All posts by Compton Pauncefoot

Originally from Scotland, I have been living in or around London since 1998. I've been involved in radio broadcasting in one shape or another since I studied music production in Newcastle or when I moved to Edinburgh and got deeply involved in radio presenting and production. At the moment I'm a Civil Servant and radio broadcaster on 106.9 SFM in Sittingbourne Kent. I'm relaxed about most things - but radio, politics and history are the topics which I tend to indulge myself with and should we be down the pub, the topics that I can chat about.

Inside North Korea: Forbidden photos taken inside Kim Jong-un’s secretive state

Photographer Michal Huniewicz risked detention to smuggle a series of stunning images of everyday life taken in the secretive state of North Korea. He captured the photographs  during a trip to the country, before sneaking them out on hidden memory cards.

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Picture: Michal Huniewicz/Exclusivepix Media

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What a Cloudy Day

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With over 100 different types out there, clouds are probably one of the most overlooked elements in nature, yet the information they hold within their shape and formations can be both interesting and useful. Now, a new ebook for children by author and entrepreneur Monique Chambers, called What a Cloudy Day, aims to teach children about the most common ones in a fun and interactive way.

“The idea came to me a few years ago when I read a book about clouds,” Monique says. “I remember flicking through it and thinking it would be the most boring read but ended up being fascinated by the fact that, by being able to tell the difference between clouds, I could tell whether it was going to rain anytime soon or not,” Ms Chambers explains.

Narrated by actor Thomas Camilleri, the app sees children follow Cumulus, a good-natured cloud, which usually appear in the sky like puffy pieces of floating cotton, travelling through Cloudland trying to make friends. On his journey, Cumulus meets a variety of different clouds, including the nutty Professor Cirrus – thin and wispy clouds that are formed of ice crystals – and the Mackerel Family, which are characterised by their rippling pattern caused by high-altitude, atmospheric waves.

“The story is as much about friendship and being a good judge of character as it is about clouds,” Ms Chambers continues. “But, unlike so many children’s books out there, the story also has a very concrete scientific element to it. The last thing I wanted was to make learning about the weather and the scientific meaning of clouds boring, so each variety of cloud has a very individual and recognisable character.”

With the sky becoming a playground for Cumulus, children go through the story learning how different clouds anticipate rain, sunshine or evenhail. The app also inspires children to want to head outside and have fun cloud-watching – a pastime which, as Ms Chambers herself explains, “is both free and loads of fun!

What a Cloudy Day is available on the iTunes App Store, as well as on Google Play, for just €1.99.

Brand new E4 comedy drama Gap Year

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Here’s an exclusive look at brand new E4 comedy drama Gap Year. Centred on British lads Dylan (Anders Hayward) and Sean (Ade Oyefeso), who are childhood friends that initially set out to backpack through China, but end up taking on the whole continent.

 

The drama takes in ancient rainforests, full-moon beach parties, futuristic Asian mega-cities and remote monasteries in the foothills of the Himalayas. In the first episode, Sean is horrified to discover that his best mate Dylan has a secret plan that threatens to derail their ‘lads holiday’ to China. Things start looking up when they meet two American girls, Ashley (Brittney Wilson) and May (Alice Lee), and middle-aged hanger-on Greg (Tim Key). But, when old tensions resurface and create carnage at a music festival on the Great Wall, Sean suddenly finds himself way out of his depth.

 

http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/exclusive-look-at-new-e4-travelling-comedy-gap-year

Mark Thomas – The Red Shed Interview

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English comedian, presenter, political satirist and journalist Mark Thomas spoke to Jason McCrossan about his latest show that he is touring the UK with called THE RED SHED which he is performing at the Gulbenkian theatre in Canterbury on 17th February.

The show celebrates the 50th anniversary of Wakefield Labour Club’s iconic Red Shed. It’s the story of where Mark first started to perform in public and where he politically came of age as a student involved in the miners’ strike.

 

 

Africa’s Only Gay Radio

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Africa’s only gay radio station broadcasts from Pretoria in South Africa.

GaySAradio produces content for Africa’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and intersex communities and is trying to counter homophobia and break down stereotypes.

Jason McCrossan talked to Hendrik Baird the Station Manager of Africa’s only gay radio station which broadcasts from the South African city of Pretoria.

 

POEM: Robert Burns – Ae Fond Kiss

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‘Ae fond kiss and then we sever’ is more commonly known as “Ae fond kiss” and is Burns’ most recorded love song.

