Thursday, 28 March 2013

Today's phone guest: The Illegal Eagles' Phil Aldridge

Today's guest was Phil Aldridge from Eagles tribute band 'The Illegal Eagles'

They are appearing next month in the Alban Arena for the first time in over 3 years - this is the band's 17th season, and they will rack up 60 shows this year taking in destinations as diverse as Slovenia and Bahrain.  The current tour, a play on the Eagles' Live album 'Hell Freezes Over' is called 'Heaven Heats Up'.

All the band members have day jobs in the industry as well as the tribute band - Phil owns a Recording Studio, guitarist Keith works often with singer Bonnie Tyler and has written music for films such as Ricky Gervais' 'Cemetery Junction'.

For this tour the band has a partially different line-up from the one that last played in St Albans, with a new singer.  There are 30 dates until June when festival season arrives.

There is a pair of tickets for the gig on the 19th April at the Alban Arena - simply answer the following question:
Who is the drummer of the Eagles, is it Don Johnson or Don Henley?

To enter, click here

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Wild Life feature Sarah Buckingham

Our local wild life correspondent Sarah Buckingham fluttered back into the studio after a long break. For those who haven't heard or read our previous wild life features, Sarah is the Communications Officer for the Herts Middlesex Wild Life Trust. The trust is a local charity which maintains and protects natural environment in Hertfordshire and Middlesex from planning and intensive farming.

  With Easter coming up, Sarah got us started by talking to us about the local Pasque wildflower also know as the Easter flower. The Largest colonies of the Pasque flower in the uk can be found near Royston on Fairfield Heath. So when the weather gets better and flowers finally can comes up why not see the swarms of the purple flower in all it's beauty.

There are also other walks and events coming up this spring. In April there are a number of Bluebell and Spring Walks through a number of areas including digswell and stevenage. For more information on events follow the links to the Hertfordshire Wildlife  Trust website below.

So what else can you do in your garden to help local wildlife? On April 15th - 21st  The Royal Horticultural Society is promoting National Gardening Week by inspiring people to grow your own mini meadows! All you need to do is leave a small patch in your garden to grow wild and see what comes up or finds refuge. This is easier if the ground hasn't been treated with chemicals. You can also give your mini meadow a kick start by signing up on the following link for wild seed mixes.

All members in the HWLT office are taking on a number of challenges including a half marathon and 87 mile walk in which to raise money for the herts wildlife trust! To join in or sponsor the trust go to the  Donations are vital to funding the organisation which preserves 2000 acres and well over 40 reserves. 

For more information  you can go to Herts Wild Life Trust website: where you can also subscribe to their lovely glossy quarterly magazine called Wild Life Matters. 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Chris' Film Club: The Rock

Ÿ Today in 1963 the mighty Alcatraz closed as a prison.Ÿ  It is where The Rock is set, in which terrorist take over the island and have warheads armed with poisonous gas targeted at San Francisco. US Marines have to break into the island and stop them, with the help of Nicholas Cage's scientist and Sean Connery's former British secret service operative.

Ÿ  It stars Cage, Connery and Ed Harris in what is one of Michael Bay’s more entertaining and thrilling films.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Chris' Film Club: Tombstone

Today would be the 165th birthday of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp he was born in 1848 and is well known for his involvement in the Gunfight at the OK Corral. He has been immortalised in films many times but I’ve picked his portrayal by Kurt Russell in Tombstone.
In the film the Earp brothers (Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan played by Russell, Sam Eliott and Bill Paxton) team up with Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) to take down the Clanton gang.

It is an action packed film with great performances from Russell and Kilmer, who reminds us that once upon a time, he was a talented actor in good films. Those were the days.

Interview with Crime Writer Leigh Russell

Bestselling crime writer Leigh Russell came into the studio and chatted to Danny about her inspiration for her series of crime novels.

She also told us about her forthcoming trip to St Albans Library and how important it is to still make use and support our local libraries. On the 21st of March at 7:15pm Leigh and fellow crime writers Howard Linskey and Peter Murphy will be talking about Crime Fiction and answering questions. If you want to find out more about Leigh and her novels follow the link to:

If you weren't lucky enough to catch the interview then you can always listen again by clicking here:

Monday, 18 March 2013

Chris' Film Club: The Descendants

Today in 1959 President Eisenhower signed the bill that allowed Hawaii to become a state so I've picked a film that is set on the islands and features them in all their beauty. That film is The Descendants, starring George Clooney, about a lawyer whose wife is in a coma following an accident. He struggles to connect with his daughters and prepare them, and himself, for the worst.

