Category Archives: Drive

Drive Show Monday 17th July

Hi everyone,

Today I covered for the amazing Keith Rogers on the Drive Show!

Playlist for 17/07/17:

  1. Junior Senior – Move Your Feet
  2. Paramore – Hard Times
  3. Ariana Grande – One Last Time
  4. Rolling Stones – Jumpin Jack Flash
  5. Equals – Baby Come Back
  6. Bastille – Glory
  7. Lady Gaga – Born This Way
  8. Charlie Puth – Attention
  9. Artists For Grenfell – Bridge Over Troubled Water
  10. Amy Winehouse – Tears Dry On Their Own
  11. Chic – Good Times
  12. Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric
  13. Demi Lovato – Made In The USA
  14. Macy Gray – I Try
  15. Maroon 5 – Animals
  16. Calvin Harris – Acceptable In The 80s
  17. Terence Trent D’Arby – Wishing Well
  18. Pet Shop Boys – It’s A Sin
  19. Christina Aguilera – Fighter
  20. Glen Campbell – Rhinestone Cowboy
  21. Destiny’s Child – Survivor
  22. The Calling – Wherever You Will Go
  23. Ariana Grande & John Legend – Beauty and the Beast
  24. Vengaboys – Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom
  25. Ricky Martin – Livin’ La Vida Loca
  26. Clean Bandit feat Zara Larsson – Symphony
  27. Ed Sheeran – Galway Girl
  28. Little Mix feat Machine Gun Kelly – No More Sad Songs
  29. Years and Years – Eyes Shut
  30. Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like
  31. Jamie Lawson – Wasn’t Expecting That
  32. McFly – Obviously
  33. Usher – Burn
  34. Swedish House Mafia – Don’t You Worry Child
  35. Little Mix – Word Up!
  36. Kygo ft Ellie Goulding – First Time
  37. Shawn Mendes – There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back
  38. Niall Horan – Slow Hands
  39. Jonas Blue ft. JP Cooper- Perfect Strangers
  40. Drake feat Wizkid Kyle – One Dance
  41. Walk The Moon – Shut Up And Dance

Ellie Goulding

I’ll be back tomorrow from 6-8pm

See you then!



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Dean Friedman live at Phoenix FM

2017-05-24 01 Dean Friedman

American recording artist Dean Friedman, best known to British audiences for his classic hits, “Lucky Stars”, “Rocking Chair”, “Woman Of Mine” and “Lydia”, has just released his 8th album and is half-way through a mammoth 40 date tour of the UK.

It was a delight to welcome Dean into Phoenix FM today – still enthusiastic about his music and bright as a button despite having done thousands of interviews over the years! Dean spoke to Keith Rogers about his recording career, his current album – 12 Songs – and tour. He also gave us a rendition of an oldie and a newie too. You can see the whole interview and session again below:

Dean’s new album is available to order now from his website at If you get in quickly you may be able to catch him live in Kent tomorrow night and in London at the weekend – all tour dates are listed on the website too.

2017-05-24 04 Keith and Dean Friedman

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Dan Wilde live at Phoenix FM

We were delighted to welcome singer/songwriter Dan Wilde to the studio.

2017-04-24 15.06.47

Dan is a folk musician originally from Blackpool but now based in Cambridge. He came down to talk about his career so far and also to play three songs for us – With Your Eyes Closed, Nobody Home and Pieces. You can see the session and interview again here:

Dan is currently in the middle of a UK tour supporting Welsh traditional band Calan. You can find out more about Dan and his music at

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My Feral Heart

Steven Brandon, the star of “My Feral Heart”, has just won the Best Actor category at the National Film Awards. No mean feat as had some formidable competition- Michael Fassbender, Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne, to name but three. Recently, the director of the film, Jane Gull, chatted to Phoenix FM presenter Keith Rogers.

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Funding issues gripping local schools

Shenfield High School headteacher Carole Herman visited Phoenix FM to talk about her concerns about the recent budget and the impact it will have on local schools.

Carole Herman

Mrs Herman has written to Brentwood and Ongar MP Sir Eric Pickles, sent on behalf of all secondary Headteachers across Essex and three other counties.

The headteachers are very concerned that despite a detailed and factual campaign, they feel that schools are no closer to a solution to the crisis level in school funding.

You can hear Mrs Herman explaining the problem to Keith Rogers:


You can read the letter below:

9th March 2017

Sir Eric Pickles
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

Dear Sir Eric

Adequate and sustainable school funding

Along with school leaders from every special, primary and secondary school in West Sussex, East Sussex, Essex and Cornwall, I’m contacting you again about the significant school funding issues that are gripping our schools.

In spite of a detailed and factual campaign – over a sustained period of time – we are no closer to being provided with any meaningful proposals or solutions to our current and future school funding crisis.

We acknowledge too that you have completed considerable “work behind the scenes” on our behalf. The undisputed facts, however, remain and are as follows:

  • Schools in your constituencies are making far reaching cuts to services that are already stretched to breaking point. These include reducing staffing levels, increasing class sizes and making profound reductions to children’s pastoral and mental health services.
  • The lowest funded schools are not receiving any emergency funding for the financial year 2017/18.
  • The new funding formula is not new at all – it is based entirely upon the current discredited funding arrangements that we already endure.
  • The new funding formula only allows any school to increase its budget by 5.5%, at the same time unfunded cost pressures are rising by 8-10%.

It should also be noted that most schools in England will not benefit from a new funding formula arrangement. The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies has suggested that, in real terms, per pupil funding will decrease by 6.5% by 2019.

Decisions being made by Headteachers are no longer being driven solely by what is best for students and their families. The key feature of our strategic work is frequently underscored by a sense of “damage limitation”. To make matters worse, we are also confronted by a chronic shortage of teachers in virtually every subject area.

As responsible professionals we all recognise that we are in challenging financial times and that schools must live within reasonable means. Difficult financial circumstances should not, however, be used as an excuse to short change our most important stakeholders – the children in our schools.

It is also vitally important to be transparent with parents and families and make it clear just how bad matters are.

It is entirely irresponsible, therefore, for the Department for Education (DfE) to suggest that schools in your constituencies can find further “efficiencies” when they have been low funded for such a long time. It is also misleading for the DfE to continue to state that more is being spent on education when in fact real terms cuts are occurring. Equally, it is a matter of vital public interest to highlight the fact that many spending priorities made by the DfE do not stand up to reasonable scrutiny. We refer to the following examples:

  • The loss of £384 million that was originally earmarked for a now aborted mass academisation programme.
  • £150 million earmarked for the expansion of grammar schools over the next 3 years
  • Huge investment in Free Schools where there is no “basic need” and no consistent evidence as to their impact and value for money

Here, we point you directly to the acquisition of land and school sites that the DfE pursues at exorbitant cost – 4 recent land purchases cost £120m – and the independent National Audit Office which states that ‘the primary factor in decision-making has been opening (Free) schools at pace, rather than maximizing value for money.’ (NAO February 27 – 2017)

On a daily basis school leaders have to explain and justify the decisions that we make. And quite right too. We also have to respond to legitimate questions when they are raised by students or their families.

Recently, school leaders in West Sussex posed some important questions. They asked their local MPs why schools have not been provided with emergency funding? What services should we cut? And whether they support the introduction of new grammar schools and Free schools where there is no basic need when we face chronic funding shortages? They are yet to receive an adequate response. We would ask you to respond to the same questions.

It is now important to understand that school leaders from Penzance to Bognor Regis to Eastbourne and on to Colchester are joining together and are united by a common purpose; we all want adequate funding for every school in the counties of Cornwall, East Sussex, Essex and West Sussex. We are certain that this view is echoed right across the country.

We have no issue with a new formula that provides additional support for schools with the highest level of need or that face circumstances such as sparsity or high living costs. All schools must, however, be given enough money to fund adequate levels of staffing, care and essential equipment.
Against this background school leaders need their local representatives to stand alongside them and make it clear to Government that current school funding proposals are unacceptable.

We urge you, therefore, to:

  • Ensure that you only vote in support of a new National Funding Formula that ensures minimum adequate funding for every school.
  • Confirm that a new National Funding Formula must not be considered in isolation from unfunded cost burdens such as increased pension costs, national insurance, inflation and reasonable wage costs.
  • Ensure that any spending initiatives by the DfE are both credible and provide best value for money.

We are, of course, raising the same issues directly with the DfE. We have no doubt, however, that public and joint pressure to ensure the very best for children and their families provides the most effective chance of success in reversing a direction of travel that if left unchecked, will undermine all that is important to our educational provision.

