?
Marrowbone – A mysterious thriller with a horror edge about a group of teenagers living in a spooky house.

Blu-ray/DVD :
Dark Crimes – Jim Carrey goes very dark in this neo-noir crime film.
Red Sparrow – Jennifer Lawrence joins the Russian intelligence school to infiltrate the CIA.
Genesis – A post-apocalyptic story about developing an android that can help humans in a pollution filled world – filmed locally at the Kelvedon Hatch “Secret” Nuclear Bunker!

Bonus Chatter
We also spoke about The Long Goodbye which is being screen locally by the Brentwood Arts Cinema Club on Sunday evening. [see our events guide for details]

Movie Review with Mark Searby

Each Friday at 3:30, we invite Mark Searby, the man who spends a lot of time in a dark room (all in the name of entertainment, of course) into the studio to offer his insight into 2 cinema picks and 2 “take home and keep” films…

Cinema :
Whitney – Kevin MacDonald’s in-depth look at the life and music of the iconic singer.
Mary Shelley – A biopic of the love affair between Percy Shelley and Mary Wollstonecroft Godwin.

Blu-ray/DVD :
I Kill Giants – A teenager escapes her troubled life via a fantasy world.
You Were Never Really Here – An uncompromising film about a war veteran who tracks down missing people.
Lady Bird – A coming of age tale set in the sleepy town of Sacramento, California

A Week on Drive by Charlie

Another week has gone, so it’s time to add some audio to the Best/Worst shelf of the Phoenix FM archives!  Monday to Friday, 3-6pm sees all the sensible and important stuff like news, travel and local events, guests plus the film review with Mark Searby – and then we have this lot which has its own category…

Let’s start the show!

The new Alonestar track makes Apache Indian sound gangsta, but haven’t we heard it somewhere before?

What’s that music? Oh, it’s Freeze Frame!

I always get the airport-patdown – I just have one of those faces 🙂

We need a bit of music that’s sun-kissed and exotic…

Rita Ora sounds like she needs a wee…

I may have had a bit too much coffee!

Do you remember Tandy?

What to do if Karin Ridgers is late (again) ???

Movie Review with Mark Searby + bonus chat

Each Friday at 3:30, we invite Mark Searby, the film buff who shuns popcorn and other edible cinema gubbins into the studio to offer his insight into 2 cinema picks plus some “take home and keep” films…

Cinema :
Sicario 2: Soldado – Can it live up to the brilliance and intensity of the first film?
The Endless – A twisty Sci-Fi movie about two brothers returning to a cult.

Blu-ray/DVD :
I, Tonya – A biopic of the US figure skater starring Margot Robbie
The Shape Of Water – Guillermo Del Toro’s twisted romance.
Mansfield 66/67 – A documentary about the death of Jayne Mansfield

Bonus Material!

We also spoke about a few up-and-coming films: The Predator, Bohemian Rhapsody and Creed II.

More from Mark next Friday at 3:30pm…

A Week on Drive by Charlie

It’s been a while since we had some best/worst of the Drive show – so here are a few audio snippets for your ear’oles…

A comment about a guest who wanted to do some “shout outs”…

A whinge about the state of local roads (Ongar Road=Pothole Central) and a school that is looking at buying a washing machine…

Sometimes, it’s not what you say, but the noise you make after that sets the tone…

It’s World Cup time (aka: Silly Season), so naturally there are flags all over the place and Charlie has his own take on that…

It’s time to find out what’s on Phoenix FM for the rest of the day…

The return of that classic “Friday Phrase”…

Thanks to Naomi Hefford for covering the show on Thursday – not only did she do a great job and include several of my catchphrases but the cheeky filth was also in attendance…

You can also hear Mark Searby’s film review from Friday’s show here…

Movie Review with Mark Searby

Each Friday at 3:30, we invite Mark Searby, runner-up to Vicky McClure at Nottingham’s Best Gravity-Defying-Hair Awards into the studio to offer his insight into 2 cinema picks and 2 “take home and keep” films…

Cinema :
Ocean’s 8 – Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and co aim to pull off a heist at the New York Met Gala. There’s crossing, double-crossing and humour.
In The Fade – A German revenge film that is unlike your usual revenge flicks.  Subtitles are good, says Mark!

Blu-ray/DVD :
Phantom Thread – Daniel Day-Lewis is his last acting role plays a dressmaker who is dazzled by a younger woman.
Fifty Shades Freed – The last part of the trilogy. Does it go out with a bang?  Spoiler: Spanking of “bangs”, there’s not many of those.

More from Mark next week when we’ll be discussing the subject of movie trailers and how they’ve changed over the years – with some audio clips!