After the publication of his collected poems, the Kilmarnock volume, Burns regularly travelled and stayed at Edinburgh. While there he established a platonic relationship with Mrs Agnes Maclehose and they began a regular correspondence using the pseudonyms ‘Clarinda’ and ‘Sylvander’. Burns wrote ‘Ae fond kiss’ after their final meeting and sent it to Mclehose on 27 December 1791 before she departed Edinburgh for Jamaica to be with her estranged husband.

Read by Gill Fraser Lee on 106.9 SFM Saturday Breakfast with Jason McCrossan.

 

 

ONTHISDAY…Salvador Dali

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Told by his parents when he was only five years of age that he was the reincarnation of his deceased older brother, he would believe this for the rest of his life.  In 1934 he married the Russian-born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, also known as Gala. She was the muse for and subject of his sculpture, Gala in the Window, from 1933.

He was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters.   His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931. Dalí’s expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.

He died on this day 1989.

 

Brexit: Wife Swap Special Returns to C4

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Channel 4 is set to bring back its multi-award winning format Wife Swap for a one-off Brexit special. The show that allowed families to experience different lifestyles and perspectives on the world, returns for an intimate look at the nation’s biggest talking point – Brexit.

The 60-minute episode, due to air later this year, will be the first since the show ended nearly eight years ago.will see couples from either side of the Brexit debate swap households for one week and live with a family with very different views.

Emily Jones, Commissioning Editor, at Channel 4 said:” Wife Swap was largely about how people chose to run their homes, but it always had political undertones. Now the world has changed and recent events have brought political issues into the heart of every household. What better time to bring back this much loved format to explore Brexit and hear firsthand the conversations happening in every home”.

Wife Swap first arrived on Channel 4 screens in 2003 and quickly became a global phenomenon. The final series aired in the UK in 2009.

 

Will Snowden be Trumps ‘Bin Landen’ scalp?

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We are just hours away from President-Elect Donald Trump taking the oath of office and becoming officially the 45th President of the United States.

I can only imagine how Ed Snowden is feeling right now.  There must have been a part of him which was hope for a Presidential pardon from the outgoing President Obama – alas, it wasn’t to come.  And so what now for America’s highest profile whistleblower and exile who has just been given leave to remain in Russia for another three years?

Well, like most things Russian – there is no such thing as a guarantee and if I were Snowden I’d be very very nervous right now.  The Russian’s will have obtained everything they need or wanted from Snowden and in fact, his presence there was merely Putin sticking a pin in the side of Obama.

If we enter into a thawing of USA/Russian relations, an easy win for Trump would be getting Snowden back to face the music for releasing millions of confidential documents.

Snowden has tweeted that he would rather be “without a state than without a voice” – soon, he may find himself in Russian state custody – whilst awaiting extradition back to the United States – facing the rest of his life in prison and finally losing the voice he cherishes so much.

In 2016 I spoke to the author James Bamford who has met and interviewed Ed.

 

BBC Spy In The Wild

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Spy in the Wild (BBC ONE, January 12, at 8pm)

In one of the most innovative natural history series ever presented, a new nature series produced by the BBC deploys over 30 ultra-realistic animatronic Spy Creatures to go undercover in the animal world to capture unique animal behaviour closer than ever before.

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Using special “spy cameras” invented by film maker John Downer’s team, the viewer is plunged into the very heart of the extraordinary lives of over thirty fascinating animals across the world, including langurs, orang-utans, meerkats and crocodiles, revealing behaviour that is remarkably like our own. To expose some of the most astonishing animal behaviour ever seen, the team of Spy Creatures go undercover.

These robotic look-alikes make all the right moves to not only be accepted by animals but also interact with them, providing revelatory insights into their world.

Each episode in this four part series is packed with a menagerie of animatronic Spy Creatures exploring the different aspects of animal behaviour: Love, Intelligence, Friendships and Mischief.

Director  John Downer said that the aim of the programme was to “capture these elusive moments where animals do something so extraordinary that makes us consider our own connection with the natural world. Inevitably those moments are rare but by deploying a menagerie of life-like Spy Creatures and other remote cameras over a long period of time and filming thousands of hours of footage it was possible to capture many never-seen-before moments”.

Spy in the Wild is broadcast on BBC 1, on January 12th at 8pm