A joint and unequivocal statement from MPs and school leaders would be most desirable. Our children’s and our country’s future depends upon it.
We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely
Carole Herman

and on behalf of all schools – West Sussex, East Sussex, Essex and Cornwall

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“Time to Talk”. Lois Sparks from “Futures in Mind”.

P1100679As part of our “Time to Talk” day, Lois Sparks visited our studios to tell us about a new website opening on 1st March. Called “Futures in Mind”. It is basically a place where people can access information about what is available across Essex such as training opportunities, voluntary roles, a place to blog and share experiences, a live chat facility and much more.

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Fit For The Future

Click here to listen to the interview again:


Last summer, NHS Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) launched its “Fit for the Future” community engagement programme, seeking people’s views on how the local NHS should adapt and change to meet the challenges of the future.

Dr Aravinda Guniyangodage, who is a GP and also the Chair of Basildon and Brentwood CCG, spoke to Keith Rogers about the programme and how people can help shape the future of the NHS in our area.

The formal public consultation closes on Monday 12th September 2016, and a number of public meetings are planned to talk about views received, including a meeting this coming Thursday at 6pm at Brentwood Community Hospital.

You can find out more about Fit For The Future at this link:

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Via Sacra Walk

Today we were visited by Simon Collyer who will be embarking on the 450-mile-long Via Sacra Walk on June 22nd. This walk will take him along the position of the Western Front during the First World War. Joining him will be several celebrities including Liz Hurley and Dominic West.

Simon Collyer

Click here to listen to the interview again:

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Piers is back from Paternity Leave

Piers is one of the regular contributors to our weekly Brentwood Gazette feature. He has just returned from paternity leave and I am sure we would all like to congratulate him on the birth of Hector. I wonder whether he will follow his dad into the cut-and-thrust of journalism. Anyway, here’s Piers with details of the latest edition.

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Star Recorder-player Visits Phoenix

12576022_10154512408291038_1768724630_nThis is Kim Tobin and last Friday she popped along to Phoenix to play her beautiful version of Westlife’s “My love” live on air. It was an experience that myself, Mike Jones and Bob Simpson will never forget. Awe-inspiring, moving, heartfelt, and now you have the opportunity to share with us that magical performance once more as it has been recorded and added to the Phoenix archives. Just click on the link above.

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Brentwood Gazette with Simon

Our regular weekly visit from the “Brentwood Gazette” and Simon makes his debut on the Keith Rogers Drive Show. He had appeared on the show when Mike was presenting it and wasn’t sure what was in store for him with yours truly. He needn’t have worried, I handled him with kid gloves. :-)

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“Don’t look now” at the Queens Theatre

A young couple whose daughter has died under tragic circumstances, journey to Venice to try and save their troubled marriage. While there, supernatural forces appear to take over.

Tom Cornish plays the role of the husband, John Baxter. He found some time to chat to me on the phone, and you can hear the interview again below:

Don’t Look Now runs at the Queen’s Theatre from 23 October to 14 November. For more information visit

Tom Cornish

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Roland Kannor from the Brentwood Brewing Company chatting about the upcoming Conker Championships

Listen again here:

Roland Kannor from the Brentwood Brewing Company came in to talk about the forthcoming Open Conker Championship – with a squirrel!

2015-10-02 Conker Squirrel

You can find out more about the event here:

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Brentwood Gazette Visit



Every Tuesday we are visited by one of the journalists from the “Brentwood Gazette”. The paper is published on a Wednesday so we are given a sneak preview. This week it was the turn of Joe. Here’s our little chat.

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Visit from the “Brentwood Gazette”

2015-09-22 Alan Woods with clowns 02This is my first blog. as it has taken me six months to get the hang of the software. Yay!! My guest on Tuesday was the eloquent and vividly-dressed Alan Woods, the editor of the “Brentwood Gazette”. Here’s a picture of him with my two surprise guests, Popol and Cakehole from Circus Wonderland. You can visit the circus this week and next week at Sun Corner, Billericay. On the front cover of this week’s “Gazette” is a pic. of the HUUUUGE sink-hole that has appeared at the junction of Ongar Road and Doddinghurst Road. Here is the audio recording with Alan, Popol and Cakehole.

If you want to know more about Circus Wonderland, just click this link:

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Douglas Rintoul joins the Queens team

Click below to listen to the interview again:

Douglas Rintoul has been appointed as the new Artistic Director at the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch.

Douglas was born in Essex and now lives in East London. His most recent directorial credit is a critically-acclaimed production of The Deep Blue Sea, which is currently running at The Watermill Theatre in Newbury, Berkshire.

Keith Rogers spoke to Douglas about what the role means and his plans for the future.


He also then had a chat with the Theatre’s Head of Marketing, Karen Chilvers, about the events coming up at the Theatre.

Douglas will take up his appointment in the autumn of 2015, although he is already beginning to oversee activities at the Queens.

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A Bluesy Day At The Farm

This Blues Alldayer is taking place on Saturday 27th June from 2pm until 10.30pm. It’s a fundraiser to keep Blues At The Farm going for another year, and all of the bands are donating their time free of charge.

There will be over 8 hours of blues all under one roof from Bad Influence Duo (Val and Richard), SpikedriverS, Tim Aves & Wolfpack, The Fat Penguins, Joel Fisk And The Breakdown, Guy Tortora, Roy Mette and more special guests yet to be confirmed.

2015-06-23 Roy Hands (Bluesy At The Farm) and Keith Rogers

Roy Hands came in to chat about the event and you can hear his interview below:

Tickets cost just £15 and are available from Del and Colin at BATF or online (with booking fee) at


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Music Hall coming to a theatre near you!

Click here to listen to the interview again:

Katie Milton visited Phoenix FM to chat to Keith Rogers about Music Hall, a show packed full of song, dance, magic and laughter.


This fun-filled afternoon features vocally vivacious Katie along with comedy songstress Kay Carman, charismatic singer John Rawnsley, comedy actor Peter John, mighty magician John Danbury – with musical director Laurence Payne and chairman Johnny Dennis.

You can step back in time on Sunday 28th June at the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch. There’s a few tickets left (available here) so get in quick!


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Mental Health Awareness Week: Renate Mullins from Step Into Yoga

As part of our serious of interviews supporting Mental Health Awareness Week, we had two visits from people talking about the importance of Mindfulness.

Renate Mullins

The second of these was from Renate Mullins from Step Into Yoga, who came in to chat on Keith Rogers’ Drive show.

You can hear the interview again here:

You can find out more about the Brentwood Buddhist Community here.

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Mental Health Awareness Week: Jane Ward from Brentwood Buddhist Community

As part of our serious of interviews supporting Mental Health Awareness Week, we had two visits from people talking about the importance of Mindfulness.

Jane Ward

The first was from Jane Ward from the Brentwood Buddhist Community, who came in to chat on Keith Rogers’ Drive show.

You can hear the interview again here:

You can find out more about the Brentwood Buddhist Community here.

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The Shires – live on Phoenix FM!

Click here to listen to the whole interview:

We were very lucky to be joined by record-breaking country duo The Shires on Drive this afternoon.

The Shires with Keith Rogers

Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes were on a whistlestop tour of radio stations and visited Brentwood to talk about their debut album Brave, which reached no 10 in the UK album charts back in March – and in doing so made them the first UK country act to ever achieve such a feat.

The duo clearly have a great deal of potential as they’re also the first UK act to be signed to a major Nashville label.

Keith had a chat with Ben and Crissie about their musical journey to date and we were also treated to two numbers which you can see again below:

You can catch The Shires live later this year when they embark on a major tour of the UK – keep an eye on their website for all the latest news.

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Marketing Strategies with Luke Adams

Luke Adams, host of the regular Biscotti Brentwood networking meeting, came in to chat to Keith Rogers about choosing a marketing strategy.

Luke Adams

You can hear the interview again here:

The Biscotti Brentwood group meets on the first Tuesday of every month from 9.15am to 11.45pm. For more details visit

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Mental Health Awareness Week: The making of the Mental Health Matters Podcast

Click below to listen to the interview again:

My guests in the studio on Drive were (current) Phoenix FM Presenter Bob Simpson and producer of the Mental Health Matters podcast Scott W.


The podcast is currently in its third instalment so it was great to catch up with them and find out about how Bob got together with Scott, the idea behind the podcast and the about the stigma that still surrounds talking about mental health.

For more information and to download the Mental Health Matters podcast head to click here or you can join the Facebook group here.

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Hello Dolly!

