Sunday, 23 October 2016

The first Drivetime Wedding - Congratulations to @CCAikman & @SMRolfe

It was a monumentous and emotional day for our show today.  One of the longest serving members of the team, the dashing and handsome (his words, not mine!) Chris Aikman (he of the Made Up News and Film Club fame) married our very own Science Correspondent, the Space Doctor herself - Sam Rolfe!

Whilst I don't usually allow staff liaisons of a romantic nature (unless I am involved!), I thought I should give this my blessing, not least because Chris and Sam have actually been together for far longer than either of them have worked on the show.

Theirs was a lovely wedding, which was a perfect fitting for two such wonderful people.  I am sure listeners would be delighted to know that the day went without hitch, even though I am still waiting to deliver my speech.

Whilst they requested that their special day not be shared on social media (in case Chris' other wives find out) they did allow me to take this one photo, to be shared here for all our listeners:

I guess the smart money is now on which of the team will be next to tie the knot?

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Friday, 21 October 2016

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 21st October 2016

Another shocking turn of events took place at Radio Verulam that resulted in Chris forcefully being taken hostage by a lady in a bridesmaid dress? Intel just in, that he is currently being held in an unidentified church, preparing to take a set of vows for tomorrow. These include apologising for things he hasn't done and making promises stronger than a friendship bond!

In light of the situation, a much more attractive and youthful replacement of Chris was able to come to the rescue. Unfortunately, she was not able to make time to save him before his life sentence to relationship prison tomorrow. However, she was able to rush to the aid of the West Herts Film Guide in order to promote Simon's concoction of well loved films! With this, the unknown saviour of this evening finally returned to her grotto, believed to be neighbouring a large, green Scotish Ogre.

Final Destination
9.00pm – 11.05pm

The Invisible Woman
9.00pm – 10.45pm

The Grand Budapest Hotel
9.00pm – 11.00pm
Channel 4

The Madness of King George
7.45pm – 10.00pm

Shaun of the Dead
9.00pm – 11.05pm

The Imitation Game
9.00pm – 11.45pm

7.15pm – 11.00pm

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Chris' Film Club: The Evil Dead II

Concluding the week of cult classics is Sam Raimi's 1987 horror sequel 'The Evil Dead II'.

Picking up from where the first film left off, the sequel introduces a comedy element, and focuses on Ash Williams attempting to escape the cabin in the woods, while facing his demonically possessed girlfriend.

Stars Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks and Kassie DePaiva.

Lindsey from the St Albans Chamber Choir @SACChoir

We joined by Lindsey from the St Albans Chamber Choir. Their next concert is the Angel Voices, which will be held Saturday 22 October at 7.30pm at the St Saviours Church. They explores the extraordinary sonorities of a choir combined with woodwind and brass instruments. Lindsey explained what a Chamber Choir is.

The concert will feature the work of three contrasting composers.The choir will be accompanied by an ensemble comprising two oboes, cor anglais, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets and three trombones, and conducted by the chamber choir’s Musical Director, John Gibbons. If you would like to join the concert, tickets £15 (£5 child/student) and Tel 07570 454744 or email
or online at to purchase tickets. And if you missed the interview you can listen to it by visiting and navigate to Thursday from 5.30pm.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Drivetime Sessions with @Pipsmusicuk

Live on the show for a second time, Pip performed two of her new folk pop tracks 'Sway with the breeze' and 'Fall like the rain'. Pip also treated us to a beautiful cover of 'Pompeii' by indie rock band Bastille, who are lead by their very own Dan Smith. 

For updates and more information about Pip head to

If you missed this week's session, or just wanted to listen it to again, you can find it by visiting and navigating to 5:30 on Wednesday.

Chris' Film Club: Scanners

Continuing on the topic of cult films, today's selection by Chris is 'Scanners'.

Directed by David Cronenberg, the fscifi/ horror film is about the war between a peaceful group of psychics, and those attempting to make a new race that will control the world.

Michael Ironside, Stephen Lack, Jennifer O’Neilland and Patrick McGoohan star.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Chris' Film Club: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Next on our week of cult films is 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'.

The 1975 comedy horror musical stars Tim Curry as Frank N. Furter, a mad scientist who takes in a young married couple, played by Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon.

Campy and weird, it’s developed a massive cult following, and made stars of Sarandon and Curry.

Bake It Easy with Lucy Clark @heavensacupcake

Today Lucy told us how to make chocolate chip cookies.
-150g butter
-80g light brown sugar
-80g granulated sugar
-2tsp vanilla extract
-1 egg
- 225g plain flour
-1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
-pinch of salt
-100g white choc chips

1. Preheat the oven to 190C, or if you're using a fan oven, preheat it to 170C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together and beat until it's light and fluffy.
3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix together further until they are completely incorporated.
4.  Then add the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda using a sieve, to make sure there are no lumps.  Then mix everything together using a wooden spoon.  Don't use a stand alone mixer because otherwise this can lead to overmixing.
5. Then add chocolate chips and the cranberries.  Stir further.
6. Use a teaspoon to make small well spaced mounds on the baking tray.  However, if you want to make a giant cookie, you should make one large mound.
7.  Put the tray in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until light brown.  They should be a little soft in the middle.
8. Let them cool on a wire rack for a few minutes.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Chris' Film Club: The Warriors

This week on the Film Club Chris wants to look at cult classics, starting with 'The Warriors'.

