Category Archives: One 2 Three

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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Village Green Festival Southend – Sean McLoughlan and Syd Moore.

The Village Green Festival in Southend is a brilliant mix of local and international talent, of literature, art and music, all presented in an urban park in Chalkwell. Joining me on the programme today were organisers Sean McLoughlan and Syd Moore.

Sean and Syd

Sean and Syd

You can listen to our chat here –

You can get a flavour of the festival by watching this video from last year

It all happens on 9th July 2016.

EARLY BIRD TICKETS (Available for a limited time only)
ADULT (over 18) £10
TEEN (11-17) £5
CHILD (10 & under) FREE


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Dr Eric Watts – Brentwood Cancer Support and Survivorship Group – Update

Back at the end of January Dr Eric Watts joined me on the programme to talk about a new initiative – The Brentwood Cancer Support and Survivorship Group who were about to hold their 1st meeting.

Dr Eric Watts

Dr Eric Watts

Dr Eric joined me again today to give us an update on developments and also to talk about the benefits of exercise to good health and the connection between lifestyle and illness. You can listen to our chat here –

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Keep death off the roads

To start another week we reported on the woman caught driving with a 15 foot tree impaled in the front of her car. Must have been on a “trunk” road, I guess.

tree in drive

Wonder what branch of car dealership sold her the vehicle.

Keeping – albeit loosely to cars and driving – we also heard about another woman who, two years after apparently undergoing a funeral and burial, following her “death” resulting from a serious car accident, miraculously reappeared on a TV show much to the astonishment of her husband.

Back from the dead

Now that’s something that doesn’t happen every day!

As I’m away tomorrow, BOB SIMPSON will be looking after things for me so all being well, I’ll see you again next week.

Look after yourself til then,

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It’s all in the fine print!

On what was for me a bonus show this week, we heard all about the parking attendant who parked on a double yellow line whilst ticketing another illegally parked vehicle.


Clearly there’s one rule for some and another for the rest of us.

And in this case amazingly, that turns out to be true – traffic wardens are allowed to park their vehicles on double yellow lines whilst they are working.

Think I need to get one of their uniforms to keep in the car.

We also heard about the tenant, who after discovering that the landlord had sent his lease agreement on line, as a word document, as opposed to a “locked” pdf file, added a clause to require the landlord to supply his tenants with birthday cakes on their birthdays.

birthday cake

Now that is cheeky!

See you next week.

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Could this be a rotten Apple I see before me?

It seems that the computer giant Apple is in trouble again! No it’s not the FBI  this time but it seems that people have been taking the Micky out of them over their slogan : – ”There’s more to love with every click”. 

Apple OPS

What, you may well ask could possibly be wrong with this?

Well nothing as such, but once you realise that the spacing used on their font meant that when the letters “c” and “l” appear together they can look like the letter “d”, all becomes clear. 

After much “shuffling of feet” and “wringing of hands”, engineers were put to work to tweak the code to add an extra space in the word “click”.

Well it was fun while it lasted.

16 string jack

On today’s “BYGONES” feature Margaret Mills told us all about a highwayman of old, known as 16-String Jack.

If you missed it or would just like to catch it again, click on the link below: –

See you next week,

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Careful what you say!

No swearing

On this show last week, we heard about the man fined for emitting a loud belch in Vienna, but now closer to home comes news that residents and visitors to Salford could face on the spot fines for swearing.

Some have questioned whether the move breaches freedom of speech and the campaign group Liberty has asked what legal test will be applied to determine whether language is foul and/or abusive and to clarify the difference between language that is foul and language that is abusive. 

Oh how easy it is to potentially give lawyers another source of income!

A clean shot

Meanwhile over in the US comes news of a man who successfully killed himself whilst taking a “selfie” with a gun.

Strange that, most people I know, use a mobile phone!

But at least it was a good shot.

See you tomorrow,

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D’Ukes and The Joy of Six

It was great to welcome back some old chums! Still amazing audiences with their ukulele ensemble – it’s the finest ukulele band in the land, D’ukes.

David Warren, Brian Smith, John Mattock and Hazel Smith

David Warren, Brian Smith, John Mattock and Hazel Smith

Currently in the middle of their “Joy of Six” tour, we chatted about the band, what they have been up to, and hearing about their new CD that they are working on at the moment. Sadly Hazel had almost totally lost her voice today but we did hear a squeak or two from her!