Click below to listen to the interview again:

Jeremy Martin from the Ingatestone Musical & Operetta Group came down to the studio to chat to Keith about their forthcoming production of “Hello Dolly”.

Jeremy Martin

For more information on the group and to book tickets, head over to

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Eva Tobin live on Phoenix FM

Click below to listen to the whole interview and session again:

The Drive show welcomed 17-year-old singer/songwriter Eva Tobin into the studio for the first time today.

2015-04-24 Eva Tobin

Eva recently performed at our Phoenix Fridays gig at Old Brentwoods and came down to chat to Keith about her music and songwriting. Eva also played a few songs and you can see some of them below:

You can find out more about Eva by following her on Facebook or Twitter.

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Ellie from Live Local Interview 18-03-15

If you like taking the children out for the day, the lady I spoke to today will be able to save you hundreds of pounds.

Ellie Live Local 18-03-15

To print the vouchers click here

Mike is also a Professional Voiceover checkout his work HERE


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Guy & Alan from the Brentwood gazette 17-03-15

Today we had our weekly gossip with the boys from the Brentwood Gazette about whats in tomorrows edition.

Western Morning News

Check out the stories on the Brentwood Gazette website by clicking here

Mike is also a Professional Voiceover checkout his work HERE

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Up up and away … the Essex Space Agency is Go!

Click below to listen to the interview again:

We had a visit from the entire Essex Space Agency – that would be Matt Kingsnorth and Phil St Pier!

Matt Kingsnorth and Phil St Pier with Keith Chanter

Matt (on the right in the picture above), who’s from Warley, and Phil joined Keith Rogers on Drive to explain how they are due to launch a helium balloon and send it up to the edge of space.

We’ll be keeping an eye on their progress – in the meantime you can find out the latest news at their Facebook and Tumblr pages.

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Dr Feelgood on Tour – Kevin Morris

It was great to sit in for Mikey today on Drive especially as I had such a brilliant guest to talk to.

Kevin Morris has been the drummer for Dr Feelgood for more than 30 years.

Kevin Morris in Action

Kevin Morris in Action

We talked about touring, food, his early days working with the likes of Sam and Dave and Edwin Starr and briefly about his recent project, Shamen Spirits – We Are Infants.

You can listen to our chat here –

You can catch Dr Feelgood at The Palace Theatre Westcliff on 23rd March or if you can wait until November they’ll be back home on Canvey Island at The Oysterfleet on the 13th and 14th.

Full details here –

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Hopefield to become a Community Asset?

More news about Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, and hopefully some good news for their many supporters worried about possible redevelopment of their land.

This morning the leader of Brentwood Borough Council, Cllr Barry Aspinell, spoke to Phoenix FM about the council’s desire to purchase the land from Tesco that houses the sanctuary. Since then, the Chair of the Council’s Community Committee, Cllr Karen Chilvers, has confirmed that a meeting is to be held before the end of the month which will give the sanctuary more protection.

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Karen came in to talk exclusively to Mike Porter about Hopefield’s request to nominate their land as a community asset. If agreed, the landowner must tell the Council if they intend to sell it. If a group wants to buy the asset they can trigger a 6 month period to give them a chance to raise the money, but the landowner can still sell at the going market rate. This would therefore prevent a quick sale of Hopefield’s land.

The Council have called an urgent meeting on Tuesday 27 January at 6.45pm at the Town Hall to consider this application. The meeting is only expected to last 15 minutes but the public is invited to attend if they wish – and Cllr Chilvers would love to see as many people from Hopefield as possible to support the application.

You can hear Karen talking about this again here:

Click here for more information about Community Assets.


Mike is also a Professional Voiceover checkout his work HERE

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Piers from the Brentwood Gazette 13-01-15

Today we had our weekly chat with the Brentwood Gazette about what is coming up in tomorrows edition.

Piers Brentwood Gazette 28-10-14


Check out the stories on the Brentwood Gazette website by clicking here

Mike is also a Professional Voiceover checkout his work HERE

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Lucy Benjamin chats to Phoenix FM

2015-01-08 Mike Porter and Lucy Benjamin

We were visited by Lucy Benjamin who came in to chat about her part in the upcoming play “Deadly Murder”, taking place at the Queens Theatre in Hornchurch.

Audiences will know Lucy from her five years in EastEnders, where she played Lisa Fowler, for which she was nominated Most Popular Actress at the National Television Awards. More recently, she has appeared in TV’s The Detectorists, Missing, Holby City and Kingdom, the feature film Not Alone and on stage, the national tour of Hairspray. She also won The X Factor: Battle of the Stars and took part in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

Lucy will take the leading role of Camille Dargus in David Foley’s scintillating thriller Deadly Murder. She appears alongside cut to the chase… repertory company member Sam Pay (playing Ted), who audiences will know from Godspell, The Great Gatsby and Sleeping Beauty; as well as new member Tom Oliver Cornish (playing Billy), who has appeared in the West End as well as on TV’s The Hollow Crown, Da Vinci’s Demons as well as EastEnders.

Deadly Murder is directed by the hugely talented Simon Jessop, who directed the Queen’s production The Great Gatsby last summer and co-directed Deathtrap the previous autumn, both of which received huge critical acclaim. Mr Jessop is currently entertaining full houses as the pantomime Dame, Nurse Nellie.

About Deadly Murder: Camille Dargus has worked her way up from humble beginnings to a glittering Manhattan lifestyle. She has brains, beauty and a successful career as a jewellery designer for the leading lights of New York. She also has a penchant for attractive young men. One night at a society gala, she meets Billy, a handsome waiter, and brings him back to her loft apartment. There’s more to Billy than meets the eye, however, and Camille summons her security guard Ted to get him out. But suddenly, she finds herself held hostage by a man who seems frighteningly familiar with the past she has struggled to forget.

Over the course of one explosive night, Camille must use all her wits and cunning to save her life – and to prevent the dark secrets of her past from destroying everything.

Full of twists and turns, bluffs and double bluffs, this brilliantly intricate thriller will be one step ahead of you all the way!

Deadly Murder runs at the Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, from 30 January – 21 February. Tickets cost £16.50 – £26.50. Call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or book online at

Mike is also a Professional Voiceover checkout his work HERE

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In The Kitchen … with Jona Lewie!

It was a delight and an utter thrill for all of us to welcome the legendary JONA LEWIE to the Phoenix FM studios!


Christmas time always brings Jona’s music to mind – it wouldn’t be the festive season without hearing Stop The Cavalry many many times. And naturally we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t herd him into our little kitchen for a few photos, in homage to his other big hit from 1980, You’ll Always Find Me In the Kitchen At Parties.

However, not many people know that Jona’s biggest UK hit was actually under the guise of a previous band, Terry Dactyl and the Dinosaurs, who released “Seaside Shuffle” on the UK label in 1972. The song reached no 2 in the singles charts, narrowly beaten to the top by Alice Cooper’s School’s Out. Since Jona had brought his accordion down rather than a keyboard, this was the one that he played live in the studio for us. You can see this and his chat with Mikey Porter in the video below:

Jona said afterwards that it was the first time he’d played his accordion live on air which we quite frankly find astonishing and may need to fact-check!

There’s a new album out in 2015 and we’re hoping to get him back in to talk about that and play a few more songs, so stay tuned!



Mike is also a Professional Voiceover checkout his work HERE

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Mancie Baker live at Phoenix FM

It was a delight to welcome 16-year-old singer/songwriter Mancie Baker in to Phoenix FM for the first time.


Mancie has been writing songs for some time and already has several dozen songs under her belt. She visited the Drive show and treated us to two tunes which you can hear again by clicking below:

You can hear more of Mancie by visiting her Soundcloud account here – or by keeping tuned to Phoenix FM, as we’ll sure to be playing more of her in the future!


Mike is also a Professional Voiceover checkout his work HERE

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Becky, Raymond & Wayne from Fitness In Mind 08-09-14

Today we had another chat with Becky, Raymond and Wayne about how the Fitness In Mind project is going.

Becky, Raymond and Wayne Fitness In Mind 08-09-14

If you would like to take part the telephone number is 01277 215151


Mike is also a Professional Voiceover checkout his work HERE

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Delora live at Phoenix FM

Click below to listen to the interview again:

We welcomed indie pop trio DELORA into the studio today.


Lucy, Rose and Lauren came in to talk about how they got together and their new EP, Superglue, which is out at the end of this month.

