About Me

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Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Broadcaster, musician, song writer, tea drinker and curry lover.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Operation Christmas Child

Today is the last day for delivery of shoe boxes and theDOVE is a drop-off point.

It's been so encouraging to see so many boxes come in over the last few weeks, and we have over 100 cartons filled with show boxes ready to go all round the world, so thanks to everyone who has filled one.

This will really make Christmas special for some boy or girl...somewhere.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Persistence Pays Off

To illustrate this fact, let me tell you about a friend of mine called Doug Walker.

I first met Doug back when I worked for Youth For Christ in the UK back in the early 90s. He was an aspiring actor/singer with a fantastic voice, but a lot to learn in life (I'm sure he won't mind my saying that). He basically decided that singing was what he wanted to do - and how God had gifted him - and set his heart on making it as a singer/songwriter.

All these years, he's been plugging away, writing and gigging, and not taking "no" for an answer. Back in August this year, he took some CD-R's of his latest offering "The Mystery" and stood outside the BBC Radio 1 studios in London from 6am, handing it out to anyone who looked influential.

One such person was Chris Moyles, presenter of the Radio 1 morning show, and as such, about as influential as you can get. As Chris stepped out for a cigarette break, Doug pounced, and the rest is history.

Chris listened to the song and then played it three times that morning on the air. As Doug listened in, incredulous, Moyles proceeded to rave about the song, and Doug had picked up management and record company interest (from Warners) and filmed a video for the song within 48 hours or so.

As I write, Doug is in New York working on mixes for his first album, and he begins more recording in December. Proof if ever it was needed that persistence pays off.

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction!

Check out Doug's MySpace to hear the song, see the videos and taste the vibe.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dan In Real Life

Well here was a nice surprise. I guess I expected the latest Steve Carell movie to be one long line of laughs, but instead I got a warm, endearing, clever and ultimately feel-good film about a widowed father of three daughters who writes an advice column for newspapers, but who could really do with following his own advice.

Taking his kids away to his parents' for a vacation with his very large family of brothers and spouses and children, he meets on the way a fascinating and alluring lady (Juliette Binoche) who turns out to be linked to the family in an unexpected way.

In the course of the movie, Carell's character Dan has to ask himself some serious questions to do with moving on after his bereavement, what his career ambitions are, and how much of a priority he should make his daughters.

Steve Carell really surprised me with his ability to play a "normal" guy, and to really draw you into his hurts, fears and insecurities, and you cannot help but warm to his character and to that of his girls.

Juliette Binoche is excellent as are the entire extended family, who you believe really ARE a family. Great ensemble playing.

So I laughed, cried, and ultimately felt a warm sense of well being out of "Dan In Real Life".

I wouldn't necessarily describe this as a chick flick, but it's definitely one I'd recommend for all manner of reasons.

Missing Marmite

I've just found a whole load of online stores that sell UK food - things like Marmite! real sausages! Weetabix! Mince Pies!
Okay, so they all cost a SMALL FORTUNE, but I'm going to have to get an order together. Just a minute while I take out a mortgage!!

Bee Movie

So with Bee Movie, you get the best of both worlds; something for the kids, and something for adults - but not adult humor.

Jerry Seinfeld is the main voice as a bee who wants to escape the drudgery of hive life and get out into the real world. In doing so he befriends a human (Renee Zellweger) and together they hatch a plan to get back the hard earned honey that the bees produce, but which has been stolen by humans.
To be honest, the story isn't too important, although it does make one or two good points. What's so good about Bee Movie is the voices and the interaction between them. Some great cameos too from the likes of Sting and Ray Liotta, both sending themselves up, and there are also some priceless one liners, especially from Chris Rock, who has one at the very end of the movie that all adults will appreciate!
So well worth checking out. It won't tax the brain too much, but Bee Movie is certainly the funniest Pixar-type movie I've seen to date.