You can listen here –


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How do you fancy the idea of a fully automated supermarket?

Yes the fully automated supermarket without any staff has arrived – well in Sweden at least.

Swedish IT entrepreneur Robert Ilijason shows how to use a cell phone to scan a purchase at the no-staff, app shop in the southern Sweden village of Viken in this photo dated Jan. 27, 2016. Customers to the new general store need to register and download a cell phone app, then customers simply use their cellphones to unlock the door with a swipe of the finger and scan their purchases then they get charged for their purchases in a monthly invoice. (AP Photo/Jan Olsen)

Under the system you scan each purchase using your mobile phone so first off you have to register and download an app where you identify yourself using BankID, a Swedish ID solution used by banks over there.

That way you can be identified and will be allowed access only if you have no history of credit issues.

Ah but what happens if the systems gets a virus or suddenly goes haywire?

On that score we just don’t know, but I think I’d rather deal with real people.


This afternoon, Margaret Mills took us on a journey to Layer Marney Hall in Colchester.

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

See you next week,

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Suffer from flatulence? Don’t go to Vienna!

Today we learnt about the fate suffered by bartender, EDIN MEHIC, when shortly after consuming a kebab, he inadvertently emitted a voluminous belch close to a police officer in Vienna’s Prater Fun Park.

He was promptly slapped with a £55 fine.

Big burp

Reverberations of the belch are such that more than 100 people have since vowed to attend a loud belch-in at the site of the crime at the weekend.

Could be a bit of a blow for the authorities then!

60 stone woman gets house

Meanwhile from Wales comes news of the council who have arranged for a house to be purpose built for a 60-stone woman who can’t fit in her present home.

The new house has been thoughtfully located within half a mile of 13 takeaway restaurants including five Chinese takeaways, two Indians and a number of pizza and kebab shops so at least she shouldn’t go hungry!

See you again tomorrow,


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Refugee Crisis in Lesvos – Sean Wright

The Greek island of Lesvos is experiencing a humanitarian refugee crisis.

By this month, almost 14 million Syrians had fled their homes as a result of the Syrian Civil War. Close to 8 million are internally displaced within Syria, and over 6 million have sought refuge in neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands have migrated onward into the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, many of them via Lesvos. As of February 2016, the United Nations (UN) has identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring humanitarian assistance.
Sean Wright has been volunteering on Lesvos to help with the crisis there and I’m pleased to say that Sean joined me in the studio today to tell us about his experiences on the island in what turned out to be a fascinating and moving interview.

Sean Wright

Sean Wright

You can listen to the interview here –

Enrique Rodriguez, miembro de PROEM-AID ayudando en el desembarco de una embarcación con problemas de motor que llegaba a las costas de Lesbos.

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Anyone for coffee?


Italy Bialetti Moka FuneralOn today’s programme we reported the sad news of the demise of the man who launched over 333 million MOKA Coffee Makers onto world markets, only to end his days being interred in one!

Folk music


In the second hour of the show, Margaret Mills popped by to explain how the celebrated composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, following a visit to Brentwood, was introduced to Essex folk music and set about securing it for posterity.

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

See you next time,

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It’s all happening in the EU

Well I guess for the next 4 months we are going to be hearing more about the EU than you can shake a stick at. Today at least we reported on two European news items, neither of which is likely to affect your decision on how you will cast your vote in June.


First off came news of the Spanish building supervisor who had been happily drawing his salary without showing up for work for six years! His extended absence only came to light when he was due to receive a long service award. Instead this award was replaced by a $30,000 fine, which although still less than the salary he drew in just one year, he is petitioning to have set aside on the grounds that he was being bullied at work – well at least whilst he was there!

President and gun

From the other side of the continent comes news of the fact that there is no love lost between the President and Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. During a radio interview, the President was asked how he might achieve the Prime Minister’s replacement to which he replied,   The democratic option is one way, through free elections. The undemocratic option is to use a Kalashnikov.”

Perhaps old habits die hard in former Communist states!

See you again tomorrow,


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Jordan’s still got The Voice

Click below to hear the whole interview and session again:

We’ve been featuring Jordan Gray – alternatively known as Tall Dark Friend – for many years on Phoenix FM. She’s been in for countless sessions and also performed on the Phoenix FM stage at Lighting Up Brentwood.