Joanne Druce from F Barnes Solicitors

On Wednesday’s Drive show, I welcomed Joanne Druce from F Barnes Solicitors into the studio – Joanne attended our recent Phoenix Family Business Networking Event at the Shenfield Cricket Club and “won” this opportunity to come in and have a chat…

F Barnes have been in business since 1955 and cater for both Personal Law such as conveyancing, wills, probate along with Business Law such as commerical property, employment law and dispute resolution.

Click the player above to listen to the interview…

Joanne in the Phoenix FM studio…
Janne Druce F Brnes Solicitors
F Barnes have offices in Collier Row, Gidea Park and Romford – their website is here:

Movie Review with Mark Searby

Each Friday at 3:30, we invite Mark Searby, Nottingham’s finest export since Su Pollard into the studio to offer his insight into 2 cinema picks and 2 “take home and keep” films…

Hereditary – The Exorcist for Millenials so say the hype.
The Happy Prince – Rupert Everrett stars as Oscar Wilde in the last days of his life.

Roman J. Israel Esq stars Denzel Washington as an idealistic lawyer taken to dark places in a case he is working. [never seen him in a bad film, says Mark. Charlie reckons the Equalizer remake was a bit meh]
Black Panther – Marvel’s billion dollar box office earner is unlike previous Marvel movies. [listen out for Charlie’s comment about the number of comic-book films: “that teat’s going to be dry soon”]

End oF – When the Car Lease Ends

On Wednesday’s show we had Michael from End oF in the studio talking about his company and how it can help you save money when it’s time to give your car back at the end of its lease.

We spoke about why it may be a good idea to have this inspection – especially as, once the vehicle has been taken away, you have no way of proving its state in the event of a dispute.  It’s also worth remembering that when your vehicle is collected by the leasing company, the person who gives it a check before taking it away is NOT performing the full “end of lease” check!

The End oF inspection not only includes a detailed written appraisal of your vehicle but numerous photographs are taken ensuring that you have a full (and accurate) record of its condition before it goes back.

Michael in the Phoenix FM studio – he brought his own sign!
End oF michael
End oF are based at Laindon – but can visit you at home or  work for the inspection – You can find out more on their website:

Take the Lead Dog Services

They say that you should never work with animals or children – so when it comes to dealing with a stubborn 4-legged friend, perhaps asking an expert is the way forward?

On today’s show, I spoke with Alison from Take the Lead Dog Services who offers training for dogs in south Essex.  We also spoke about pet first-aid and how it’s actually possible to perform CPR on a dog!

Take the Lead Dog Services on Facebook :

End PJ Paralysis

This month sees an initiative by the NHS to #EndPJParalysis – getting hospital patients out of bed and moving during their stay.

Along with our resident “expert”, Pete Sipple, who is involved with local Hospital Radio, we also spoke with Roy from the Academy of Fabulous Stuff, plus Russell and Pete who are part of the NHS Emergency Care Improvement Programme.


More information can be found here:

STEM : Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics

On today’s show, our resident fountain of knowledge, Pete Sipple, came in to talk about STEM and his role as a STEM Ambassador.  STEM is Science, Techology, Engineering and Matematics – key subjects in the learning process and Pete explained how volunteers can help youngsters learn about these subjects whether it’s at school, cubs/scouts/guides or a dedicated event.

Not only is this a rewarding way of spending your time, but lots of fun and a nice addition to one’s CV!

Listen again to our chat via the player above…

STEM Learning website :
exploreSTEM website : (co-ordinating STEM in our area)

Movie Review with Mark Searby

It’s Friday, Friday – Gotta review on Friday!  On the Drive show each Friday at 3:30 we invite cinema’s best-behaved patron: popcorn/sweets/mobile-phone-free Mark Searby to give us his take on some films to watch over the weekend…

Cinema : Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – 5 films in and haven’t they learned, yet?!
The Boy Downstairs – A film for New Yorkers by New Yorkers.

Blu-ray/DVD : The Mercy – The true story of Donald Crowhurst attempting to sail around the world … Journey’s End – Tough WWI drama starring Paul Bettany and Sam Claflin.

It seems that next week’s review will be very very good – Mark had his best “happy face” on at the end of the review, and he hasn’t told me what’s planned… Tune in next Friday at 3:30 to find out!

Razzamataz Search for a Star

Today’s studio guests were Jessica Chandler Smith and Ava Fuller from Brentwood Razzamataz Theatre School.  As part of their Search for a Star, local auditions are being held with the prize of a year’s scholarship giving the lucky winner access to singing, dancing and acting classes alongside many performing opportunities. Entry is open to those aged 4-18.

