Category Archives: One 2 Three

Getting stuck round the bend

Today we heard all about the unfortunate woman who got her arm stuck down her toilet bowl.

Poor Gracie Henderson had just moved into her new house near Houston in Texas and needed to unblock her toilet.

Bogged Down

But because she didn’t have a plunger, she unwisely decided to carry out the task manually using her hands.

Unfortunately she forgot to remove her watch which got stuck in the bend trapping her in situ.

Somehow she managed to raise the alarm and fire crews arrived to help free her. But their initial efforts to release her also failed so they were left with no choice other than to remove the toilet, carry it – with Gracie still attached – into her back garden where finally flushed with success the porcelain bowl was smashed much to the amusement of Gracie’s new neighbours.

Now that’s how to make an entrance to a new neighbourhood. 

In the second hour of today’s show I was pleased to welcome back Margaret Mills who took us back to the village of Great Bardfield on the Essex-Suffolk border. Not looking at artists this time, but the unusual flora unique to this area.

Oxlip plant

Listen again to what Margaret told me today by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,

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Lasting Powers of Attorney – What are they?

Power of AttorneyI was joined once more by that legal guru, BRIAN HUGHES from Shenfield based solicitors, RAINER HUGHES and as suggested in the title above, his subject today was all about Lasting Powers of Attorney.

If you missed it, you can catch everything that Brian had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: – 

In the second hour we heard about how a team of football club supporters in Mexico, enlisted the help of a witch to try to end a 20-year run of defeats suffered by their team. The ritual involving plants and holy water, black and white candles, a cow and a pig head and other esoteric symbols may have had some effect as the team promptly won their next match, held last Saturday.

Witch huntBut can it last?

See you again tomorrow,

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Happy Bank Holiday Easter Monday

Well you may have the day off but I’m still hard at it!

You can guess how hard it must be just sitting here playing just great music.

Anyway on today’s show we told you all about the TV commercial launched last week that went horribly wrong.

Burger King Commercial

Trying to use smart technology in a clever way Burger King’s advertising agents latched onto the novel idea of using voice-activate Google Home assistant or Android phone search,  to search for “Whopper” on Google and read out the entry of ingredients listed in Wikipedia.

Unfortunately they failed to note that the contents can be edited by anyone which meant that someone changed the entry to suggest that the Whopper sandwich included such tasty morsels as “rat meat” and “toenail clippings”. 

Well the best laid plans of mice and men …………………!

Keeping to the fast food theme, in the second hour we told you about the 8-year old boy who along with his 4-year old sister, drove his dad’s van to the local McDonald’s to satisfy a craving for a Big Mac.

He had seemingly learnt to drive by watching a video on YouTube although this still doesn’t explain how his feet could reach the pedals.

Craving for Big Mac

See you next week,

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Phoenix FM Chairman’s African Adventure – Paul Golder

Phoenix FM Chairman Paul Golder recently returned from a trip to Kenya along with volunteers from Colchester United Football Club. The trip was inspired by Boots 2 Africa, an organisation that collects, transports and distributes donated boots to Africa’s children and young adults through relief organisations.

Paul Golder

Paul Golder

Paul joined me in the studio today to tell us all about the trip and the good work the team did. You can listen to our chat here –

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Under 26? – Educating Rita for just a fiver at Queen’s Theatre.

To encourage more young people to engage with live theatre, the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch has launched a fantastic scheme that enables young people to see its next huge comedy, Educating Rita for just a fiver.

Danielle Flett as Rita

Danielle Flett as Rita

Theatregoers aged 25 and under will be able to fully immerse themselves in a theatrical experience unlike any other by sitting on stage for just £5 (reduced from up to £26). £5 doesn’t go very far these days, so for an evening’s entertainment it’s a bargain!

For the first time in Queen’s Theatre history, the stage will be extended into the auditorium to offer a truly unique and intimate setting. Every night audiences will be able to lose themselves in a piece of terrific theatre by sitting alongside the actors on stage. The comfort of this fantastic experience isn’t compromised as the onstage seating will be the same as those sitting in the stalls. This is a rare viewing experience not to be missed!

Willy Russell’s hilarious yet moving comedy, Educating Rita follows the story of a hairdresser wanting to better herself with higher education. Frank becomes her assigned tutor, but grudgingly accepts the challenge. Slowly, Frank realises that his enthusiastic student has much to teach him too – making him question himself, his work and his very being in the process.

Educating Rita runs at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch from 22 April – 13 May. To take advantage of this brilliant offer, under 26s should call the Box Office on 01708 443333 and quote ‘Under 26 offer’. Please note the production is suitable for people aged 12+ as it contains some strong language.

Ruari Conaghan

Ruari Conaghan

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Father Christmas to get a new Sleigh – Thanks to the Co-op and Billericay Lions!

Last month one of my guests was Steve Waters from Billericay Lions.
Billericay Lions are now pleased to announce that the Co-Op have chosen to support Billericay Lions in its fundraising campaign to replace its Father Christmas Sleigh.

As many of you will know, over the last 35 years Billericay Lions have brought joy to children – and adults too – by conveying Father Christmas around the streets of Billericay ahead of the festive period. This also enables them to collect your generous donations to their charitable fund which they distribute to local causes. However, the trailer that carries Father Christmas is now over 50 years old and is in severe danger of becoming unroadworthy despite annual efforts to patch it up.
Therefore – thanks to the support of the Co-Op – Billericay Lions are building a new trailer so they can continue this long-standing Billericay tradition.
So if you are a member of the Co-Op, why not log on to your membership account and select Billericay Lion’s cause.

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Oops this doesn’t look like Australia!

It’s happened before and it will undoubtedly happen again, but if and when it happens to you, you feel like a complete idiot.

This doesn't look like Sydney!

And it’s just happened to an 18-year old Dutch student, Milan Schipper.

Planning a backpacking tour in Australia before starting at college later this year, Milan started looking for flights to Sydney. Unsurprisingly he plumped for one which appeared to offer a bargain rate. Unfortunately rather than arriving in the warm sunshine, for which he was attired in thin beachwear, he was deposited in a blizzard in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Luckily for him the airline took pity on him, flew him home and offered him a complimentary flight to his intended destination.

St Osyths Well

For the next episode of his series on the Kings of Essex, JULIAN WHYBRA looked today at one of the Queens, who’s legacy still remains at St Osyth.

Listen again here to what Julian told me today: –

See you again next week:-

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It’s all about convenience food!

Kris Miller, Courier, 12/02/16. Picture today at McDonalds Arbroath where a man/men was detained in connection with an ATM raid in Carnoustie. Armed police were spotted in Carnoustie and Arbroath as the drama unfolded.

To start the week we heard about the gang of ATM cash machine raiders, caught napping whilst enjoying a Big MAC Breakfast after their latest £100k heist in Scotland.

That’ll learn ’em!

Takeaway delivery

Meanwhile in a much more remote part of Scotland we heard about the pizza firm who’ve taken pity on the 120 residents of INVERIE and set up a pizza delivery service by helicopter!
Chicago-Town Pizza just made their first delivery and have now promised to establish a regular service to the area, which is so remote, it isn’y even connected to the National Grid.

See you again tomorrow,

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How about going for a spin?

Barbados minibus

On today’s show we heard about the tourists in Barbados, who after confirming they had not been drinking, were asked by the bus driver to take over from him, because he had been drinking!

Later, Margaret Mills, who had not been imbibing took us on a visit to the Fry Arts Centre in Saffron Walden.

Listen again to what Margaret had to say about this establishment, by clicking on the link below:

See you again next time,

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Who’s the fool?

We’ve just experience another weekend of real fake news as the April Fool spoof news went into overdrive.

But not everything we heard about was fake.

Kissenschlacht Flashmob

Indeed it is absolutely true that April 1st saw the 8th International Pillow Fight Day. The feathers were well and truly flying as participants around the world took part in no less than 41 towns and cities, knocking each other senseless with pillows.

The event organiser – THE URBAN PLAYGROUND MOVEMENT said the aim was to bring communities closer together!

Meanwhile from Russia comes news of a raccoon in need of psychiatric help after being thoroughly traumatised by taking part in a commercial with a naked model.

Raccoon and model

There is a real chance of conflicting law suits between the zoo who lent the animal and the advertising agent who claims that the raccoon ate the model’s underwear!

See you again tomorrow,

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Get on your soap box!


On this for me, bonus edition of the show, I was privileged to be joined by the president of the Rotary Club of Billericay, Mike Sinclair and Head of Publicity, Trevor Bond.

And they came armed with the exciting news that following the success of their first SoapBox Derby, they will be holding a second SoapBox Derby on Bank Holiday Monday 1st May.

Last year’s event raised £26k for charity so they are hoping for even better things this year. Beneficiaries this year include two local schools, Hamelin Trust and Little Havens Children’s Hospice, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), Aquabox and Rotary Foundation – End Polio.

In addition to the races there will also be a raft of side shows.

Tickets for spectators if purchased in advance are priced at £3 per person; Family tickets (Family of four, 2 adults & 2 children) £10. Two years and under – free. But note that on the day itself no family tickets will be available and the individual price goes up to £5 per person so it makes sense to get your tickets in advance.  

To get your advance entry tickets go to or by pressing on the “Buy Tickets” button on the club website home page Tickets are also available from a number of shops and pubs but note that anyone buying on line and by sharing the fact that you’ve purchased your ticket on line on Facebook, will have the opportunity to win a £250 donation to a charity of your choice.

Listen again to what Trevor and Mike told me by clicking on the following link: –

See you again soon



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A warm welcome awaits you at this hotel!

On today’s show we heard about the surprise that awaited a Manchester United fan at his Russian hotel.

No complimentary drinks on offer here, but they did provide useful advice on what to do if you were unfortunate enough to be kidnapped!

Kidnap alert!

The helpful instructions advised potential hostages not to resist, obey their kidnapper’s instructions, try to remember what they looked like and take note of any landmarks passed on the way to where you were taken.

They also provided a phone number for the security services to use in the unlikely event that your captors left you with your phone and didn’t mind you using it!

Later in the show I was joined once more by Julian Whybra for the next instalment of our feature of the Kings of Essex. Listen again to what Julian told me by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next time,


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The Race is on!

IMG_0697I was joined today by local author, DAVID DUNFORD who has just written a book about the history of horse racing in Chelmsford. Called ‘Full Circle, The Rise, Fall and Rise of Horse Racing in Chelmsford’

The book tells the story of horse racing in Chelmsford from the mid eighteenth century to it’s re-birth in the twenty first century.

Listen again to what David had to say on this subject by clicking on the following link: –

Later in the show we heard why a “SLOW” sign painted on the road has only been half painted. Only the first two letters were painted and as one of them has worn away only the letter S remains and on top of that only half of the triangle warning sign has been painted at a junction.

Slow ahead

Really slow aheadThis fiasco, bordering on farce is all down to a misunderstanding or disagreement between a firm of contractors and the local council.

Warning triangle

Anyway I’ll see you again tomorrow,


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Lions Club of Billericay – Steve Waters

Billericay Lions are best known for their annual Christmas Sleigh street collection and the Saturday morning bookstall in Billericay High Street.

Started in 1917, The International Association of Lions Clubs is now the world’s largest service organisation with over 1.4 million members in more than 43,300 clubs throughout the world.

Steve Waters popped in today to tell us all about the Billericay Club.

Steve Waters

Steve Waters

You can listen to our chat here –

You can find out more about Billericay Lions on their website here

Or on their Facebook page here



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It really is YOUR funeral – the choice is yours!


I was joined today once more by Paul Yarwood from the local firm of independent funeral directors, Secure Haven.

Paul opened todays discussion by dealing with some questions sent in by you. He then moved on to look at one specific type of funeral – cremations.

You can listen again to all Paul had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below:-

An don’t forget that if YOU have any questions you’d like Paul, or his colleagues to answer in the coming weeks, please feel free to contact us by sending an e-mail to or if you prefer you can, of course contact Secure Haven directly via their website – or by phone on 01277 356857.

Later in the show  Margaret Mills took us back to a simpler time for a look at Nether Hall close to the Essex/Hertfordshire border.

Listen again to what Margaret told me about this fascinating place by clicking on the link below:

See you next week,



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The Queen’s Theatre – Worst Wedding Ever – Great Entertainment!

I had a great evening’s entertainment at the Queens Theatre last night at their latest production Worst Wedding Ever.worst_wedding_ever_3531_680x283_20161209Billed as an hilarious comedy, it was all of that and much more.
Rachel and Scott are getting married. They’re also buying a house together. But when the house price goes up, their plans for a dream wedding have to be downsized.
Rachel’s mother, however, has other ideas. What if the family could join forces and make it a wedding to be proud of? With a marquee in the back garden, the pub band and two fully-functioning portable loos, surely the day will pass without a hitch?
The first act sets the scene and introduced the characters with a battle of wits between Mother (wonderfully played by Julia Hills) and daughter Rachel (played by the delightful Elisabeth Hopper) over who was in control of the wedding arrangements.
The writer Chris Chibnall, best known for the TV series Broadchurch, skilfully develops the plot in which we see the control gradually slipping from Rachel to her Mother, and family conflicts and secrets cleverly revealed.
In fact the entire cast of characters including Rachel’s sister, her Father, the Groom and a handsome vicar, are very nicely developed throughout.
Worst Wedding Ever really gathers pace after the interval.
It is the day of the wedding and we are taken from the poignant to some hilarious goings on involving nightmare neighbours, eggs, flour, two sleepy dogs, a portaloo and much more.
A long lost brother turns up and more family secrets, tragedies and troubles are revealed.
Throughout the piece we are also entertained by an excellent Wedding band with some carefully chosen songs to compliment the plot, and a very clever set design that kept the audience guessing where the band were going to turn up next!
This is a skilful and thoughtful piece of writing, and as well as being funny, poignant, and riotous, above all it is hugely entertaining. The writer must have a deep understanding of family life with lines like “Nobody gets out of a family unscathed!”
Worst Wedding Ever runs at The Queens Theatre Hornchurch until 1st April and you can get tickets from the Queens Theatre Box Office on 01708 443333 or online at

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Blazing a trail

IMG_0677Now some few weeks ago I was contacted by Joey Oskys, a music producer from Hertfordshire who has teamed up with singer songwriter, Nicholas Veniamin and together they’ve just finished re-working a song written by Nicholas when he was just 17 years of age. 


The result is excellent and we’ve been giving the track a fair bit of airplay on PHOENIX FM so it was great to be joined live in the studio today by the dynamic duo themselves.

Listen to my chat with them and enjoy the acoustic track they performed live for us today: –


You can see what the guys are getting up to on their Facebook pages – but for Joey look under JOSEPH OSKYS!

Later in the show we heard about the lawyer who, unsuccessfully as it turned out, tried to defend a client on a charge of arson, only to have his trousers burst into flames as he started to address the jury.


How very embarrassing!

See you again next week,

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The real importance of a will

Brian HughesI was once again delighted to be joined by BRIAN HUGHES from Shenfield based solicitors, Rainer Hughes.

This week Brian chose to tackle the subject of wills – the importance of making them, the practicalities involved and the options available.

Listen again here to what Brian had to say on this subject. It could be the most useful 10 minutes you’ll ever spend: –

We also learnt about a new art exhibition just opened at the Serpentine. The exhibition is on until 21st May and this is the place to go to see such creations as some old used teabags drying on a radiator.

We Will Multiply

Can’t wait I’m rushing off on the next train!

See you again soon,

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Linda Hall with Richie Milton – Live Session and Interview

Linda has been a favourite on the London music scene for some time appearing with her own band and as part of “Richie Milton and the Lowdown”. Linda can also be heard on movie soundtracks.

Linda Hall

Linda Hall

Linda sang two songs live and we heard the title track from her album Wonderful.

You can listen to the entire session here –


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I’m not paying for this meal!

Have you ever done a runner from a restaurant and left without paying?

Restauant runner

Well police are on the hunt for over 100 party goers who scarpered from a hotel in Spain without paying the £2500 bill after consuming their starters and main courses plus 30 bottles of whisky as well as wine, water and soft drinks.

It was whilst the waiters were bringing out their desserts that he diners did their own desertion with the last stragglers squeezing hastily through the door leaving the restaurant completely empty save for the orchestra hired specially for the occasion.

In the second hour of the show it was good to welcome back a man who’d never “do a runner” – Julian Whybra – who following on from Margaret Mills’ visit to St Peter’s Chapel in Bradwell, returned there this week to explain the connection this place has with the Kings of Essex.

Listen again to what Julian said on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you next time,

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It’s MY Birthday so I’ll do what I want!

Indeed we heard today about a man from South Wales who was so depressed when he reached his 50th birthday that he blew up his house.

House Party

As a result he will spend his next four birthdays in prison – unless, of course, he decides to try and blow up the jail.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world we had news of another 50-year old who came to an untimely end when his 6 ton stash of pornographic literature fell on him and crushed him to death.

Porn Stash

Must have been hard core, I guess!

See you tomorrow,


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Put That Phone in Your Glove Box!

From today people using their mobile phones while driving will now face more serious penalties.
Essex Police are holding a week of targeted action throughout the county to catch people in the act to coincide with the new legislation change. They will be putting extra resource and focus into targeting mobile phone offenders through to Tuesday March 7.

Using a mobile phone while driving is now an offence punishable with a £200 fine and six penalty points on a driving licence. That doubles the previous penalties.
New drivers could also face losing their licence if caught.
Essex Police caught 4,986 people using their mobile phones while driving last year and prosecuted 477 people.

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A timely warning

Scam alert

As part of our public service we reported on a potential threat that anyone of us could fall victim to anytime soon.

The scam works like this: –

A local number will ring you

The person on the phone will then introduce themselves and the company they supposedly work for

They then ask: ‘Can you hear me?’

Your answer is recorded, and if you say ‘yes’, your response will be edited and then used to charge you for products or services without your knowledge.

If you try to disagree with them, they will then play back their recording of you saying ‘yes’ and threaten to take legal action if you don’t pay up.

The scammers can also use your voice recording to authorise a stolen credit card.

So if you are asked ‘Can you hear me?’ when you’ve picked up the phone, hang up or just don’t pick up at all if you don’t recognise the number.

And if you do think you may have been targeted, you’re advised to contact your bank immediately.

So you have been warned!

But later Margaret Mills took us back to a time well before such scams were possible, when she looked at the history of St Peter’s Chapel in Bradwell.


If you missed what Margaret said just click on the link below:-

See you next time,

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A tale of fallen women

On today’s show we heard about the mishaps that have befallen two women – literally!


It was last April that our first hero (sorry, that should of course be heroine) literally fell for a property she was visiting together with her husband as prospective buyers.

Unfortunately she plummeted 30 feet down a well nestling under a wooden board in the garden of the property.

She was submerged in water at the bottom of the well but was able to stay afloat with the help of a hosepipe fed down to her by neighbours until the fire service was able to pull her to safety over an hour later.

Not a pleasant experience!

And nor was the experience of the subject of our second mishap.

Club night

This involved a woman who after enjoying an evening at Ronnie Scotts Club in London fell down two flights of stairs breaking her wrist and elbow in the process. Her attempt to sue the club came off the rails after the judge ruled that in addition to being intoxicated and wearing inappropriate shoes, at 18 stone she would have taken up much of the width of the stairway but for some inexplicable reason, did not use the handrail.

gross negligence

A case of gross negligence, perhaps?

See you again tomorrow,


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The Alcohol Free Beer Festival

The very first alcohol-free beer festival is being held – so you can drink all day and keep a clear head!

You can sample a selection of alcohol-free beers without getting a hangover the next day.
Visitors can choose no alcohol or low alcohol beer from breweries wanting to show off their sober options.
The one-day festival takes place in Fishguard, Pembs, next Wednesday – and is being supported by charity Alcohol Concern.

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The Amazing Dream Coat

Today came news of a new wonder coat launched by an Australian company which aims to defeat budget airlines who often restrict passengers to just 10 kilos of luggage.

Airport Jacket

Assuming you can actually move without collapsing in a heap, the new coat has 14 deep pockets which allows the wearer to stash away 15 kilos of luggage about their person. Could be a bit of a delay if security ask you to empty your pockets!

Julian Whybra was back today with the next episode of his new feature on the kings of Essex.

If you missed it just click on the link below:-

See you again next week,


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A job in a million

Today we heard about a job for social media addicts.

Royal job

Yes H.M. the Queen is looking for someone to sort out her Tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts and YouTube items. The position offers a salary of £30k but you will need to have been educated up to degree level, have experience of managing websites, be innovative and creative and be able to demonstrate good photography and video skills.

Well there goes my chance then!

Woman marries house

We also heard about the woman who’s married her house to launch a Crowdfunder bid to raise £400k to buy the property from which she faces eviction. The total raised so far is £56 so she’s still got a way to go.

See you again tomorrow,

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Statue stolen from Lake Meadows

The statue of The Child in the Park has been stolen from Lake Meadows.


The statue and its garden were created for the pleasure and enjoyment of all the children of Billericay – past, present and future. It is hugely sad that someone has taken that from the community.

The police have been contacted, but if you have information please email

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Sue Cook and Brainbuzzz

Brainbuzzz is an assessment and simple exercise programme which was developed by Sue Cook after she did research to help address her own son’s dyslexia.

Sue Cook

Sue Cook

Sue has received many awards for the fantastic work she is doing.

You can listen to our chat here –

The Brainbuzzz website is here

Sue has published several books that are available on Amazon here


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It’s all in the accent!

Bit of a swap around this week, so with Bob looking after things for me yesterday, I was delighted to do the honours today.

And on today’s show we heard all about the woman suffering from FOREIGN ACCENT SYNDROME.

If you’ve never heard of this, it’s not overly surprising as only 60 people in the whole world are known to suffer from the condition, but one of those is Terri White from Hull.

After suffering from a severe migraine she suddenly  broke into a Scouse accent so even her own daughter failed to recognise her.

AccentsApparently she has no control over the condition and has even started adopting stereotypical mannerisms and phrases, belting out Fog on The Tyne and saying ‘Top of the morning t’ya!’

At least she has not suffered from the problems experienced in 1941 by a Norwegian woman who after being hit by shrapnel, developed a strong German accent, which led to her being ostracised by her community!

See you again next week,

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It’s the law!

Brian HughesI was very pleased to be joined once more by BRIAN HUGHES, consultant solicitor from Shenfield based, Rainer Hughes.

Noisy neighbours

Brian’s subject today was NOISY NEIGHBOURS and you can listen again to what Brian had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below – but listen on headphones or keep the volume down!

Also on today’s show we heard about the woman from Rhode Island who was caught by an over zealous parking attendant and slapped with a $30 fine for occupying a parking slot 2 seconds early. Unsurprisingly the hapless victim refused to cough up but by the time the case came to court, the fine had tripled to $90.

Parking fine

Mercifully the judge took pity on the woman and threw the case out of court.

No chance for that judge now to be considered for a place on the supreme court, me thinks!

See you later this week,

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Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival 2017


Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival is back for a second year!

Organisers Natasha and Jim Radford, who run the Chicken and Frog bookshop in Ongar Road, have put together a full programme of events to delight children of all ages.

2017-02-09 11.40.42

Natasha came in to Phoenix FM to chat to Michelle about this year’s event, which you can hear again below:

Phoenix FM is delighted to be on board as a partner of this highly worthwhile event.

The festival is for children (and their grown ups) from pre-schoolers to teens. The festival will take place from 22-29 July 2017.

You can visit their website at

Here’s the full schedule for this year’s festival. Events are subject to change.

Knights Way Centre
Age 6+
Entry fee £3

Are you a newshound? Do you dream of being a world class reporter? Join a member of the First News team for a fascinating talk about all the different aspects of creating a news paper and how to write a great article. There’ll be plenty of time to ask questions too.
First News is the UK’s only newspaper for young people and the widest-read children’s publication in the country with a readership of 1,047,543 seven to 14 year olds every week.

Knights Way Centre
Age 8+ (Guidance only)

One day Ruth was sitting, minding her own business when a girl popped into her head and started talking. She was fed up with her parents for being a bit useless and fed up with her friends for being, well, a bit rubbish at being friends. The more she told Ruth, the funnier it got, so she started to write down what it was like to be Emily Sparkes.

Ruth will share snippets from her Emily Sparkes books with you, answer your questions and sign books.

Ruth’s books will be available to purchase on the day.

Brentwood Theatre
Age 10+ (Guidance only)
Entry fee £3

Join award-winning A Boy Called Hope author Lara Williamson as talks about her latest novel for children, Just Call Me Spaghetti-Hoop Boy.

Delve into Lara’s childhood diaries and stories and see how everything she wished for when she was small, although it may not have come true in real life, has since come true in her books, through her characters.

Get stuck in and play the ‘wish game’ – catch the ball and tell Lara your wish, be it big, small or totally crazy and find out how your wish could become a story!

Lara’s books will be available to purchase on the day.

Brentwood Theatre
Age 8+ (Guidance only)

A must for all Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans and great family entertainment. Host Alastair Watson brings the books to life with fun activities including The Wimpy Kid Draw-Along and The Wimp Wars! Quiz. The event also includes exclusive clips of author Jeff Kinney talking about the books, his involvement in the films and showing how he draws the characters.

All those who purchase a book on the day will be eligible for it to be stamped with an exclusive Wimpy Kid Show stamp.

Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

Brentwood Theatre
Age 9+ (Guidance only)

Lily’s life is in mortal peril. Her father is missing and now silver-eyed men stalk her through the shadows. What could they want from her? With her friends – Robert, the clockmaker’s son, and Malkin, her mechanical fox – Lily is plunged into a murky and menacing world. Too soon Lily realizes that those she holds dear may be the very ones to break her heart…

CogHeart is a fantastical Middle Grade adventure story featuring two friends, murder and mayhem, airships and automata, an over-opinionated mechanical fox and a smattering of steampunk!

Peter’s books will be available to purchase on the day. Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

Brentwood Theatre
Age 5+ (Guidance only)

“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

This highly interactive show contains twits being vile to each other. Be prepared for silly behaviour and beard making…

“The Twits” is presented with the kind permission of Casarotto Ramsay and the Roald Dahl Estate.

A selection of Roald Dahl titles will be available to purchase. Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

Brentwood Theatre
Age 8+ (Guidance only)

Sara is back this year, with an exciting mystery for you to solve, featuring Chase & Mackenzie from Chasing Danger and Mystery at the Ice Hotel. A few actor volunteers from the audience will help to dramatise a short play that Sara has written; the scene concludes with a crime to solve.

Get you detective heads on for this exciting event!

Sara’s books will be available to purchase on the day. Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

Brentwood Theatre
Age 4+ (Guidance only)
Entry fee £3

From the award-winning Philip Ardagh, and rising illustration talent Elissa Elwick, comes Meet the Little Adventurers – Finnegan, Sprat, Floss and Peanut. Each week they meet in their top-secret shed HQ, ready to share their fun with you! Sprat has a pet: Leafy! But can you really have a leaf as a pet? Find out…

Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult. Philip and Elissa’s books will be available to purchase on the day.

Brentwood Theatre
Age 9+ (Guidance only)

A few words about one of Michelle’s titles, The Other Alice: What happens when a tale with real magic, that was supposed to be finished, never was? This is a story about one of those stories . . . Midge loves riddles, his cat, Twitch, and – most of all – stories. Especially because he’s grown up being read to by his sister Alice, a brilliant writer. When Alice goes missing and a talking cat turns up in her bedroom, Midge searches Alice’s stories for a clue.

Local Essex girl, Michelle will talk about her books and her life as author, as well as be on hand to sign books!

Michelle’s books will be available to purchase on the day. Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

Brentwood Theatre
Age 7+ (Guidance only)

The Apprentice Witch: With everything stacked against her, apprentice witch Arianwyn Gribble must overcome a shaky start to achieve her true potential…

In the Four Kingdoms, witches use a set of five magical glyphs, to control the natural flow of magic in the world. But Arianwyn Gribble, a young apprentice witch, has seen a sixth glyph for as long as she can remember, a glyph that has always heralded trouble and darkness, like the death of her mother.

At her crucial evaluation test Arianwyn is distracted by the glyph and fails. spectacularly, much to the delight of Gimma Alverston, Arianwyn’s fellow apprentice and arch-rival.

James will talk about his books and life as author, as well as be on hand to sign books! Witches and wizards are welcome!

James’ book will be available to purchase on the day. Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

Brentwood Theatre
Age 5+ (Guidance only).

Join awesome illustrator, Nick East, for this fun-packed event.

In this short period of time as an illustrator Nick has been shortlisted for the English Picture Book awards, longlisted for The Evening Standard’s Oscar’s First Book Prize and illustrated the successful Goodnight series, recently collaborating with author Michelle Robinson, Puffin and astronaut Tim Peake on ‘Goodnight Spaceman’.

Under 11s to be accompanied by a ticket holding adult.

Brentwood Theatre
Age 11+
Entry fee £3

Join us and a fantastic panel of YA authors, for a gritty discussion about YA fiction. If you have a question that you’re desperate to ask, or an opinion that you really want to share (about YA!), then this is the event for you.

The panel is: Dan Smith, Gemma Fowler, Molly Looby and Cara Jordan White. The discussion will be MC’d by YA book blogger, Josh.

A selection of the authors’ books will be available to purchase on the day.

Brentwood Theatre
Age 5+ (Guidance only)
Entry fee £3

Nicky Dee is the author of the series ‘Special Dinosaurs’ – you may have been lucky enough to meet her at Chicken and Frog Bookshop last year.

Nicky’s new book, The Bone Wars, is due for publication in May. It promises to be an exciting adventure.

Two men. One battle.

The ‘Great Dinosaur Rush’ is an amazing time in American history when the hunt for dinosaurs really began. Would the two gentlemen scientists who led the hunt play nicely and work together or would their desperation to be the best lead them to behave very, very badly?

A true adventure story, crammed full of guns, trains, native Indians, explosives and DINOSAURS, written for children for the very first time.

Join Nicky for a jam-packed talk, with superb artefacts to keep any budding paleontologist on the edge of their seats. There’ll be time for questions, and Nicky will be on hand to sign books too.

Under 11s must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult.

Brentwood Theatre
Age 4+ (Guidance only)

This show is going to be fast, fun, inspirational, educational, highly interactive – and downright brilliant. Really Big Pants Theatre Company storytelling show SUDDENLY…! gives traditional tales a whole new twist and encourages children to explore their creativity and imagination, as well as promoting the value of reading and writing.

Under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

Knights Way Centre
Age 8+ (Guidance only)

Maz’s writing career began in journalism as a TV critic and feature writer. After working as a creative writing lecturer, she founded Story Stew, an anarchic creative writing programme that has visited primary schools and literary festivals around the UK.

A little about Who Let the Gods Out? Elliot’s mum is ill and his home is under threat, but a shooting star crashes to earth and changes his life forever. The star is Virgo – a young Zodiac goddess on a mission. But the pair accidentally release Thanatos, a wicked death daemon imprisoned beneath Stonehenge, and must then turn to the old Olympian gods for help. After centuries of cushy retirement on earth, are Zeus and his crew up to the task of saving the world – and solving Elliot’s problems too?

Maz’s book will be available to purchase on the day.

Hutton Community Hall
Age 7+ (Guidance only)

John’s session will be full of energy; expect a guitar, enthusiastic singing, and hilarious stories. You are in for a huge treat!

John’s books have been shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards – and one was chosen by The Times as one of the Best Children’s Books of the Year 2011 – but, more importantly, they make children giggle.

John’s books will be available to purchase on the day.

Knights Way Centre
Age 7+ (Guidance only)
Entry fee £3

Award winning author Gareth P Jones (Ninja Meerkats, The Thornthwaite Inheritance) presents his new series, Pet Defenders, which sees a secret organisation of pets defending the earth from alien invasion.

For fans of funny and action-packed animal adventures including Andrew Cope’s Spy Dog series, Astrosaurs and Jeremy Strong.

Expect frenetic interactive story telling, raucous songs played on various instruments and a whole bunch of weird alien stuff.

Gareth’s books will be available to buy on the day. Under 11s must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult.

Knights Way Centre
Age 8+

Lisa Thompson, author of The Goldfish Boy, will lead a hands-on workshop. They’ll talk about how our sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste can make us feel different emotions and how we can use these emotions to help us in our writing.

Lisa will talk about her background working in radio production and how for her, her ears are crucial when it comes to writing; from listening to other people’s conversations, to reading her work out loud during the editing stage.

For this workshop, Lisa will bring in props to stimulate the senses and get some creative writing flowing!

The workshop will finish with Lisa reading a short piece from The Goldfish Boy followed by some Q&As.

Copies of The Goldfish Boy will be available to purchase on the day.

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Paul Yarwood from Secure Haven Independent Funeral Directors

In the UK we are paying an enormous price for society’s taboo against talking about death and dying. Other societies around the world talk more openly about the reality of death and the processes of dying and grieving. We do not. We are left to figure it out for ourselves, relying on doctors and funeral directors to tell us what to do once we are face to face with death.

By breaking the silence, we set the foundation for making decisions about life and death and enable ourselves to plan the kind of end of life ritual that would be appropriate for us. It also supports us in coping with the death of our loved ones.

That’s why today I was pleased to welcome Paul Yarwood from Secure Haven Independent Funeral Directors, to talk about the process of dealing with the death of a loved one.

Paul Yarwood

Paul Yarwood

You can listen to our chat here –

Paul will return to Phoenix on Eat my Brunch with Michelle Ward on 1st March and we would love to have your questions on the topic of cremations. If you would like to ask a question please email the studio on

You can find out more about Secure Haven Independent Funeral Directors on their website here


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The Guildhall at Thaxted

Margaret Mills returned today and took us on a trip to the Guildhall at Thaxted.

Thaxted church

We also heard about the “red” vicar of Thaxted, Conrad Noel and about the imprisonment in the town, and subsequent execution, of John Ball for his part in the Peasants’ Revolt.

conrad noel
John Ball








Listen again to all that Margaret told me today by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next time,

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One for the sleepy heads!

We reported today on the school in Sussex which is considering moving their working day back one hour so that pupils who have difficulty getting up in the morning can have an extra hour in bed.

When I was at school we had to get up, have a cold shower, and if there was snow on the ground, clear all the paths around the school.

Also of the old school, Margaret Mills (but not old herself, I hasten to add) returned to take us on a trip to Thaxted, and notably the Guildhall there.

Guildhall at Thaxted

Listen to what Margaret said by clicking on the link below: –

 See you next week,


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Here we are in February!

Thank goodness January is gone for another year and although we may not be out of the woods yet as far as the winter is concerned, we are on our way.

On today’s show we had two stories from Australia.

First off came news of the woman who’s excuse for speeding was that she’d been pushed along by a heavy tail wind!

Speeding ticket

Worth a try I suppose but it didn’t work. She still got points on her licence and a speeding fine.

Then came news of the woman who decided to report her drug dealer to police following, what she considered, the imposition of an “outrageous” price increase.

The police went so far as to publicly offer their services to others who felt they were similarly being ripped off.

