Friday, 21 December 2012

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 21st December 2012

Today Simon joined Danny in the studio for an extra long edition of the Film Guide. Sadly Simon had just come from a Christmas party where he had loaded up on brussel sprouts and ale. He was walking somewhat strangely as he attempted to hold his wind in but sadly his buttocks aren't as rock hard as they were in his youth and so he had to let rip. Much of St. Albans has been evacuated and the resulting mushroom cloud can been seen from Oslo.

Ok, that was a lie, but Simon was in the studio for a longer than usual Film Guide and they discussed the UK box office and the best films on TV over the Christmas holiday.


Saturday
Die Hard 2
10.40pm – 1.00am
Channel 4


Terminator 2:Judgement Day
10.45pm – 1.15am
ITV1


Sunday
Cool Runnings
2.55pm – 4.30pm
BBC1


Bad Santa
9.00pm – 11.00pm
Channel 5


Christmas Eve
Nativity
3.55pm – 5.35pm
BBC2


Christmas Day
Casablanca
5.55pm – 7.55pm
More4


Trading Places
9.00pm – 11.20pm
Film4


Boxing Day
Enchanted
3.20pm – 5.00pm
BBC1


Rebecca
10.30pm – 12.35am
BBC2


Thursday
The Birds
11.00pm – 1.25am
ITV3


Friday
The 39 Steps
12.40pm – 2.05pm
BBC2


Saturday
Flight of the Navigator
12.15am – 1.40pm
BBC2


Sunday
Moon
10.00pm – 11.30pm
BBC2


New Year’s Eve
The Sound of Music
3.10pm – 6.00pm
BBC1


New Year’s Day
Up
6.30pm – 8.00pm
BBC1


Wednesday
Bonnie and Clyde
3.00am – 4.55am
ITV1


Thursday
Gentleman Prefer Blondes
11.30am – 1.25pm
More4


Friday
The Fly
1.05am – 2.45am
Channel 4

















Katie Cole vs Morgan Tobias - Jingle Snow!

This is a very funny video and well worth 4 minutes of your time:

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas Album Review with Jenny Carroll

Christmas brings out a lot of festive entertainment releases - one of the staples of this time of year is the Christmas album, which we look at today with Jenny.

First up is Rod Stewart's release 'Merry Xmas Baby'.  Rod seems to have carved out a second career as a modern-day crooner, with his American Songbook series and he continues in this vein with his latest effort.  It's standard Stewart fare but will please his long-term fans probably without garnering too many new ones.  Still, nice to have in the background to accompany the Christmas dinner.

The country trio Lady Antebellum have had a huge couple of years and their yuletide release sees them holding pace with their Gold-certified album 'On This Winter's Night'.  Probably a more interesting and more personalised effort, there is a mix of well-known and lesser-known tracks contained on this album.

Lastly, one of Lady Antebellum's contemporaries broke through this year with 5 awards at the Independent Country Music Association.  Jenn Bostic's track 'Jealous of the Angels', as RV listeners will know, has received regular airplay here; the album is known simply as 'Jealous'.  We're expecting big things in the new year from this artist.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Chris' Film Club: An American Werewolf in London

Today is British actress Jenny Agutter's 60th birthday so I have chosen one of her best films, the cult classic An American Werewolf in London. Directed by John Landis it is about two American students who backpack across the Yorkshire Moors and come face-to-face with a lupine beast of the night...

The film stars Agutter, David Naughton and Griffin Dunne. The trailer can be seen below.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Chris' Film Club: The Muppet Christmas Carol

Today in 1843 Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol was released. It is a classic tale that everyone knows but if you want to see a twist on the story then check out today's entry into the Film Club: The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Starring Michael Caine and The Muppets (Kermit, Miss Piggy and the whole gang) it presents the story in a way that only the Muppets can. It's sure to be on TV over the Christmas holidays.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Science feature with Sam Rolfe


Sam Rolfe visited us in the studio today to discuss Christmas from a scientist's point of you. From making your own snow to following Father Christmas across the sky, here's watch she covered...

Father Christmas
You can track Father Christmas’ progress on his gift giving route on Christmas eve here.

