Category Archives: Radio blog

All radio stories

Beverley Craven chats to Jason about her new album

The lovely Beverley Craven
The lovely Beverley Craven

 

Beverley Craven is best known for her 1991 hit single “Promise Me”. On the 28th of July 2014, the beautiful Beverley celebrated her birthday and was kind enough to speak to Jason about her forthcoming album Change Of Heart which is released on 1st September.

 

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Prince Charles does Poetry: Robert Burns – My Heart’s In The Highlands

Artist, band or musician? Get in touch…

6be878f8dd-Banners -live-music bass player

If you are an artist, in a band or write music of any kind and would like to get your music played on the radio – I’m always on the hunt for new stuff to play on Monday Matters.

Also – if you are a band or artist local to Kent, London or the South East of England and are looking for some radio exposure – do get in touch.   Also, if you fancy coming into our studios and doing a live set – I’d happily set this up and you’ll get a copy of your session.

To get in touch – send an email using the “contact me” page of this site.

In The Psychiatrist’s Chair

Les Dawson in 1975
Les Dawson in 1975

This is such a wonderful series.  In this two part conversation,  Dr Anthony Clare speaks to my all time favourite comedian – the late Les Dawson.  This interview was his last – recorded a week before he died in 1993.  Here he talks with passion and humour  – which makes it hard to believe that he wouldn’t be alive long enough to hear it broadcast.  However, it is fantastic that he lived long enough to do this.  A week later, and time wouldn’t have captured this brief but sincere insight into the thoughts and feelings of a mature man recounting his life story.

A snipped of the conversation is below – where he talks about religion and the after life.

AC : Are you a religious person?

LD: I can embrace Christ but not the church.

AC:  Why is that?

LD:  Because the church is built in homage to a person who never used a church, so I don’t see the point in having great purple colours and ermine robes for a man who was very simple.  I can embrace his edicts but I can’t embrace the church.

AC:  Does that mean that you believe that death isn’t the end?

LD:  Oh no, scientifically death can’t be the end – because nothing dies.  You can’t create nor destroy matter.

AC:  So, what’s going to happen to Les Dawson?

LD:  Cosmic life force – like all of us.  That’s god.  Cosmic life force.

AC:  Will it have a persona?  Will you be around again?

LD:  No I doubt it….no, not necessarily.  One religion that attracts me is Buddhism…to a certain extent.  But, certainly nothing dies in this world.  When you bury someone, for instance, all you bury is an empty skin…a discarded lump.  I think we all create an aurora around us.  Energy is matter and you can’t destroy matter – so somewhere along the line – it carries on.

Dr. Anthony Clare speaks to Les Dawson Part 1

 

Dr. Anthony Clare speaks to Les Dawson Part 2

 

CUTTING EDGE – MEET THE POLICE COMMISSIONER

Ann Barnes with Ann Force 1
Ann Force 1

Channel 4 recently aired a documentary entitled “Meet the Police Commissioner” – which was a fly on the wall look at Kent’s first Commissioner who is charged with efficient and effective policing Ann Barnes

The documentary paints a pretty unflattering picture of Ann who seemingly bumbles her way from one meet to the next.

And there in lies the trap door of life…never agree to a television programme without having a veto on the final edit.

Television makers employ people to make their subjects like and trust them.  To tell them all the stuff that said subject thinks and feels they want portrayed on the screen – make them feel like they are the ones writing the script.

The truth is – the only people writing the script are the TV production company and all those moments when you thought you had their trust, when you thought you’d made a real friendship – goes right out the window – they will tell you anything you want to hear to get their story.

And that is why I feel really sorry for Ann Barnes.   I do not for one second believe that the image portrayed by this documentary is fair and rounded and certainly not what was promised.  Out of all the hours of filming – they have focused on maybe 10% of who Ann is.

Imagine for one second, if you had camera’s following you 8 hours per day at work for 3 months and you were trying to be as open and honest as possible.  There would be, I’m sure, many good things – but also – there would be some embarrassing moments, a few mistakes, some points you’d rather weren’t show and some that you hope they do.

Now imagine if over the course of an hour – you saw all those negative bits – those big nasty warts that’d you’d hoped would have been cut or edited – the main focus of the programme.  I guess, like what may have happened to Ann – the blood draining from your face.

I can only imagine that Ann’s agreement was part genuinely wanted to engage the public in understand her role and part ego.  Maybe she allowed herself to believe the sweet talk from the producers who, I’m sure, assured her that she’d be pleased with the results and all was fine.

The truth is television relies on those who take part to be flattered into signing away the right to your personal identity and allowing a production company to define your image – put it out for everyone to see – then walk away.

I Can’t Sing! A mediocre musical!

I Can't Sing The Musical

I went to see the production of “I Can’t Sing” last month.  I have held off writing a review as I saw it – ‘pre-release’ ie: whilst it was still developing.  When I saw it – a week before opening – they had already went through a number of production overhauls  and changes to dance routines.  However, it has been out for over a month and the reviews have been at best – mediocre.  I thought I’d give my 2 pence worth.