Jessica Chandler Smith, the Principal of Brentwood Razzamataz spoke about the organisation, its aims and how people can enter this competition.  We were also treated to some live singing from Ava Fuller…

Ava and Jessica in the Phoenix FM studio…Ava and Jessica from Razzamataz

Local auditions on Sunday 1st July at the Baytree Centre (booking required).
To book, contact Jessica on 07955 29 33 29

Brentwood Razzamataz website :

Movies with Mark Searby

Every Friday at 3:30pm we invite Mark Searby in to offer some thoughts on movies to see this weekend…

We started by talking about the news that Danny Boyle is set to direct the next (25th) Bond film, set to begin production in December and due later next year. It turns out that Mark isn’t a fan of Daniel Craig’s portrayal but is keen to see what Boyle does with it.

Cinema : Double Lover (aka L’Amont Double) … My Friend Dhamer
Blu-ray/DVD : Downsizing …  Early Man (a Nick Park creation)

Smartphone Apps with Pete Sipple

We got a little bit “tech” on the show as we welcomed Pete Sipple back into the studio to talk about smartphone apps and offer his tips for some useful ones as well as a bit of advice on security.

Apps like StoCard, Password Logger, PetrolPrices and Parkopedia can make life easier when it comes to looking for the best deal on fuel – and being close to the M25 means that prices very A LOT!  Keeping your online accounts like social media, banking etc secure can be tricky: Do you have an easy-to-remember password to make typing it easier or do you have something quite strange and rely on a separate app to handle them?

With Pete being an iPhone user and myself an Android lover, there are apps that cater for each platform but most can be found on both.  Hear Pete explain by listening to our chat via the player above…

Click here for previous gadget/tech highlights from the show…

Andy – Crystal Communication Solutions Ltd

On today’s show I was joined in the studio by Andy from Crystal Communication Solutions Ltd, one of our advertisers.

Crystal is a communications provider for businesses – many of whom are discovering the benefits of doing it “in the cloud”. With the internet being within practically everybody’s grasp, you don’t need a landline to run your business.  Along with the cost-saving, there’s the fact that line upgrades (as your business expands, for example) can be done within software rather than have inconvenient/costly wiring installed.

Hear Andy speak about “cloud” telephony, SIP lines, RJ45 connectors (yes, really!) and he mentions some of the team back at the office…

Below: Andy in the Phoenix FM studio…Andy Crystal Communications

Movies with Mark Searby

Each Friday on the Drive show we invite our resident movie guru, Mark Searby, into the studio and ask for his picks for this week’s cinema and Blu-ray/DVD highlights…

Cinema : Solo : A Star Wars StoryThe Breadwinner
Blu-ray/DVD : Three Billboards Outside Ebbing MissouriCoco … plus, A Fantastic Woman

We couldn’t find a picture of Mark wearing a “Han Solo” t-shirt, so here’s the next best thing!

Mark Searby Star Wars

More from Mark next Friday at 3:30pm…

Brentwood Business Awards – Jane Bennett

As part of Phoenix FM’s support of the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce 2018 Brentwood Business Awards, representatives from sponsoring organisations will be appearing on shows over the coming weeks to explain their reasons for supporting the event and their category of award.

Sponsoring the “Excellent Customer Service Award” are Bennetts Funerals and today I was joined by Martyn Stevens and Jane Bennett from the company who explained their reasons for supporting this particular award – spoiler: Jane has a history with this type of award!

You can listen to our chat by clicking the player above…

Bennetts have offices in both Brentwood and Billericay and have over 100 years experience.

Martyn and Jane in the Phoenix FM studio…
Martyn and Jane from Bennetts-Funeral Directors, Brentwood Business AwardsMore Information
Entrants can be from organisations based in, or doing business in, the Borough of Brentwood.  It’s FREE to enter and you can enter multiple categories.  Details can be found on the 2018 Brentwood Business Awards website and why not keep up to date via the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce on Twitter.

You can listen to our previous interviews with Steve Lee (Havering College) , Ruta Gabalis (AeroBlue) , Jane Winfield (Wortley Byers) , Philip Cockram (Pinney Talfourd) and Ian Marshall (Spargo Hairdressing) here.

Coverage in the Brentwood Gazette can also be seen here! – or click the image below for a larger version…

Movies with Mark Searby

Fridays on the Drive show means a movie review – and our resident popcorn-hater and Al Pacino fanboy, Mark Searby, offers his insight into this week’s selection…

Cinema : Deadpool 2 – The Merc with the mouth is back and he has brought friends … 2001: A Space Odyssey – An unrestored version back in cinemas fifty years after it appeared.

Blu-ray/DVD : All The Money In The World – Ridley Scott’s thriller about the kidnapping of billionaire John Paul Getty’s grandson … The Greatest Showman – Hugh Jackman plays PT Barnum in this musical about the showman’s life.