Price hike

See you again tomorrow,



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Time to Talk Day – Colin Wade from Brentwood Mind

As part of Time to talk Day it was great to welcome Colin from Brentwood Mind along with a little help for our own Scott W.
Brentwood Mind have been helping people in the community for over 40 years through its services.They help hundreds of people each year deal with depression, stress and a range of mental illnesses.

Bob and Colin - Feel the love!

Bob and Colin – Feel the love!

You can listen to our chat here –

Brentwood Mind’s website is here

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Time to Talk Day – Lorraine Bond from Home Instead and Ted Butt from The Alzheimer’s Society

As part of Time to Talk Day on Phoenix FM I was joined today by Lorraine and Ted

Lorraine and Ted

Lorraine and Ted

Lorraine is from Home Instead – A well established and highly respected independent UK home care provider, part of a worldwide organisation devoted to providing the highest-quality care for older people in the comfort of their own homes. Home Instead offer a wide range of one-to-one services tailor made to the needs of the individual – and home visits can be from an hour a day up to 24 -7 care that includes weekends and holidays.

Ted is an award winning volunteer from the Alzheimer’s Society – the UK’s leading dementia support and research charity, here for anyone affected by any form of dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

You can listen to our chat here –

Home Instead’s website is here

The Alzheimer’s Society website is here

Ted and Lorraine 2


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Time to Talk Day on Phoenix FM – Preview

Tomorrow (Thursday) is Time to Talk Day.
On Time to Talk Day we’re asking people to get talking about mental health. Wherever you are, your conversation matters.
Each year one in four of us experiences a mental health problem. Yet too many of us are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless.
Time to Talk Day is a chance for everyone to open up about mental health – to talk, listen, to change lives.

As in previous years Phoenix FM is devoting much of it’s daytime output tomorrow to talking mental health with a variety of guests.

Today I was joined by mental health campaigner and Phoenix FM presenter Scott W along with Sam Brooker from the Fitness in Mind Team at the Brentwood Centre to preview the day.

Bob and Scott

Bob and Scott

Sam Brooker

Sam Brooker

Apologies to Sam for calling him Scott at least once during the interview!

You can listen to our preview here –

You can find out more about Time to Talk Day on Phoenix FM here


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Kevin Brewis comes home to the Queen’s

West End performer Kevin Brewis is set to return to his local theatre to pay tribute to a selection of Broadway’s finest musicals in Broadway & Beyond.


Kevin Brewis grew up in Hornchurch and his love of theatre started when he visited his first pantomime at the Queen’s Theatre. From a young age Kevin was actively involved in drama groups at Fairkytes Art Centre and performed in productions at the Queen’s Theatre. After training professionally in musical theatre, Kevin has toured all over the world and appeared in West End shows including Grease at the Victoria Palace and One & Only at the Piccadilly Theatre.

Mike Jones spoke to Kevin about coming back to the Queen’s and what to expect from the new production. You can hear the interview again below:

Kevin will be back at the Queen’s Theatre on 8 February to perform an entertaining mix of music and wit from the most popular musicals in Broadway & Beyond. The show comprises of songs from New York’s legendary theatre district, including hits from Oklahoma!, Kiss Me Kate and Miss Saigon and Spamalot.

He says, “Nearly 20 years after leaving college, having worked all over the West End, the UK and abroad, I find myself back where it all began at the Queen’s Theatre.”

Audiences will be captivated with a stunning array of costumes, exhilarating dance routines and the versatility of five musicians that play over a dozen instruments between them. This is a must see for any musical fan!

Broadway and Beyond comes to the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch on Wednesday 8 February at 7.30pm. Tickets range from £16.50 – £23. To purchase tickets call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or book online at

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There’ll never be another ewe!

Today we heard the news of why men have been forced to disguise themselves as sheep to protect a 40-year old traditional rodeo event in New Zealand from falling foul of new animal welfare rules.

Sheep rodeo

The event includes sheep-chasing for children which campaigners say is both unnecessary and cruel for the animals, so this year organisers have decided to employ men dressed as sheep for the children to chase.

Hopefully this will stop any further bleating from protestors!

Julian Whybra returned today with details of how Christianity first became established in Essex.

Christianity in Essex

If you missed it, click on thee link below to hear what Julian told me: –

See you again next time,

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Time to plan your holiday!

Well before we get too far into the year it may be a good idea to think about planning this year’s holiday.

You could choose to stay in the UK and perhaps take a trip to Skegness but as this resort has just been branded as a pariah of the tourist world on a par with Pyongyang, Mogadishu and Damascus, you might want to consider something a bit more exotic.

Wish you were here?

And if exotic is what you are thinking about, nothing is likely to be much more exotic than the bus tours offered by Brighouse based, Hinterland Travel, who offer tours to war torn areas of Afghanistan but you must be prepared for roadside bombs, Kalashnikov-toting bandits and Taliban attacks.

Hinterland Travel

The company is run by a 79-year old Yorkshireman, Geoff Hann and amazingly since starting tours in 2002, it was only last year that any of his tours have run into serious trouble when his party of 12 holidaymakers  – 8 Brits, 3 Americans and 1 German – were forced to dive behind a roadside wall as their vehicle went up in flames, before a nearby army and police vehicle came to their rescue.

According to Mr Hann some of his clients on that trip have been very difficult and demanded their money back. But Mr Hann is annoyed by their attitude, claiming that they will be able to dine out for years on the story of how they got shot at by the Taliban!

Well it’s certainly different!

See you again tomorrow,

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Richie Milton and Bill Farrow – Live Session and Interview

It’s always a pleasure to welcome Richie and Bill to the studio and today was no exception.

Bill and Richie

Bill and Richie

As always we had a few laughs and heard some great songs from this talented pair. You can listen to the entire session here –

My thanks to Richie Milton and Bill Farrow for another wonderfully entertaining session. Always a pleasure.

Richie’s Website is here

Bill’s is here

and their alter-ego’s website (Bill ‘N Ricky) is hereR&B2

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Shenfield High School – Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Back in November last year it was a pleasure to welcome staff and pupils from Shenfield High School into the studio to talk about their production of Joseph.20170124_184503

Tonight I was privileged to be able to attend the school to witness the production for myself and all I can say is Wow!


I had to pinch myself to remember that this is a school production. It was fabulous, with colourful costumes, imaginative sets, super choreography and an excellent performance all round from the musicians and some top performances from the large talented cast.


It would be unfair to single out any individual performance as this is an ensemble piece with great performances all round of the quality we have come to expect from Shenfield High School

IMG_5496The sell out audience was captivated by the production and the enthusiastic cast, showing their appreciation with a standing ovation. Tomorrow night (Wednesday) is the final performance of this excellent production. Grab one of the few remaining tickets from the school if you can.20170124_195533

On One 2 Three tomorrow I’ll be playing a recording of one of the songs recorded live – Benjamin Calypso – You can listen to it here –

Some more songs from the production are here –

Any Dream Will Do

Close Every Door

Go Go Joseph

Suffice to say it was a brilliant night of entertainment that I thoroughly enjoyed. My thanks to all involved.

IMG_5505 IMG_5676 IMG_5688 IMG_5695

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Some novel ideas to make you well!

Today we learnt about some unusual medical research that has been going on in the USA.

Unorthodox medicine

Strangely squirting coffee up someone’s bottom in an effort to cure cancer, seems not to have proved especially successful!

Old Time remedies

Perhaps more success was achieved in days of yore with some of the folklore remedies described today by Margaret Mills. If you missed them they are all here – just click on the link below to listen.Folk remedies

See you again next time,

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Could this be the start of a new era?

Here we are at the start of another week and a new US President has just been inaugurated.

Well believe it or not, to coincide with this momentous event an evolutionary biologist has discovered a new insect  – a moth actually – which has been named after “THE DONALD” as Neopalpa donaldtrumpi

neopalpa donaldrumpi

So after SUPERMAN and BATMAN we now have MOTHMAN in charge of the Free World!

It seems that there’s method in the madness, as unlike the Trumps themselves, the creature is an endangered species and it is hoped that the publicity will help to attract attention to preserve the newly discovered species. 

We also reported on the technically switched on 6-year old girl who, whilst her mother slept, managed to gain access to her mother’s phone to order $250 worth of her favourite Pokemon toys.

expensive thumb print

You just can’t keep pace with these technologically educated kids!

See you again tomorrow,


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It’s good to talk!

With “cuddly” BOB SIMPSON on leave, today marked the first of two bonus programmes for me this week.


Taking my life in my hands I was joined by PAUL YARWOOD one of the founders of the Margaretting based firm of independent funeral directors, SECURE HAVEN who was on a mission to dispel any concerns that people might have in connection with funeral planning.

The simple fact is that we are all going to die at some point, and Paul was anxious to make to the point that there should be no taboos in talking about it.

After all talking about it doesn’t make it happen – at least not straight away! 

Nevertheless it is a good idea to discuss the issues involved and plan ahead at a time when you are less likely to be encumbered with any emotional baggage.

So over the coming weeks Paul and his colleagues will be coming in to discuss a number of thought provoking issues.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 17.31.54


In the meantime listen to what Paul had to say on this issue today by clicking on the link below:


If you have any questions you might want to ask Paul you can either send them to him by e-mail via us at or alternatively you can visit the Secure Haven website or simply call them on 01277 356857

See you again soon,



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New Year is a little late in one part of the UK



Believe it or not last Friday was New Year’s Day in one part of the UK and what’s more they celebrated Christmas Day later as well – on the 6th of January to be precise.

foula harbour

This is because the inhabitants of the island of Foula still use the Gregorian calendar which was first introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in October 1582.

Foula, which has a population of just 30, is situated 15 miles west of Shetland  – 100 miles north of the Scottish mainland.

Meanwhile back home, here in Essex, Julian Whybra provided news about the first kings installed in our county.

Listen again to what Julian told me by clicking on the link below: –

With Bob away I’ll see you again tomorrow,

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It’s your Monday Music Machine

Yes – here we are again at the start of another week!

Amazon introduces Amazon Alexa, Echo and the All-New Echo Dot at a product launch in London

Amazon introduces Amazon Alexa, Echo and the All-New Echo Dot at a product launch in London

Today we heard all about some of the problems that can arise when using virtual assistants.

Personally I prefer a rather more hands on approach but I know that some people love to surround themselves with gizmos.

But what if your assistant hears something on the TV and then thinking its an instruction from you, acts upon it?

This is what happened in the US and large numbers of people were astonished when deliveries of dolls houses started turning up on their doorsteps.

Perhaps voice recognition might be helpful!

We also heard about the house in Lincolnshire which keeps hosting unwelcome visitors.

No less than 4 vehicles crashed into the property in under 20 minutes.

Perhaps they should open up a “drive-in” based on the fact that they seem to have a ready made clientele!

Gate Crashing

See you again tomorrow,


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Time to take council


council-meetingsAt a time when councils are pleading poverty we reported today on the council that just spent more than £2000 just to have an expert listen back to a recording to establish whether a council member had used a disrespectful word to describe a fellow councillor. Amazing!

Julian Whybra returned once more with the third part of his new feature on the Kings of Essex. This time Julian looked at the origins of some of the place names in the county.


If you missed this, click on the link below to listen again:-

See you again next week,

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Don’t cross that line!

For the first time in 2017 I was delighted to welcome back BRIAN HUGHES from Shenfield based solicitors, RAINER HUGHES.


Last time he was here, Brian was looking at shared drives and on a not unrelated issue, Brian turned his attention today to matters which can lead to boundary disputes.

If you missed it, just click on the link below to hear Brian’s advice on this thorny topic.

In the second hour we reported on the allegation made against an Australian landlord, who it has been claimed as fitted a coin in the slot device to the toilet in one of the apartments he lets out. coin-operated-loo

Hope the tenant has the right change handy in an emergency!

See you again tomorrow,

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W-w-w Walk Like a Penguin

So it was a cold night last night and pretty icy this morning so lets be careful getting about.

Icy pavements can be treacherous if you don’t know how to handle them, but now, German trauma surgeons have advised the public to walk like penguins to avoid slipping on pavements with freezing temperatures forecast nationwide in Germany over the next few days.18cra9sapnvcbjpgAn advisory published on the website of the German Society of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery said that walking like the aquatic birds involves leaning the torso forward so that the centre of gravity is on the front leg.

Be good if you could get a pair of flippers and a dinner suit too! Take care.

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There goes another year!


goodbye-2016Wow 2017 already!

So today being my first show of the New Year I thought it would be good to take a listen back to take a listen back to some of the songs that made 2016 such a good year for music.

Here’s a list of the songs I managed to fit into 2 hours.

It was a difficult choice and I’m sorry if I missed your favourite but 2 hours is 2 hours. It’s not elastic and whilst I could have picked a lot of others, I’m not a magician.

So the songs played (in no particular order) were these: –

Dance, David Dance                                                  Paola Morenna
All You Good Friends                                                Kevin Simm
Hell or High Water                                                    Ron Pope
Leave the Night On                                                   Sam Hunt
I Found a Girl                                                             The Vamps
Boy Problems                                                            Carly Rae Jepsen
Up and Up                                                                  Coldplay
7 Years                                                                        Lukas Graham
Bury It                                                                         Chvrches ft Hayley Williams
Girls Talk Boys                                                           5 seconds of Summer
Howl                                                                            Biffy Clyro
Make Me                                                                    Britney Spears
Perfect Illusion                                                          Lady Gaga
Symmetry of Two Hearts                                        Bright Light, Bright Light Ft Elton John
Let’s Get Married                                                      Jamie Reeves
How Can You Leave Me on my Own                     Divine Comedy
Kiss the Sky                                                               Jason Derulo
Hard Girls                                                                  KT Tunstall
Easy                                                                            Busted
Shout out to my Ex                                                  Little Mix
One Call Away                                                          Charlie Puth
Still Falling For You                                                  Ellie Goulding
Forever Tonight                                                       Sound Mirrors
Thorns from the Heart                                           Ewan Cowley & Lisa Lamb
Rockabye                                                                  Clean Bandit
This is What You Came For                                   Calvin Harris & Rihanna
A Thousand Hallelujahs                                         The Shires
The New Romantics                                               Taylor Swift
Cake By thE Ocean                                                 DNCE
The Living Years                                                      London Hospice Choir + Paul Carrack

If you were at work or would simply like to listen again, you can do so here: –

And here’s my special wish to you and hope you will have a very Happy New Year.


See you next week,


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It’s a Christmas 60’s and 70’s platter party

platter-partyA very special ONE-2-THREE Show today as we turned the clock back to enjoy a “platter party” just like we used to have in those far off days of the 1960’s and 1970’s.


Here’s a list of the tracks we enjoyed this afternoon:-

River Deep Mountain High                      Ike & Tina Turner
It Takes Two                                               Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston
He was really saying Something             The Velvellettes
In the Midnight Hour                                Wilson Pickett
Do You Love Me                                        The Contours
Can I Get a Witness                                   Marvin Gaye
Soul Sister, Brown Sugar                          Sam and Dave
Brown Sugar                                               Rolling Stones
People gotta be free                                  Dione Warwick
Wont get fooled again                               The Who
Signed, Sealed Delivered                           Stevie Wonder
Nowhere to run                                           Martha Reeves & the Vandellas
Roadrunner                                                  Jnr Walker
Respect                                                         Aretha Franklin
Ain’t Too Proud                                            The Temptations
China Grove                                                  Doobie Bros
Rockin’ All Over the World                          Status Quo
Slippin’ and Slidin’                                        John Lennon
What’d I Say?                                                 Jerry Lee Lewis
Revolution                                                     The Beatles
Incense                                                           The Anglos
Do the Funky Chicken                                  Rufus Thomas
Pinball Wizard                                               Elton John
Saturday Night’s Alreight for Fighting       Elton John
Elmo James                                                    Chairman of the Board
No Particular Place to go                             Chuck Berry
Love Train                                                      The O’Jays
I Want You Back                                            Jackson Five
Ain’t that Peculiar?                                       Marvin Gaye
Dancing in the Streets                                 Martha Reeves
Higher and Higher                                        Jackie Wilson
Shop Around                                                 Smokey Robinson
I Can’t Help Myself                                       The Four Tops
Pretty Little Angel Eyes                                Curtis Lee
Blue Moon                                                     The Marcels
I’ll be Doggone                                              Marvin Gaye
Hold on I’m Coming                                     Sam & Dave
Think                                                              Aretha Franklin


If you missed it you can listen again here: –



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Ocean Flaws – Live Session and Interview

It was great to welcome Sean Hamish and Callum from Brentwood based band Ocean Flaws to the studio this morning.

Ocean Flaws

Ocean Flaws

The Guys played three superb songs, including their new single 20.22 and told us some of the history of the band. You can listen to the entire session here –

Ocean Flaws will be appearing at The Essex Arms, Brentwood on 6th January 2017.

You can find out more about the band here –




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More Toys from Piccola – Marie Bateman

Ah more Christmas toys for me to play with! This time it was great to meet Marie Bateman from Piccola.

Marie Bateman

Marie Bateman

We talked about what it was like working for Piccola and Marie brought along a host of quality toys from the shop. You can listen to our chat here –

toys-1 toys-2 toys-3

Piccola have been established for over 50 years and pride themselves in giving excellent customer service both online and in their local shops.


Twitter @PiccolaBrentwd


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Sam Crook from Piccola Toys

It was time for another visit from Piccola today. I was delighted to Meet Sam Crook for the first time today who brought along another sack of goodies!

Sam Crook

Sam Crook

The toys we played with today were A Musical Frozen Jewellery Box, A Melissa and Doug Doorbell House and a B Mat-a-Matics.

You can listen to our chat and some of the sounds the toys make here –

Piccola have been established for over 50 years and pride themselves in giving excellent customer service both online and in their local shops.


Twitter @PiccolaBrentwd



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My shift is at an end, so please don’t bother me now!

Don’t you just love it when an awkward customer appears just as you are about to end your shift?

Well a midwife in Hull was certainly having none of it and told a pregnant woman that her shift was about to finish and that the woman should return home as she was not in labour.

Aided by her partner, the woman promptly gave birth outside the hospital!

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said they were sorry if the woman felt that she had been let down in any way. 


Nice touch that!

Later in the show I was joined by Julian Whybra for the second of his new feature on the Kings of Essex.

Following on from last time Julian looked at the early plans for the defence of the new realm.


Listen again here to what Julian told me: –

As we have two special shows lined up for the 27th December and 3rd January, the next Bygones feature will be on the 10th January.

Have a fabulous Christmas and I’ll see you again next week,

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They’re all out there!

After we’ve watched celebrities scoffing down live lizards and crawling through snake pits, comes news of a new, no holds barred, reality show where contestants chasing the £1.3m prize are allowed to maim, rape or even murder, other competitors.


For 9 months participants have to battle to survive in temperatures of minus 40 degrees centigrade, amongst wild bears and wolves in the Siberian wilderness.

Sounds delightful!

And what’s more unless lucky enough to be selected to take part via an on-line poll, you have to cough up a £132,000 entrance fee.

You also need to be able to prove that you are totally sane before you can enter, but since given the rules, I would have thought anyone who put themselves forward must be mad, this might be a difficult condition to meet.

But what do I know?

Meanwhile over in the US we have news of a man who, when he became a pagan priest to a local coven, changed his name to Phelan MoonSong .


After much battling, he has now persuaded the authorities to allow him to carry a picture of him wearing horns, on his driving license.


A possible candidate for that reality TV show, perhaps! 

See you again tomorrow,


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A Sackful of Toys and Fireworks Too! – Simon from Piccola Toyshop

A return visit from Simon Wilson from Piccola today bringing me more toys and games to play with!

Simon Wilson

Simon Wilson

You can listen to our chat here –

As well as talking toys we spoke about Piccola’s amazing shop window display, if this doesn’t make you feel Christmassy nothing will!piccolaHere are the toys we enjoyed today.

The Snake - Indoor Fireworks

The Snake – Indoor Fireworks

piccola-3 piccola-4

Simon and I got a bit nostalgic about old and forgotten Christmas songs. Listen right to the end to hear Simon admit a guilty pleasure! Here’s a clue…wom

Piccola have been established for over 50 years and pride themselves in giving excellent customer service both online and in their local shops.


Twitter @PiccolaBrentwd


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A dead weight

dead-weightOn today’s programme we took a brief look at some funerals that didn’t go quite to plan – with everything from undertakers suffering injuries after being crushed by overweight corpses to others slipping and falling into the open graves.

One shouldn’t laugh but it’s hard not to!

Margaret Mills returned this week with some folklore remedies. You could try these out yourself but don’t blame us if you end up in an early grave yourself.

You can catch them again here: –

See you again next time,

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Prepare now for a long and happy retirement

The fact is that life is short so we all need to make the best of it and that means planning!

We all aim to retire from work at some time and so the earlier you start sorting out a pension plan the better.

I was joined today by HOWARD BULLOCK from CLEAR FINANCIAL ADVICE of BILLERICAY, a man who really knows what he’s talking about so really worth a listen.


He outlined the different kinds of pension available along with the pros and cons of the different schemes so if you missed what he told me, or would like a re-cap, do yourself a favour by clicking on the link below:-

In the second hour of today’s show, we heard all about how binmen in Colchester successfully destroyed a man’s £40k car, safely corralled as he thought, after the dust cart collided with, and demolished his carport.


Oh dear!


You shouldn’t laugh but I find it hard not to!

See you again tomorrow,

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Toys from Piccola – Elf On The Shelf and lots more!

It was great to have a visit from Simon today, especially as he brought me a selection of this year’s must have Christmas toys to play with!

Simon Wilson

Simon Wilson

You can listen to our fun and games here –

Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the Shelf

Symphony Number Two

Symphony Number Two

Rally Ripster and Santa's Magic Key

Rally Ripster and Santa’s Magic Key

Piccola have been established for over 50 years and pride themselves in giving excellent customer service both online and in their local shops.


Twitter @PiccolaBrentwd


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Christmas Day Lunch at Queens Park Community Church Billericay

Christmas can be an especially difficult time for anyone alone and feeling isolated. That’s why I was delighted to see that Queen’s Park Community Church in Billericay are holding a free Christmas Lunch which is open to anyone who would otherwise be on their own on Christmas Day.

I recently popped down to Queen’s Park Community Church to chat with Janet Lee and Alan Davis about the event.

Janet and Alan

Janet and Alan

You can Listen to our chat here –

Full details of the event including contact numbers are heredinner

Queens Park Community Church

Queens Park Community Church

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Be careful what you ask for!

Today we learnt what happened when two guys entered a store in Richmond, Virginia, and had the temerity to ask for sliced cheese.


It seems that this request struck such fear into the hearts of the staff that they hid and locked themselves in a back room before calling for police assistance.


Later in the show I was joined by Julian Whybra for the first of a new feature about the Kings of Essex. map_tribes_south_east_england

Listen here to what Julian said by clicking on the link below.

Margaret Mills returns next week and Julian will return in a fortnight.

See you next time,

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Big news from the continent of Europe!


pavement-openingYes big news indeed (!) and according to RADIO SARAJEVO the opening of a new pavement was classed as “the event of the year” and broadcast live for the benefit of those unable to attend in person.

Meanwhile causing a storm in Torrelodones, a suburb of Madrid, was the theft of a huge inflatable model of a pile of dog poo. Quite what anyone would want with such a trophy, or to what use it might be put, is unclear.

Nevertheless the incident has caused much concern locally and a replacement item has been ordered at the cost of the equivalent of around £2000.


See you again tomorrow,

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Billericay Christmas Market – Pictures

Earlier this week I spoke to Yvonne Kyndt from The Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower about the Billericay Christmas Market. You can find the interview here

Today I visited the market which seems to have turned out to be a great success once again! Thousands of people were in attendance, with two stages of entertainment, flash mobs, a funfair, Morris Dancers, Brass Bands, Punch and Judy, Ice Skating, Father Christmas and lots of stalls selling goodies! The Hog Roast was a big hit with me.

Congratulations to the organisers for another great success. Here are a few pictures from the day.20161204_114827 20161204_115105 20161204_115344 20161204_120003 20161204_120015 20161204_120055 20161204_121212 20161204_121354 20161204_124712 20161204_124800 20161204_124820 20161204_124921 20161204_125820 20161204_130503 20161204_130518 20161204_131806 20161204_131835 20161204_132829 20161204_132830 20161204_132952 20161204_133018

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Billericay Christmas Market – Yvonne Kyndt

Billericay Christmas Market on Sunday 4th December is Billericay’s biggest free community event. Joining me today to tell us all about it was Yvonne Kyndt from The Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower.

Yvonne Kyndt

Yvonne Kyndt

It’s estimated that up to 20,000 people attended the market last year. Listen to our chat here –


You can find out more by visiting the website for Billericay Christmas Market here

Thanks to Yvonne for coming in today. Just before she left we had time for a selfie!market-2

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I just want my wallet back – I don’t want political asylum!

Yes today we heard about the Chinese backpacker in Germany who tried to report the theft of his wallet only to find himself being processed as an asylum seeker.chinese-migrant

After no less than two weeks the error came to light after the authorities got a staff member from a local Chinese restaurant to interpret what the poor man was trying to tell them.


Well she may be a day late but Margaret Mills joined me to explain all about the Plague Stone at Felsted.

Listen again to what Margaret said by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,

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Heck it’s Monday again!

On today’s show we reported on the man charged with driving his mobility scooter at 47mph in a 30 mph zone.


At the time of the alleged incident he was actually recovering from a triple heart bypass operation. Verdict “NOT GUILTY”

We also had news of the American woman who claimed that her bottle of salad dressing was possessed by an evil spirit after it seemingly attacked her whilst she was preparing dinner.


Turns out that the “evil spirit” was a bacteria which caused the sauce to bubble up and explode!

I’m off tomorrow so I’ll see you again on Wednesday,

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Shenfield High School – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Shenfield High School has an excellent Drama Department. Each year a variety of students from all years take part in a full scale musical, the latest of these is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

In the studio today to tell us all about it was course teacher Mrs Rachel Bryan and students Daynah Lorelle  Taylor Elsworth, and Nathan Armin.

Mrs Rachel Bryan with Taylor, Daynah and Nathan

Mrs Rachel Bryan with Taylor, Daynah and Nathan

You can listen to our chat, along with a song from Daynah previously recorded at Phoenix FM and an impromptu performance of Any Dream Will Do from Nathan, here –

It was great fun having them all together in the studio. What a talented bunch!

image1 image2


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The Police station without police

You really couldn’t make it up if you tried but as we told you today, there really is a police station in Gloucestershire led by the manager of the local Waitrose, but with no serving police officers.


I wonder if you could use your Waitrose store card as a GET OUT OF JAIL free card.

Later on Margaret Mills returned to tell us all about the Old Hag of Felsted.


Listen again to what Margaret to me by clicking on the link below.

See you again next time,

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Territorial claims

It was good to welcome back Brian Hughes from Shenfield solicitors, RAINER HUGHES.

Learn more about RAINER HUGHES and Brian himself by going to


Brian’s subject today concerned the potentially thorny issue of shared drives.

Listen again to Brian’s advice on this issue by clicking on the link below.

Later on we heard of a territorial dispute of a slightly larger nature which has resulted in the self-proclaimed president of the state of LIBERLAND being prevented from entering his own country.


Legally described as terra nullius – a land claimed by no states, LIBERLAND was once part of Serbia but when the borders were redrawn at the end of the Yugoslav civil war in the 1990s, it ended up with Croatia only Croatia didn’t want it.

Had they accepted it, they would have had to accept the new borders, which gave them less territory than before.

But likewise Serbia  didn’t want it either since they liked the new borders which got them more territory.

As neither Serbia nor Croatia wanted it, Bit Jedlicka did want it and promptly announced that the 2 and a half square mile territory should henceforth be known as LIBERLAND and he and his friends planted a flag on the territory and duly elected him PRESIDENT.

Unfortunately although Croatia doesn’t want the territory it doesn’t want anyone else there either and arrests and fines anyone who tries to cross into the area from it’s territory. Not only that but the self proclaimed president has now also be banned from entering Croatia as well.

All good fun!

See you again tomorrow

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Billericay Community Cinema – Adam Adshead

BillericayCine is a not-for-profit Community Cinema run entirely by volunteers. They keep films affordable for the local community, offering a wide range designed to appeal to all.
Joining me today to tell us all about it was Adam Adshead Chairman of Billericay Community Cinema.

Adam Adshead

Adam Adshead

We talked about how the Community Cinema began, volunteers, the films on show, their recent “Best New Film Society of the Year” award and how the children queue up for the bean bags! We also chatted briefly about Billericay’s Christmas Lighting Up event this Sunday (See poster below)

You can listen to our chat here –




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It’s a cat’s life!

Believe it or not but a new cat food range for the super rich has just been announced.


BRITISH BANQUET goes on sale this week but at £12:50 a serving, this is not the sort of nosh your average mog can look forward to.

So what’s so special about this product?

Well it contains Arenkha caviar, line-caught Scottish salmon, hand-caught Norfolk lobster, and locally-sourced Devon crab.

Each gourmet pack also includes organic asparagus, quinoa, and saffron for that “extra touch of luxury and refinement”.

And as you’d expect it contains no preservatives, additives or artificial colours, and is also GM-free.

Coming back down to the real world, well maybe, Margaret Mills related the strange tale of the Devil and the Bell at Danbury.

No it’s not a pub but there is a pub in Danbury called THE BELL, and there might be, just might be, a connection.


To hear more click on the link below:-

See you again next week,

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The Crocked Monsieurs are back!


the-crocked-monsieursI was really pleased to meet up once again with Colin Batters and Chris Howard, who together make up THE CROCKED MONSIEURS.

Back in July last year the guys launched their first album, BORDERIN’ THE TRAINLINE from  which, their new single, PICTURES OF YOU, which we’ve been playing for some weeks now, was released last Friday.


Listen again to my chat with the guys by clicking on the link below and if you’d like to find out more about them just visit their website

Later in the show, we took a somewhat irreverent look at the news of the US Presidential election, which it seems was foreseen in the entertainment world more than 16 years ago.

You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried!


See you again tomorrow,



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Mr Poppers Penguins Popped In

Mike was delighted to welcome Richy Hughes and Luke Bateman who are lyricist and composer of the Broadway show Mr Poppers Penguins. It returns at the end of the month for a short tour which takes in, amongst others, The Palace Theatre in Southend, before taking up Christmas residence in The West End’s Criterion Theatre. The show features brilliant puppetry, a snow storm and toe-tapping songs. So far our penguins have appeared on Blue Peter, BBC Breakfast and The Elaine Paige Show on Radio 2 to name but a few. More info on the show can be found at .

You can hear the interview again here


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President Trump

So the country woke up in shock this morning after hearing one of the most extraordinary election results. The news about Donald Trump.


I stalked some local Facebook users this morning, Here’s just some of your reaction…

Andrew Woodcock

What kind of a world do we live in where the Simpson’s is more accurate at predicting future world events than the so called and no doubt well paid experts lol.

Mike Jones

Good morning Britain. Welcome to 1933

Colin Wade

Let’s be honest wheeling out Jon Bon Jovi is not going to change the mind of someone called Bubba III from Idaho !

Jessica Kim Livingstone

I’m just in shock I was so hoping he wouldn’t do it – no words

Leena Shalloe

The guy giving his ‘I’m the new president’ speech just now was totally unrecognisable from the foul-mouthed, unkind, bitchy guy who’s dominated our TV screens in the recent past. Made my toes curl. What a bunch of hypocrites rule our world. Where’s that desert island.

Jules Bottazzi

Yay! We’re no longer the most stupid nation.

For my own part I dislike Trump and virtually everything he stands for. But I’m a great believer in Karma. –  I’ll quote a couple of wise people. First Sir Isaac Newton – Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

And I never thought I would find myself agreeing with former local politician Russell Quirk but I think he got it spot on this morning when he said…

Politicians everywhere take note. If you continue to take the electorate for granted, this happens

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Maybe be wary about planning objections


new-homes-in-thorntonWe learnt today about the residents of a town in Fife who, having objected to a company’s flat building plans have each been billed £74000.

And believe it or not, the company threatened legal action if not settled in full within 21 days.

great-barfield-stationMargaret Mills today returned to the Essex village of Great Bardfield to reveal some amazing history connected with the place.

Listen again here to what Margaret said: –

See you again next week,

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Everyone’s a winner!

superemarket-bargainsOn today’s programme we showed how anyone can grab a bargain with an up to  75% discount in your local supermarket. And today we revealed the times that the main supermarkets reduce the prices of their stock.

Also today we heard about the woman who came a bit of a cropper after suffering from flatulence during lazer surgery. She might want to think about popping a couple of ENO’s next time.


See you again tomorrow,

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My Pick for Christmas Number 1 – Dartford Tolls

You may have heard of Southend News Network which is a spoof news website producing some very funny made up stories on local issues and events
Southend News Network was originally started in October 2015 with no real aims or objectives in mind other than to add a satirical/spoof-like touch to issues that people are passionate about. Above all else, SNN is all about having the occasional ‘dig’ at the powers that be.
Well now Southend News Network are taking a crack at the Christmas music charts with a very funny song bemoaning the traffic congestion around the Dartford Crossing.
It’s sung by talented local musician Annie Humphrey who normally performs with local band Frog on a Rocket.

Annie Humphrey

Annie Humphrey

It’s being officially released by a record label on the 2nd of December. Money raised from the release will be going to two charities. The first is Shelter, the second will be the British Heart Foundation in memory Annie’s dad, who died 8 years ago on December the first.
The song on Youtube is a bit sweary but today on Phoenix we had the first play of the official clean version of the song which will be available as a download from 2nd December.

You can watch the Youtube version of the not so clean version here –


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Stuck in the Middle

stuck-in-the-middle-bandNo we’re not really stuck but STUCK IN THE MIDDLE is the name adopted by my guests today,  Jon Greaves, Julian May and Angela Gardner for their band – and they popped by today to tell us about their newly released CD – PICTURE THIS which is available at £7 by e-mailing Jon Greaves at


Listen again here to what they told me about themselves and the new album: –


gt-bardfield-artistsLater in the programme Margaret Mills stopped by to tell us all about the amazing painters of Great Bardfield. If you missed what Margaret had to say on this subject just click on the link below: –

See you again next week,

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If Music be the food of love …………

leigh-orpheus-choirI was joined on today’s programme by SAM COLEY from the Leigh Orpheus Male Choir which was formed in 1968, and with over 100 members can boast to be one of the largest choirs of their kind in the UK.


But not content to rest on their laurels they are actively seeking new members so if you have ever considered that this might be something of interest to you, why not pop along to one of their rehearsals? They generally meet up at 7pm on most Friday evenings at the Salvation Army HQ on London Road in Hadleigh. Alternatively give them a call on 07754 673600 or take a look at their website

Whatever take a listen to what Sam had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

Later on the show we heard about the school who inadvertently exposed their students to a nice warm glow after it was discovered that a piece of uranium had been included in the display of rocks and minerals in their science department. Maybe the students can now save on electricity by glowing quietly in the dark!


See you again tomorrow,

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D’Ukes Live on Phoenix FM and at The Brentwood Theatre, Saturday.

Some of my favourite people joined me in the studio today – Ukulele band D’Ukes.

Brian, Jo, Hazel, John and Dave (minus Martin) - D'Ukes

Brian, Jo, Hazel, John and Dave (minus Martin) – D’Ukes

They performed three great songs and entertained us with tales of some of their recent gigs. You can listen to the entire session here –

D’Ukes will be bringing their highly entertaining and funny show to The Brentwood Theatre this Saturday. Don’t miss it! dukes-poster

Leader of the Band - Dave Warren

Leader of the Band – Dave Warren

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A bit of a pickle!

tucson-chimney-rescue-8_1476667570762_2174327_ver1-0_640_360On today’s show we heard all about the man who tried unsuccessfully to break into his house after he locked himself out – he tried to get inside by going down the chimney only to get stuck, just as triumph was within his grasp.

After being wedged for 4 hours his cries for help were finally heard and he was winched to safety  by the fire brigade.

Margaret Mills was back on parade today with details of the downed Zeppelin in Great Bardfield 100 years ago.


You can listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,

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All about wills


I was joined on today’s programme by BRIAN HUGHES, who is not only a consultant solicitor from Shenfield based solicitors, RAINER HUGHES, but also a budding author to boot.

Neatly combining both functions, Brian related the story of a couple of notable citizens of Billericay, who were sadly killed in a plane crash back in the 1950’s.

Despite having made wills in favour of their son he failed to inherit their house and property due to a technicality.


This incident shows just how careful you need to be when making your will as Brian explained.

You can listen here to what Brian had to tell me today by clicking on the link below: –

Later in the programme we also learnt why “Hot Dogs” are disappearing from menus in Malaysia.


See you again tomorrow.


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Margaret Mills is back!

After a prolonged absence due to illness it was wonderful to have Margaret Mills back on the programme.queen-caroline

Today Margaret described the right royal rumpus involving the trials suffered by Queen Caroline, the estranged wife of George IV.

To learn more and hear what Margaret had to say on this subject, just click on the link below: –

On a very different subject, we heard about the Irish lads who advertised for a “replacement” groom for their stag party being held in Krakow, Poland. Seemingly the real groom fell down a flight of stairs resulting in a number of broken ribs and a punctured lung. By just changing your name on the airline ticket at a cost of £82 you could potentially have an all expenses paid shindig!


See you next time,


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A Home from Hove, perhaps!

As I guess you know only too well house prices are just crazy these days so it can be good to stumble on a property up for sale in a prime area, going for a more realistic price. Well possibly!


In Brighton estate agents are advertising accommodation to be used as a one-bedroom house, a home office in your garden, a gym, games room or even a pop-up shop. 

The property actually consists of two one-time shipping containers across the top of which is a terrace with space for a vegetable patch and built-in seating.

There are planters around the outside of the container suitable for growing fruits, vegetables or flowers.

And it can all be yours for just £35000!

Also from the Brighton area came news of the new technological marvel of the wifi kettle. It took the owner a mere 15 hours to brew up using the device.


Don’t you just love technology?

See you again tomorrow,

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Love it or Hate it


So there’s going to be a shortage of Marmite thanks to Unilever’s efforts to raise prices and Tesco’s efforts to resist them. Marmite was originally a British product made in Burton Upon Trent.

In the 1930s, Marmite was used by the English scientist Lucy Wills to successfully treat a form of anaemia in mill workers in Bombay. She later identified folic acid as the active ingredient. Marmite was used to treat malnutrition during the 1934–5 malaria epidemic in Sri Lanka

Marmite is now owned by a British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company but is still produced in Burton Upon Trent. Unilever wants to increase prices in the UK to compensate for the sharp decrease in the value of the pound, but Tesco is resisting that move.

This is a British product and can be produced from the waste products of the British Brewing industry.

So it’s hard to see why Brexit, or the decrease in the value of the pound would affect the price of Marmite.

In the corporate world we live in today though things are not so simple.

Marmite then could become a symbol for people’s feelings about the EU and the big corporations. You either love it or hate it.


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I just want to go home

We are always hearing about people trying to enter the UK, but today we heard about one refugee from Eritrea who says his home country was safer than Swansea.

Eritrean Refugees at Shagarab Refugees camp at KassalaHe should try Liverpool!

We also had news of perhaps some of the laziest males ever – arctic squirrels – who let the females do all the work whilst they laze in the sun.


Seems like they got it made to me!

See you again next week<

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Cats are in the news

After the rather “dodgy” pronouncements ascribed to the US Republican hopeful, Donald Trump over the weekend, comes news that the jihadist terrorist organisation, ISIS has placed a fatwa on cats.


Where previously the animals had been used on recruitment posters, residents of Mosul have now been forbidden to breed cats indoors.

Well I never!


Being World Mental Health Day, Chris hood brought with him 3 young people who have enlisted on the Coach Core Scheme, Harrison Barrett, Mikaela Kennedy and Jake Watson.

Listen to what Chris and co had to say on this subject here: –

Meanwhile from the USD comes news of the airline insisting on weighing all passengers before they travel. It seems they need to balance aircraft for safety reasons.


I was also joined by some surprise guests this afternoon.

See you again tomorrow,


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Rod Temperton – A Tribute

I dedicated today’s show to the memory and the music of Rod Temperton who died aged 66 last week after a short battle with cancer.

Rod Temperton

Rod Temperton

Rod was the keyboardist and main songwriter for the R&B funk/disco band Heatwave.

He went on to become one of the greatest songwriters in R&B history, a songwriter best known for Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Rock With You,

Temperton’s other hits included Off The Wall and Baby Be Mine for Jackson and Boogie Nights for his band Heatwave.

Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers was among those paying tribute, tweeting: “Your genius gave us a funkier world!”

Producer and DJ Mark Ronson wrote: “So devastated to hear that Rod Temperton has passed away. a wonderful man & one of my favourite songwriters ever. thank you for the magic x”

Rod Temperton’s greatest hits

  • Thriller – Michael Jackson
  • Rock With You – Michael Jackson
  • Boogie Nights – Heatwave
  • Give Me The Night – George Benson
  • Baby, Come to Me – Patti Austin and James Ingram
  • Sweet Freedom – Michael McDonald
  • Always and Forever – Heatwave
  • Yah Mo B There – James Ingram and Michael McDonald
  • Brothers Johnson – Stomp

And many more…

Rod with Heatwave in 1978

Rod with Heatwave in 1978

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Back from a Drive

Good to be back on the One 2 Three show today after deputising for Keith Rogers on the Drive show last week and having a two week break before that.

I premiered yet another fabulous jingle from the talented Paul Nooney of The Solo Beatles, we heard a couple of new tracks that you may not have heard before and also heard the sorry tale of a marriage that turned out not as expected when 3 months after the wedding the couple discovered that they were related… Grandfather and Granddaughter!


So here we are in Autumn, getting chilly now but after a dismal start we had a great end to the summer. Time to look ahead now at what’s coming up, the dark mornings and evenings, Halloween, fireworks and dare I say it… Christmas. Yes the madness starts soon, months of shopping and preparation for a few days of excess. I’m opting for a minimal Christmas this year, just me a Christmas pudding and a bottle of brandy. Can’t wait!

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All about food

Another Tuesday and still no Margaret Mills, but you’ll be pleased to know she is on the mend and hopefully will soon be back.

Today we heard two food related stories.


First up came news of the woman who was more than a little surprised when a rat fell on her head whilst she was enjoying a meal in a London restaurant.

Meanwhile in Manchester a man was stopped by security officials at the airport due to liquid in his luggage. The liquid turned out to be an unusually juicy pork pie.

credit: Alamy. CP84HH Pork pie with slice cut out

OK. That’s it from me. See you again next week,

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Oh heck it’s Monday AGAIN!

With the start of another working week, we took a look today at the health worker who’s duties included helping patients to get back into the community by assisting them with their shopping.

On his first day he escorted one of his charges into the shopping centre where, using the patient’s debit card, he kindly helped them spend £250 on electronic goods which he had stored in the staff room for later retrieval when he left for home.


Clearly other staff were a bit wary of this so when his shift ended he was taken away by the police!


Have you ever wondered what seemingly coded messages broadcast in public places over the tannoy meant? Well we told you about some of those today.

So, for example, now you know that if you hear a call for Mr Sands whilst you are in a theatre, it might be a good idea to locate the fire exit.

See you again tomorrow,

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Jordan Gray and Colin Wade launch new singles on 123

Voice star and regular guest to 123 Jordan Gray came into the studio to talk about the release of her new single Platinum which releases in November

You can hear the interview again here

Colin Wade and friends have put together a fabulous sinle to promote and gain awareness of Brentwood Mind which has sufferd badly under budget cuts recently

You can hear the single and Mike’s chat with Colin again here


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A mouthful and a half!

On today’s show we heard about the woman who found a complete rat’s head in her fried chicken. Yummy!

A woman claims she discovered a rat's head in her Popeyes chicken.  Rosemary Thomas said she found the fried head in her food at a Harlem Popeyes restaurant, at 2730 Frederick Douglass Boulevard on West 145th Street. She posted pictures of it to her Facebook profile.  She was at the restaurant with her sister, daughter and niece, according to the post.  "This is clearly a rat and they have the nerve to have a 5 rating by the department of health," she wrote in the Facebook post.   "My daughter is traumatized. I had to take her to urgent care last night, vomited with diarrhea all day."

And we also had news of the woman in Devon who somehow managed to call police in Barnstable, Massachusetts to report a car accident between the rural villages of Muddiford and Ilfracombe. She was informed that there might be a bit of a delay before officers could attend the incident.


See you next time,

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The Naked truth!

On the first ONE-2-THREE show of the week, we revelled in the story of the man denied a reserved seat on a train because 4 overweight passengers were taking up the space normally used to accommodate 5 people, but refused to move!


We also had news of the woman who’s review for a washing machine went down more of a storm than she could ever have expected due to the picture she posted of the machine, which showed her reflection dressed only in a skimpy pair of knickers. Enjoy!

Revealing review on Curry's website credit: @markmilligan01/Twitter  review since been removed

See you again tomorrow,


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It’s a private affair

cow-privacyOn what was, for me, another bonus edition of the show, we heard about Google’s efforts to protect the anonymity of a cow and about the 17-stone woman who’s been told that her weight was the cause of damage to a sofa less than a year old.

Anita White of Sandiacre, Notts, was refused a refund on a faulty Harveys sofa which started to sag on one side because the shop said she and her husband are of “large build”. For copy by Andrew Parker.

Nothing more to say!

See you next week,

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Fired on your first day at work!

Sadly Margaret Mills is still indisposed but we hope she will be back with us again soon.


In the meantime, on today’s show we heard a selection of reasons why people managed to get fired on their first day at work.

Posting a sex manual to a 5-year old in place of the Paddington book she was expecting proved to be a good start!

See you again tomorrow,

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Just another Manic Monday

Today we heard about the reluctant Norwegian politician, who despite his best efforts has been elected to serve on his local council for two years.


His poster showing him with his cat, even asked people not to vote for him.

Perhaps there are some lessons there for budding politicians here!


We also heard about the convenience store in London trying to stay open for longer than anyone else. They claim to be open 25-hours a day but they’ve still got someway to beat the discount outlet claiming to be open 9-days a week!


See you again tomorrow,

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It’s not quite Friday yet!

Yeah, it’s yet another bonus show for me today and so we looked at the confectionary machine at a Spanish seaside resort that also dispenses a whole range of sex toys, all of which are clearly displayed alongside hot and cold drinks, packs of chewing gum and other treats for the kids.


Be careful which tray you pull out!

Meanwhile in Barking it seems there is a shop with, what must be “THE SALE OF THE CENTURY.”


Seemingly if you buy one shoe, they will throw in the other one for FREE. Now that’s what I call a bargain!

See you next week,


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Are you sitting comfortably?

On today’s for me bonus edition of the show we took delight in one man’s misfortune and of a woman trying for a world record.

First off we had news of the man who got trapped in a loo. But when we say “IN” we really mean “IN”. As this Norwegian feller literally dived into a loo to try to retrieve the phone his friend had accidentally dropped into said orifice.


Unfortunately he became firmly wedged as he stood thigh deep in the contents and had to spend an hour completely enclosed in the small area. Whilst trapped he was bitten a number of times by some creatures apparently inhabiting this idyllic spot.

Mr Larsen was only released from his ordeal after firefighters destroyed the facility.

Oh and in case you’re wondering his quest to retrieve the phone proved unsuccessful.

Next up came news of Fort Worth resident, Monica Riley,  a 50 stone woman bidding to become the world’s fattest and heaviest woman and aiming to hit the scales at 70 stone within the next 5 years.


Helping her to achieve her dream, boyfriend Sid prepares a special night time shake for her to drink through a funnel.

The shake consists of ten Pop Tarts, heavy-duty cream, ice cream, milk and weight-gain power, totalling 3,500 calories.

The nightly funnel feeding is streamed live to 20,000 fans on line.

Perhaps Donald Trump could enlist her to block off the Texan border with Mexico.

I’m off for a snack now. See you again tomorrow,

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What was the Muster Roll and how did it affect Billericay?

muster-rollUnfortunately Margaret Mills is rather poorly just now but hopefully she will be back with us before too long but JULIAN WHYBRA bravely stepped into the breach today to tell us all about The Muster Roll of 1539 and the horrors resulting from the Marian Persecutions between the years of 1555 and 1558 and how these two events impacted on the inhabitants of Billericay.


You can listen again to what Julian told me by clicking on the link below:-

You can also read all about these two events in more detail in a book Julian has written called Billericay People Volume I THE  MUSTER ROLL 1539 AND THE MARIAN PERSECUTIONS 1555-58. 

It’s available from the Cater Museum in Billericay who will benefit from all the profits derived from sales and can be yours for just £9:75.

See you again tomorrow,

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All about holidays

For my first day back after my holiday, I thought it appropriate to look at two stories loosely connected with travelling and holiday issues.


First up if you were thinking of travelling to Pakistan, you might want to slip by Peshawar, where at the Khyber Rifles Officers Mess at Landi Kotal you can see a Banyan tree that was placed under arrest more than a century ago, on the orders of a serving British military officer, who in his drunken state believed it to be trying to run away.

The tree remains chained to the ground to this very day!

Closer to home, should you take a trip to Paris, just be warned that you could be in line for a massive fine should you be reckless enough to take a photograph of the Eiffel Tower at night. You are particularly at risk if you then publish said photo on line. The reason seems to be because the tower’s nightly light display is classified as a separate “artistic installation” and protected by copyright.


You have been warned!

See you again tomorrow,



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The Billericay Art Trail – Jo Adshead

The Billericay Art Trail is a community event showcasing the talent of local artists from gifted amateurs to professionals. With 23 Artists in 24 Venues, it launches with an Art Exhibition open to all, including Refreshments and a Raffle in Co-operative Funeral Care, 30 High Street on Friday 9th September. Joining me today was Jo Adshead to tell us all about it.

Jo Adshead

Jo Adshead

You can listen to our chat here –

You can find a full programme of events and more information on the Billericay Art Trail website here or their Facebook page here

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Paul Dorling and Dave Jones – A Crossing

On today’s One 2 Three my guests were Paul Dorling and Dave Jones talking about their upcoming poetry recital at The Brentwood Theatre entitled “A Crossing”.

Dave Jones and Paul Dorling

Dave Jones and Paul Dorling

Described as “a journey within and without” I was looking forward to finding out more.

You can listen to our chat here –

A crossing - scanned


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The Ghost Train and Wing Walking

We cover all sorts of subjects here on 123 and today was no different. Martyn Williams the director of the latest production from Thurrock Courts Players came into the studio to chat to Mike about The Ghost Train which is on at the Thameside Theatre in September

You can here the interview again here


Stuart Smith is raising money for St Lukes Hospice. How? By walking on the wings of an aircraft . Why? He explains all to Mike

You can here the interview again here


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The Solo Beatles

Fantastic to be joined by Simon Sheehan, Simon Cantwell and Paul Nooney (along with his Hofner Bass) from The Solo Beatles today.

Simon Sheehan, Simon Cantwell and Paul Nooney

Simon Sheehan, Simon Cantwell and Paul Nooney

The Solo Beatles are a 5 piece band who play the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo after they went their separate ways. Songs like Got My Mind Set On You, My Love, Photograph, Just Like Starting Over, Band On The Run, My Sweet Lord and Imagine. Although the guys were 2 members short today they played us a lovely “stripped down” version of John Lennon’s Imagine. We also heard a couple of live recordings of the band and I challenged Paul’s encyclopaedic knowledge of The Beatles with a short quiz. You can listen to the entire session here –

The Solo Beatles will be performing at The Essex Arms in Brentwood next Saturday 3rd September at 8pm. See you there!

The Solo Beatles Website




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Dr Eric Watts – Tea and Talk at Toby’s – Cancer Support

The Brentwood Cancer Support and Survivorship Group gets under way on the 5th of September at The Toby Carvery in Ingrave Road near Shenfield Common.
Dr Eric Watts joined me today to tell us all about it.

Dr Eric Watts

Dr Eric Watts

You can listen to our chat here –

Brentwood Cancer Support A4 Poster-page-001

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The house wrecked by vacuum cleaner


Roomba on the looseYes, today came news of the house turned into a reasonable facsimile of a cell in the old MAZE prison by a robot vacuum cleaner, with the help of a puppy, who someone had forgotten to let out before everyone went to bed.

The puppy pooped on the carpet and the robot acted as a homegrown muck spreader.

Oh dear!

On today’s Bygones feature Margaret Mills told us the all about the legend attaching to Deadman’s Lane in Galleywood.

If you missed it you can catch it all again by clicking on the link below: –

See you next time,

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It seems to be all about violence today


sausage damage

First off today we heard about two men in Germany arguing over a parking incident which resulted in one of the combatants attacking the other man’s car with a sausage. We also had news of a brawl involving a sausage roll in Bristol and a shareholder’s meeting disrupted – again over sausages.

Must be something in the meat!

Granny Ripper

We also had news of the killer granny in Russia, who it seems has cut up, cooked and eaten her tenant, husband, mother-in-law and someone she was caring for.

You’d have thought she’d miss the income.

See you again tomorrow,

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Made in Dagenham at The Queens Hornchurch – Wendy Morgan

Great to talk to award winning actor Wendy Morgan about the new production of Made in Dagenham The Musical starting next week at The Queens Theatre Hornchuch

Wendy Morgan

Wendy Morgan

You can listen to our chat (with added ice cream van effects!) here –



You can find out more at the Queens theatre’s website which is, or you can get tickets from the box office on 01708 443333.

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The Pokemon Go with real “get up and go”

Pokemon go rape

Well I suppose it was only a matter of time, but yes a Russian woman claims to have been raped by a Pokemon Go character.

She claims that she had been playing the game before going to sleep only to wake up to find a huge Pokemon on top of her, raping her which promptly  disappeared when she got out of bed, although the app showed that the character was indeed still on her bed.

Her husband has suggested she sees a psychiatrist so at least some sanity still exists in that household.

Later in the programme we heard the history of Brentwood’s Marygreen Manor from Margaret Mills.

If you missed it just click on the link below: –

See you next week,

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They walk among us!

Today we heard about two felons who maybe should try something else.

First off came news of man who’s life of crime has never paid off as he always gets caught. But he must have thought his luck had changed when at 4am he stumbled upon an unlocked car with the keys still in the ignition and and iPad and wallet just sitting there for the taking.

All he had to do was reach in and he would be quids in.

Car thief

Unfortunately our hero got in the car and in his drug clouded mind, inadvertently pressed the door-lock button on the key fob and then couldn’t understand how the doors had seemingly locked by themselves, imprisoning him in the vehicle.

In a blind panic he smashed a car window to make good his escape and then whilst trying to use a credit card from the wallet he’d just pinched, was picked up on CCTV.

Bank robbery

Then we heard about the would-be bank robber armed with a knife, who told the cashier to deposit £500 into his own account.

When that didn’t work he ran down to another bank nearby and demanded the money in cash, but they didn’t have that much in the till.

Unsurprisingly he was quickly apprehended and has now been sentenced to 2 years at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

See you again tomorrow,

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The Man with the £14 Trillion Tax Bill

We all know that tax is a necessary evil, and hope that everyone gets to pay their fair share, but one man from Bristol was astonished to receive a recent bill from HMRC for £14 Trillion!
The notice from HMRC said: “Although we are changing your tax code you may still not pay enough tax by 5 April 2017. We think the amount you owe HMRC is £14,301,369,864,489.03p
That is fourteen trillion, three hundred and one billion, three hundred and sixty nine million, eight hundred and sixty four thousand, four hundred and eighty nine pounds and three pence.
Fortunately, the taxman acknowledged the error. Mr Hembrough said: “I gave HMRC a ring and said to the woman that I thought my code was wrong. “When she opened my file she said ‘Oh that is a big amount – it looks like someone has fallen asleep on the keyboard!'”

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A tale hard to swallow

Lost dental toolToday we learnt about the dentist who lost a tool during an operation.

It emerged later that the patient had swallowed it.

Not surprisingly the patient sued the dental practice but as this was in the US it is perhaps surprising that the dentist didn’t try to sue the patient for theft!


On our Bygones feature this week, Margaret Mills took us to Copford where at the time of Queen Mary a bishop, known locally as Bloody Bishop Bonner, is said to have stashed away all his worldly goods in a tunnel leading from the church.

In spite of many searches, nothing has so far been uncovered so presumably, if it ever existed it is still waiting to be found.

Listen again to what Margaret told me by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,

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Time to take Council

We heard today of the antics of two council authorities.

Grass cutter

First off we had news of Havering Council allegedly threatening to take a pensioner to court for criminal damage due to his wilful attack on a council owned lawn outside his house armed with a lawn mower.

Presumably this was thought to be a cut too far!

scarf course

Meanwhile in Northamptonshire intense excitement is being stirred up amongst residents following news of an adult education course explaining how to wear a scarf!

See you again tomorrow,

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Yummy Cakes and Fun This Sunday – Liz Fox

This Sunday, August 7th, the County Cricket Ground in Chelmsford will play host to a Depressed Cake Shop popup, organised by Liz Fox of local cake company BuBakes to raise money for Mind and Help the Heroes.

Liz Fox with Albi

Liz Fox with Albi




You can listen to our chat above. The Depressed Cake Shop aims to be a global grass roots organisation, and is committed to raising awareness of mental health organisations and to raising money for local organisations.

Liz also brought in some sample cakes for approval which instantly passed the taste test carried out by myself and helper Courtney-Lee. They were delicious!Cakes

So everyone get down to the County Cricket Ground in Chelmsford on Sunday for some fabulous cakes and support the Charities, Mind and Help for Heroes, and do your bit in raising mental health awareness.

You can find out more about Liz and her business BuBakes on her website here

and on Facebook

and Twitter – @bubakescakes

Thanks for the lovely cakes Liz!

CoeYuLdUEAMVw1J.jpg large

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Donna’s Danceathon – Fundraising for local Charities – Watch here.

Dancing on the radio then! Well I’ll try anything…

Donna Wicks

Donna Wicks



Donna Wicks is a lovely lady who is using her passion for dancing and making people smile, to raise money for small charities.

Donna started her dancing marathon back in January and is doing a dance a day for an entire year. The videos of the dances are all posted on Youtube.





We chatted about how it all started before the big dance in the studio. A big thank you to Michelle Ward for driving the desk and Michelle’s guest for the day Leigh Luscious who stayed on for a dance too! Thanks also to Courtney-Lee Collins for the Photos and video. You can listen to the entire chat and dance here –

Or watch the video here –

You can donate here

Donna’s Facebook

Bob with Leigh Luscious and Donna Wicks

Bob with Leigh Luscious and Donna Wicks

No Comment!

No Comment!

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I’m just here for the beer!

On today’s show we heard all about the Shetland Pony that broke into a pub in Gravesend – the aptly named ASCOT ARMS – in fact, and helped itself to the booze.

Pony in pub

It was finally lured out with copious quantities of nibbles.

On a completely different tack we heard from Margaret Mills about an alleged witch rejoicing in the somewhat unkind name of GOOFY MUMFORD from Howe Street near Finchingfield. “Goofy” was the village schoolmistress, but also reputedly dabbled in witchcraft and so was blamed when the harvest failed, killed and then buried at a crossroads.

To hear more click on the link below: –

See you next week,

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Guest Post – Courtney-Lee Collins – Working with Phoenix FM



I’ve really enjoyed my time at Phoenix FM. I was really lucky to work with a range of presenters during my work experience and I found it so useful and really interesting as I saw how each presenter put their own spin on their individual shows.

Courtney-Lee and Bob

Courtney-Lee and Bob

All of the presenters were so helpful and friendly and many let me try out presenting features on their shows from the events guide to showbiz news to traffic, I was even lucky enough to have my very own 20 minute Courtney-Lee takeover during one show where I took over the airwaves to play my favourite songs all by myself. I’d really like to thank every presenter I worked with but an extra special thank you goes to Bob Simpson who had so much faith in me that he let me ‘fly solo’ lol.

Courtney-Lee and Keith Rogers

Courtney-Lee and Keith Rogers

I’d recommend Phoenix to anyone looking for work experience as its a friendly atmosphere and so interesting to learn about such a great form of art. I really hope to work with Phoenix FM again in the future

Courtney-Lee x

Courtney-Lee with Steve Robertson

Courtney-Lee with Steve Robertson

Phoenix FM Chairman Paul Golder with Courtney-Lee

Phoenix FM Chairman Paul Golder with Courtney-Lee

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Peppa Pig comes to Brentwood this Saturday – Piccola’s 50th Anniversary

The children’s store Piccola in Brentwood High Street are turning 50! You can join them in their celebrations along with guests Peppa Pig, George and Peter Rabbit! Their V.I.P guests will be appearing throughout the day at both Brentwood and Epping branches on Saturday 30th July.

I was very pleased to welcome Simon Wilson from Piccola today to tell us all about their celebrations.

Simon and Bob

Simon and Bob

You can listen to our chat here –


Happy Birthday Piccola! You can find out more on the Piccola website here

or their Facebook page here

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Computer games – are they good for us?

I’ll be honest with you once computer games moved on from Space Invaders I lost all interest so I’m totally baffled by the latest phenomenon POKEMON GO.

Pokemon Go at the White House

The addicts of such games however seem to allow themselves to be completely taken over by them as evidenced by a journalist at the White House, who rather than concentrate on the briefing of how ISIS would be defeated, tried to carry on playing POKEMON GO.

Whether or not US policy as outlined will eventually defeat Daesh, the reporter’s efforts to catch the Pokemon were defeated by a poor signal. 

Just glad he had his priorities right!

On today’s Bygones feature Margaret Mills looked back at the man they named twice – Sir John Griffin Griffin Whitwell. He had to get named “GRIFFIN” twice in order to inherit Audley End.

If you missed what Margaret said you can listen again here: –

See you again soon,

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They’re out to get us!

Do the bugs keep biting you on these warm nights?

Well now we have the answer to your problems thanks to a group of Swedish scientists.

Yes apparently all you have to do is take a live hen to bed with you and the mosquitoes will leave you alone.

chicken coop

Whatever else that’s a very different suggestion from the kind of bedfellows usually suggested by  Swedes!

Keeping to theme of wildlife, we also reported on the psychopathic swan terrorising people going about their hobby with model boats at a lake in Suffolk.

One man likened an attack on his craft to a battle with the German warship BISMARCK during the second world war!

swan and boat

See you again tomorrow,

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Promoting Young Talent

We are proud of the fact that we are constantly trying to further the career of young raw local talent and today was no exception. 15 year old Anna Marie Childs hails from Grays and has been singing since she was 11. She visited the studio today with Mike and played 3 songs of her own material

You can hear the interview again here

There is also a youtube link

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Richie Milton and Bill Farrow – Where’s Me Washboard?!!

What a lovely way to spend part of an afternoon, in the company of Richie and Bill!

Bill and Richie

Bill and Richie

We caught up with what they had been up to in the months since they last came into Phoenix including Richie’s presence at  a certain tea party at Buckingham Palace. Along with that Richie and Bill performed four songs for us with a bonus track from one of Bill’s albums. For one of the tracks I accompanied them on the washboard – not to be missed that one! You can listen to the entire session, and quite a few laughs, here –

The Bob Simpson Washboard Trio

The Bob Simpson Washboard Trio

Bill and Ritchie with Her Majesty The Queen (Possibly)

Bill and Richie with Her Majesty The Queen (Possibly)





My thanks to Richie Milton and Bill Farrow for another wonderfully entertaining session. Always a pleasure.

Richie’s Website is here

Bill’s is here

and their alter-ego’s website (Bill ‘N Ricky) is here

You can catch Richie Milton and Bill Farrow performing at The Spread Eagle Brentwood on 6th August.

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Swearing not allowed!

No swearing allowedToday came news of the man from Bodmin banned from swearing anywhere in the UK for 3 years but that’s OK then, if he goes to the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man he can swear as much as he likes.

How are they going to enforce this ruling, I wonder.

He’s just been released from prison for disruptive behaviour so as he hasn’t been sent back perhaps he was found to be too disruptive behind bars and that other inmates were caused unnecessary harassment, alarm and distress!

On today’s Bygones feature, Margaret Mills related the strange story of the Devil’s handprint at Steeple.

If you missed it listen again here:-

See you again next week,


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Back from my holidays

Well – yes I’m back but with a horrendous cough, so keep well back from your radios.

Just hope I can rid myself of the cough before the end of the world – now scheduled for Friday week, would you believe? At least I got my holiday in first!

End of the world

Yes, apparently undeterred by many earlier false predictions of doom, END TIMES PROPHESIES insist that the world will end on 29th July, when they claim that the Earth’s magnetic poles will reverse and an extremely angry Jesus Christ will return and kill all non Christians who watch a lot of videos on YouTube.

No BBQ’s that weekend then!

We also had news of the pensioner accused of defacing a work of art valued at £87,000. It seems that she became confused whilst visiting an art exhibition which included interactive exhibits, so when she came saw a crossword puzzle which included the the instruction ” insert words”, she did using a ballpoint pen!


Wonderful stuff! See you again tomorrow,

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Guest Post – Working with Phoenix FM – Gabriella Adams

Recently, I had the opportunity to work at Phoenix Fm for a week of work experience. It was a very entertaining and enjoyable experience which enabled me to explore what the “world of radio” is like.



The opportunity to work in the studio for 7 hours a day allowed me to work with various presenters on their different radio shows. I also was in the studio for various interviews during the week which gave me an insight into how they work and the logistics of them. I would describe myself as quite shy, but being here in such an encouraging environment allowed me to “come out of my shell” and I was even able to read the Phoenix Events Announcements and become more comfortable with talking on air as the week progressed.

I came into the studio at different hours each day and spent time on the Breakfast Show with Mike Porter which gave me an understanding of how the radio shows were organised with the weather and traffic.

I also joined Michelle Ward on her show “Eat My Brunch” and had a lot of fun everyday, if it was just having a chat or having a joking about on air, Michelle created a lovely atmosphere where we could talk about music and eat lots of chocolate!

Gabi and Michelle

Gabi and Michelle

During the week, I let it slip that my Driving Theory Test was coming up and Bob Simpson arranged a small “Mock Driving Test” for me to answer on air which was very funny and amusing. Bob also let me read the Entertainment News which despite being nervous about it allowed me to feel much more confident talking on the air.

In Keith Rogers’ ‘Drive’ show, in association with Intu Lakeside, was extremely enjoyable because I was allowed to pick the year for the Retro chart and pick the songs to play from this chart. I was also able to read the top 5 songs for the chosen Retro chart year. I loved doing this because it enabled me to explore a wider range of music, (some older music that I had no idea about), and I could then go home and look up the artists that I didn’t know and I’d heard being talked about during the day.

Gabi and Keith

Gabi and Keith

I would really recommend looking for work experience at Phoenix Fm or any other radio station because it gives you a new-found confidence that I would other wise not have gained. It was such a good week and I have now decided that I would love a career in based in media especially radio!

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Prostate Cancer Awareness – Chris Booth from CHAPS

Prostate Cancer is the commonest major cancer in UK men and second commonest cause of cancer deaths with 47,000 new registrations and 11,000 deaths each year.

CHAPS is a registered charity which aims to raise awareness and support the development of new health services directly targeted at men’s needs to enable them to take care of their own health and well being. Joining me today from Chaps was Clinical Director Chris Booth.

Chris Booth

Chris Booth

You can listen to our chat here –

The CHAPS website is here


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Sunshine or Showers?

What’s going on with our weather? Maybe like me you are still waiting for summer to arrive. If so there may be good news on the horizon. A report in the Metro states that from today the British summer could finally be upon us, with a little help from the Spanish.
A ‘Spanish plume’ of very hot air, heading to the UK in the middle of July, could see six weeks of 30°C temperatures.
That’s all very well until you look at the actual weather forecast! Thunder, torrential downpours and below average temperatures. Oh well, at least the rain will be fairly warm.
Although Scott was away today he did make a brief audio appearance on the show in the regular Bygones feature, talking to Margaret Mills about Merrymeade House in Brentwood. You can listen to that again here –

Merrymeade House

Merrymeade House

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The Four Tops – Duke Fakir Interview

It was an incredible delight and an honour to speak to Duke Fakir, the last surviving member of the original Four Tops. In the interview Duke talks about the early days growing up in Detroit and forming a group with his best friend Levi Stubbs, the transition to Motown and how The Four Tops continue today with a new line up.

Today's Four Tops with Duke

Today’s Four Tops with Duke

You can listen to the interview here –



I had this album!

I had this album!

The Four Tops will be touring the UK in October along with The Temptations and Tavarez. Full details of the tour can be found here



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Billericay Summerfest – Nick Sillitoe and Yvonne Kyndt

Following the success of the Billericay Summerfest in 2015 that saw over 6,000 people visit Sun Corner and £4,000 raised for charity, the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower will again be presenting the event for 2016.
Today my guests were Nick Sillitoe and Yvonne Kyndt from the Rotary Club of Billericay Mayflower who came in to tell us all about this great local community event happening on Sunday.

Yvonne and Nick

Yvonne and Nick

You can listen to our chat here –

For more details on Billericay Summerfest click here

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These cartoons are not for kids!


We heard today about blushing cinema staff who played a trailer for an adult movie to kids who were expecting to see the sequel to Pixar’s 2003 smash hit, Finding Nemo.

They were no doubt astonished and curious to find themselves regaled with a trailer for the adult animated comedy – SAUSAGE PARTY – incorporating some very X-rated language.

Can you imagine the questions their parents had to face on the way home?

For our Bygones feature this week Margaret Mills took us to Hutton Poplars Hall.

Carmel Jane Photography

Carmel Jane Photography

Listen again to what Margaret told me about the fascinating history behind this building by clicking on the link below: –

See you next time,

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It’s a Dog’s Life

Long lunch break


On today’s programme we heard about 2 men employed by a local council in Spain who’ve managed to skive off work for 15 years but still collected their full pay packets.

Amazingly several members of the local police department have also been found not to be pulling their weight – in the last year one had worked just 96 days, another for 66 days and one person had go away with working for a mere 47 days.

I think I’m in the wrong job!


Meanwhile it seems that a TV remote control designed to be used by dogs is about to hit the market.

So you could soon be finding someone else will be fighting over the remote – and this one might bite!

See you again tomorrow,

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Guest Post – Paige Ingram – Working With Phoenix FM

What better way to spend my summer break than behind the mic at Phoenix FM!

Nearing the end of my two weeks here at Phoenix, I can well and truly say I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute, and for those of you who have yet to experience radio from behind the mic, here’s a glimpse of what you’ve been missing.

After just an hour in the studio the lovely Michelle Ward handed me a pair of headphones and positioned me in front of a mic, which for someone with no background in radio was daunting to say the least. For the next 3 hours I was live on Michelle Ward’s Eat My Brunch show. Talk about throwing me in at the deep end Michelle!

Michelle and Paige

Michelle and Paige

The beauty of being in the studio 7 hours a day was that I could work with numerous presenters, all of which had different styles and shows. Every day from 3pm I worked with Keith Rogers who assigned me the task of selecting the retro charts. If you’d have asked me who Talk Talk were prior to Keith’s shows I’d have thought you were referring to the TV and Broadband provider, so Keith’s shows have certainly educated me about music before the likes of Drake and Ariana Grande.

Paige and Keith

Paige and Keith

Throughout my first week I also had the pleasure of working with the one and only Scott Ross, from his humorous stories to his quoted T-shirts there was never a dull moment with Scott in the studio. Just two days into my first week Scott tasked me with preparing a list of interview questions for his guest Stuart Carr. The Essex born singer-songwriter didn’t perform any live tracks but during my second week I was fortunate enough to see: Falling under, Infrared Penguin and Holloway Road perform live on Michelle’s Eat My Brunch.

Stuart Carr with Scott

Stuart Carr with Scott

Without a doubt the highlight of my time here at Phoenix has been meeting and working with such welcoming people. From day one the presenters made me feel at home which eased my nerves and enabled me to focus on and more importantly enjoy the job in hand.

Bob and Paige

Bob and Paige

I would highly recommend Phoenix FM to anyone interested in a future in radio, or any aspect of the media for that matter. The skills and knowledge I have gained during the last two weeks will almost certainly prove beneficial to me, not only in the short term as I finish my Journalism degree, but in the long term when job seeking. I cannot thank Chairman Paul Golder along with all the Phoenix FM presenters enough for this fantastic opportunity, it has been an absolute pleasure.

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Look What Happens When I Go Away For a Week…

The country is in turmoil. We’re leaving the EU, The Prime Minister has resigned, The Labour Party is imploding, social media is full of very angry people, the financial markets are in shock, Barry Gibb performs with Coldplay, The England team forgets how to play football, and floods of biblical proportion. And all while I was away in Cornwall.


But it’s OK. I’m back now, calm down everyone. Let’s do some slow deep breathing exercises…

IN………… OUT……… IN………. OUT……………….

No wait, that’s how we got into this mess in the first place!


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An out of control computerised robot!

Yes the title says it all!

A computerised robot is on the loose.

The Promobot IR77

The Promobot IR77  has been fitted with artificial intelligence meaning that it learns from its experiences and its surroundings, but in spite of being twice re-programmed one of the machines keeps making a bid for freedom and was found wandering in the street after escaping from the hi-tech lab where it had been created. It was only stopped when the battery ran down.

Strangely none of the other similar machines has shown any sign of trying to break free. 

On this week’s BYGONES feature Margaret Mills kept to the subject she was covering last week – Essex Folklore Cures. This week she looked at headache cures. Listen to what Margaret told me by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,

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Officialdom is at it again

Can you imagine being forced to sell your car because you can no longer afford the insurance premium which has only risen due to a clerical error on the part of the DVLA?


Well this is reportedly what’s happened a 56-year old former police officer with 40 years experience behind the wheel.

After moving house, Sidney Iliffe, sent off his paper and photo-card licences to register his new address only to receive a provisional licence in return. When he complained he was told that there were no records of his ever having passed the driving test which he did aged 18 back in 1975.

Meanwhile over in Sweden comes news of the footballer handed a red card for breaking wind during a match. The referee accused him of “deliberate provocation” and “unsportsmanlike behaviour”. 

farting footballer

A red card seems a bit over the top to me.

Now I could understand a “brown” one!

See you again tomorrow,

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Stuart Carr – driving to the top!


On today’s show I was privileged to welcome local singer, songwriter, STUART CARR.

For most of his life Stuart has lived in Southend. Soon after being given a guitar at the age of 15 Stuart started writing music and by 18 was apprenticed to hit songwriters Arnold, Martin and Morrow and by 19 he’d had his first hit in Quebec and France.

In 1975, still at the tender age of 21 he was working with David Walker, Phil Wainman and John Goodison, plugging and writing songs for the likes of Mud, Sweet and the Bay City Rollers.

But the crossover to performing himself came after he started working closely with X-Factor contestant, Rhydian.

Listen here to what Stuart had to tell me today: –

In the second hour of the show we heard about the adult movie company who’ve launched a new service for blind clients.
porn for the blind

Well they say it makes you go blind so I guess this is a kind of after sales service!

See you again next Monday,


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Out and about!

On, what for me is a bonus edition of the show, today we took a peek at the new product, described as a “shower in your pocket”.

This is a giant sized wet wipe which it has been claimed is large enough to allow you to clean your whole body.

Epic Wipe

Just imagine trying to do that on the back seat of your car – or on the beach even!


We also heard about the man who returned to the restaurant he’d dined at the previous evening to ask for his tip back – well it was a £700 tip for a £42 meal!

See you again soon,



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Everything to do with medicine

We heard today about the Turkish man arrested by police investigating a break-in, because he was walking in a peculiar way.


X-Rays showed that he had secreted a haul from a jewellery theft up his rear end.

Even stranger it emerged that the victim of said robbery was the X-ray machine operator.

On today’s Bygones feature Margaret Mills revealed some Essex folklore remedies for baldness.

A8A3N9 Mature businessman with bald head

A8A3N9 Mature businessman with bald head

If you missed them click on the link below – but don’t try these at home.

You have been warned,

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It’s another Maximum Music Monday!

The start of a very busy week for me with probably 4 shows!

tracking device

Today we heard about the woman who caused more than a stir when she attempted to check up on her estranged husband’s whereabouts. Being ex military his suspicians were aroused by an electronic device wired up under the front passenger seat so the police and bomb squad evacuated the area until his partner confessed that it was not a bomb but a tracking device.


Facebook Nosrtadamus

We also reported how easy it could be for anyone to become a latter day Nostradamus by posting on Facebook. Anyone want to have a go at predicting the result of this week’s referendum once the results are in. We told you how to do this and make it appear that you have the gift of second sight.

See you again tomorrow.

There you are I’m predicting the future now!


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Brentwood Mind to Move?

It’s been reported that Brentwood Mind may soon have to move from it’s premises in Ongar Road Brentwood.BM

They currently lease premises from Brentwood Borough Council but since a change in 2014/15 they are no longer funded centrally by the NHS leaving them unable to afford the rent.

Brentwood Mind have up to 20 volunteers who provide regular support, and staff of four plus a volunteer board of three directorswho may now be moved to the Town Hall.

The issue will be discussed next week at a full Council meeting.

Brentwood Mind continue to provide a valuable and effective service to the community, I personally hope they are able to continue to give this service.

My understanding is that they get NO funding from the central Mind Charity. If you would like to help, a donation to Brentwood Mind rather than Mind centrally may be the best way to acheive this.

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Get on the wrong boat at your peril

Three men in a boat


On today’s show we heard about the three young Brits who were so drunk that they allegedly got on the wrong sight seeing boat in Cyprus and ended up instead in Syria. And there I was thinking that everyone was coming the other way. Well I guess you’d really need to be “off your face” if you want to go there!

Golden King

Margaret Mills popped by today to tell us all about the Golden King, supposedly unearthed in Colchester.

Hear more of what she told me by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,

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Don’t believe all you read!

TV content warning

You know those warnings telling you about TV programmes – “Contains nudity”, “Adult content”, “Strong language” etc well a newspaper in Russia is now printing warnings against news bulletins saying “may contain distortions or false information”.  Well I never would have guessed.Dead letter

Meanwhile we also heard today about the man who’s been told by his local council that he’s dead and must prove he’s still alive!

See you again tomorrow,

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Everyone’s a winner!

guaranteed winner


Yes today we heard about the guaranteed winning scratch card that’s gone for auction on eBay.

Since the winning ticket is only worth £2 and postage is £5, bidding may be rather slack – but who knows?

As part of our BYGONES feature, Margaret Mills told us the story of the Baker’s Grave in Great Wakering.

If you missed it just click on the link below to listen again: –

See you next time,


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Never put a foot wrong

Today we heard all about the unorthodox maths exam questions set by a teacher in Alabama revolving around drug dealers and gang members.

Racist quiz

Maybe the teacher was just trying to connect with her pupils in a way they could relate to but the questions went down like the proverbial lead balloon with the parents of the 13 and 14-year olds for whom the questions were set.

Second hand freezer

Also from the States came news of the woman who bought a freezer from her neighbour only to find that it contained a surprise – the neighbour’s mother’s foot!

It is unclear where the rest of the mother might be.

See you tomorrow,

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Brentwood Orchestras for Young Musicians – String Quartet

An excellent session this afternoon from four talented young musicians.

Brentwood’s Orchestras for Young Musicians is a group of orchestras of varying ages and abilities. The common bond is the love of music and how much they enjoy playing together.

They have over 200 members aged between 5 to 19 and many members are in more than one group. One of those groups joined us today, the string quartet, along with Kim Clews.

Thomas Alex Ellen and Alicia

Thomas Alex Ellen and Alicia

You can listen to the entire session and interview here:

Interview with Brentwood Orchestras for Young Musicians

And you can also see the performances again here:

Thanks to all involved, especially to Kim Clews who made it all possible.

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Yogathon in aid of Brentwood Mind – Jessica Livingstone and Mya

I love it when my guests arrive bearing cakes! More on that later though.

It was great to welcome back Jessica Livingston today along with daughter Mya to talk about this years Yogathon.


You can listen to our chat here –

Full details of the event are here –

Date: Saturday 4 June 2016
Time: 15:00
Event: Yogathon in Aid of Brentwood Mind
Organised by: Brentwood Yoga and Wellbeing Studio
Location: Shenfield Common, Brentwood map
Details: Has Yoga or meditation changed your life in any way? If so, come and give your thanks to all things YOGA by celebrating with us doing Sun Salutations en masse – more than 150 people came last over £3,000 was raised for Brentwood MIND (supporting local people with mental health difficulties)! Our teachers will be there to keep you going. Bring your friends and all the family to watch! At the end we’ll continue celebrations with drinks, home made Indian food, massage ladies, mala beads and more!
Cost: £20.00
Contact: Jessica Livingstone 07766 577227

Mya brought along 4 delicious cakes for me. One seems to have disappeared though! (That’s how I know they are delicious)cakesAnd both Jessica and Mya “struck the yoga pose” for us!



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Stephen Foster Pilkington – Live Session and Interview

Great pleasure to welcome back Stephen today along with wife Katie for a catch up and some songs exactly a year to the day that we last met here on Phoenix FM

Katie and Stephen

Katie and Stephen

You can find out more about Stephen on his Facebook page here

Performing live in the studio

Performing live in the studio

You can listen to the interview and session here

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A fishy subject, perhaps!

pond demolitionOn today’s show we heard about the man who’s been told to demolish his pond, or face eviction as the pond could pose a risk to burglars!

Has the world gone mad?

Margaret Mills also took us on a trip to the place known as The Dragon’s Foot Field in Broomfield.

Dragon's foot field

Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week,

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It’s exam time again!

Today we heard some pretty smart answers some kids have come up with during exam time.

Sats Answer

One child asked whether he’d rather be stranded on a desert island alone or with someone he hated, said if he was with someone he hated at least he’d be able to eat them whilst another asked to use the word “point” as a noun replied that he couldn’t see the point of SATS. Clever eh!

We also heard about the art exhibition where someone placed a pair of glasses on the floor to create their very own “spectacle”. Love it.

Making a spectacle

See you again tomorrow,

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Voting is all the rage in the USA

ObituaryOn today’s show we heard about the woman who opted to die rather than vote for any of the candidates standing to be the next President of the United States of America.

Also in the USA, we also heard about others standing for a very different kind of election – 16 candidates, 8 men and 8 women are hoping to be crowned the kings and queens of the adult film industry and win the $1m dollar cash prize and a lucrative career.

Sex Factor

Unlike most of the political candidates there will be little chance of any cover ups!

See you next week,

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It’s Daylight Robbery

Just imagine you fix a baby sitter to look after your kids and when you get home, discover that she used your children as cover in a bank raid.

Baby bank robber

Well that’s just what a Colorado couple discovered. The woman employed to look after their children drove them to the bank, claimed that a man hiding in the back of the car had a gun trained on them that he was prepared to use if the teller didn’t hand over the loot. It subsequently emerged that the childminder needed the money to help pay off a restitution deal in respect of previous offences including 30 counts of forgery, 3 counts of ID theft and felony.

Looks like she can now add robbery and child abuse to the tally!

On today’s Bygones feature, Margaret Mills took us over to the Clacton house, known as THE CAGE.
St Osyth prison

Click on the link below for more details: –

See you tomorrow,

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Interview with Sir Trevor Brooking

Click here to listen again:

It was an absolute pleasure to welcome legendary ex-West Ham and England midfielder Sir Trevor Brooking back to Phoenix FM after a gap of 19 years!

Sir Trevor chatted to Mike Jones about a number of topics, including:

– His work for the Sports Council and Sport England which led to his knighthood
– Leaving the Boleyn Ground and the deal which took West Ham to the Olympic stadium
– What it was like to arrive at West Ham in the 1960s
– Memories of the best players he played against
– Why he didn’t go into club management
– What he thinks about the FA Cup – and how often people talk to him about 1980!

Exciting times for West Ham fans at the moment – the club have just smashed their Premier League points record and are looking forward to playing at the Olympic Stadium after selling out 50,000 season tickets. And Phoenix FM will have some exciting news for West Ham fans in the not-too-distant future!

MORE WEST HAM: West Ham Academy legend Tony Carr visits Phoenix FM

The last night


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Saint Francis Hospice Get Their Van Back

Saint Francis Hospice can once again deliver and collect donations now its stolen van has been returned.

The van was stolen from a driveway in the Avon Road area of Cranham in January.
It was used in Brentwood for the delivery and collection of bulky items and donations for Saint Francis Hospice
Staff at the hospice can now celebrate after a man was arrested and charged with the theft of the Ford Transit Luton Van.
The van had suffered some damage and all of the charity’s logos had been removed, but it is now back in working order.
General Manager, Michelle Nicholls, said: “We are very pleased to have it back and would like to say thank-you to everyone who helped us recover the vehicle and were so generous in offering their help to us when it was off the road.

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Well this must be judgement day for real!

Jesus Christ in heaven

Jesus Christ in heaven

Today we heard all about the man who has just attempted to take out a restraining order against God.

Must be a very brave, or possibly very stupid man!

Not surprisingly, even without the defendant, or his legal representative appearing in court, the case was thrown out with the judge suggesting that the plaintiff should be looking elsewhere other than the courts, for help.


Being a Tuesday, Margaret Mills popped in to tell us about the brief connection with Essex of the famed mechanical and industrial engineer, IZAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL.

Listen again to what Margaret said buy clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,

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Another maximum music Monday!

But as well as all that music, we had time to learn about the man who’s maths equations resulted in his being questioned on suspicion of terrorism.

maths equatioin

It seems that the suspicions of woman sitting next to him were aroused when he avoided answering her questions and then she mistook the equations he was writing as arabic text!


We also heard about the staff employed on the production line at chicken producers in the USA, allegedly having to wear nappies because they are unable to take toilet breaks, which their employers supposedly consider to be privileges.

Excuse me – must just fly!

See you again tomorrow,

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The Odd Couple

Mike was delighted to welcome three lovely ladies into the studio from Ad Hoc the local theatre group. One didnt say much as she was only 2 and half years old. Ad Hoc were in to talk about their latest piece which is Neil Simons the Odd Couple which runs from Thurs 26 May at the Brentwood theatre

You can hear the interview again here

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Grow Old Gracefully

A couple of stories about age and aging today…


A couple in their seventies are celebrating the birth of their first child.
On 19th April, Daljinder Kaur, 72, from Amritsar in India, gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
She and  husband Mohinder Singh Gill, 79, married for 47 years, decided to seek fertility treatment after the end of a family feud.
Dad Gill, a farmer, said: ‘I felt upset as I was unable to produce a child. After sometime we thought of having a baby, once again.’
New mum Daljinder is delighted to have a baby boy, who they have named Arman Singh.

Also, scientists claim to have developed an invisible elastic film that can be applied to the skin to reduce wrinkles and eye bags.

Once applied, it dries to form a film that “mimics the properties of youthful skin”

At the moment it is being explored as a cosmetic product.

But the  scientists say their “second skin” might  be used to deliver medicines and sun protection.

The polysiloxane polymer was made in the lab using molecules of silicone and oxygen as the building blocks.

Soon we’ll all be like supermarket chickens shrink wrapped in film!

Grow old gracefully folks!


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A Slippery Slope

There was a lot going on in today’s show.
I previewed The Phoenix FM Referendum Debate. Mike Jones will be hosting a debate on Friday 27 May at 1pm with William Lloyd and Chris Hossack, respective leaders of the local REMAIN and LEAVE campaigns, and Alan Woods, editor of the Brentwood Gazette.
Then on another important EU issue I asked if it was possible that Joe and Jake could win Eurovision when the UK doesn’t seem too popular in Europe nowadays!

Also, with thanks to The Brentwood Gazette, I related a new proposal to raise money for charity locally.


A giant inflatable waterslide could run the length of Warley Hill if ambitious plans for a new fundraiser in Brentwood get off the ground.

Calls to run the 250m long slide down the town’s steepest slope have received backing from a local Cancer Research UK fundraiser.

The charity raised as much as £45,000 at its SlideRider event in North Hill, Colchester, on Bank Holiday Monday.

Between 4,000 and 5,000 people watched thrill-seekers hurl themselves down the slippery slope, with each of the 1,500 competitors having donated £15 to the charity for two slides.

Thanks to a variety of unique shops and the Essex Arms pub at the bottom, traders say a carnival atmosphere would easily be generated.

A waterslide next to a pub?

Sounds like a slippery slope to me!

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Beware the darkness

It comes to a pretty pass if when you go to uni you are forced to attend lectures on exorcism, demonic possession and hell, but this is indeed the requirement for all students at a Spanish University funded by the country’s Defence Ministry.


The bizarre course led by Roman Catholic priest José Antonio Fortea Cucurull, a reported expert on the controversial subject who has previously written a ‘manual’ on exorcism, will cover fields “related to the devil, exorcisms and being possessed and hell”.

And there I was thinking that such subjects were in the sole province of Hogwarts School!


Ever thought about digging for Treasure Trove?

Well Margaret Mills suggested that some might well be lurking in deep water near to Pleshey Castle. So now you know where to start looking.

Listen again to what Margaret told me by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week,

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The weather is back in the news

weather-warningHaving just enjoyed a great weekend, it is curious to note that the met office actually issued an amber alert for snow for our area this weekend.

Yes it’s absolutely true.

The Met office subsequently blamed the incident on a “technical error”.

Meanwhile a TV weather forecaster made is own “technical error” when he decided to spice up his forecast of high winds by introducing a few sound effects of his own.

Weather man

I think his subsequent sacking has come as a bit of a “blow” to him.

See you tomorrow,

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EU Referendum debate

So are you in or out? Mike Jones will be hosting an EU referendum debate on Friday 27 May at 1pm with William Lloyd and Chris Hossack, respective leaders of the local REMAIN and LEAVE campaigns, and Alan Woods, editor of the Brentwood Gazette.

Let us know what you think! Add a comment below, email or tweet us @phoenixfm with your views.


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Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde comes to Brentwood

The award winning but rarely produced musical Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde comes to the Brentwood Theatre courtesy of Shenfield Operatic Society. Suzanne Gunn and the good doctor David Predegia himself popped in to tell Mike Jones all about it

You can hear the interview again here


It was also the morning after the night before and Mike has spenthalf the night at the elections

You can here his report here

2016-05-05 Julie Morrissey and Catherine Tierney

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Here Comes The Summer – So Get Voting!

What a fabulous day and weekend in prospect! Today’s weather forecast was “Get the barbecue out!”


As well as two hours of great upbeat music today’s show featured a story which is going berserk on Twitter today about a bit of criminal damage brought about as an act of revenge by what appears to be a scorned lover.

A shiny white Range Rover Revere – with a starting price of £75,000 – was seen parked near Harrods in west London and daubed with angry messages.

“Cheater” was painted in bright red on both sides of the vehicle while the words, “Hope she was worth it” were marked on the rear window and bonnet. Not a good day for someone then.

Also, on my visit to the Polling Station this morning I encountered three very bored looking council officials. They told me that voting had been very slow up to then. They had another 11 hours to go.

Polling stations will be open until 10pm this evening with counts taking place over-night and results set to be announced throughout the day tomorrow. So get voting!

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Formula for the ‘purrfect” hit – perhaps!

Chart topping cat

On today’s programme we heard that the man behind a string of hit records always used his cat to gauge if a song would make it to the charts.

And on our Bygones feature Margaret Mills told us about the folklore history of Old King Cole and his Essex connections, notably with Colchester.

King Cole

Listen again by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,

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Dope abounds!

Today we heard about the woman who asked police to check the quality of the cocaine she was selling as she wanted to be sure customers would be safe!


Unsurprisingly she didn’t get an answer but was arrested instead.

Meanwhile over in the USA a row has erupted over the name of an elementary school. It seems that the name it has had for years – THE ROBERT E LEE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL is no longer considered to be politically correct and so the school’s board decided to put the change of name to the popular vote.

Suggestions received include The Donald J Trump Elementary and the Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance.


Ever wondered if better left well alone!

See you again tomorrow,



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A clean sweep


advert for cleaner

We reported today on the 70 year old Bristol man looking for a nude cleaner “to do” for him and on the panic caused on a US university campus when a Dominican Friar, in search of a frozen yoghurt, was mistaken for a member of the KU KLUX KLAN brandishing a whip!

KKK or Friar

What a mistake to make!

See you once more next Monday,

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The Landslide Festival is coming to Brentwood

Chris and Toby Scott
My did I get a surprise this afternoon when I was joined by father and son team, Chris and Toby Scott who are putting on a one-day festival in Brentwood’s King Georges Park on Saturday 13th August.

The event, which starts at 11 in the morning and goes on until 8pm, will feature no less than 18 bands on two stages, displays by top skateboarders plus competitions running throughout the day.

There will also be a busking stage for over 20 acts and, of course, food, stalls and other attractions.

This is a ticket only event and the good news is that the first 800 tickets are being given away absolutely FREE OF CHARGE.

To get your free ticket and/or to apply for one of the busking opportunities apply on line through the LANDSLIDE FESTIVAL website at

Listen again to my impromptu interview by clicking on the link below:


See you again next week,

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Parents today – a different breed!

Stripper for 8 year olds

Now to be perfectly honest I normally made myself fairly scarce during my son’s birthday parties even though they were fairly low key events with just a few of his friends around. One year we did get a lady conjuror in to entertain the kids, but it was still pretty low key. But today we reported news of the mother from Florida who hired a stripper for her 8-year old son’s birthday party.

How she’s going to follow that in years to come I wonder.

Meanwhile over in Spain comes news of parents and grandparents being involved in a brawl outside some school gates. What is the world coming to?

fight at schoolgate

On today’s Bygones feature Margaret Mills told us some of the fascinating history of Greensted Church, near Ongar.

Greensted Church

If you missed it listen again here: –

See you again tomorrow,

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There’s a Rat in The Bathroom… A Deer on the Road


Had fun sitting in for Scott Ross today. It was Maximum Music Monday. As a tribute to Billy Paul who has died I played his big hit, Me and Mrs. Jones as well as a lesser known Prince single that was released last year, Free Urself.

A couple of silly stories too, including one for the not so faint hearted –  a man has reported being bitten on the bum by a rat while using his toilet.


His local council in Middleton, County Cork is now warning people to watch their posteriors when they use the loo to prevent it from happening again. (A good trick if you can do that!)
Councillor Noel Collins said that an elderly man had come to him to complain about the incident which happened during flooding. It’s believed the rat got in through a broken sewer pipe.

Mr Collins added: ‘I would advise home owners to keep their toilet seats down when not in use, and to watch their posteriors.’

Also, 17 year old Tom Lo from Essex has passed his driving test at the first attempt, in spite of hitting a deer during the examination.

Tom was about 10 minutes into the test when the animal ran across a road in front of his car.

“I was picking up speed because it was a 60mph zone and all of a sudden I see a deer in front of me.

“So I hit my brake but unfortunately the deer was killed,” he says.

Amazingly, Tom passed the driving test with only two minor faults.

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Stephen Rudd – Live Session – Listen Here

A great performance of some excellent songs from Stephen this afternoon.

Stephen Rudd performing live in studio 1

Stephen Rudd performing live in studio 1

Stephen Rudd is a singer songwriter originally from Billericay and now based in Southend.

He has recently released the album Home Made Heartache an album recorded in his garage at home playing and programming everything himself and engineering and producing.

You can listen to the session and interview here –

You can find out more about Stephen Rudd on his website,



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Bank Holiday Fun – The Billericay Soapbox Derby

Great to welcome Mike Sinclair from The Rotary Club of Billericay today to tell us all about The Billericay Soapbox Derby

Mike Sinclair

Mike Sinclair

With over 50 entries so far this promises to be a great family fun filled Bank Holiday charity event as the Wacky Racers hurtle down the hill from Sun Corner in their home made soapbox carts.

You can listen to our chat here –


You can find more information about the event here

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Potentially – a really bad day!

Computer disaster

On today’s programme we heard about the man who, it was claimed, managed to destroy his entire company and business by mistyping some computer code. Oops!

Suicide pool

For a time he might have considered making a trip to the so-called, SUICIDE POND in Epping Forest, which was the topic chosen for our Bygones feature this week, by Margaret Mills.

Listen again to what Margaret told me about this by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week,


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All the secrets of Chelmsford revealed

It was good to welcome back our old friend JIM REEVE today.


Jim has just written a new book called SECRET CHELMSFORD and he popped by today to tell us all about it.

Click on the link below to hear what Jim told me: –

The book is available in Waterstones priced at £14.99 but you can get a discounted price by going to Jim’s website –

Yak order

Now I guess we’ve all heard of people sleepwalking, but sleep-shopping – that’s a new one on me. Unfortunately with the advent of computers in the home it seems that it is now all too easy to do and today we heard about the man who seems to have placed an order for YAK whilst sleeping. Luckily he managed to cancel the order and credit card payment before the animal could be delivered to his apartment.


See you again tomorrow,






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Omphalophobia – The Fear of Belly Buttons

Today we heard about Lauren Jones who is studying to become a doctor – but Lauren has a problem.
She has a terrible phobia of belly buttons.

Whilst any kind of phobia is no laughing matter for the person suffering it, I couldn’t help finding this amusing. Our bodies and minds do some strange things to us sometimes and sometimes you’ve just got to laugh…
Lauren, is studying at University of Leicester, and is unable to go anywhere near belly buttons without feeling faint and nauseated.
Suffering from Omphalophobia, she is so repulsed by the idea of anyone touching her navel or their own that she gets physically sick.
Well I genuinely wish Lauren well and hope she soon overcomes this condition, and that it doesn’t get in the way of her chosen career.
I’m not sure if I suffer from Omphalophobia or not. I haven’t seen my belly button for years!

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Gwyneth Paltrow, The Sting and The Whale Vomit…

It was one of those shows today where the music seemed to take over and have a life of it’s own. A mix of current tracks and oldies that all seemed to be mean’t for each other and complimented each other. I’d like to take credit for that but it just seemed to happen!
I did find time though for a couple of stories…
Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest beauty tip is Apitherapy.


If you’re not sure what apitherapy is, the clue is in the picture. Apitherapy is used to get rid of inflammation and scarring. It involves angering bees so that they sting a person on the affected area of the body.

Sounds to me that a sting of a different kind is at work here. Possibly from her beauty therapist.

Then there was the couple who found a large smelly lump of something on a beach. It turned out to be a piece of ambergris – or ‘whale vomit’ – which is used in perfume making – potentially worth a whopping £50,000.

The couple are now in negotiations with potential buyers over the recently-found lump, which is slightly smaller than a rugby ball

Right, I’m off for a bit of beach combing!

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Animals talk with regional accents, apparently!

We learnt today that apparently cats have regional accents!

Not only that but it seems that wolves, birds and even cows have them too, with a farmer from Glastonbury asserting that his cattle “moo” with a definite Somerset drawl.

Well I never!

Cat with attitude

Definitely not talking with a drawl of any kind was Margaret Mills who told us the grisly tale of the Earl of Derwentwater and his Essex connections, notably with the Petre family.

If you missed it listen again here: –

See you next time,


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The sale of the century

On today’s show we heard about two property “bargains”.

First off came news of the toilet in London available to rent for just £3000 per month. Alternatively you could consider the cheaper option of a 20-year lease for £20,000. If you are feeling flush this could perhaps be a good investment just so long as the bottom doesn’t fall out of the market, in which case it could prove to be money down the drain.


Unfortunately you’re too late to avail yourself of the next property – a shed with a 10 and a half foot frontage – which with a guide price of £48,000 finally went under the hammer for an eye watering £208,000.


See you again tomorrow,

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The Silverline Helpline for Older People – Professor Patrick Geohegan OBE

In an interview recorded for our Mental Health Matters podcast I recently spoke to Professor Patrick Gaygan OBE about The Silver Line. We heard this on today’s show.

Professor Patrick Geohegan OBE

Professor Patrick Geohegan OBE

The Silver Line is the only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
If you are an older person in need of help, advice or are lonely you can call The Silverline free at any time on: 0800 4 70 80 90

You can listen to the interview in our mental Health Matters on Phoenix FM podcast here

And here’s Esther Rantzen on The Silverline…

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A near “catastrophe”

We heard today about the cat who got posted in error with a parcel of DVD’s only to end up 260 miles away from home. Seemingly no one noticed that the cat had nodded off in the box before it got mailed.

In spite of being cooped up for around 10 days,  mercifully it survived, albeit somewhat hungry and dehydrated.

Cat in a box

On today’s BYGONES feature, Margaret Mills took us back to the 1870’s and the strange tale of the Loughton based pharmacist facing trial for murder after a large number of his customers became victims of arsenic poisoning from the talcum powder he was selling.

Violet Powder

Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you next time,


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A few too many, perhaps!

To start the working week we heard about a couple of people who might have slightly underestimated their ability to handle their alcoholic intake.

Theft of police car

First off we heard about the Brentwood man alleged to have stripped naked, run around Wilsons Corner in the nude, calling out for his mother and then attempting to steal a police car.

A tricky one perhaps to explain away!

Then came news of the guy who became increasingly annoyed at being unable to reach a friend on his mobile. His exchange of text messages became ever more colourful as neither party would hang up so that they could communicate.

Wrong text

Not surprising really as it turned out he was calling his own number!

See you again tomorrow,

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Egg Sheeran and the Yorkshire Farmer

Couldn’t resist this silly story today. Farmer Adrian Potter has been conducting research to find the best music to keep his hens happy and performing at their best. After experimenting with various forms of music including classical, jazz and Justin Bieber, he discovered that they liked Ed Sheeran songs the best. He said the hens love the singer so much they even follow him around when he starts playing Ed Sheeran songs from a portable stereo on the farm. Justin Bieber must be inconsolable. I wonder if they have a Lego hen House?


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Anyone fancy a “sneeze” burger?

sneeze burgerWe learnt today why it is sometimes wise not to send back an unsatisfactory meal at a restaurant – more especially if it happens to be of the fast food variety staffed by teenagers.

Later on Margaret Mills popped in to tell us all about the exploits of the Essex pathologist, Francis Camps who amongst other things was famous for producing evidence that convicted serial killer John Christie in the 1950’s.

Francis Camps

If you missed it click on the link below to listen again to what Margaret told me today: –

See you again next week,

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An Easter Bank Holiday eggstravaganza!


Stormy EasterWelcome to Easter Bank Holiday Monday! Typical Bank Holiday weather, of course, but at least Friday was magnificent.

Anyway on today’s show we heard about the school kids who’ve had to answer a question about what sex they are. Simple enough one would think, but not so simple when you have 24 options to choose from, some of which I don’t even understand. Has the world gone mad or is it just me?


We also heard about the man billed 5p for a plastic bag after he filled up his car with 25 litres of fuel.

Bag for fuel

Wouldn’t it spill out of the bag?

If you are not back at work I hope to see you again tomorrow,


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Nine Years of Phoenix FM – 23rd March 2007

I wasn’t there at the start. That was around 20 years ago. I wasn’t even there at the start of 24/7 broadcasting on the 23rd March 2007. A relative newbie then and proud to have been involved with Phoenix FM for almost 5 years now.

Here’s a newspaper clipping from 5 years ago that tells the story much better than I could.

Phoenix FM

Anyway I thought a good way to mark the occasion would be to have a run down of the UK Top Ten from 23rd March 2007, our first day of full time broadcasting. Usually when you look back at old charts you tend to find just a couple of good songs that have stood the test of time. For our opening week though, it was a pretty good chart with only a couple of “forgotten songs” – well for me anyway. This is what I found.

23rd March 2007 Top Ten


Happy Birthday Phoenix!

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Has bureaucracy gone mad?

On today’s show we heard about the couple just “ticketed” for parking on their own drive.

car park ticket

They’ve been parking there happily for the past 14 years but have now been issued with a parking ticket for parking “in a restricted area”. Not surprisingly they are set to challenge the penalty. It will be interesting to hear the outcome.

Today’s BYGONES feature took us back to the days when local dignitaries, many of the inhabitants and especially the local lads used to be involved in the annual traditional ceremony of BEATING THE BOUNDS which confirmed the boundary limits of the individual parishes.

Beating the Bounds 2

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

See you again next week,


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Essex means Business

I was delighted to welcome AIDAN SQUIRE, Chairman of the Essex Business Forum onto to today’s show.


Now it’s been a little while since I was engaged in the “hurly burly” of the business week so it was especially interesting for me to discover some of the new methods being used today to promote businesses, especially on the local front.

The Essex Business Forum has been running for the last 5 years and aims to promote and find new business opportunities for its members.

Listen here to what AIDAN told me about their activities: –

To find out more and see if the forum might be a suitable vehicle for your business just go to

mobile phoneWe also learnt about the woman accused of stealing a mobile phone she had just handed in to police.

See you try to do someone a good turn only to end up getting bitten on your rear end!

See you again tomorrow,

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The Brentwood Half Marathon

MORE runners than ever will congregate on the starting line of the Brentwood Half Marathon, on Sunday.

Four thousand runners have signed up to the 13-mile route and a further 700 are set to take part in the three-mile fun run.

Today I chatted to Mike Hawkins from Brentwood a Becket Rotary Club about this annual fundraiser.

Mike Hawkins

Mike Hawkins

You can listen to our chat here –

Further information about the Brentwood Half Marathon can be found here

Brentwood a Becket Rotary Club’s website is here

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