In the film, The Warriors, a small gang from Coney Island, NYC, are accused of the murdering one of the cities most most powerful gangsters. They have to make their way home across the city to safety, while every other gang is hunting them down.

Released in 1979, it stars Michael Beck, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, James Remar and David Patrick Kelly.

Tony Bradburn from St Albans Musical Theatre Company tells us all about Sister Act @StAlbansMusical

Tony Bradburn from St Albans Musical Theatre company was our guest tonight telling us about their upcoming production of Sister Act at the Alban Arena.

For more details about the Theatre company go the web site

Friday, 14 October 2016

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 14th October 2016

This week, in a shocking turn of events that could only happen on soap operas and hurriedly written community radio blog posts, Simon was replaced in the studio by his evil twin, Stephen. The two were separated at birth when an evil doctor at the hospital sold Stephen to a travelling circus in exchange for a magic lute. Stephen spent much of his life plotting revenge at his twin brother who hadn't stopped the doctor (probably because he was a baby at the time).

So before the show Stephen kidnapped Simon, tied him up in a room next to a radio tuned to Radio Verulam, and enacted his evil plan: he would do the Film Guide instead of Simon, but he would do it better. Hell, he even remembered some actors names and didn't start describing completely wrong films. We've invited him back again next week.

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

Django Unchained
10.00pm – 1.05am
Channel 5

The Full Monty
9.00pm – 11.00pm
Movie Mix

Fantastic Mr Fox
4.50pm – 6.35pm

Rob Roy
9.00pm – 11.50pm
Movie Mix

Midnight Express
11.00pm – 1.30pm
Movie Mix

11.00pm – 12.45am

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
8.30pm – 10.45pm

Penelope Pritchett, perfect housewife & agony aunt - 14th October 2016 @PerfectPritchet

Originally broadcast on 14th October 2016.

If you have a problem that you would like Penelope to address, email or tweet @PerfectPritchet

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Sailing across Australia and China on a yacht race with @ShonaLDavies

Danny Smith was joined today by Shona Davies who will be sailing across Australia and China. Shona who is from London Colney has signed up to the Crew for the 2017-18 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and through this she will be travelling in the world's most dangerous seas on Earth. After her breakdown, she started to support MIND. She's chose MIND as her charity because she believes that it would help others with their mental health issues like they did to her.  The dates of Shona's sailing has not been confirmed yet, however she is expected to sail in November 2017. Shona will be holding different fundraising events such as auctions and pub quizzes. If you would like to donate through the website which is

And if you missed the interview you can listen to it by visiting and navigate to Thursday from 5.30pm.

The Drivetime Sessions with @StarseedzMusic

On this week's Drivetime Sessions we were delighted to welcome the wonderful Starseedz back onto the show.  Jon & Catrine chatted with Danny about how they write songs, the origin of their name, their musical family and their upcoming gigs.  They also performed the original tracks "Miss You" and "Made That Way", along with their cover version of "Femme Fatale" by Lour Reed.

Starseedz have a YouTube channel and a website

The session is available for the next week at by navigating to Wednesday from 5.30pm.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The Future for our Hospital? Sept Health Matters

1. Reconfiguration of our Hospitals

Complete review of the way in which we access our health services:
  • Closer to Home;
  • Joined up approach;
  • Access to Hospital when needed

Three Options for our hospitals:
  • Centralise in new build;
  • Centralise in Watford, or
  • Combination of Watford and St Albans.

Evaluation based on three criteria
  • Clinical Approach
  • Access and Patient Experience
  • Affordability

Recommendation is to refurbish/new build at Watford AND refurbish/expand St Albans.

Not an ideal solution (centrally located new build was generally preferred) but realistic!

2. Hubs

Hospital solution impacts Health & Well being Hubs; Larger Hubs at main centres (Watford, St Albans, Hemel) and smaller hubs at other centres (Harpenden, Berkhamsted, etc). Improved access to diagnostics

Harpenden Hub is progressing well and should be open by mid 2019; there has been less progress on a St Albans Hub although there could actually be 2! A City Centre and a Hospital-based facility.

3. Flu

Not much time left now to get your flu jab; understand who’s eligible
  • 65 years of age or over (born before March 31 1952   
  • pregnant (at any stage of the pregnancy)
  • have certain medical conditions  (eg Diabetes, heart problems parkinsons etc)
  • very overweight
  • living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility 
  • receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill 

NB If in doubt, talk to your doctor

Friday, 7 October 2016

Penelope Pritchett, perfect housewife & agony aunt - 7th October 2016 @PerfectPritchet

Originally broadcast on 7th October 2016.

