Category Archives: Packed Lunch

One Final Packed Lunch

Yes, it’s all very sad but after more than two and years, it’s time for me to pack my Saturday Lunchbox away!

IMG_0286But my word we are going out in style as I was joined today by an old friend to the show, DREW LEVI. When I say old I am referring to the fact that Drew, who is still only 21, was one of the first guests to join me on the programme and today’s appearance was the third time he’s been on this show. Drew has talents in bucket full – he sings, pens his own material, and acts. He’s appeared in West End stage shows like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Les Miserables, he was in the original cast of Billy Elliott, performed alongside WESTLIFE, been in THE SWEENEY and done the Olympics and now we learn that he has auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent so who knows what the future may hold.

Drew has also just released a new EP from which we played the song DON’T CRY – a cracking song that I’ve been playing a lot on all my shows on Phoenix.

Listen again to my chat with Drew by clicking on the link below: – Drew Levi 8th March

And it wouldn’t be PACKED LUNCH without Carl Merry popping in with another ESSEX TALE. Today’s story involved WILLIAM smuggle3BLIGH, a smuggler from Paglesham. Not for nothing was William Bligh christened, the king of smugglers as you can find out for yourself by clicking on the link below: – Essex Tales 4th March

Well that’s me done on this show. Thank you for listening for the past couple of years and more, but I’m not gone, I’ll still be around on Mondays and Tuesdays between 1 and 3pm so if you can I’d love to see you there, but for now it’s au revoire, it’s been a lot of fun.

All the best,


It all started with a newspaper

On today’s penultimate programme I was joined by the president of the Rotary Club of Billericay, KEITH WOOD who doubles up as Chair of the IMG_0280Trustees for The Reading Rooms in Billericay and his colleague ANDY MADDOCKS who have along with others been working hard to generate funds and refurbish the BILLERICAY ROOMS in time for the 150th anniversary. To listen again to what Andy and Keith told me about the history of the rooms, what they have achieved and about the celebrations that will be taking place next weekend between the 7th and 9th March by clicking on the link below: –Billericay Reading Rooms 1st March

Later in the show CARL MERRY dropped by with another ESSEX TALE – this one concerned a con man and a half – STEPHEN BUNCE – a man who could clearly think on his feet. If you missed it and want a laugh, listen again here: – Essex Tales 25th February

Right that’s it for me. I’ll see you again for one final time on this slot next week. In the meantime have a good week,


Stone me it’s a sunny Saturday

After all the weeks of high winds and rain it’s a joy to see some sunshine today – makes you feel that spring is indeed in the air. On today’s music filled programme we attempted to capture a bit of that sunshine in the music we played.

long_dragonWe also enjoyed another ESSEX TALE from Carl Merry about a knight who was seemingly employed by the High Sheriff of Saffron Walden to kill a “dragon” reportedly terrorising the inhabitants of the area. Listen to the tale once more here by clicking on the link below: – Essex Tales 18th February




I was also very fortunate to waylay one of our sponsors – Karen Kirby from KIRBYS COACHES as well as one ofIMG_0272 their drivers, Bob Frost from off their stand at the Food and Drink Exhibition being held at the Brentwood Centre> I dragged them both in for a brief chat that you can listen to here: – Kirbys Coaches 22nd February


We couldn’t let today pass without taking the mickey out of someone else’s misfortunes. It seems that earlier this week a cleaner in Italy threw away items that had been carefully installed as a work of art – well two worksArt for art's sake of art actually. Just goes to show that if you exhibit rubbish, don’t be too surprised if it is mistaken for the real thing!

Have a good weekend and enjoy the sunshine. See you next week,


Time to go on the defence!

IMG_0271Paul Church from the newly formed organisation, Essex Self-Defence Partnerships dropped in to explain what his newly formed organisation is all about. All too often we hear about nurses, paramedics and others working for the community coming under attack, not to mention other innocent people going about their day-to-day lives. As a result Paul decided to try to redress the balance by providing some basic safety awareness principals. To this end a FREE seminar is being held between 2 and 4pm on Saturday the 15th March at the Laindon Community Centre. You can get more information by going to their Facebook page at or by calling Paul on 07903 361286.

Listen again to all Paul said here: – Paul Church Intereview


Black Shuck

Talking of defence, that is something you could definitely use if you were to come across the subject of today’s ESSEX TALE from CARL MERRY – BLACK SHUCK, the DEVIL’S DOG. Another truly demonic tale which if you missed, you can catch up with here: –Essex Tales 11th February

On a lighter note we took a look at the story of Britain’s most tattooed man’s fight to obtain a passport.Tattooed man and passport application

Well that’s me done for another week. See you next time.