We’re very pleased to say that FINALLY Jordan’s starting to get the recognition she deserves. A recent appearance on The Voice wowed the critics, even if it didn’t turn any chairs, and Jordan’s performance has taken up acres of print in the national newspapers ever since. So it was great to get her back here at Phoenix FM to tell us all about it!

Tall Dark Friend with Mike Jones

Jordan chatted to Mike Jones about her experience on The Voice and her musical plans for this year. And she also played FOUR songs for us live, which you can see again below:

You can keep an eye on her latest musical happenings on her Facebook or Twitter accounts.

And if you’re a fan of The Voice we recommend you keep watching it …!

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Brentwood Orchestras for Young Musicians Jazz Band

It was great to have the studio filled with young talented musicians today.

Ann Elderton and Sam Edwards with the Jazz Band

Ann Elderton and Sam Edwards with the Jazz Band

The Brentwood Orchestra for Young Musicians a group of eight orchestras of varying ages and abilities, linked by the love of music and how much they enjoy playing together. We spent almost an hour today listening to them perform and chatting about their organisation. Unfortunately the gremlins got involved in the first song they played and there is a little jump in the recording at that point but the rest is fine.

You can listen to the whole session here –

My thanks to Ann Elderton, Sam Edwards and band members Chris, Emma, Sebastian, Amy, Josiah, Jonny and Harry.

Brentwood Orchestras for Young Musicians website is here

Thanks also to our new volunteer Stacey who took these photos.

Ann Boym 2

Boym 1

Boym 4 BOYM Boym5 Boym6

Boym 4

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The Fold Community Arts Centre – Margaret White

The Fold is a Community Arts Centre in Billericay. It hosts a variety of entertainment, Member Societies and classes for all ages. I was pleased to welcome Margaret White from the Billericay Arts Association into the studio to tell us all about it.

Margaret White

Margaret White

You can Listen to our chat here –

The Fold’s Website with further contact details is here

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More from the House

The MaceThis afternoon we aired the second part of my interview with the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Right Honourable JOHN BERCOW MP. You can find out more on this and listen to the full interview here –

In the second hour of the show I was pleased to be joined once more by Margaret Mills who’s subject today was H G Wells and the time he spent at Easton Lodge near Great Dunmow.

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

Keep well until I see you once more next week,

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Order, order!

Last week I was privileged yesterday to interview the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Right Honourable John Bercow MP.


Mr Bercow fielded questions on, amongst other topics, MP’s expenses and pay, tabling of questions for Prime Minister’s Questions, the role of party whips, parliamentary procedures and voting reform.

Today we played out the first part of my interview; the second part will be broadcast tomorrow but you can catch the whole thing now by clicking on the link below: –


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Free as Air

speakers chair

In the first hour of today’s show we heard part one of my recent interview with the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Right Honourable JOHN BERCOW MP which is covered separately at

Part 2 will air at around 1:15 tomorrow.

Chinese air

Later we heard all about the Dorset farmer selling containers of fresh air to the smog-plagued inhabitants of Beijing and Shanghai.

Trouble is of course that the breath of fresh air once released, is gone in an instant, but this doesn’t seem to deter purchasers who seem perfectly happy to shell out £80 a pop and view this as a luxury item fit only for those sitting at the top of the tree (where the air is probably cleaner anyway).

See you again tomorrow,

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Thames Crossing Kiss me Kate and Tzu Kingdom

Wow . Uber busy programme today
First up on the phone with Mike was Adam Small whos just about to open at the Queens Theatre in Kiss me Kate

You can hear the interview again here

Option C is on the cards and Mike spoke to John Kent leader of Thurrock Borough Council about the plans

You can hear the interview again here

Karen Chilvers and Gill Eastgate have written their first book all about Shitzu’S

You can hear the interview again here



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Two Amazing Teachers – Gill Power and Jonathon Sands from Shenfield High School

Founded in 1962, Shenfield High School has a deep-rooted tradition of providing a rounded educational experience for students supported by a strong set of values. The school focuses on creating a supportive and happy environment.
Last year the school got 3 students into Oxford and 1 into Cambridge but the success doesn’t stop with the students,
Joining me today were two award winning teachers from Shenfield High School, Gill Power and Jonathon Sands.

Gill Power and Jonathon Sands

Gill Power and Jonathon Sands

Gill will soon be awarded and Inspirational Teacher Award from Oxford University after being nominated by former pupil Jake Robinson.