A funny, but also moving, film with a great performance from Clooney. It is based on a book of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings and it also stars Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Judy Greer and Matthew Lillard.


Lifestyle with Lisa Pearson - weight loss

No Diets Or Bootcamps

I’m so infuriated with the rubbish, fads, fear mongering and lack of information in the media at the moment, that I’ve decided to write a full book on how to get Healthy, Fit and Slim.

You don’t need Diets

You don’t need Fads

You don’t need Boring, Harsh Exercise

You don’t have to aim to look like a Celebrity

All you need is a bit of Knowledge and your Heart and Mind Set on your goal

I know what it’s like to struggle with your weight, before even having 2 kids and turning 40.
So if I can get healthy, fit and slim (they are different things!), then so can you, and I’m going to help you do it.

1) Healthy comes first:
Because without that what’s the point?  You can still get ill, or die before your time.  So the healthier you are the more likely you are to see your grandchildren running around?
2) Fit comes next:
Because there’s no point in looking fabulous without being able to run around with your grand children?
3) Slim comes last:
Because by then you are probably already on the road to becoming slim, it’s a matter of feeling comfortable in your clothes and yourself

Check out the blog posts that give you a taste of what will be in the book:
full details can be found atthe web site 

New Music Playlist w/c 18th March 2013 & this week's featured track by Leddra Chapman

Hi Drivetimers

Here is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Andy Burrows - If I Had A Heart
Arlissa - Sticks and Stones
Beth Nielsen Chapman - There Is No Darkness
Bon Jovi - Because We Can
Boxes - Don’t Look Down
Bruno Mars - When I Was Your Man
Caro Emerald - Tangled Up
Carrie Underwood - Before He Cheats
David Bowie – The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
Deacon Blue - Turn
Depeche Mode - Heaven
Eric Clapton - Gotta Get Over ft Chaka Khan
HAIM - Falling
Hayden Panettiere - Telescope
Jack Savoretti - Not Worthy
Justin Timberlake - Mirrors
Leddra Chapman - All About You
Little Big Town - Leavin In Your Eyes
Madness - How Can I Tell You
Maroon 5 - Daylight
Michael BublĂ© - It’s A Beautiful Day
Mick Hucknall - Turn Back The Hands Of Time
Olly Murs - Army Of Two
P!nk Feat. Nate Ruess - Just Give Me A Reason
Robbie Williams - Be A Boy
Simple Minds - Broken Glass Park
Taylor Swift - State Of Grace
Tim McGraw - Nashville Without You

Items in BOLD are new additions.

This week's featured track is All About You by Leddra Chapman:

Friday, 15 March 2013

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 15th March 2013

Today is Red Nose Day so Simon came into the studio sporting a huge red nose. Danny and I chuckled at the sight of it. 'Oh, it's just Simon being his usual flamboyant, outlandish self' we thought. Turns out it's down to years of rampant alcoholism.

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

Oil City Confidential
11.35am – 1.25am

Mars Attacks!
9.00pm – 11.10pm

9.00pm – 11.00pm
Channel 4

9.00pm – 11.25pm

The Year of Living Dangerously
12.15am – 2.05am

9.00pm – 11.45pm

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Today's guest was Vanessa Gregory from Look! St Albans

Vanessa was our guest today from Look! St Albans.  The community initiative started a year ago, a concept within town and county planning with a simple remit - to ask local people what they want to see in 20-30 years time in the town centre's design.  Meetings held last year asked the public to input their ideas - with many responses from people that had looked at other cities worldwide who could then see their suggestions implemented on the website.

There will be a meeting next Wednesday 20th at Dagnall Street Baptist Church in Upper Dagnall Street from 7.00-9 for the public to contribute even more.

DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) money helped communities in planning, the civic society she wanted to get together a community of local people formed of different groups.  Wanted to be pro-active on planning rather than 'reactive', using the opinions of those who live in and love the city.  This is a very groundbreaking and pioneering scheme that hopefully will be picked up by future councils.  Vanessa would love to see as many people with their creative ideas attend the meeting next week, so if you would like to see your planning ideas maybe come to fruition, please attend!