In order to deliver presents to every child, naughty or nice, Santa has to work at astonishing speed and eat an extraordinary amount of mince pies! If you want to look at more of Santa's fascinating feats, click here.

Make real snow
If you are desperate for a white Christmas then you won't be pleased with the weather forecast for St. Albans, which is fairly mild with possible rain. But never fear, Sam has told us how to make snow, be sure to check the online tool to find out whether you have the weather for doing it.


What was the Bethlehem star?
The three wise men were guided to the birthplace of Jesus by a bright star.  It is possible to try and explain this event through our knowledge of the night sky now and from historical records, have a look here or here.


The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
The annual lectures focus on “The Modern Alchemist” this year.  They broadcast on 26th, 27th and 28th at 8pm on BBC 4, starting with “Air: The Elixir of Life”, for more info check The Royal Institution of Great Britian.

Chris' Film Club: Goodfellas

Today we can say a big 'Happy Birthday!' to actor Ray Liotta. Arguably his most famous film is Martin Scorsese's 1990 gangster classic Goodfellas, based on the life of Henry Hill. The film charts Hill's (Liotta) rise through the criminal underworld, along with his best friend Joe Pesci and mentor Robert De Niro.

A brutal and epic film, it spans several decades and is a must-see for film lovers.

WARNING: The trailer below contains some brief violent images.




Monday, 17 December 2012

Chris' Film Club: Ted

Today my choice of film for the film club is Seth MacFarlane's Ted, the highest-grossing R-rated movie this year. I've chosen this film because it is Giovanni Ribisi's birthday today (Happy Birthday Giovanni!) and he is one of the stars.

The film is about a man who, when he was a young boy, wished his teddy bear would come alive and be his best friend. That happens but when he grows up the bear, Ted, has become foul mouthed and juvenile. The film is a tad uneven but certainly very funny in places and certainly not for those of a gentle disposition.


Avoiding Xmas Stress

Our lifestyle Lisa Pearson was our guest on West Herts Drivetime this evening, Lisa gave us a number of tips about how to avoid stress during the festive season;

*Dont do all the work yourself - delegate tasks such as washing up - dont be a slave in the kitchen all day.
* Hold your tongue! , avoid arguements
* Set expectations for children regarding behaviour
* Dont overgive
* Avoid too much alcohol
* Go out for a walk to get some fresh air

Lisa has a blog that can be found at  https://twitter.com/MummyWhisperer

New Music Playlist w/c 17th December 2012

Hi Drivetimers

Following a restful week of toil & trouble (!) I am back and here is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Andy Burrows - Hometown / Light The Night
Deacon Blue - That's What We Can Do
Donald Fagen - Miss Marlene
James Arthur - Impossible

JD McPherson - Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights)
Jenn Bostic - Jealous Of The Angels
Jools Holland & Rumer - Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive
Josh Osho - Imperfections
Kylie - On A Night Like This
Lady Antebellum - On This Winter's Night
Lucy May - Paper Heart
Madness - Never Knew Your Name
Matt Cardle - Anyone Else
Michael Bublé and Bing Crosby - White Christmas
Olly Murs - Troublemaker
Paloma Faith - Just Be
Pet Shop Boys - Memory Of The Future
Prince - Rock And Roll Love Affair
Rebecca Ferguson - Shoulder to Shoulder
Robbie Williams - Different
Rod Stewart - Merry Christmas, Baby (feat. Cee Lo Green)
Romanz - My Angel
Taylor Swift - Red
The Drizabone Soul Family - Come On Back
The Justice Collective - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
The Killers - Here With Me
The Rolling Stones - Doom And Gloom / One More Shot

Items in BOLD are new additions

My featured track for this week is Light The Night by Andy Burrows, taken from the follow-up to The Snowman, The Snowman & The Snowdog:

Friday, 14 December 2012

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 14th December 2012

Tonight Danny and Simon were nowhere to be seen (probably off on the town again, boozing it up like always) so the younger (on average) and more hirsute (again, on average) pairing of Nick Hazell and Chris Aikman were in the studio to save the day. Sadly they didn't really get much time to talk about films because Nick was on one of his Bee Gees binges again so both just ended dressing up in tight outfits, showing a lot of chest hair and singing in high-pitched voices.