They also played two songs live for us which you see and hear again below:

You can find out more about them by visiting their official website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

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Lisa Matthews from Midsummer Nights Dream 11-06-14

Today I was very surprised, I spoke to Lisa Matthews about the Brentwood Shakespeare Companies new production of A Midsummer Nights Dream. I thought it would be a typical Shakespeare play but I didn’t know about the twist.

Lisa Mathews Midsummer Nights Dream 11-06-14

For tickets call or pop into Maggies, 41 High Street, Ingatestone. or call 01277-356262


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John Yarrow 09-06-14

Today we spoke to John Yarro about his very touching book called “Inspirational Irene, From the Heart”

John Yarrow 2 09-06-14

If you would like to help John in raising as much money for this great cause you can email him on or call on 01277-659081 or 07860-472552.

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Are we back in the nuclear race?

It was a real privilege to be deputising for Mikey Porter on today’s show, but fear not the man himself returns tomorrow from 3pm.

Well mercifully the question above does not refer to the arms race BUT the mud and obstacle race taking place on Sunday the 11th May at the Secret Nuclear Bunker.

IMG_0309On today’s show I got to chat with two local councillors – Jan Pound and Vicky Davies – who are deeply involved in these so-called nuclear races . Whilst unable for health reasons to enter the event itself both Councillors are sponsoring people able to enter and Cllr Vicky Davies is also looking after the first aid. A number of Councillors from all parties have bravely agreed to take part and Jan and Vicky also brought two young guys from FITNESS IN MIND  –  Sam Booker and Jason West who have entered the 6km event which involves over 50 man-made and natural obstacles including tyre pits, wall ramps, lakes, ditches, bomb holes and, of course, mud aplenty! Listen again to my conversation with them all here: – Nuclear Race

Rather them than me!

See you again soon,



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Sophie DeBattista – interview and session


Today I had singer/songwriter Sophie DeBattista in the studio for a chat about her career, and what a career she’s had at the ripe old age of 19!

Sophie Debattista 30-04-14

Click below to listen to the whole interview and session again:

You can also see videos of the three songs Sophie played by clicking below:

For more information you can visit Sophie’s Facebook page.

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Fitness In Mind

We had a studio full of guests today when we spoke to Ray, Sam & Danny about Fitness In Mind and they told us what Ronnie O’Sullivan, Steve Davis and Bobby Davro all have in common.

Ray, Sam & Danny from Fitness In Mind 25-04-14

For more information visit or call Nicky Smith at the Brentwood Centre on 01277 215151 or email

To give a charitable donation to the project please text ‘BLTX14 £3’ to 70070 (regulated by or change £3 to any amount you wish to donate.

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Nev from the Brentwood Gazette 15-04-14

On todays show Nev the Editor from the Brentwood Gazette came in to discuss the brand new restaurant opening up in Brentwood and the crime figures in Brentwood since the street lights were turned out after midnight.

Nev Brentwood Gazette 15-04-14


Check out the stories on the Brentwood Gazette website by clicking here

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Paul Alexander Billericay IT Solutions 03-04-14

Paul Alexander from Billericay IT Solutions came back into the studio to talk about broadband connections.

Paul Alexander Billercay IT Solutions 03-04-14


If you have an IT problem you can email Paul at or visit or call him on 01268 906636

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‘Allo ‘Allo .. Vicki Michelle visits Phoenix FM


What other introduction could you possibly need? It was a pleasure to welcome the wonderful Vicki Michelle to the Phoenix FM studio for the first time.

Vicki chatted about her many acting roles, both past and present. If you missed the interview you can hear it again here:

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Simon Drane and Keith Playell from Havering College’s business school


Simon Drane, the head of Havering College’s business school came down with Skidmarques’ Keith Playell to talk about apprenticeships and how the college works with business.

You can hear the interview again below:

And you’ve still got time to attend the College’s Learning Curve networking event – details can be found here.

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The Flag Factory Festival – Line-up announced

Click here to listen to the interview again:

Olly & Chris from the Flag Factory Festival

Olly and Chris from the Flag Factory Festival came into the studio to tell us about the festival, taking place at the White Horse over the weekend of September 12 and 13. The event will not only showcase some of the best local talent but will also be raising money for two very worthwhile causes, the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity and Meningitis Now.


For more information keep an eye on the official Facebook page.

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Matt & Rachel from the Brentwood Gazette

Matt & Rachel from the Brentwood Gazette popped in to the studio to give us a sneaky peek at some of the stories being printed in this weeks paper. We discussed Bodger & Badger the Traveller in Navestock that is refusing to move a plane crash and an update to the street light saga.

Matt and Rachel from the Brentwood Gazette


Check out the stories on the Brentwood Gazette website by clicking here

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Keith and Helen of Five Elements 28-03-14

Today Keith and Helen of the new Five Elements spiritual shop in Kings Road, Brentwood popped in to tell us about Reiki and the power of crystals.

Keith & Helen Five Elements 28-03-14

you can email Keith and Helen on or visit their web page at

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Paul Alexander from Billericay IT Solutions 27-03-14

Today Paul Alexander from Billericay IT Solutions popped in to talk to us and we discussed the 5 most common faults with a PC

Paul Alexander Billericay IT Solutions

If you have an IT problem you can email Paul at or visit or call him on 01268 906636


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Matt-Matt and Rachel from the Brentwood Gazette 26-03-14

Matt-Matt and Rachel from the Brentwood Gazette popped in for their usual weekly chat

This week we talked about the Crime Watch appeal, dog mess in Copperfield Gardens and a new Towie star is opening a shop in Brentwood High Street

Matt-Matt and Rachel from the Brentwood Gazette

To read about some of the stories mentioned check out the Brentwood Gazette Website

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Mike Porter – Drivetime

Mike Porter-15b

Mike Porter has spent over 34 years working in the entertainment field, 17 of which have been in media.

Mike has appeared in various television documentaries for such prestigious UK channels including the BBC and ITV and has also narrated a variety of documentaries, the most recent being for Channel 4 in the UK.

He is probably best known for his rich voice which has been heard on a number of different radio stations over the last 17 years. His personality driven breakfast shows have made him a household name among listeners in the county of Essex while working for some of the largest radio companies in the country. Mike has performed on stage in theatre and has compered in front of crowds of up to 50,000 people. He spent some time in Europe working for Planet Hollywood during which time he entertained crowds at concerts for Robbie Williams and Oasis.

A sample of Mikes voice over work can be heard here

Mike has more recently been involved in the electronic press kit for some UK feature films shooting behind the scenes footage and interviewing the cast and crew. Alongside working in the public eye, Mike also works behind the scenes in audio production and video editing.

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Nev & Alan from the Brentwood Gazette popped in for a chat 12-03-14

On todays show Nev & Alan from the Brentwood Gazette talked to Mike about “The Attempted Dog Theft” in Brentwood, “Councillor Case Work” and “The Brentwood High Street Paving Problem”

Nev & Alan Brentwood Gazette

Click here to goto the Brentwood Gazette website

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#TimeToTalk Day on Phoenix FM

Thursday 6 February was the first ever Time to Talk Day – 24 hours in which to start conversations about mental health, raise awareness and share the message that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, neither is talking about it.

At Phoenix FM we had four groups in organised by Wayne Banks from the Essex Mental Health Community who came in and talked on specialist subjects:

On the Breakfast Show with Rob Jelly we spoke about Time to Change, Mental Health & Young People, and Volunteering

Click below to listen to the interviews again:

TimeToTalk Breakfast

Time To Talk 1

Our guests were:

Paul Howard

Paul is a mental health service user. He works for a national medical charity and in his spare time volunteers for Essex Mental Health Community.

Emma O’Leary

Emma is a recent Neuroscience graduate who has volunteered as a Peer Support Volunteer for Mind in Brighton, and for an Essex based charity for those with various learning and physical disabilities.

Sarah Mitchell

Sarah is a mental health service user. She runs her own business and is a passionate campaigner for better mental health services.

Laura-May Written

Laura is a Time to Change champion, and Communications Manager at ECDP, which runs a work experience programme to help people back into employment.

Robin Steer

Robin has lived experience of mental ill health, and is an Ambassador for ECDP.

Daisy Simpson

Daisy is a mental health service user, and Young Involvement Volunteer for Time To Change

On Eat My Brunch with Michelle Ward we spoke about Art Therapy, Talking Therapy, Mindfulness and Physical Activity

Click below to listen to the interviews again:

TimeToTalk Brunch


Our guests were:

Jane Ward

Jane is the Abbott at Brentwood Buddhist Centre, and offers the local community physical, mental, and spiritual happiness and wellbeing.