Jonathon has successfully applied to become a Specialist Leader of Education.

You can listen to our chat here –

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Two Top Tens – Excuses and Love Songs

Today I featured two top tens – First was a list of the top 10 excuses for not getting a TV licence. Would you have “excused” them?
Check out the top 10 excuses for not getting a TV Licence.
1. “I don’t have to pay as I’m the King of Scotland.”
2. “I was abducted by aliens. As the Government don’t believe me, I’m refusing to pay my bills.”
3. “I have no television. It’s a microwave.”
4. “I only use the TV at night. I put the goldfish bowl in front of it at night. It helps the fish get to sleep.”
5. “The TV is only on for my parrot, Captain Jack Sparrow, who is learning the theme tune to Bargain Hunt.”
6. “I sent my man to the Co-op two months ago and he got done for shoplifting. I have not seen him since. He gets out next month, so I can pay it then.”
7. “I have a black-and-white licence. I only turn the colour on when my granddaughter comes and puts the music channels on.”
8. “Our pet turtle Betty turns 80 this December – do we get her free TV licence?”
9. “My cat is in labour, so I don’t have time to talk to you.”
10. “I don’t need a licence because I’m getting evicted for stabbing a guy in the head.”


With Valentine’s Day approaching, music licensing company PPL have compiled a chart of the most played love songs of the 21st century so far. Some of the entries may surprise you.

PPL Most Played Love Songs of the 21st Century:
1 Chasing Cars Snow Patrol
2 Rule The World Take That
3 Can’t Get You Out Of My Head Kylie Minogue
4 Crazy In Love Beyoncé Feat. Jay-Z
5 I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing Aerosmith
6 Livin’ On A Prayer Bon Jovi
7 I Wanna Dance With Somebody Whitney Houston
8 Bleeding Love Leona Lewis
9 Rather Be (Feat. Jess Glynne) Clean Bandit
10 Just The Way You Are Bruno Mars

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A woman’s work is never done

Last Saturday our very own ANTONIA JONES related a story on her Breakfast Show that was just so good that I couldn’t resist giving it another airing today.

It seems that an Italian woman is facing up to 6 years in jail for failing to do the housework!

Yes it’s all true. Her husband reported her to the police of “bad management of domestic affairs”.

Amazingly the police agreed that there was a case to answer and referred the matter to judicial authorities who have decided to send the matter to trial in October under Article 572 of the Italian penal code which seeks to “punish whosoever mistreats a person in their family or a person entrusted to them for reasons of education, care or custody”.  Undone housework

If found guilty the 42-year-old wife could face between two and six years in prison.

Someone who religiously does her housework is Margaret Mills and today she told us all about Samuel Courtauld who established his renowned textile business in Essex, and of his palatial home Gosfield Hall.

Gosfield Hall


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

See you again next week,

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History in the making

I got to chat with JOHN DEBENHAM once more about the book that he and ANDREW SUMMERS co-wrote on the ESSEX HUNDRED HISTORIES.

IMG_0307 copyThe new edition of this book has just been published and now includes some extra items such as the legend of St George and the Dragon at Wormingford, the rector of Thurrock who, unknown to his parishioners had fought at the Battle of Waterloo, and the First World War aircraft station at Stow Maries, but it also includes items about what was supposed to be the most haunted house in England, Borley Rectory and, of course, the event, which nearly brought down a King – the Peasants Revolt of 1381.

Listen again to what John had to say on some of these subjects by clicking on the link below: –

Priced at £8:99 ESSEX HUNDRED HISTORIES is available from Waterstones and all other good book sellers or directly from the publishers at

We also heard about the flight which had to be diverted due to a brawl which erupted on board. On this occasion however the fight was not between unruly passengers, but between members of the cabin crew! Looks as though the service on that flight might have been a little less friendly and courteous than advertised in the brochures.

Cabin crew brawl

See you again tomorrow,

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TIME TO TALK – Lucy Gill, Brian Jackson and Vanessa Dodds

Mental health problems affect one in four of us yet people are still afraid to talk about it. For people with mental health problems not being able to talk about it can be one of the worst parts of the illness. So by getting people talking about mental health we can break down stereotypes, improve relationships, aid recovery and take the stigma out of something that affects us all.

That’s what Time to Talk Day is all about so today we took some time to talk and my guests were Lucy Gill, Brian Jackson and Vanessa Dodds, along with Phoenix FM’s Scott W.