Ok, that was a lie, but Chris was in the studio to discuss the UK box office and the best films on free-to-air-TV in the coming week.

Friday
ITV2
9pm – 11pm

ITV4
9pm – 11pm

Sunday
Film4
9pm – 11.40pm

Monday
ITV2
11pm – 1.20am

Tuesday
ITV4
11.10pm – 1.30am

Wednesday
Film4
2.35pm – 4.55pm 

Monday, 10 December 2012

St Albans Citizens Advice Bureau

Elizabeth Crampton from the Citizens Advice Bureau was our guest tonight on West Herts Drivetime, Elizabeth covered the following topics;

Price Comparison Web Sites
With another energy company raising tariffs today, it seems we have never been more in need of price comparison sites to find the best deal. The Office of Fair Trading have published a report about how to make best use of these sites, full details can be found at www.oft.gov.uk.Three reccomended comparison sites to visit are www.moneyadvice.org.uk for insurance comparisons, www.ofcom.org.uk for your phone and broadband quotes and www.consumerfocus.org.uk.

Loans
Pay day loans are an area to be wary of, a new good practice customer charter has been brought in by four main trade associations, setting out what we can expect from pay day lenders. Find the advice and fill in a survey about loans at www.adviceguide.org.uk.

Green Deal
With the temperature dropping we are finding ourselves cranking the heating up at home, unfortunately, to stay warm the energy bills inevitably suffer. In October the Government launched the Green Deal scheme, aiming at making homes more energy efficient. You can find out how a loan from the Government will make your home warmer at www.adviceguide.org.uk.


New music playlist w/c 10th December 2012 & Nick Hazell's featured track

Hi Drivetimers

Here is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Andy Burrows - Hometown
Bruno Mars - Locked Out Of Heaven
Florence + The Machine - Lover To Lover
JD McPherson - Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights)
Jeff Lynne - Mercy Mercy
Jenn Bostic - Jealous Of The Angels
Jools Holland & Rumer - Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive
Josh Osho - Imperfections
Kylie - On A Night Like This
Lady Antebellum - On This Winter's Night
Lucy May - Paper Heart
Matt Cardle - Anyone Else
Michael Bublé and Bing Crosby - White Christmas
Muse - Follow Me
Olly Murs - Troublemaker
Paloma Faith - Just Be
Pet Shop Boys - Memory Of The Future
Prince - Rock And Roll Love Affair
Rebecca Ferguson - Shoulder to Shoulder
Robbie Williams - Different
Rod Stewart - Merry Christmas, Baby (feat. Cee Lo Green)
Taylor Swift - Red
The Drizabone Soul Family - Come On Back
The Justice Collective - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
The Killers - Here With Me
The Overtones - Higher
The Rolling Stones - Doom And Gloom / One More Shot
The Script - Six Degrees Of Separation
Tracey Thorn - Joy

Items in BOLD are new additions


Nick will be in the hotseat this week as I am having a holiday.  His featured track for the week, chosen by Nick is White Christmas by Michael Bublé and Bing Crosby:

Friday, 7 December 2012

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 7th December 2012

Tonight Simon joined Danny in the studio and they decided that it was about time they swapped Christmas presents. They had been waiting eagerly to see what the other person had gotten them since last Christmas' stuffed squirrel and Cliff Richard calendar debacle. They whipped out the presents at the same time as to not give the other any head start in guessing what they were being given. Simon eyed up Danny's gift, trying to decide what the present could be. Danny shook his up and down, to see if it would make any noise that could give it away. After a few minutes of quizzical looks, they decided it was time to see what they had got each other. It turns out each one had bought Fifty Shades of Grey for the other person. They then both glanced at the floor, made their excuses and left. The Film Guide never happened.

Ok, that was a lie, but Simon was in the studio to discuss the UK box office and the best films on free-to-air-TV this week.