Nicky Smith

Nicky Smith is Leisure Services Manager at Brentwood Leisure Trust.

Shaun Petrie

Shaun is a Senior Child and Adolescent Mental Health Clinician and Art Therapist at Basildon Child and Family Consultation Service.

He is a member of the British Association of Art Therapists –

Clare Gardiner

Claire is a Trainee Art Therapist currently working with Children and Adolescents with mental health difficulties.

Ann Carter

Ann is the head of service for Therapy for You, the talking therapy service located in GP surgeries and local community hubs.

Roger Black

On One 2 Three with Mike Jones, we spoke about Mental Health Challenge for Local Councils, and Peer Support

Click below to listen to the interviews again:

Time To Talk 2014 – Mike Jones One 2 Three


Our guests were:

Wayne Banks

Wayne has bipolar affective disorder, and is a Time To Change Champion. He is looking for work and currently volunteers for Essex Mental Health Community.

Andrew Gordon

Andrew is Basildon District Councillor, nominated Mental Health Champion, and a lead officer for the South Essex Recovery College.

Ann Naylor

Ann is an Essex County Councillor, Chair of Health and Wellbeing Board, and nominated Mental Health Champion.

Jan Pound

Jan is a Brentwood Borough Councillor, Chair of Health and Community Boards, and nominated Mental Health Champion.

Andy Bell

Andy is deputy CEO for the Centre for Mental Health, and lead officer for the Mental Health Challenge for Local Councils.

On Drive with Bryan Powis we spoke about Adult Services, Mental Health in the Elderly, and Family Carers

Click below to listen to the interviews again:

Time To Talk 2014 – Drive


Our guests were:

Peter Ferrier

Peter has depression, and is a shadow director of Brentwood Community Print.

Audrey Clark

Audrey is a director of Brentwood Community Print, a social enterprise that provides mental health support, work experience and work skills training to people in recovery from mental illness.

Colin Wade

Colin is a mental health support worker for Brentwood Mind.

Karen Undrill

Karen is a professional counsellor from Essex Counselling at Home Organisation, or ECHO for short. ECHO specialises in visiting clients at home to provide individual or couple counselling to everyone aged 55 and over.

Louisa North

Louisa is a professional counsellor from Essex Counselling at Home Organisation, or ECHO for short. ECHO specialises in visiting clients at home to provide individual or couple counselling to everyone aged 55 and over.

Links to groups and organisations featured on Phoenix FM during #TimeToTalk Day:

Essex Mental Health Community: TwitterFacebookEmail

ECDP (Essex Coalition of Disabled People):
Brentwood Buddhist Centre:
Brentwood Leisure Trust:
SEPT (South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust):
Therapy for You (NHS):
Essex County Council:
Basildon Borough Council:
Brentwood Borough Council:
Mental Health Challenge for Local Councils:
Brentwood Community Print:
Brentwood Mind:
ECHO (Essex Counselling at Home Organisation):
Basildon & South Essex Disability Forum:

Links national mental health and relevant organisations:

Time To Change:
Centre for Mental Health:
Mental Health Foundation:
Young Minds:
Together UK:
Depression Alliance:
National Autistic Society:
Alzheimer’s Society:

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Love Beer … Love Brentwood

2014-01-24 Roland Kannor 02

We’re constantly reminding ourselves how lucky we are to have our own award-winning brewery in Brentwood, and 2014 plans to be a big year for the Brentwood Brewing Company. Roland Kannor, founder of the Brentwood Brewing Company, came in to sample some beer on air with me (that ALWAYS works well on the radio, even if you’re not from a brewery) and to chat about the new Love Beer Love Brentwood campaign.

Click below to listen to the interview again:

Phoenix FM interview with Roland Kannor (Bryan, 24-01-2014)

… and keep an ear out on Phoenix FM in 2014 too as we’ll be giving away lots of free beer!

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Blitz Kids live on Phoenix FM

Click here to listen to the interview and session again:

Blitz Kids – 21 Jan 2014

Joe and Jono from Blitz Kids took time off from their busy touring schedule to visit us for a chat and a few songs.


The guys talked about their new album and news of a massive tour coming up, and also played a couple of songs for us, which you can see again below:

You can find out what the band are up to by visiting their official website at


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Drive – #afternoondelight


Every afternoon we play a track on the radio that maybe you have never heard on the radio before. Or maybe a track that was always on the radio once but you never/very rarely hear it get played anymore. Have a look at the list of tracks we have already played and if you have your own suggestion then let me know and it could be the next #afternoondelight

The Streets – Dry Your Eyes
Bjork – Venus As A Boy
Nina Simone – Sinnerman (Felix Da Housecat Mix)
2Pac – Changes
Guns N’ Roses – November Rain
Phil Collins – Take Me Home
REO Speedwagon – Can’t Fight This Feeling
Inner City – Big Fun
Milli Vanilli – I’m Gonna Miss You
Limp Bizkit – Rollin’
Bon Jovi – Runaway
Phil Oakley – Together In Electric Dreams
Calvin Harris – I’m Not Alone
Eamon – Don’t Want You Back
Youssou N’ Dour ft Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds
Andrew WK – Party Hard
LFO – Summertime Girls
Fatman Scoop – Be Faithful
Big Brovaz – Nu Flow
Good Charlotte – Lifestyles Of The Rich & The Famous
The Outhere Brothers – Boom Boom Boom
Apache Indian – Boom Shak A Lak
Green Jelly – Three Little Pigs
Linkin Park – In The End
Alicia’s Attic – I Am, I Feel

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The Phoenix FM Daytime Collective – Santa (Thank you) ft. The Popettes



A brand new Christmas song for you this year courtesy of your Phoenix FM daytime presenters.



The Phoenix FM Daytime Collective are:
Bryan Powis
Rob Jelly
Michelle Ward
Bob Simpson
Mike Jones (as Santa)
The Popettes

And here it is, the video that you’ve all been waiting for…

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#thefridayfind – Breton



We started a new feature for a Friday – ‘The Friday Find.

It works quite simple. I sit down on a Friday morning, search various music blogs and sites to try to find some good music I have never heard before. It didn’t take long before I came across Breton and their track ‘Envy’ and it’s here where I stopped and thought, “These guys are really, really good.”

Not only that we managed to squeeze five minutes out of Roman Rappak – guitars and vocals for Breton and one of its founding members, to find out more about our new musical discovery.




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Phoenix FM interview with Freda Payne


Timeless Motown legends Four Tops and The Temptations will be back in the UK in 2014 to relive the R&B and soul classics that delivered Detroit to music history. Special guests joining the bill for these memorable shows will be The Platters and Freda Payne.

Singer and actress Freda Payne hit her musical peak in 1970 with Band of Gold, reaching a million copies sold and later re-recorded with Belinda Carlisle in 1986. A complete artist and a versatile vocalist, Freda’s career spans over 4 decades covering soul, R&B and jazz as well as movie and theatre roles. Freda has just finished recording a new jazz album to be released in 2014.

I caught up with Freda this afternoon and we spoke about the tour, her upcoming album and also working with Sir Cliff Richard.

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The Mike Lenson Band – Live from Studio 2



This week saw the first ‘Live from Studio 2’ take place on the show. The concept is simple – get a band in and record a session in our new Studio 2.

The Mike Lenson Band are based around Essex and have only been playing together since August. Great guys who recorded a brilliant session which included a couple of originals and a big cover.

You can catch them at The Essex Arms next Thursday (5th December) and make sure give them a like on Facebook. Just search for them whilst you have a listen to the three tracks below.

‘Roll With The Tide’
‘Criticize’ (Alexander O’Neal Cover)
‘Bring Back The Sunshine’

photo (1)

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Sing Out For Christmas – Dene Michaels (Black Lace)



Today I was joined by ‘Mr Agadoo’ himself Dene Michaels on the show.

We had a chat about his new track ‘Sing Out For Christmas’ which he has released with good friend Bruce Jones. We spoke about Christmas, the ingredients you need for a Christmas Song and of course Black Lace!


Dene Michaels & Bruce Jones – Sing Out For Christmas (VIDEO)

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Lighting Up Brentwood – Meet The Acts – The Popettes

(photo courtesy of

(photo courtesy of

So in case you haven’t heard, Phoenix FM are the host for this year’s Christmas light switch on in Brentwood High Street on 30th November. So in the lead up to the event, across the daytime shows we are having the various acts who will be performing on the day to come in to have a chat, play some songs and maybe throw in a couple of Live sessions.