I Can’t Sing, was created by comedian Harry Hill and tells the story of a young contestant from London who faces the challenges of overnight success.

Firstly the whole premise of this musical is wrong.  It is a musical that is supposed to poke fun at the ever serious Simon Cowell.  Well, the fact that someone has went to all that effort to write a whole musical based around Cowell’s character – kinda has you thinking – who is exactly having the piss taken out of them…him…or us?

Secondly – the show is called – I can’t sing – well,  in fact, all the cast can sing – they can dance and they can act.  I had thought that the show would have spent more time dealing with the part of the Xfactor which I actually hate the most – the bit where they get people who they know are really bad – and shove them in front of an audience to make fools of themselves – for no other reason than it makes good television.  I was therefore, interested in how they might do this.  As it was – not much time was spent on this – which I actually think was to miss a trick.

Turning to the story – ok, let me first say that it is a bit like they have lifted a “how to make a musical” – template and crowbarred the story into it. Template:  introduce the characters; add a disappointment; then a failure;  follow that with sorrow; a desire to abandon; have a break; then – the rally around; a turn of events; a fight back; a triumph – with a big show number to end; hold it all together by a love story.

I Can’t Sing doesn’t stick rigidly to the above – but not far off.  Then they get to the ‘live show’ part – where Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Cheryl Cole and Dermot O’Leary are all portrayed in the musical.

The only characterisations which are funny and interesting is Cheryl and Dermot’s.  Louis’s character is as a bumbling old man – which isn’t funny or original.  And Simon’s character – is supposed to mock…but actually – only if you are a Simon superfan would you see the mockery.  I just felt it was another extension of the man himself – and couldn’t help but think….hmmm, like he needs the publicity??

I can’t work out whether these characterisations are the result of lazy writing or just too many people being involved in the process – constantly watering down and diluting ideas.  I think it was George Lucas who said on film making – I won’t quote as this is only from memory….there is the film you want to produce; then think you are producing; and finally get – all 3 are different.

How to improve the show?
Hard to say – I’d get rid of the Simon Cowell character and make him something else – like the devil or an angry fairy – who is always in the air and feet are never allowed to be on the ground.  If you are going to call it “I Can’t Sing” – I’d focus more on that element- the worst elements the Xfactor brings to our screens.

I can’t sing – says it is a piss take – but actually, it’s not.  It’s also part funded by Simon Cowell…say’s it all.

So, it looks like Harry may sadly follow in the footsteps of the last celebrity comedian whose work didn’t survive the crossover from television to theatre – Viva Forever! the musical of the Spice Girls written by Jennifer Saunders.  But I can’t help think – as George Lucas said – the production they wrote – probably wasn’t the productions the public saw.

“Cut BBC Local Radio” says Noel Edmonds

Noel Edmonds
Noel be nimble, Noel be quick; watch him swim & then the oil slick!

I’m not sure what is going on in the private life of Noel Edmonds at the moment.  At the age of 65 – he’s gone past the ‘mid-life crisis’ point – or at least, let’s hope so! Maybe his contract is up soon at Channel 4 and he is just trying to prove to the boffins at C4 – he is still bankable and can create waves?

First he demands to be able to buy the BBC as a commercial enterprise and before he’d managed to take another breath he’d went on to say that if he did get his fake tanned hands on auntie – he’d cull BBC local radio.

I wonder if he was all alone one evening in bed – struggling to get to sleep and weighing up what the world would look like if he was in charge?  If he had his nibble finger on the button of control! Suddenly…an idea….

ideaguy

IF I RAN THE BBC….(dot dot dot)

I can’t claim to be an expert on BBC local radio as I very rarely listen – but then, I don’t suppose Noel does either.  What I do know is that BBC local radio is cheap and provides a service that commercial radio doesn’t want to compete in.

The nearest thing to this would be Community Radio – that is unshackled from the need for speeding through 15 songs an hour – with a DJ occasionally telling the listener about their ‘crazy night’!

As independent commercial radio seems to be homogenising  into one or two branded blobs – culling a service that is geared to get the community on the air – is not the way to go. In fact, more BBC resources should be put into local output – and not more managers – more presenters – getting out in the community.

So, I say No to Noel.  It seems like there is more than one Banker on Deal or No Deal!

BBC technical mistake

wilhelm-scream-soundfile
The BBC said that a ‘technical’ human error was to blame for some unfortunate sound effects being broadcast over their news item about the  Oscar Pistorius trial on the local station for Coventry and Warwickshire.

Radio Today spoke to the BBC who sheepishly stated  “There was a technical mistake where sound effects being prepared in another studio for an unrelated item were accidentally broadcast over the news bulletin”.

Personally given the nature of the sound effects and their timing…I can’t help but wonder if someone was attempting to put the news reader off his stride…classic school boy prank…but I guess we’ll never know.