Brian Jackson, Lucy Gill, Scott W, Vanessa Dodds and little me!

Brian Jackson, Lucy Gill, Scott W, Vanessa Dodds and little me!

Lucy Gill is Community Officer at Brentwood Borough Council, and Mental Health Champion Officer for the Mental Health Challenge in Brentwood.

Brian Jackson is Manager at SEPT for the Brentwood Resource Centre, secondary mental health services.

Vanessa Dodds is the Brentwood Billericay Basildon and Wickford Cluster Lead at SEPT for Therapy for You, primary talking therapy.

You can listen to our chat here –

Therapy for You Website

Brentwood Borough Council Mental Health Challenge Website

SEPT Website

Time to Change Website

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Doesn’t Tuesday come round fast?

Being a Tuesday I was pleased to welcome back Margaret Mills.

Sandy beach

But first off we heard about the man who lives next to a beach in Somerset, who is not happy about the sand. So much so he has written to his local council to complain that they are not keeping it under control. Could be a tall order for them given the increasing frequency of high winds blowing the stuff around.

Canewdon Church at night

Back in Essex, Margaret Mills took us this week on a visit to the supposedly haunted village, and witch sanctuary of Canewdon. Listen again to what Margaret had to say today, by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,

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Well that’s January out of the way

During our first outing in February, we heard all about the girl in Norway who believes she should have been born as a cat!

CatgirlShe may not have managed to catch a mouse yet but she purrs, meows, hisses at dogs, walks on all fours, wears a pair of cat ears and a tail, and likes to curl up in a sink and the windowsill.

What is unclear is how she washes herself – she doesn’t like water – and whether she goes outside to do her business or maybe she has a litter tray.

Opera singer's door

We also learnt about a police raid on an opera singer’s apartment after neighbours mistook his rehearsal for the scene of a violent incident of domestic violence.

How very embarrassing!

See you again tomorrow,



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Time To Talk Day – Preview

Time to Talk Day will take place next Thursday 4th February 2016. The aim is to get as many people as possible across England talking about mental health.

By joining together on one day, we can break the silence that often surrounds mental health, and show that talking about this once-taboo issue doesn’t need to be difficult.

Joining me today to chat about Time To Talk Day and what’s going to be happening in the local area and on Phoenix FM next Thursday was Scott W and Wayne Banks.

You can listen to our chat here –

Scott W

Scott W

Wayne Banks

Wayne Banks

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Dr Eric Watts – Cancer Support and Survivorship

The first meeting of the Brentwood Cancer Support and Survivorship Group is on Monday 1 February 2016 from 10 am until 12 pm in the Boardroom, 1st Floor, Brentwood Community Hospital. The aim is to meet others and share experience, and there will be support from St Luke’s Hospice.

Joining me today was Dr Eric Watts to tell us about the aims of the event and how he became involved in this project.

Dr Eric Watts

Dr Eric Watts

You can listen to our chat here –

If you would like to attend the meeting, simply turn up on Monday but if you would like to know more you can contact Dr Watts on  01277 211128 or email

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Life is but a dream

dreamsHave you ever wanted to control your dreams? Well today we heard about a product which claims to allow you to do just that. A bottle of 60 tablets will set you back about £21, but be warned reviews are mixed.

Coming back to reality, historical reality at any rate, Margaret Mills took us on a trip to Hadleigh Castle today and related tales of smuggling as well as ghostly goings and the connections with Henry VIII.

Hadleigh Castle 2

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

See you next week,


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In a bit of a pickle!

Today we heard about two people who got themselves in a bit if a pickle.

Recycling bin

First up came news of the pensioner who, because his bus to Edinburgh airport was being driven by a relief driver unfamiliar with the area, was dropped off in a remote location, forcing him to spend the first night of his holiday hunkered down in a recycling bin.

Chastity bel;t


Next up we learnt about the Italian woman who had to get the fire brigade to release her from a chastity belt after she lost the keys.

How very embarrassing!

See you again tomorrow,

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So Rocky and Mad Max and Star Wars are back on the big screen, Bowie’s at No.1 in the album charts, Grant Mitchell’s Back in Eastenders, The Spice Girls are re – uniting (without Posh), The BBC are bringing back Robot Wars. AM I in a time warp?

timewarpWell it was an excuse to play Damien and the Timewarp today anyway.