Friday
Fight Club
11.10pm – 2.00am
Film4


Saturday
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
9.00pm – 12.10am
Film4


30 Days of Night
11.15pm – 1.20am
Channel 4


Sunday
Local Hero
4.50pm – 7.05pm
Film4


Monday
Die Hard
9.00pm – 11.40pm
Film4


Tuesday
A Simple Plan
11.50pm – 1.45am
BBC1





Thursday, 6 December 2012

Sarah Buckingham from Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust



Sarah joined us today on Drivetime to talk about wildlife and nature matters.  Her job is to work with parks and reserves to encourage conservation in the area.  Tomorrow she will be joined by the BBC for filming of Country File at Lemsford Springs near Welwyn.  As cold as it is at the moment, the springs don't freeze over so birds can always feed on the freshwater shrimps in the ponds.

Something that has made national news is the unfortunate spread of the Ash die-back fungal disease that could be a potential dutch elm disease which attacks trees.  At the moment 200 cases have been found in the UK as it is an airborne problem.  It has not turned up on the Nature Reserve but it has been found in St Albans; more will be known in the spring

There is a Winter Wildfowl walk around Hillfield Park Reservoir as organised by Herts and Middx Wildlife Trust this Sunday the 9th which will take in a lot of the local birdlife.  This will take place between 11am-1pm.  There will be talks on migrating birds as well as explanations as to how the reservoir is managed.  Wrap up warm for this one! 

Then just after the new year on the 3rd January is a 'work party' at Hertford Heath reserve from 10.30 am, families are welcome on this day including children over 6.  You will be helping to protect the heath but be rewarded with some homemade soup which may well be needed!  Bookings can be made online on the events page, which will also list future events local to you if you input your postcode.

Please visit:
www.hertswildlifetrust.org.uk

 


Chris' Film Club: Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Today my choice of film for the film club is Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit. It is Wallace & Gromit creator, and legendary animator, Nick Park's 54th birthday today.

The film sees the inventive duo try to work out what strange creature is destroying the vegetables of the locals. It's fun, wonderfully animated and brilliantly voiced by Peter Sallis, Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter, among others.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Chris' Film Club: The Cabin in the Woods

Today my choice for the film club is the Joss Whedon-written The Cabin in the Woods. Amy Acker, one of the actresses in the film and someone you might recognise from TV shows Angel and Person of Interest, is celebrating her birthday today.

The film sees five young people go on a holiday to a mysterious cabin in the middle of nowhere and things start to go wrong quite fast (so far so Evil Dead) but don't expect this to be your average slasher movie. Whedon and director Drew Goddard have crafted a clever, bloody and down-right funny horror film that defies convention.


Faff-Free Cooking with Jackie Johnson – Home Made Chocolate Truffles


Faff-Free Cooking with Jackie Johnson – Home Made Chocolate Truffles

My motto has always been ‘never trust a skinny cook!' I do like to share recipes that I know work for me. They are not necessarily of my invention – but I will always give you the origin and maybe the story behind them! These recipes are relatively easy to make – hence the title, Faff-Free Cooking


So today's treat is …. Home Made Chocolate Truffles – lovely to give as an Xmas gift

Ingredients

200g dark chocolate – I used Bournville
200 ml double cream
40g butter
Flavourings of your choice – I used Brandy for ½ the mixture and Amaretto for the other ½.
Cocoa and ready done chopped and roasted hazelnuts to coat.
Small paper cases – ‘ Petit four’ cases are ideal and easily available.


Method

  1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces.
  2. Heat the cream and butter in a saucepan until simmering – don’t let it boil.
  3. Add the chopped chocolate to the hot cream and butter mixture and stir until it has melted and combined to give a smooth mixture.
  4. If you are using different flavouring as I did, divide the mixture between two bowls and add the Brandy/Amaretto teaspoon by teaspoon to taste.
  5. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight to let the mixture harden.
  6. To make the truffles – with a teaspoon, scoop the mixture up (average chocolate size will be good) and shape into a ball lightly between your palms. To make this easier, lightly oil your hands with some sunflower oil. Roll the truffle in either some cocoa powder for the Brandy ones or the ready done chopped and roasted hazelnuts for the Amaretto ones.
  7. Place each truffle into a paper case and keep refrigerated until you are ready to give them away or eat. They will keep for about 3 days in the fridge. 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Local Tourism feature with Charles Baker