So this week The Popettes, who are a modern vocal group with a vintage twist came in for a chat and also performed a track live for us.

[audio:] [audio:]


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Lighting Up Brentwood – Meet The Acts – Rajiv

photo courtesy of David Brant (

photo courtesy of David Brant (

So in case you haven’t heard, Phoenix FM are the host for this years Christmas light switch on in Brentwood High Street on 30th November. So in the lead up to the event, across the daytime show’s, we are having the various acts, who will be performing on the day to come in to have a chat, play some songs and maybe throw in a couple of Live sessions.

Yesterday R&B artist Rajiv (winner of our Phoenix FM Battle Stage Competition) made his return to Phoenix FM

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Lighting Up Brentwood – Meet the Acts – Marilena Gant

So in case you haven’t heard, Phoenix FM are the host for this years Christmas light switch on in Brentwood High Street on 30th November. So in the lead up to the event, across the daytime show’s, we are having the various acts, who will be performing on the day to come in to have a chat, play some songs and maybe throw in a couple of Live sessions.

On Friday we welcomed 16 year old classical singer Marilena Gant onto the show.

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The Phoenix FM Drive Show – Comedy + Radio = Awkward

This week I welcomed comedian Adi Knight on to the show. He was performing at the Holiday Inn in Brentwood, and he came in to tell us about how he got into comedy, how he comes up with and trails his material, and also told us a few jokes, which became quite awkward as I don’t have a tendency to laugh plus there was only me & him in the room. LISTEN:

You can check him out on Twitter @adicomedy



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The Phoenix FM Drive Show – ‘The Council Awards’ (not as boring as it sounds!)

So on Wednesday night this week I sat down to watch Brentwood Councils webcast of their Ordinary Council. I follow local politics closely, I mean why wouldn’t you, it affects the town and area we live in. Now we are all used to what goes on in Government, its on the news, in the papers, on social feeds daily. But not everyone knows how it is and what it’s like on a local scale.

Now without going into a whole speech (rant) about what I think, probably offending a few people along the way too, I thought this week I would hold the first ever (and probably last) ‘Ordinary Council Awards’ – it was all done in good fun, but the message about the state of our local council currently is there.

I have had great reaction this week to this, from listerners, even some local Councillors who were at that very meeting.

So if you missed it, you can now hear it again


greg julie karen mike

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Jordon Cox on Drive

It was a busy old time on Friday’s edition.  Not only were the roads clogged up, and Essex Police Commissioner Nick Alston on the show, Jordon Cox dropped by for a chat about the Brentwood Operatic Society’s new production, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.

After a brief introduction, we played a song from the Broadway smash hit, and Jordon told us about himself, the show, and the Society.

Jordon Cox on Drive – Friday 11 October 2013

It’s quite apparent that Jordon, and the show is going to be a big success.  My thanks to Jordon for dropping by.  And remember, if you want to see this great show and have a fun night out, you can buy your tickets from the Brentwood Theatre box office on 01277 200305.

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Driving Through The Sunshine

It’s been a hectic few weeks for the poor drivers in and around Brentwood.  With the Crossrail infrastructure being put in place, you’d be forgiven for thinking tempers would be frayed as jams around the town centre soared.

Not a bit of it though.  Stuck in a queue one evening, one of our listeners, Tina, saw a somewhat spectacular skyline above Brentwood and felt inspired enough to take a pic as she waited patiently to move about two yards forward.

She was also kind enough to send through a copy of it.  So sit and admire a gorgeous, beautiful sun setting on gorgeous, beautiful Brentwood.

62 - Brentwood Skyline

It has to be better to look at than the boot of the car in front of you.  Sadly, this is typical of Shenfield Road during the week at around 6.30pm.

63 - Wilsons Corner

So, let’s be inspired by beauty.  My thanks to Tina for such a lovely pic.  And let’s be entertained every weekday afternoon between 3 and 6.  News, sport, showbiz gossip, guests, banter, and great music.  That’s a guarantee!

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Crossrail – The Shape Of Things To Come?

Quite often, in the pleasant summer conditions, I forego the train and the road and instead wander into Phoenix Towers from Shenfield.  The leafy overhang almost forms a natural tunnel, somehow allowing the warmth of the sun to come through, but keeping you cool at the same time.  Very nice indeed.

Perhaps now more locals may be putting on their comfy shoes for a walk as well.  Earlier today, before 2pm, this was the sight that greeted me on the Shenfield Road between the Nuffield Hospital and Middleton Hall Lane.

16 Aug - Shenfield Rd


This is, of course, due to the ongoing construction work of the Crossrail scheme, linking Shenfield with a similarly modest and normally quiet village west of London.  The queues stretched into Brentwood town centre from past Crescent Drive, and from right down the High Street going the other way.

Wilsons Corner, predictably, was extremely busy, and turning into Ongar Road, the knock-on effect was evident too.

16 Aug - Ongar Rd


And this. remember, was a weekday afternoon, with no school run, a couple of hours before the rush hour really kicks in.

Is this the shape of things to come for Brentwood motorists?  If it is – get the train.  At least they tell you when their service is patchy or not going anywhere!

Or better still, have a wander, and enjoy the leafy mix of sun and breeze.  It’s lovely.  And jam free!

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Fun, Frolics, And A Trip Down The A128

Just a little update, letting you know that I am just about alive after a hectic weekend!

Covering a Ryman Premier clash for the wonderful ‘Between The Lines’ made Saturday busy, but hey the Edinburgh derby – and an unlikely win for my beloved Hearts! – has made the weekend super tiring!

Not to worry, I’ll be there, from 3pm ,every weekday, giving you:

Spiffing music – hits from up and down the decades right up to today!

Showbiz gossip – how could we get by without the latest Beiber gaffe?

News – the very latest from here and across the globe.

Sport – regular bulletins and updates on the local and national scene.

Barr Celebration

And, of course –

TRAVEL BULLETINS!  Twice an hour, with updates in between if anything happens, making sure your drive home is as smooth as possible.

So, tune into 98 FM.  online, on the Phoenix 98 FM phone app, or tune-in radio, and you never know, you may even hear someone singing “This is my story, this is my song, follow the Hearts and you can’t go wrong!”

And let’s face it, you won’t get that anywhere else!

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10 Things We Have Learned In The Past Couple Of Weeks

Well, what have we learned?

1.  That the will of the Brentwood public will ensure that parking charges will be what they always should’ve been in the first place.

2.  That as soon as Wimbledon has finished, nobody actually cares, or even remembers much, that Andy Murray won.

3.  You can’t book a room for love nor money on a Friday at the Holiday Inn by the Brook Street roundabout.  Well, actually, you can apparently …..

4.  That the reformed Sugarbabes, who aren’t allowed to be called the Sugarbaes, shouldn’t also be allowed near a microphone.

5.  Crossrail is a euphemistic term for clogged up roads and broken down trains.

6.  Farmers near New Lodge back off and fall silent, if Billericay Town supporters don’t just take their aggression and rudeness, and instead tell said farmers what they think of them.

7.  The M25 is a coded term for “add at least an hour to your journey time.”

8.  Hearts may have almost gone to the wall, but Hibernian are officially the worst ever Scottish team to ever play in European competition.  Chortle.

9.  The people of Brentwood and Billericay, and everywhere in between, are a good decent sort, which makes you be proud to be a part of them.

10.  Providing them with a mix of travel, news, sport, showbiz gossip, and great music up and down the decades, between 3 and 6 every weekday afternoon, really is a privilege.  Thank you.



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Adding A Bit Of Drive To The Summer Holidays

Well, it’s all been go in Phoenix Towers these past few weeks, as summer time really does seem to kick in between 3 and 6pm during the week!

All manner of news stories seem to have broken during those hours, and sadly few of them uplifting, but always dramatic.  Political intrigue, criminal verdicts, Elton John’s new haircut, it’s all come out in the wash!

Talking of Elton, the showbiz gossip has carried on regardless, with an endless stream of irrelevance about so-called celebrities, that somehow stick in your mind and become the topic of conversation at work.  I bet you all know, despite yourselves, exactly what the reformed original Sugarbabes are now called.  I know what I’ve called them too.

And, well, the live sport on Drive has been coming through thick and fast.  After the drama of Wimbledon, and Andy Murray’s unlikely comeback one gloriously sunny afternoon (after, of course, I’d written him off at two sets down!), the intensity goes up another level as the Ashes rolls into town.


With all this, plus your local events guide, music up and down the decades right up to the present day headliners, it’s amazing that the travel bulletins are somehow fitted in.  But they are, two every hour, plus updates in between if something is going on on our roads or our trains.  After all, Drive is all about people on the move.

With all this packed into just three whirlwind hours, how could you dare miss it?  See you during the week, then, from 3.  It’s bound to be spiffing, you know.



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Lions Roar Makes Rebels Yell

A busy old time during the evening rush hour this week.  Sadly, there’s been some serious road traffic accidents, as well as severe delays on the train.  It’s been no picnic for a commuter.

This is where we try to keep things going.  As well as the latest travel bulletins, if you’re stuck in a jam, or waiting on a platform, you want great music, and a mix of news, showbiz gossip, and sport.

Latterly, Laura Robson gave us something to smile about at Wimbledon this afternoon.  So, though, did the Lions this morning!  Sort of, anyway.


As regular listeners know, there’s been full summaries from every Lions game so far, as well as after match comments from the players.  The reports come from a trusty source, the humble phone, straight after the game!

Today, the Lions rumbled onto face the Melbourne Rebels, buoyed by their win in the 1st test at the weekend.  For the last time in midweek this is how they fared.

[audio:|titles=Rebels 0-35 Lions]

And so, onto Saturday and the 2nd test.  To get the low down on that, you’ll have to tune into to the wonderful Steve and Between The Lines from 4pm on Saturday.  But hey, it’s been fun to have Drive invaded by Lions this summer!


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24 Hours From Hutton

Well, it’s been a busy week on Drive.  We’ve had a rock band, a businessman, and now a report live from arguably the greatest race on the planet!

‘Between The Lines’ presenter Steve Roberston hot-footed it over the channel to sample the delights of all the Aston Martins and Audis vying for victory, on a track almost as long as a traffic jam on the A12.

Drive listeners were treated to the wit and wisdom of our Steve.  And listen out for the unintentional wit at the end where one dimwit presenter doesn’t know how to put the phone down!

[audio:|titles=Le Mans 24 Hour Preview]

Hear more from Steve at Le Mans on Between The Lines from 4pm on Saturday afternoon.  Not only that, but there will also be a full summary on the Wallabies v Lions 1st test in Brisbane.  Unmissable!



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The Drive Live Session: Voodoo Room

It was an absolute pleasure to have Andy, Pete, and John live in the studio this afternoon for a chat and a tune or two.  Voodoo Room were indeed live on Drive.


With plenty of experience playing and recording, with some legendary artists, it seemed rude not to ask them for a little treat for the Drive listeners.  No sooner said than done.  The sound of Hendrix and Cream filled the airwaves.  Wonderful.

The chat and tunes can be heard here:

[audio:|titles=Voodoo Room Chat & Tunes]


After an all too brief stay, they had to be on their way on a busy UK tour.   They are, however, welcome ti pop in any time and brighten up the school run or the rush hour.

Spiffing stuff!






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Lions Driving On

Well, after a week full of traffic jams and delays on the road, and not too much to cheer the soul with the increasingly gloomy news headlines, at least there’s one bright spark.

The British & Irish Lions are on tour down under, and regular listeners will know all about how they’re getting along through the week on Drive, and at weekends on Between The Lines, with regular match summaries and team news.

Until today it was 4 wins out of 4 on tour in Hong Kong and Australia.  With just a week before the 1st test, could they make it a resounding 5 out of 5?  Of course they could!

Here’s a summary of the Lions latest win.

[audio:|titles=NSW Waratahs 17-47 British & Irish Lions]

As the summer (hopefully) steps up a gear, the Lions tour looks certain to hot up considerably over the next three weeks.

If you can’t see the games, worry not, Drive and Between The Lines will make sure you don’t miss a thing!


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Getting You Home In Spiffing Style

I’ve been suitably telt off by the Head Phoenix, so now here I am, bringing colour, delight, and the latest on the B186.

It’s ironic, really, but I don’t actually drive.  Hardly ever have either.  In the short phase of time where I was behind a wheel, the doctors and nurses found I had a condition which precluded me from driving.  And it wasn’t even lack of driving ability.

No matter, though, as I’m entirely dependent on public transport, so I know how vital it is to know if getting from A to B entails having to now go via the C to get there.

Of course, tuning in for three hours, just to be told that Ingrave Road is clear, or the 4.39 to Southend Victoria is three minutes late, isn’t conducive to a spiffing time.  Usually, anyway.  So, of course, there’s plenty more besides.

Not only do you get updates from this:


And this:


You get your


As well the latest sport locally and nationally


You get a delve into local events:


News every half hour


And, of course, great music, from the latest bands to hits up and down the decades


So why not make the trip home that much more fun?  Spiffing music, travel bulletins that are actually for your area, news, sport, showbiz, it’s three hours of fun and frolics every weekday between 3 and 6pm.

Hurrah!  See you soon, chaps and chapesses.



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The Spin live on Phoenix FM

Click here to listen again to the interview:

[audio:|titles=Phoenix FM interview with The Spin 04.03.2013]

We were very pleased to welcome THE SPIN all the way from Stockholm, who are currently in the UK on a promotional tour.

Erik, Fredrik, Mattias and Christoffer came down and not only had a chat about the band’s history and current happenings, but also played three songs live which you can see below:

The band are playing a number of Essex and London gigs in the next few days including The Swan in Maldon (5 Mar), The Bull in Colchester (6 Mar), Nambucca in Islington (7 Mar), The Norton in Cold Norton (8 Mar) and The Horny Toad in Maylandsea (9 Mar).

To find out more you can check out their official website or follow their Facebook or Twitter

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Black Orchid Empire live on Phoenix FM

It was great to welcome London rockers Black Orchid Empire to Brentwood for their first Phoenix FM session on Drive last Wednesday.

The band played a great acoustic set of three songs – Here’s To You, Walking Disaster and This City – live and you can see and hear them again if you missed them first time round:

(Thanks to Tony for the emergency mike loan and Alex M for the great work on the video)

You can find out more about the band by visiting their official website, Facebook or Twitter pages.

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Astrophotography made simple …

Nik Szymanek is an Essex-based amateur astronomer and prolific astrophotographer, well known for his deep sky images and contributions to education and public outreach.

Nik came in to the breakfast show today to have a chat about what he does and how he does it. Click below to listen again to the interview:

[audio:|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Nik Szymanek 23.01.2013]

Nik recommends the following websites for people wanting to learn more:

Heavens Above – accurate information about satellites in your location

The World At Night – stunning nightscape photos

Astronomy Picture Of The Day – from the NASA website

If you want to see some of the amazing photos Nik has taken then head on over to his website at>.

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Interview with Mr Rajiv Varma from Prime Hospital Consultants

Click here to listen again to the interview:

[audio:|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Mr Rajiv Varma 17.01.2013]

Prime Hospital Consultants are a group of twelve local consultants providing medical treatment and advice on a range of health issues, including cardiology, weight loss, gynaecology and cosmetic surgery. The consultants operate at local hospitals including Spire Hartswood Hospital in Eagle Way, Brentwood.

Mr Rajiv Varma, a consultant gynaecologist, visited Phoenix FM to talk about his work and women’s medical issues in general.

You can find our more about them by visiting their website at

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Interview with Mr John Targett from Prime Hospital Consultants

Click here to listen again to the interview:

[audio:|titles=Phoenix FM interview with John Targett (Bryan, 11-01-2013)]

Prime Hospital Consultants are a group of twelve local consultants providing medical treatment and advice on a range of health issues, including cardiology, weight loss, gynaecology and cosmetic surgery. The consultants operate at local hospitals including Spire Hartswood Hospital in Eagle Way, Brentwood.

John Targett, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, visited Phoenix FM to talk about the group and what they offer.

You can find our more about them by visiting their website at

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Haiku Salut live on Phoenix FM

He were delighted to welcome Derbyshire baroque-folktronica trio HAIKU SALUT into the studio today. They were en route to their sold out gig at the Lexington in London with Darren Hayman and Shrag.

As well as playing three songs from their new album, Louise, Sophie and Gemma talked to us about how the band works and how they got together.

You can hear the interview here:

[audio:|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Haiku Salut 10.01.2013]

And see the session again here:

Tricolore is out on 11 March and you can buy it from here. You can find out more about the band by visiting their official site, Facebook or Twitter.

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I wish I was as cool as Phoenix FM’s Breakfast DJ The Jellyman…

Good morning everybody.

I know what you’re thinking, “Why is Bryan awake at this hour? Isn’t he usually in bed about now?” It’s a good question and usually you would be right but on this particular morn I am sat up working on ways to improve the Drive show. Lots of you lovely listeners often say how much you like my show and it means a lot but I’m a bit of a perfectionist (you may have noticed) so here I am, working away. Lots of ideas and thoughts buzzing through my brain and I can’t help but think if I had a name like our Rob on Breakfast then I’d instantly improve my show by at least 10% so I would like your “New Names For Brian” please. You can post below in the comments box or on my new Twitter page too.

All will be accepted, not all will be shortlisted. A winner will be picked at the end of January and I will then head to my solicitor to have it changed by deed poll.

Thanks in advance,











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It’s Friday and it’s time to say bye.

On todays show we had to say goodbye.

We said goodbye to Christmas for another year, by playing the final festive track of 2012.

We also said goodbye to the Friday song. A feature that has not made the cut for 2013. In the box you go.

We also had to decide what my favorite single of 2012 was. I had 4 options. I think I picked the best.


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Thursdays Drive – Bad Jokes, Tongue Twisters and Abandoned Doggie

Had a blast sitting in for Bryan this afternoon, Scrooge-like I decided to limit any Christmas records to just one an hour, but relented in the final hour when I played two! These were accompanied by some of the worst Christmas cracker type jokes imaginable, here’s just a few that didn’t make it to air –
Q: If athletes get athletes foot, what do astronauts get?
A: Missletoe!

Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
A: Frostbite.

Q: Why was Santa’s little helper depressed?
A: Because he had low elf esteem.
Hope I had some listeners left!
I then had the situation where I played a couple of tracks that turned out to be The Two Twin Terrible Tongue Twisters. First it was The Shins – Simple Song, followed by Owl City – Shooting Star. I ended up practising with She Sells Sea Shells by the Seashore. Well you have to be very careful with that Owl City track!
And yes I abandoned my 11 week old pup to do the show. I stressed about him all afternoon but when I got home he was curled up on his bed fast asleep. Good Boy! Extra treats tonight.

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What a terrible day to be on the roads! Floods everywhere, but at least I was in the warm and dry.

Poor Bryan has a terrible problem with one of his teeth, but at least that should minimise his chance of getting food poisoning again. If you can’t eat you are probably at less risk. So once again I had the chance to look after his prime DRIVE slot this afternoon. As usual when I deputise for him we had the THREE O’CLOCK THRILL aimed at brightening an otherwise gloomy afternoon. Today’s edition was made up of the following songs: –

GLORIA                                  by LAURA BRANNIGAN



As Bryan was also off yesterday we also looked at the 10 things you didn’t know last week.

In reverse order these were:

10        Nude Dancing in strip clubs is a form of free speech in the US (Wonder what the Levenson enquiry would think about that!)

9          The giant bird DIATRYMA was a “gentle herbivore and not a fierce carnivore as previously thought (Do we care?)

8          Americans use 5 miles of dental floss per annum (Is that each?)

7         Some map Makers intentionally include phantom streets to prevent copyright infringements (I knew that)

6         The Pope has said that the report that angels sang to the shepherds to proclaim the birth of Jesus is not true (Well I never!)

5         Osama bin Laden’s burial at sea was confirmed by the coded message “FedEx delivered the package”.

4         On average people in the UK become grandparents at age 47. (Clearly I have a problem here)

3         Great apes have mid life crises

2         There is 200 times more faecal bacteria on a chopping board than a toilet seat (Back to food poisoning!)

and finally in the number one position – Prince Philip naps in his horse box.

We wish Bryan a speedy recovery and hope he’ll be quickly back in harness.


All the best from me,



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Tall Dark Friend at Phoenix

Mike Jones stood in for the unwell Bryan Powis on Monday and was delighted to welcome Jordan Gray, AKA Tall Dark Friend a local musician who has appeared on Phoenix several times before. 18 months ago he wowed audiences at a Phoenix fundraiser but on his occasion came in to the studio to talk about his new album. Not only did we hear excerpts from the new album but Jordan also played several tracks live in the studio.

Here’s a video of a track called “The Lion” from Jordan’s new album:

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Well much to my surprise I was once again privileged to find myself  sitting in for BRYAN POWIS on the prestigious DRIVE show today.

It seems that he and his family have been suffering from food poisoning. Don’t know where they picked that up from but my immediate suspicion is a dodgy banger at a firework party. Serves them right for eating fireworks!

Anyway whenever I sit in on this slot I routinely present the THREE O’CLOCK THRILL of 3 absolute stonking songs back-to-back. Today was no exception and the songs played were: – HIP TO BE SQUARE by HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS, GET OUTTA MY DREAMS (and into my car) by BILLY OCEAN and finally ROAD RUNNER from JUNIOR WALKER & THE ALLSTARS.

We also ran through the 10 things you didn’t know this time last week which were: –

It takes 6 hours to reset Big Ben from BST to GMT, Watching a horror film burns up more calories than any other movie, IKEA has sold over 11 billion meatballs in the UK, Heston Blumenthal uses tampons as palate cleaners (after eating Ikea meatballs, perhaps!), the soil on Mars is similar to that found in Hawaii (but presumably without the surf!), New Scotland Yard is actually New, New Scotland Yard, Cornwall is home to the world’s largest witchcraft museum, “Sergeant” was spelt with a “J” in the RAF, Norwegians spend the most on dog food (any Norwegian friends been visiting the Powis household recently?) and finally Clarks are the shoe of choice for musicians in Jamaica.

Bryan will be back on parade tomorrow meantime I’ll see you at my regular time of 2pm tomorrow afternoon.

All the best,


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Taffy – live at Phoenix FM

It was great to welcome Iris, Asano, Koichin and Ken – TAFFY – all the way from Tokyo to Phoenix FM’s studios.

They’re in the middle of their first UK tour but very kindly took time off to visit us to give us acoustic renditions of So Long, HaaH and Jolly Orange. And you probably wouldn’t believe it if we were to tell you this was their first ever live acoustic session … if you missed them first time round you can see them again below.

The band’s debut album, Caramel Sunset, was released earlier this year to rave reviews and you can buy it from here.

Thanks to Bryan for stepping in at short notice to do the interview, to Alex for the excellent camerawork and to Dave from Creative Music Studios for the loan of the bass amp and bongos!

There’s still time to see them live – they’re playing the Wilmington Arms on Saturday along with Blindness and Haiku Salut – tickets still available from here. The band’s official website can be found here.

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Sonya Titus live on Phoenix FM

Click here to listen again to the interview:

[audio:|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Sonya Titus (Bryan, 09-10-2012)]

We were delighted to be joined by London-based singer-songwriter Sonya Titus in the studio today.

Sonya played a couple of songs – Mamma and Now – which will both be on her debut album, to be released soon. Now is already out and you can buy it from iTunes and Amazon.

She also told us why her guitar has “JASON” written on it. Does it belong to someone colourful from a well-known boyband?

You can find out more about Sonya by following her on Facebook or Twitter or by visiting her official website.

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It’s Hazel O’Connor! (from the 80’s)


So Hazel O’Connor is touring. Also book and DVD. Busy.

Having just celebrated thirty years since Dodi Fayed’s iconic movie Breaking Glass launched her into the spotlight, award-winning singer songwriter Hazel O’Connor will be setting out on the road this autumn and touring the UK performing all her Greatest Hits together for the first time ever in a highly anticipated live show to coincide with the release of the digitally re-mastered special edition DVD of Breaking Glass.
Melding Hazel’s superb vocals with soaring sax, guitar, piano, bass and drums, this is the full band sound featuring Clare Hirst on sax (Bellestars, Communards, Bowie) and Sarah Fisher on keyboards (Eurythmics). Her ageless songs include Eighth Day, Will You, Big Brother, Monsters in Disguise, Calls The Tune, If Only, Give Me An Inch , Blackman, Hanging Around and That’s Life, all of which seem even more relevant today.

Hazel O’Connor started her professional life as a dancer working in such diverse countries as Japan and the Lebanon. In 1980, she was catapulted to stardom as Kate in the film Breaking Glass for which she also wrote and performed the iconic soundtrack. She won the Variety Club of Great Britain’s 1980 Film Actress Of The Year Award and, in 1981, was nominated for BAFTA Best Newcomer and Breaking Glass was nominated for Best Film Soundtrack – earning Hazel her place in the history books as the first woman to write and perform all the songs for a film.

In addition to the release of Breaking Glass on DVD, this unique tour also coincides with the publication of Hazel’s long-awaited autobiography Breaking Glass Barefoot which will be available exclusively from Hazel’s official website or throughout the tour. The paperback version will be available early in 2013.


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