We also heard how the leader of the Conservative group on Thurrock Council has defended his decision to name his new born baby boy “Thatcher”

Thatcher Stephen Maguire,  was born on 8 January. Proud father Rob Gledhill said he was “happy” with the name.

“It’s a parent’s decision to call their child what they like… if he’s not happy with it when he’s older I’m sure he’ll change it”.

Well Rob, I don’t think it would have been any worse if you had called him Margaret! I’m sure he will change his name one day.



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The wrong kind of sun – and other excuses

wrong kind of sunLast week it was reported that trains were delayed due to “the wrong kind of sun” so today we looked at some other implausible excuses including that of the 10 year old boy caught driving his parents car, with his 18-month old sister on the back seat, and claiming he was not under age, but actually a dwarf, who’d left his driving licence at home!

10-year old dwarf

I think that shows the mark of a future advertising man.

Being a Tuesday, Margaret Mills returned with news of a proposal of marriage presented to Elizabeth I whilst she was staying at Horham Hall, near Finchingfield. To hear more click on the link below:-

See you again next week,

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Oh dear it’s Monday – again!

Yes the start of yet another week but hopefully we were able to brighten up your day a bit with a couple of oddball stories.


First off we heard about the felon who was so vain that, taking offence at the police mugshots of him, he sent them a rather more flattering picture.

Although claiming that the new picture was a better likeness, it still took another 24 hours before police finally caught up with him.


Next up came news of the German based Meals on Wheels charity, who following a mix up, provided pensioners with dog food instead of the game feast they had been promised to celebrate the New Year.

Must have been a mistake that was hard to swallow!

See you again tomorrow,

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The Man-Flu Show

Having bravely soldiered on to present One 2 Three with Man-Flu today I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips on how to deal with this potentially serious condition.



Advice for men suffering with Man Flu

It’s imperative that you get to your place of safety before the full force of Man Flu takes hold. Phone your nominated female carer (normally wife or girlfriend) and inform her of the crisis which is about to unfold. They must reach you at your place of safety in the initial stages before you become bed ridden.

Once you’re home it’s important that you feel as comfortable as possible. Slip into your dressing gown, pop your feet up on the sofa and reach for the remote control.

Your nominated female carer will feel helpless as you plunge deeper and deeper into misery. Counter her feeling of helplessness by keeping her occupied with small tasks, such as massaging your feet or using a sponge to lightly dampen your forehead.

Allow her to prepare Man Flu comfort foods such as chicken noodle soup, or put Man Flu comfort television on, such as Police! Camera! Action!, or All The Goals of the World Cup 2006. Keep her fit and healthy by regularly sending her to the shops for a selection of men’s magazines for you to browse. Remember, you’re doing this for her.

it is imperative that a period of convalescence is taken. All to often men try to soldier on through the last symptoms only to be flung back into the depths of the illness because they didn’t rest for the full term of the condition. Begin by moving short distances away from the sofa. Try not to mention your near death experience.

Frequently, following a period of Man Flu, the nominated female carer may also start to exhibit symptoms such as a runny nose and aching joints. This is, of course, the common cold and not Man Flu (obviously!). By far, the best way for her to deal with this is carry on with her normal day to day routine as if the cold wasn’t there. After all, it’s hardly Man Flu, is it?


And ladies remember…

Men do not ‘moan’ when they have Man-Flu. They emit involuntary groans of agony that are entirely in proportion to the unbearable pain they are in.

Full recovery from Man-Flu will take place much quicker if their simple requests for care, sympathy and regular cups of tea are met. Is that really so much to ask? Florence Nightingale would have done it

Men suffering from Man-Flu want nothing more than to get out of bed and come to work, but they are too selfless to risk spreading this awful condition amongst their friends and colleagues. In this sense, they are the greatest heroes this country has ever known.
I’m so grateful to for this advice. Visit the website for more sensible advice and tips.

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Yoga on the Pier – Jo Kemp

Jo Kemp is a Yoga teacher who has dedicated a big part of her life to practising and teaching yoga. Last year along with Wellbeing Yoga Brentwood, Jo and her colleagues helped to raise much-needed funds for Brentwood MIND, which supports local people with mental health issues.

Cuddly Bob Strikes Again! - with Joanne Kemp

Cuddly Bob Strikes Again! – with Joanne Kemp

This weekend Jo is holding another event in aid of Mind – Yoga on the Pier. You can listen to our chat here –

This takes place in the Royal Pavilion at the sea end of Southend Pier, on Sunday 17th January from 10.15am until 11.30am in aid of the mental health charity, MIND.