If you have a problem that you would like Penelope to address, email or tweet @PerfectPritchet

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 7th October 2016

The charming and charismatic wooer of women, Chris Aikman, was off ill today, so listened to the show from the safety and warmth of his boudoir at home. When 6.30pm rolled around Chris expected to hear the comforting sounds of Simon not having prepared properly and not being too fussed about it, while Danny tried to keep the sinking ship afloat yet again. But alas, when the time came, all that could be heard was weeping. This went on for quite some time, so Chris rolled himself out of bed and headed to the studio to find out what was wrong.

When he arrived he found a stricken-looking Simon, who was taking crying uncontrollably on Danny's shoulder. Chris gave Danny his 'What's wrong?' and Danny replied, 'I've got a steak defrosting.' In Danny's defence, Chris' 'What's for dinner?' and 'What's wrong?' looks are remarkably similar.

Once that confusion was out of the way it was established that Simon had just discovered that the Moomins were fictional creatures. He had been saving up for the better part of a decade so he could go on a Moomin safari in Moomin Valley. He did eventually cheer up a little though, and after wiping his nose on Danny's sleeve, said, 'well, at least I'll have more money for when they eventually start space missions to visit the Clangers.'

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

9.00pm – 11.20pm

10.35pm – 12.20am

Robin Hood
4.35pm – 6.15pm
Channel 5

A Most Wanted Man
9.00pm – 11.25pm

10.00pm – 12.15am

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
10.00pm – 12.50am

9.00pm – 11.30pm
Movie Mix

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Chris' Film Club: 3:10 to Yuma

Our last entry to the 'Western' Film Club is '3:10 to Yuma', a 2007 remake of the 1957 film of the same name,

Outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) terrorizes 1800s Arizona, but when he is finally captured he must be brought to trial by Dan Evans (Christian Bale), the owner of a drought-stricken ranch. Along the trail, a grudging respect forms between the men, but danger looms at every turn, and the criminal's men are in pursuit.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Chris' Film Club: Westworld

Next on Chris' Cowboy themed Film Club is 'Westworld'

The 1973 Sci-fi Western, written and directed by Michael Crichton is set in a futuristic theme park where customers ‘experience’ different times in history, with the aid of robot actors. But the robots start to malfunction and turn against their human masters.

Stars Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin.

The Drivetime Sessions with Tim Brooks

Making his first appearance on The Drivetime Sessions today was Tim Brooks. Tim performed two incredible original compositions titled 'The Ballad of Tim Peak' and 'Suddenly' as well as a mesmerizing cover of Bob Dylan's 'Don't Think Twice it's Alright'.

For information about Tim Brooks you can visit his Facebook page here, his Twitter page here or his Instagram here. If you want to listen to more Tim Brooks you can visit his Soundcloud page here.

If you missed it, you can listen to this weeks Drivetime Session again by visiting and navigating to 5:30 on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Chris' Film Club: The Quick and the Dead

Our second Western Film this week is Sam Raimi's 'The Quick and the Dead'.

A mysterious woman gunslinger, Ellen (Sharon Stone), saunters into the town of Redemption looking for revenge on the man who killed her father, the town Mayor Herod (Gene Hackman). Herod is in the midst of organizing a quick-draw tournament. The lady enters, joining a cast of miscreants and outlaws for a brutal competition in which the loser dies. Among the competitors is "The Kid" (Leonardo DiCaprio), an upstart who has his own score to settle.

Local literary feature with Sue Hampton @sueauthor

Today Danny and Marie talked to local author Sue Hampton, about her latest work, a collection of short stories called "Ravelled".  These stories are very varied in genre, from a fable about a woman with alopecia on an island far away, to a story called "Away for Christmas" about an eccentric but lonely old woman.
The title of this collection- "Ravelled" comes from a line of a poem by poet Phillip Larkin.  This is a poem which inspires a character in one of the stories.  This particular story is a semi-autobiographical story about a girl who falls in love with her English teacher,

Sue has had alopecia for many years and also wore wigs for many years, however when she wrote a story about someone with alopecia as a form of therapy she realised that she wanted to be more like the character, and embraced her hair loss and stopped wearing wigs. After reading this story, acclaimed author Michael Morpurgo phoned her up and told her it was beautifully written.  As well as being an author, Sue is also an ambassador for Alopecia UK.

23 out of Sue's 27 books are for children. Sue said that when writing for children she tended to steer away from darkness and sadness and towards a happy ending.  Sue's children's books tie up loose ends and don't end things in a dark place.   Next Sue will be writing more short stories for adults and a children's story, which will probably be released next year.

Sue's website:
Twitter: @sueauthor
Alopecia UK support group website:

Monday, 3 October 2016

Chris' Film Club: The Magnificent Seven

This week our Film Club focus is 'Westerns', starting off with the classic 'The Magnificent Seven'

This 1960 Western remake of 'Seven Samurai' stars Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn and Horst Buchholz as a 7 gunslingers, hired to protect a Mexican village from a group of bandits.