Category Archives: Interviews

Paul Humphreys from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

OMD’s current album, The Punishment of Luxury, was released on September 1st and its title is a reminder of our materialistic lives and how we are slaves to the “ad men” regarding possessions and wealth.


Now, 3 singles in and the latest track, What Have We Done, is out and I was delighted to speak with Paul Humphreys from the group.

We spoke about them having almost made it to 40 years, the decline of vinyl, Paul’s thoughts on digital downloads (the album is also available on cassette!), classic computers and the sadness that the music world has endured these past couple of years with the loss of so many artists.

Track by Track: Paul also very kindly took us track by track through the album…

Michelle Ward spoke with Andy McCluskey ahead of its launch.

OMD are playing at the Cliffs Pavilion on Wednesday 1st October.

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Phoenix FM 10th birthday: Jordan Gray

Jordan Gray came down to the Holiday Inn to chat to presenters Bob Simpson and Keith Rogers and play a few songs live, including new single Platinum.

There was also some news about a rather significant change of direction in her career … but to find out, you’ll have to watch it all again.

Jordan’s been a great supporter of the station over the last few years and it was great to get her down once again. You can find out more of her latest news on her official website.

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Spotlight on … Brentwood Fairtrade

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Sara Macham sits down in the Phoenix FM studios with Caryl Kwei, secretary of the Brentwood Fairtrade campaign group. Find out how Caryl and her team of volunteers got Brentwood certified as a fairtrade town, what makes a fairtrade school and why we should all care about where our food, clothes and even footballs come from.


If you would like to know more, visit If you would like to help Caryl, you can find more details and how you can get involved at

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Spotlight on … Ingatestone Musical and Operetta Group

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Phoenix FM’s Sara Macham catches up with Amy Welton, publicity officer at the Ingatestone Musical & Operetta Group (IMOG), at its weekly rehearsal as members prepare for the next production – Carousel – to be performed in October.

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This ‘little theatre group with a big heart’ has about 30 members of different backgrounds and musical ability. Dating back to 1970, IMOG is still going strong, and this year will another string to its bow when it puts on its first ever pantomime.

Amy talks about the history of the group and its repertoire, and about the everlasting appeal of Carousel and its famous songs.

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You can find out more about the production and book tickets here:

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Spotlight on … Brentwood Arts Cinema Club

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Phoenix FM’s Sara Macham went along to the monthly film screening hosted by the Brentwood Arts Cinema Club and had a chat with the group’s committee members Joanna Moncrieff and Phil Mynott.

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BACC shows films at the United Reformed Church Hall in Brentwood once a month (except August) on a Sunday evening. They are all chosen by the group’s committee and either haven’t been on general release or are films that you might not otherwise come across.

The post-film talk and glass of wine are optional, but Joanna and Phil chat about the benefits of watching a film together and discussing it afterwards.

Brentwood Arts Cinema Club 2

You can find out more about the films and membership here:

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Spotlight on … Zinc Arts

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Sara Macham meets the team at Zinc Arts in Chipping Ongar – director Sonia Cakebread, marketing officer Ryan Lightfoot and head chef Adam Wooltorton – to hear about the centre’s activities and plans for the summer holidays.

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Zinc Arts is a not-for-profit arts and education centre, providing a variety of arts-based activities for people of all ages and abilities. And a new cafe with a varied and fresh home-cooked menu makes it a brilliant lunch venue, too!

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For more information about Zinc Arts, or to make a donation, you can visit their website:

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Xanthe chats to Paul Cattermole

Xanthe Bearman went to meet her old musical theatre chum Paul Cattermole at The Cliffs Pavilion in Southend this week. He’d just come off stage as Eddie in the Rocky Horror Show and they had a chat over a glass of wine!

Xanthe Paul Cattermole Aug16

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The Rocky Horror show will be at The Cliffs Pavilion until Saturday 20th August. For more information about the tour visit

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After my last extravaganza I had such lovely feedback so I was thrilled to be able to do another special musical theatre show for Phoenix FM.

I spoke to the wonderful West End Star Joseph Prouse about his career to date, played some lovely show tunes, and also had lots of requests!
Joseph Prouse pic

Actors Mark Benton, Lewis Griffiths, Gracie Reynolds and David Ribi all suggested shows and songs to play.

Plus theatre buffs Sue Longshaw, Louise Kean-Wood, Helen Sweet, Julie Tillin, Clare Ramsay and David Pettit also requested some great songs, thanks for your suggestions.

BEAUTIFUL is the untold story of Carole King’s journey from schoolgirl to superstar; from her relationship with husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin, their close friendship and playful rivalry with fellow song-writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, to her remarkable rise to stardom. NOW PLAYING AT THE ALDWYCH THEATRE with Katie Brayben as Carole King. Details from

A MUSICAL CELEBRATION is at the Queens Theatre in Hornchurch on Sun 1 March at 7.30pm, tickets are just £10.50.
Enjoy songs from West End and Broadway shows such as Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair from South Pacific, Memory from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats and The Wizard and I from Wicked. There’ll be tunes from Chess and Annie Get Your Gun, to Mozart’s Letter Duet.
Katie Milton will be joined by West End stars Nichola Jolley, Kay Carman and Jordan Langford. Details from

Wicked – Defying Gravity
Hair – Aquarius
Hairspray – Welcome to the 60’s
Beautiful – Beautiful
Beautiful – I feel the Earth Move
Les Miserables – Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
Les Miserables – Bring Him Home
Jersey Boys Medley
Ghost – Are You a Believer
Chess – One Night in Bankok
The Producers – Springtime for Hitler
Chicago – When you’re good to Mama
Into The Woods – Children Will Listen
Whistle Down the Wind – Tire Tracks and Broken Hearts
Honeymoon in Vegas – I Love Betsy
Oliver – Consider Youself
South Pacific – Gonna Wash That Man
MATILDA – The Smell of Rebellion
Starlight Express – Starlight Express
Starlight Express – Theres a light at the end..
Scott Garnham – Self Indulgent Ballad
Phantom – All I Ask Of You
Oklahoma – Oklahoma
Legally Blonde – Omigod You Guys
The Commitments -Try a Little Tenderness


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Musical Theatre special

I was thrilled to host this special Musical Theatre show for Phoenix FM on Sunday. I featured interviews with four incredible artists (Rosie Ladkin, Scarlette Douglas, Lewis Griffiths and David Ribi), and played songs from thirteen musicals. Plus I featured the original song ‘Self Indulgent Ballad’ which is an hilarious song by West End star Scott Garnham.

Miss Saigon. The epic love story, set during the Vietnam war, is back in the West End at the Prince Edward Theatre.

The Book of Mormon is a Tony Award-winning satirical musical from the writers of South Park. The show is now in London’s West End at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

The brand new production of Cole Porter’s classic, multi-award winning musical-comedy, Anything Goes is currently touring the UK. Details from

I met with the super talented actress, singer, dancer, musician Rosie Ladkin earlier this week for a chat about Musical Theatre.
Rosie and Xanthe

From 3 – 7 March at Brentwood Theatre, Billericay Operatic Society are performing the Tim Rice musical CHESS. Brentwood Theatre Box Office: 01277 200305

Since Cats first opened on the West End stage in 1981, it has become one of the world’s best known and best loved musicals. CATS is currently enjoying a revival at The London Palladium with Nicole Scherzinger as Grizabella, West End megastar Kerry Ellis will be joining the cast to play the part from 9 February 2015 until April.

Scarlette Douglas is multi-talented performer. Recent projects include the West End show “I Can’t Sing” and the tour of “Ant And Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. She kindly chatted to me about her experiences in Musical Theatre.

Disney’s award-winning musical THE LION KING is now in its 16th year at London’s Lyceum Theatre and is on its first tour of the UK.

David Ribi is a singer/songwriter, a tribute artist and an all round musical theatre performer. He is currently playing Brad in The Rocky Horror Show and I managed to grab a chat with him in between shows on tour in Germany.

David Ribi

Inspired by true events from the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, MEMPHIS follows the fame and forbidden love of a radio DJ who wants to change the world and a club singer who is ready for her big break. The show is at the SHAFTESBURY THEATRE in the West End.

Lewis Griffiths plays bassist Nick Massi in the tour of JERSEY BOYS and I chatted to him at the Cliffs Pavillion in Southend earlier this week. Details of the tour are here

Lewis and Xanthe

The popular musical Shrek is touring the UK where you can join the ogre, Donkey, and Princess Fiona.


Rosie Ladkin Interview: 26.10 mins
Scarlette Douglas Interview: 45.40 mins
David Ribi Interview: 1hr 7.30 mins
Self Indulgent Ballad: 1hr 23.15mins
Lewis Griffiths Interview: 1hr 31.20 mins

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