Please see Look! St Albans' website on:

Chris' Film Club: Zulu

Today we can say a very happy birthday to the legendary Maurice Micklewhite aka. Michael Caine! He is 80 years old today so I have picked his break out film Zulu for todays film club.

ŸHe plays real life solider Lt. Gonville Bromhead (brilliant name) in this film about the Battle of Rorke’s Drift in which 150 British soldiers successfully held off 4000 Zulu warriors in 1879. It is a classic of British cinema and features some glorious and epic battle scenes.

ŸThe film also stars Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, James Booth and Ulla Jacobssen.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Chris' Film Club: Mystery Men

Today we say a big happy birthday to actor William H. Macy. He is an incredibly versatile actor with a very diverse filmography so the film I have picked today is the silly and amusing Mystery Men. It is about a band of terrible superheroes with awful powers that find themselves having to save the day. The gang includes The Shoveler (Macy), Mr Furious (Ben Stiller), The Blue Raja (Hank Azaria), Invisible Boy (Kel Mitchell), The Bowler (Janeane Garofalo) and The Spleen (Paul Reubens).

Jamcrafts Exhibition at Trestle

Today's guests were artist Jessica Geen and Trestle's Gallery Programmer Elaine Johnson, who visited us to discuss Jessica's first exhibition at the Trestle Arts Base and Theatre Company in St Albans.

Jessica's exhibition, 'Jamcrafts' opens tomorrow (Thursday 14th March) and runs until Monday 13th May. The show features textile art as varied as mixed media canvases, cushions and jewellery. There is a private view tomorrow evening from 7-9pm, which will give you the chance to view Jessica's work with the artist herself present to talk to.

If you want further details about what Trestle has to offer click here

or to look at more of Jessica's work click here

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Andy Jarosz's near death experience and Travel Feature

Andy was lucky enough to take a trip from New York To L.A , between destinations he visited various islands such as, Palau and the Marshall Islands. He told us how beautiful the destinations are because they are almost untouched by tourism. Micronesia is a great place to travel if you enjoy experiencing  local food and a different culture. 

A trip to Scotland resulted in a near death experience for Andy. He went snorkeling in five degree waters, but on the way to the island the propeller plane he was in got struck by lightening! However all was fine and the return flight was problem free. He would recommend snorkeling even at this time of year as the wet suits provided are thermal so you're hardly affected by the cold. 

 Easter holidays are coming up, we were told that prices don't go up as much as they do in summer so it is a great time to get away. A lot of destinations in Europe wont be warm enough to go in the sea however the weather will be perfect for exploring or a city break somewhere such as Malaga. 
If you don't want to leave the country Andy also recommended heading down to Portsmouth for a UK break. 

For any more information on where to visit go to: 

Chris' Film Club: The Dark Knight

Today is actor Aaron Eckhart’s 45th birthday.  He is ‘Two-Face’ in Christopher Nolan’s 2nd Batman film, starring opposite Christian Bale as the caped crusader and Heath Ledger as The Joker (a posthumous Oscar winning performance).

Nolan’s Batman films have possibly forever changed the way we make superhero films.  He is also the producer of the upcoming Superman film Man of Steel.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Citizen Advice Bureau with Elizabeth Crampton

Elizabeth Crampton joined us from The Citizens Advice Bureau to give us more consumer advice.

Elizabeth previously spoke about avoiding buying gift cards this is still relevant advice as more and more stores are going bust. The clothes store Republic has gone into administration. If you have a Republic gift card you can use it in stores while they are still trading. The administrators are within their rights to decide not to accept gift cards, so spending now will avoid them becoming worthless.

If you can’t use the gift cards at a later date, you can write to the administrators to ask for your money back, with proof that you have a gift card. There’s no guarantee you’ll get the full value back and it may take some time for them to get back to you.

Elizabeth also told us about the Employment and Support Allowance, (ESA) which is a benefit paid by the DWP to people who can't work because of sickness or disability. To get ESA, you usually have to prove you can't work by undertaking some tests, known as the work capability assessment. If you don't agree with a decision on your capability for work, you can:
  • try to get more information about why your case was turned down. There may be a good reason for refusing your claim 
  • ask for the decision to be looked at again. This may lead to the decision being changed 
  • appeal against the decision, either straight away or after the decision has been looked at again. 
If you want to appeal or ask for the decision to be looked at again, you must act quickly. You will need to do this within one month of the decision on your capability for work being taken.

And finally, Elizabeth gave advice about savings accounts, if you have a large sum of money in one account the best thing to do is to spread it over different accounts to gain full compensation that's if the bank goes bust.
For more advice on any of these subjects or consumer advice follow the link onto:

Chris' Film Club: Romeo + Juliet

Today is the day that Romeo and Juliet got married so in honour of this literary landmark I've picked Baz Luhrmann's 1996 modern-day telling of the classic tale. It stars Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes as the star-crossed lovers and it brought Shakespeare's classic tale to the MTV generation with it's fast cuts, action and stylish choreography. If there is one thing the youth appreciate, it's choreography.

New Music Playlist w/c 11th March 2013 & this week's featured track by Caro Emerald

Hi Drivetimers

Here is our new music playlist for the forthcoming week:

Andy Burrows - If I Had A Heart
Arlissa - Sticks and Stones
Bastille - Pompeii
Beth Nielsen Chapman - There Is No Darkness
Bon Jovi - Because We Can
Bruno Mars - When I Was Your Man
Caro Emerald - Tangled Up
Carrie Underwood - Before He Cheats
David Bowie - The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
Deacon Blue - Turn
Depeche Mode - Heaven
Hayden Panettiere - Telescope
Jack Savoretti - Not Worthy
Josh Groban - Brave
Justin Timberlake - Mirrors
Little Big Town - Leavin In Your Eyes
Maroon 5 - Daylight
Michael BublĂ© - It’s A Beautiful Day
Mick Hucknall - Turn Back The Hands Of Time
Mumford & Sons - Whispers In The Dark
Olly Murs - Army Of Two
P!nk Feat. Nate Ruess - Just Give Me A Reason
Paloma Faith - Black & Blue
Robbie Williams - Be A Boy
Simple Minds - Broken Glass Park
Steve Mason - Oh My Lord
Taylor Swift - State Of Grace
Tim McGraw - Nashville Without You

Items in BOLD are new additions

This week's featured track is Tangled Up by Caro Emerald:

Friday, 8 March 2013

The Radio Verulam Film Guide - 8th March 2013

Tonight Simon surprised both Danny and myself by turning up to the studio dressed in a tight fitting black top, leather trousers, a long dark wig and he had painted his face white and black. When asked what he was doing and why he was dressed like that, he answered simply that he "was no longer Simon, you can call me........ THE CROW!"

When pressed further as to the sudden change in his attitude, demeanor and dress-sense it soon became clear that when rearranging his DVD collection, Sim- I'm sorry, THE CROW, slipped and hit his head on the 1994 Brandon Lee classic, causing what doctors and medical professionals refer to as Crow-Induced Temporary Psychosis. Apparently it will pass with bed rest and a marathon DVD session of The Golden Girls.

Ok, that was a lie (Simon got over his leather trouser obsession last year), but Simon was in the studio to talk all about the UK box office and his pick of films on TV in the coming week.

State and Main
12.00am – 2.10am

Made in Dagenham
9.00pm – 10.50pm

9.00pm – 11.05pm
Channel 4

The Client
11.25pm – 1.45am

9.00pm – 11.10pm

There Will Be Blood
11.20pm – 1.50am

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Chris' Film Club: The Mummy

Today we say happy birthday to the beautiful and talented Rachel Weisz! She's an Oscar-winning actress (for The Constant Gardener) but she first came to our attention in The Mummy, opposite Brendan Fraser. She plays shy librarian Evelyn, who teams up with Fraser' Rick to stop the mummy Imhotep (played by Arnold Vosloo).

It's good old fashioned fun, with a couple of scares, and Weisz and Fraser make a charismatic pairing. You can see the trailer below.

Today's guest was Mary Baines from Veralum U3A

New University in St Albans

These are exciting times for people in St Albans who value the courses available through the University of the Third Age (U3A).

Next Tuesday marks the inaugural meeting of the brand new Verulam U3A which will be offering as many as fifty courses to those with an enquiring mind and time to spare.

The Third Age Trust has been in existence for thirty years from its origins in France and such is the popularity of the way it works that Verulam U3A will be the 30th branch to be formed in Hertfordshire.

The courses are all based on the self-help principle and are open to usually older people who are no longer in full-time employment but are willing to help each other by sharing their knowledge, skills, interests and experience.  If sufficient interest is raised in a particular skill, a group will be subsequently set up.  As trends change and people live a healthier and longer life, retirees are not content so idle away their time and want to engage in activities that make the most of their well earned time off.

No qualifications are needed to start off and at the same time the University does not offer these.  Group sizes vary according to the subject and venue. Some are in Community Halls, a few are school based, many are in members homes and others, such as theatre, walking and bus groups, just make use of the big wide world. The costs are minimal and shared within each group

More than 400 people have registered an interest in the Verulam U3A but there is room for as many who wish to join what promises to be a vibrant organisation. The courses are already too many in number to list but vary from Gardening to German, Walking to Wine-tasting, Mahjong to ‘Macs’, Football to Family History and Philosophy to Photography.  One particular group represents a new trend called 'walking football', similar to the usual game but with running totally banned - sounds a real challenge!

The inaugural meeting takes place in the welcoming St Pauls Church in Hatfield Road at 10.00am on Tuesday 12th March. Refreshments will be served between the inaugural meeting and the opportunity to sign up for groups.  If anyone is unable to attend they can email

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Chris' Film Club: True Lies

Today we celebrate (OK, not celebrate.....acknowledge) actor and comedian Tom Arnold's 54th birthday. He was in True Lies alongside the legend that is Arnie. It is a film about a secret agent who is trying to save the world and save his marriage. It’s an Arnie film, what more do you want?

It also stars Jamie Leigh Curtis, Grant Heslov (recent Oscar-winning producer of Argo), Bill Paxton, Art Malik, Eliza Dushku and Charlton Heston.

Faff-Free Cook Cooking with Jackie Johnson – Extremely Peanutty Cookies

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 ….... Extremely Peanutty Cookies

Oh boy! These are sooo good.....


80g butter or margarine
30g peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)                                  
100g caster sugar
75g soft brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
150g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
100g chopped salted peanuts
Grated zest of ½ orange


  1. Gently melt the butter or margarine and peanut butter in a small pan.

  2. Put both sugars in a mixing bowl and pour in the melted butters and beat well with a wooden spoon.

  3. Beat in the egg and orange zest.

  4. Sift the flour and the baking powder into the bowl and stir in.
  1. Add the chopped peanuts. The mixture will be quite stiff.

  2. Dot heaped dessert-spoonfuls of the mixture on to 2 baking sheets covered with baking parchment leaving a good 4cm between them as they spread out.

  3. Bake on a pre heated oven at 190C/Gas 5 for 10 mins until they are golden brown.

  4. Remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheets for a couple of mins to firm
    up and then cool on a wire rack.


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Upcoming events with Jenny Swatton

Easter is coming up and Jenny let us know what is going on in the local area. 

Firstly, the very first St Albans Film Festival is coming up this weekend 8-10th March. There is a wide range of talks, workshops and film showings. Filmmakers both local and from across the globe will showcase their talent and receive recognition in the form of festival selection and the opportunity to win awards. Film- lovers will have a chance to see some unique and fantastic films and to celebrate the superb film-making history of St Albans. For Ticket prices and any more information go to :

St Albans MusicCity is back! From Saturday 16th March - Sunday 24th March it celebrates all types of music and you can get involved with workshops and open mic sessions also look out for the MusicCity Magic Bus, which will be touring the district  hosting acoustic music and MusicCity information.

St Albans District In Bloom competition is calling on enthusiastic green-fingered gardeners, schools, community groups, parishes and businesses to enter. Prizes and certificates will be given in September. For more info head to:

There are many more events happening in and around the local area such as the Abbey by Night Tour but for more information on them please go to:

Chris' Film Club: Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Today we can say a very happy birthday to Eva Mendes, who celebrates her 39th birthday.

She appears in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, a sequel to Robert Rodriguez's Desperado about a mysterious gunslinger ‘El Mariachi’ (Antonio Banderas) who is hired by an American (Johnny Depp) to kill a Mexican general who is trying to topple the government.

It's a little uneven as a film but Depp steals the show as one part of a great cast that includes Banderas, Mendes, Willem Defoe, Danny Trejo and Mickey Rourke.