It costs £22, including the pier train fare, and tickets are available from

Participants – who are recommended to catch the 9:30am Pier train for this event – must be 16 years or older and also need to have some previous experience of yoga.

If you are a complete yoga beginner but would still like to come along on Sunday 17th January it is essential to attend some beginners classes in preparation.

For further details, please call: 07447 915831, or find the page ‘Yoga on the Pier’ on Facebook.

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David Bowie

I started today’s show by playing David Bowie and Lazurus from his final album Blackstar.MTM1MjEwNjg0OTc4ODg0NTc4

I first heard some of Blackstar last week. On hearing a few minutes of the title track I dismissed it as miserable and self indulgent and didn’t bother to listen to the rest of the album.
Like most of us though I was very sad to hear of his death on Monday and knowing that he had produced this album under a death sentence of cancer I revisited the album. I found this a very humbling experience.
In the track Lazurus, Bowie appears to have written his own epitaph. Further than that though he has taken the occasion of his own death and turned it into a work of art.
The videos which accompany Blackstar and Lazurus are deep and disturbing and remind us all of our own mortality.
Art is supposed to touch us on an emotional level. Great art can touch us deeply and change our thinking and our lives.
In his final goodbye to us David Bowie has produced one of his finest pieces of art ever.

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Stranger on the shore

Yes believe it or not a retired CIA operative has come up with the idea that far from committing suicide at the end of the war, Hitler may well have escaped to the Canary Islands before being ferried to Argentina by submarine.

On the beach

I have to say this report got me wondering about the stroppy bloke I saw last time I was there, stamping on people’s sand castles.

Admittedly he wasn’t wearing that  trademark moustache but I was a little surprised by the swastica on his swimming trunks!

Paycock House Coggeshall

This afternoon Margaret Mills took us on a tour of Paycock House in Coggeshall. If you missed what she said just click on the link below: –

See you again next week,


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Be afraid ……… very, very afraid!

On today’s show we learnt about the man who has a total freak out whenever he sees himself in the mirror.

Well he’s actually a clown but the problem is that he suffers from the condition known as  coulrophobia” which is a fear of clowns so if he sees himself wearing the make up he promptly needs a tranquilliser!

Evil Clown

Now cast your mind back to the turn of the century. Do you remember all the concerns about the so-called millennium bug?

Well it seems as though we might have had a lucky escape since Facebook, which uses software based on the UNIX code has just hit trouble.

It seems that the date December 31st 1969 has special significance to this computer software with the result that people have been receiving messages congratulating them for being friends on the site for 46 years even though Facebook didn’t come into existence until 2004.

Well I never!

computer bug

See you again tomorrow,

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Get Colouring In at The Colour Me In Cafe!

Starting tomorrow (Friday) at the Brentwood Theatre is a new initiative supporting mental wellbeing in Brentwood, The Colour Me In Cafe. Adult colouring books are all the rage at the moment with people finding the art of colouring in helps them to relax and unwind.

This Brentwood Community Tree project is funded by Brentwood Council Community Fund and will now be held every Friday from 11am to 2pm.

Full details are on the poster below.


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Jellied Eels and Rock ‘n Roll – Richie Milton and Bill Farrow aka Bill’nRicky

What a great couple of guys! It’s two years since I last spoke to Richie and Bill on air. They came into studio one today, created a great party atmosphere and performed four great songs for us.

Richie Milton and Bill Farrow

Richie Milton and Bill Farrow

Richie and Bill are currently performing as “Bill’nRicky” performing a mix of songs, old and new as a cockney duo in a Singalong/Rockney/Skiffle style. You can find their website here including the video for “Pulling All The Boozers Down” in which I swear they have Tony Blair playing the double bass! What do you think?

You can listen to this afternoon’s session including four great songs here –

Take a look at a very young Bill Farrow performing with Mable Hillery on BBC 2’s Late Night Line Up with Joan Bakewell in 1967 –

Thanks to Bill’nRicky today. Come back soon guys!


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Roundabouts of the world

With a new year comes the annual supply of new calendars – some more exciting and colourful than others!

Roundabouts of the world

And lovers of roundabouts – we’re talking traffic control features here – have not been left out, as once again founder of the Roundabout Appreciation Society, Kevin Beresford has been poring over pictures of roundabouts from all over the world, to whittle them down to just 12 of the best.

This year’s edition is guaranteed not to disappoint aficionados as it includes pictures of quaint English village roundabouts featuring duck ponds to huge 40ft-high so-called ‘Gyratory Galacticos’ of Mexico City and America and priced at just £9:99 it’s sure to be a big hit. 

Now being a Tuesday, Margaret Mills joined us with reports of spooky goings on at Beeleigh Abbey in Maldon.

Beeleigh Abbey 1

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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Hey it’s 2016!

Well at least as far as we are concerned we are already in 2016, but if you were one of the 30 inhabitants of the island of Foula in the Shetlands, it’s not even Christmas yet.Isle of Foula

As they still use the old Julian calendar they mark Christmas week between the 6 and 13th January. I used to find it tricky dealing with my colleagues on the continent with a time difference of just one hour, so how these people manage their dealings with the mainland with a difference of nearly a fortnight, must be quite something!


Well we might now be getting over Christmas, but it seems that the supermarkets are now busily trying to get us fixated on Easter as it seems they are already stocking their shelves with Easter eggs.  Easter Eggs

Perhaps this why if you go to try and buy a winter coat in the Autumn you find that they’ve already sold out and are onto their spring season. Maybe they’ll soon get so far ahead that they’ll be stocking next year’s stock in the right season!

See you again tomorrow,


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Remembering Lemmy and Jeff and Beatles back in the Charts?

Tributes have been pouring in for Motorhead frontman Lemmy who has died aged 70, two days after learning he had cancer.

His local bar ran out of his favourite tipple Jack Daniels as fans queued around the block to get in to pay tribute. I resisted the temptation to get the JD out myself but we did celebrate his life with an ace of spades today

It’s Jeff Lynne’s 67th birthday today – What better excuse to listen to a couple of ELO tracks today.

And with Beatles songs being streamed an astonishing 50 million times in the first 48 hours after they became available to listen to live on the internet for the first time, I wondered if we might see some of their songs enter the UK top 40 this week now that streaming is included in compiling the chart.

The most popular Beatles song so far is Come Together, which has already been streamed more than 1.8 million times.

We’ll find out on New Years Day.beatles-come-together


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Now that’s what I call a real pot of tea!

It emerged last week that a cafe in Italy has unknowingly been serving customers with cups of tea with a little extra ingredient – cocaine.

Tea and coke


The issue came to light only after a 38-year old bus driver, who’s been imbibing a cuppa every morning, to give himself a “lift”, tested positive for the drug.

After police confirmed that boxes of delisse alla coca tea contained the drug, the beverage was immediately ordered to be withdrawn from sale. Wonder what he’ll use now for his daily “pick-me-up”!

William Pynchon 1

Margaret Mills abandoned her Christmas celebrations to pop by and tell us about William Pynchon who whilst born and bred in Writtle, became one of the Founding Fathers of an area in Massachusetts.

Unfortunately a book he wrote on religion went down like the proverbial lead balloon with the Puritans and he was forced to return to Essex.

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

See you next week,

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Would you like it to be Christmas every day?

Now I don’t know about you, but for me the magic has rather gone out of Christmas and I’m quite glad when the whole thing is over and done with, but believe it or not a Wiltshire man is so hooked on Christmas that he’s been celebrating it EVERY DAY for the last 22 years.

Mr Xmas

Every day he stuffs himself  with 25 mince pies and a full turkey, watches recordings of Top of the Pops Christmas specials  and especially the Queen’s Speech which he sets to run precisely at 3pm every afternoon. He then opens prezzies he’s sent himself after pulling crackers – 40 of them!

Over the years the habit has cost him a cool £2m with £500 alone spent on Christmas decorations and as for presents, well he’s lashed out on designer shirts, flashy guitars, even a penny farthing. His most extravagant purchase was a £26,000 Mercedes 350 bearing the number plate MR XMAS.

But with money running short and his health affected by all that gorging he says that he’s going to kick the habit this Boxing Day.

Time travelling car

Whilst this guy is busy trying to re-live his own version of Groundhog Day, another worthy from Nashville thought he could use his car to enter a “time portal” but succeeded only in demolishing a tax office and a coffin makers business. He was lucky not to end up in one, methinks.

See you again tomorrow,

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