A very blustery day

When you see the devastation wreaked in some parts of the country you realise just how lucky we’ve been in Essex. Nevertheless once again it is proving to be a very blustery day and yet again many of the local football fixtures have had to be abandoned due to waterlogged pitches – can’t imagine why, after all they refer to the football pools!

Anyway it was definitely a day to hanker down in the warm and dry and listen to some great music on the radio – and that we had in plenty on today’s monster 3 hour programme.

We also heard a truly demonic ESSEX TALE from CARL MERRY all about the reported encounter of The Witch matthew-hopkinsFinder General, Matthew Hopkins with a self confessed witch. If you missed it you can listen again here, but beware, this one is not for the faint hearted: –Essex Tales 4th February

Right I’m off home in my amphibious vehicle. See you next week.


That’s January out of the way at last!




Well we got through January without any snow or significant ice so let’s hope we can do the same with the shortest month of the year. Mark you I’ve never seen so much rain and at this rate we’ll still be playing this season’s football matches next season.

Rev Sabine Baring-Gould

Burial Ground






On today’s show, as part of our ESSEX TALES feature, we heard a very gruesome story indeed concerning twin Viking brothers and their fight over a beautiful girl. If you missed it or would just like to hear it again, just click on this link: – Essex Tales 28th January

Right I’m off now to watch my wife perform in a play in South Benfleet and I’ll see you again next week.


Tales of a dragon to warm us up

January always seems to go on for ever, but at least it’s still mild if somewhat dull. But as the month ends we have LIVE AT OLD BRENTWOODS to look forward to next Friday. This event features EDD COATES, LEANNE LOUISE, SCARLETT ECHO and LOOKING FOR LIAM. Two of these artists have appeared on Phoenix FM recently. Leanne Louise was on yesterday’s ONE-2-THREE Show with Bob Simpson and Edd Coates was on this programme two weeks ago. Because of this I thought it would be good to include songs from both Edd and Leanne Louise as a bit of a “taster” for next week’s extravaganza.

Carl Merry dropped by to give us another ESSEX TALE. This was a really strange story about a dragon, or perhaps a large snake, which caused panic around West Horndon in the early 16th century. If you missed it listen again here: – Essex Tales 21st January

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I’ll see you again next week,


A wash out – well not entirely. we still had the music!

football in the rain

Well at least the rain seems to have stopped but it’s very soggy under foot and many of today’s sporting events have had to be postponed yet again, but in spite of this I enjoyed myself playing the usual mix of great music for two hours.

In addition, CARL MERRY popped by with a very strange Essex Tale about a pirate from Fingeringhoe, known locally as PEGLEG JAKE. According to this somewhat improbable tale Pegleg Jake swallowed an acorn and gave birth to an oak tree which still stands on the village green close to the Whalebone Public House.

Listen to the story again here: –  Essex Tales 14th January

Right I’m off for a spot of lunch and a beer!

see you next week.


No lost Coates here

Edd Coates

Edd Coates live






On today’s show I was delighted to be joined by a very talented local singer-songwriter, EDD COATES. Edd has been on the station before and also performed for us in Crown Street last month for the Lighting Up Brentwood Christmas Lights. Edd’s last album LOST IN TRANSIT came out a couple of years ago and I asked Edd when we might expect the follow up. You can listen to my chat with Edd and the songs he performed for us live in the studio today right here: –Edd Coates 11th January

In the second hour of the show CARL MERRY returned with the first of his ESSEX TALES for 2014. This one involved the strange story of a famous “wise man” of Essex, known locally as CUNNING MURRELL. Listen to the story again here: –Essex Tales 7th January

Cunning Murrell

See you again next week, meantime keep safe, well and warm.


A very soggy Saturday

Hi and a very Happy New Year.

I hope your first couple of days back at work after the long Christmas and New Year break were not too awful and at least you still have this weekend before the full onslaught of work hits on Monday.

Anyway welcome to my first proggy of 2014 and a very soggy Saturday it is as well. Nevertheless snugly ensconced in the studio I was pleased to play some great music for a couple of hours today.

In addition I was joined by Frances Clamp for a special New Year edition of BYGONES. You can listen again to what Frances had to say right here: –Bygones 31st December

Hope to see you again next week when we’ll do it all over again. Have a good week til then.