Our local tourism correspondent came in today to tell us what's happening in the area.
It's pantomime season! Charles Baker gave us the lowdown on where to find allour local panto shows;

The SandPit Theatre, Sandringham School, The Ridgeway, St Albans is hosting PETER PAN
Thurs 6th Dec - Sun 9th Dec
Box Office = 01727 370067

The Alban Arena, Civic Centre, St Albans is hosting ALADDIN
Fri 14th Dec - Sun 6th Jan
Box Office = 01727 844488

Maltings Art Theatre, The Maltings, St Albans is hosting ALTERNATIVITY
Sat 22 Dec & Sun 23 Dec
Box Office = 01727 844222

Trestle Art Base, Russet Drive, St Albans is hosting THE NIGHTINGALE
Fri 21 Dec - Sun 23rd Dec
Box Office = 01727 850950

Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Road is hosting DICK WHITTINGTON
Starrin Cerrie Burnell (former Dr Who assistant) and Peter Purves (Blue Peter Legend)
Sat 15th - Sat 22 Dec
Box Office = 01582 767525

Abbey Theatre, Westminster Lodge, Holywell Hill, St Albans is hosting THE WITCHES
Fri 21- Sun 30th Dec
Box Office = 01727 857861

Charles also told us about other events happening in the local area such as Santa Visiting St Albans museum and a lecture from Sam Ryder. There are so many more events happening in the next couple of months, for any more information or other events go onto http://www.enjoystalbans.com.


Chris' Film Club: True Grit (2010)

Today my choice for the film club is the Coen Brother's adaptation of the Charles Portis novel True Grit. I've chosen this because it is Jeff Bridge's birthday today. Happy birthday Jeff!

The film stars Bridges as an alcoholic, one-eyed old US Marshall, who is hired by a young girl to find her father's killer. Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld and Josh Brolin also star and are all fantastic in this beautifully shot and moving Western.


The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 30th November 2012

Tonight Simon joined Danny in the studio to talk coherently and knowledgeably about films while Danny sat patiently and listened carefully before politely adding in his own opinions.

Ok, that was a lie, but Simon was in the studio to talk about the UK box office and the best films on TV for the coming week.

Saturday
Serenity
11.45pm – 1.45am
ITV1

Sunday
Scrooged
8.00pm – 10.00pm
E4

Monday
Dumb and Dumber
9.00pm – 11.15pm
5*

Tuesday
The Piano
10.50pm – 1.10am
Film 4

Wednesday
Die Hard with a Vengeance
9.00pm – 11.05pm
BBC3

Thursday
The Hills Have Eyes
10.00pm – 12.05am
E4

New Music Playlist w/c 3rd December 2012

Hi Drivetimers

Whilst the observant of you will note that the date of this post is Tuesday 4th December, I haven't actually gone to bed yet, making this still Monday as far as I'm concerned!  I've been a bit delayed with the new music playlist as I've been part of a team defending the honour of Radio Verulam at the prestigious Radio Academy Christmas Quiz.  As we only came 6th this year (we have won it for the past 2 years) I will say no more about it!  Anyway, here is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Andy Burrows - Hometown
Beth Hart - Bang Bang Boom Boom
Bruno Mars - Locked Out Of Heaven
Florence + The Machine - Lover To Lover
Jeff Lynne - Mercy Mercy
Jenn Bostic - Jealous Of The Angels
Jools Holland & Rumer - Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive
Josh Osho - Imperfections

Katie Melua - Forgetting All My Troubles
Kylie - On A Night Like This
Labrinth - Beneath Your Beautiful (feat. Emeli Sandé)
Mika - The Origin Of Love
Muse - Follow Me
Olly Murs - Troublemaker
One Direction - Little Things
Paloma Faith - Just Be
Prince - Rock And Roll Love Affair
Rebecca Ferguson - Shoulder to Shoulder

Robbie Williams - Different
Ronan Keating - Wasted Light
Steps - Light Up The World
Taylor Swift - Red
The Justice Collective - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
The Killers - Here With Me
The Overtones - Higher
The Rolling Stones - Doom And Gloom
The Script - Six Degrees Of Separation

Items in BOLD are new additions
My featured track for this week is Rock & Roll Love Affair by Prince: