Friday, 31 March 2017

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 31st March 2017

No funny anecdotes from Chris this week, who has shirked his Drivetime commitments in favour of travelling to an undisclosed location and starting his own Dictatorial Regime, however we do expect the return of 'Glorious Leader Aikman' in the future.  

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.

The Adjustment Bureau
11.25pm – 1.30am

Carry on Cleo
2.45pm – 4.35pm

9.00pm – 11.15pm

True Grit
3.55pm – 6.30pm

Frozen Ground
10.55pm – 1.00am

Slumdog Millionaire
9.00pm – 11.25pm

Pale Rider
9.00pm – 11.25pm

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Chris' Film Club: The Killer

Chris' last action film choice for this week is 'The Killer'.

This 1989 John Woo classic stars Chow Yun-fat as an assassin who accidentally blinds a singer during a hit. He makes a promise to work on restoring her sight, taking one last job while avoiding police custody.

Historian David Tavener joins us to talk about Billy Minter, the record breaking @stalbanscityfc goal-scorer

Today we were joined by David Tavener, the St Albans City FC historian, to talk about his fundraising efforts honouring the club's record breaking goal-scorer, Wilfred (Billy) Minter.

Billy first played for the club in the 1921 Athenian League and went on to score for the club 300 times. Tavener and fellow historian Peter Taylor have set up a fundraising page to raise money for a  gravestone costing £2,700.

To donate to the campaign click here.

Missed the show? Catch up online at and navigate to Thursday at 5:30pm.

Coming up next week on the Drivetime show: @BeingMrsC, @TheAngelaClarke , @Li_LiLiadain, @cchssupport

On next week's Drivetime show we will be joined by our local thrifty correspondent on Monday. On Tuesday we will be joined by our Local Lit Feature with Marie Kemplay. The Drivetime Sessions on Wednesday will feature Li-Li. On Thursday we will be joined by Amanda Carnell from the CCHS and she will be talking about her charity walk.

Hope you can join us weekdays from 4pm - 7pm on 92.6FM Radio Verulam - THE radio station for St Albans. 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Drivetime Sessions w/ The Papersnakes @ThePapersnakes

Our guests on this week's edition of the Drivetime sessions were local band and regular guests; The Papersnakes. As always we asked the Papersnakes to perform two original songs and one cover. The two original songs which they performed were "Glimmer of Hope", and "Beast in the East" and their cover was of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky".

We broadcast this performance on Facebook Live, and you can watch it back at

If you'd like to listen back, you can visit, and then navigate to 5:30 on Wednesday.

Listen to more of the Papersnakes on their Soundcloud:

And for updates visit @ThePapersnakes on Twitter

Chris' Film Club: The Long Kiss Goodnight

Today on the Film Club, Chris looks at 'The Long Kiss Goodnight'.

Directed by Renny Harlin, the 1996 action film was written by Shane Black, and stars Geena Davis as a schoolteacher who suffers a concussion in a car accident, wakes up, and discovers she may be a secret agent.

Also stars Samuel L. Jackson.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Chris' Film Club: White House Down

Next on our week of 'Action Films' is 'White House Down', released in 2013.

Directed by Roland Emmerich, when a group of terrorists take over the White House and kidnap the President (Jamie Foxx), only Channing Tatum can save the day.

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Joey King and James Woods also star.

Interior Design Feature with Gwendoline Alderton @ga_interiors

Today we talked to our interior design correspondent Gwendoline Alderton about how to organise your home.  There are ways to organise a cluttered home according to which 'clutter personality' you are, and knowing which personality you are will help you to keep your home tidy.                                                                                                                                                               

One personality is the 'just in case' personality, where people keep things lying around in case they need them.  Usually people with this personality will have tubs and boxes of things with useless objects in them, such as elastic bands and paperclips.  To help you get organised you could organise individual boxes for individual things, such as a specific box for paperclips and another one for elastic bands.

Another personality is the 'this item might still be worth money' personality, who keeps items because they still might have financial value.  If you think this personality is you, you could check how much your items are worth in reality so you can decide whether to keep them or not. 

There is also the 'sentimental' personality type, which is where people keep things such as ticket stubs and receipts because they have some perceived sentimental value or because they remind the person of memories.  One way to organise if you have this personality is to keep all these things in a special box, so they don't slowly take over your house.  

Related to this personality is the 'collector' personality, where people have a collection which they keep adding to, thus creating clutter.  A way to curb this personality is to display the collection openly, to keep them out of dusty boxes in the attic.  

The final personality is the 'liking things which are new' personality.  These people are bad at getting rid of things but always buy new things, and therefore run out of space.  A good way to combat this is to have a 'one in one out' policy, where you get rid of something every time you buy something new.  

For more information, Gwendoline's details are below:
website: @ga-interiorsinstagram: @gainteriorsfacebook: gainteriors

Monday, 27 March 2017

Pluto a planet? Mercury and Jupiter prime viewing and SotM Katherine Johnson with newly 'bald' @smrolfe

Science Correspondent Sam Rolfe joined us in the studio today just a few days after having shaved her hair off for two great charities, Little Princess Trust who will get her hair to make into a wig for children who have lost theirs due to illness and Macmillan Cancer Support. If you are able and would like to donate, please follow the link(s):  (Little Princess Trust) (Macmillan)

Science Feature 27-03-2017

What is a planet anyway?

Is Pluto a planet? A vote by just 424 astronomers on the final day of International Astronomical Union (IAU) Meeting in August 2006. This is only about 5 % of the total astronomers around the world. The controversial decision meant that Pluto was removed from its standing as a planet and was “demoted” to dwarf planet status. 

Only 6 months before the vote had the New Horizons space craft been launched on its journey to the space rock, arriving in 2015. The dwarf planet status and other non-planets seem to make these bodies appear less important to the public for scientific research. The New Horizons team have had enough of being asked why are they going to Pluto if it’s not a planet.

Several proposals have been put to the IAU since Pluto’s demotion to change its status, but most recently one has been proposed, not by astronomers but planetary scientists.

The current definition for a planet is: A celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.
Other than forgetting bodies that orbit other stars or so-called “rogue planets” that are not gravitational bound to a star, the most controversial part of this is (c). Jupiter has 50,000 trojan asteroids. Pluto crosses the path of Neptune so for part of Neptune’s orbit it is further from the Sun than Pluto, so it technically hasn’t cleared its orbit either.

The new proposal suggests, rather than astronomical, a geophysical definition of a planet:
A planet is a sub-stellar mass body that has never undergone nuclear fusion and that has sufficient self-gravitation to assume a spheroidal shape adequately described by a triaxial ellipsoid regardless of its orbital parameters.

Essentially, it removes any reliance on where or what the body orbits. This would give us approximately 110 planets in our Solar System. Many of these are body that are routinely studied and are already of great interest (inc. Moon, Europa…).

For many, the acceptance of such a proposal would right the wrong of Pluto being stripped of planet status.

Night Sky this month
Last week saw the March Equinox where day and night were of equal length and we are now into British Summer Time.
1st April Mercury at greatest eastern elongation, it appears furthest from the Sun making it viewable with the naked eye, a rare occurrence. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset at 7:30.
7th April Jupiter at Opposition. Jupiter is closest to the Earth and will be fully illuminated by the Sun, it will be brighter than any other time of year and is visible all night long. Binoculars or a small telescope will allow viewing of its four largest moons.
22nd to 23rd April, peak of the Lyrids meteor shower, best viewed from a dark place after midnight about 20 meteors per hour. Can produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds.
29th April International Astronomy Day, theme “Bringing Astronomy to the People”.

Scientist of the Month

Katherine Johnson, born 1918. Worked for NASA as a computer.
She calculated the trajectories, launch windows, and emergency back-up return paths for many flights from Project Mercury, including the early NASA missions of John Glenn and Alan Shepard, and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon, helped ensure the safe return of the Apollo 13 astronauts and worked through the Space Shuttle program. Her calculations were critical to the success of these missions. Johnson also did calculations for plans for a mission to Mars.
Recently highlighted in the film: Hidden Figures.

Chris' Film Club: Rambo: First Blood

This week Chris set the theme of 'Action Movies' for the Film Club, and starts with 1982 classic 'Rambo: First Blood'.

The Film marks the first appearance of Sylvester Stallone's iconic 'John Rambo', a Vietnam vet who is bullied by police in the small town he moves to, with disastrous results.

Friday, 24 March 2017

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 24th March 2017

Simon was back in the studio yet again, having been relegated to the bench last week. Alex and Chris took over the show last Friday, but tired themselves out so badly because they got so many facts right, correctly named different actors and other things they had been in, and generally presented the Film Guide in a competent manner. They had to sleep it off. Simon on the other hand has no such problems and so is always ready to meander through a series of half-lies and non-sequiturs at the drop of the hat. Really, he just does a stream of consciousness for a whole week and we record 30 minutes of it a week. 

Ok, that was (mostly) 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.

Schindler’s List
11.35pm – 2.45am
Channel 5

9.00pm – 11.30pm

Dr No
2.05pm – 4.15pm

The Wolf of Wall Street
9.00pm – 12.30am

Fight Club
11.00pm – 1.50am

9.00pm – 12.00am

11.00pm – 12.40am

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Amber & Freya from @blackboxcompany

Today on West Herts Drivetime, we had Amber & Freya from Black Box Theatre company come in to talk about their upcoming production Rabbit.

While chatting to Danny, they talked about the formation of the company, and their previous production, Suddenly Last Summer, which they performed at Trestle Arts Base.

Black Box was founded in 2016 by Emily Carhart, Freya Mitchell and Amber Williams with a view to creating theatre that challenged both traditional casting and traditional use of performance space. Working with everything from Shakespeare to new writing to devising, our productions are authentic, atmospheric and exceptionally engaging.

Rabbit will be performed at The Barn at The Horn, marking the first time a play will ever be performed at the historic music venue. This coincides with the companies desire to challenge conventional thinking regarding how theatre shows are staged, as well as tackling typecasting & gender stereotypes. Without giving too much away, the play will be staged so it looks like you're watching a conversation between friends at the pub.

Written by Nina Raine, Rabbit is a black comedy where friends and former lovers gather to celebrate a 25th birthday. They all have different points of view and flaws, which come to a head as the night progresses.

When & Where:
13th-14th April
7pm & 9:30pm
The Barn at The Horn, St. Albans
Tickets £10, £7 for under 25s

The company are also always on the look out for members for future productions, and if you would like to get involved you can contact them by e-mailing, or by going to their website

Alex's Film Club: This is Spinal Tap

Alex concludes this weeks 'SNL Cast' themed Film Club with 'This Is Spinal Tap'.

The film is a 1984 American rock music mockumentary comedy, portraying the fictional 'British' heavy metal band. Directed by Rob Reiner, the movie satirizes the wild personal behavior and musical pretensions of hard rock and heavy metal bands.

Written by and starring Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer,
Billy Crystal also cameos.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Alex's Film Club: Mean Girls

Today on the Film Club, Alex continues the theme of 'SNL Stars' with teen comedy classic 'Mean Girls'.

Lindsay Lohan stars as Cady Heron, a hit with 'The Plastics', the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George.

Tina Fey wrote the screenplay for the film, as well as featuring, and Amy Poehler also stars.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Alex's Film Club: Wayne's World

Yesterday Alex set this week's theme of Film's featuring 'SNL Cast Members', and today we continue with 1992 comedy 'Wayne's World'.

A big screen spin-off of the Saturday Night Live skit, Rob Lowe plays a producer that wants to take the public access "Wayne's World" to the world of commercial television. Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) battle to save their show and Wayne's girlfriend from Lowe.

Bake It Easy with Lucy Clark - @heavensacupcake

Today we talked to our cupcake correspondant Lucy Clark, who taught us how to make banana and pecan muffins. 

250g plain flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg 225g melted butter 200g brown sugar 4 eggs 2 bananas (mashed) 50g pecans 
Maple syrup to drizzle

Method: 1. Add all ingredients apart from bananas and pecans into a bowl. Mix together until fully incorporated. 
2. Then add mashed banana and pecans. 3. Divide between 12 muffin tins.
4. Bake at 170 degrees for 15 - 20 mins. 5. Drizzle with maple syrup.

Lucy's Links
twitter: @heavensacupcake
facebook: Heaven is a Cupcake

Monday, 20 March 2017

Local Theatrical Roundup with David Widdowson from @OVO_Theatre

On today's show we debuted a brand new feature, where our new theatre correspondent and OVO theatre's own David Widdowson joined us in the studio to talk to Danny about the latest theatre productions & shows taking place here in St. Albans.

What's On:
Splendour – OVO Theatre
Malting Arts Theatre
March 16th to 25th , 8pm

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Alban Arena
March 22nd & 23rd, Times vary

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - Harpenden Light Operatic Society
March 28th - April 1st
Harpenden Public Halls

Spamalot -  St Albans Musical Theatre Company
Abbey Theatre
April 25th - 29th

The School Film - Company Of Teens
Abbey Theatre
March 22nd & 23rd, 8pm

Folk - The James Brothers
Malting Arts Theatre
March 31st, 8pm

Poetry - John Mole – The Wonder Dish
Malting Arts Theatre
April 1st, 8pm

The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Company Of Ten
Abbey Theatre
April 21st to 29th, 8pm

A Midsummer Night's Dream – OVO Theatre
Roman Theatre of Verulanium

Alex's Film Club: The Blues Brothers

Alex takes the reigns on this weeks Film Club, and today set the theme of  features starring; 'SNL Cast Members'.

Up first is 1980 classic 'The Blues Brothers, featuring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. The two star as the titular brothers, who wish to save the orphanage they grew up in from closing by raising $5,000 to pay back taxes. Convinced they can earn the money by getting their old band back together, the brothers face daunting odds and a large cast of enemies as they attempt to deliver the money on time.

James Brown, Carrie Fisher and John Candy make up just a few members of the enormous cast.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Chris' Film Club: Much ado About nothing

Concluding this week of Films featuring the Buffy cast is 'Much ado About Nothing', directed, adapted, and produced by Joss Whedon.

Based on Shakespeare's classic play, the romantic comedy is entirely in black and white, and was filmed at Whedon's own estate during a break when making 2012 superhero flick 'The Avengers'.

 Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg and Reed Diamond star.

Coming up next week on the Drivetime show: @OVO_Theatre, @heavensacupcake, @Li_LiLiadain,@blackboxcompany

On next week's Drivetime show we will be joined on Monday by David Widdowson . On Tuesday we will be joined by Bake it Easy. The Drivetime Sessions on Wednesday will feature Li-Li. On Thursday we will be joined by Emily - Black Box Theatre Company.

Hope you can join us weekdays from 4pm - 7pm on 92.6FM Radio Verulam - THE radio station for St Albans.

A muscial night from stage and screen with @amiebailey from @radlettMTC Radlett Musical Theatre Company

They are an award-winning musical theatre group based in Radlett. They pride themselves on catering for all tastes and performing in all musical theatre styles, they are holding an event tomorrow, the 17th of March, which is A muscial night from stage and screen ,An energetic and joyful production of song and dance numbers covering a selection of your most loved musicals and movies. Tickets can be bought from
They are also having auditions from an upcoming theatre production and auditions will be on the 21st March. They are  always looking for new members to join them, either on-stage or off. 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Sam Rolfe Science Correspondent "Braves The Shave" for charity @smrolfe

Sam joined us today on the Drivetime show and explained how she will be shaving her hair off for charity next week on 24th March.

She is raising money for Macmillan and Little Princess Trust.
If you would like to donate and for details see:

Her hair will be donated to Little Princess Trust so it can be made into a wig for a child who has lost their hair due to cancer or another illness.

We will post an "after" picture after the event!

The Drivetime Sessions with @tomcraven

On this weeks Drivetime Sessions we were joined by Tom Craven. He performed some punchy original compositions titled 'I Fell For You' and 'Parisian Trail By Fire' as well as an unusual take on a cover of The Killers 'Mr. Brightside'.

For more information on Tom Craven and his band "The Chapter" you can visit his page for links to social media and information on upcoming gigs.

If you would like to listen to Tom birch again then visit  and navigate to Wednesday at 5:30.

Chris' Film Club: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Next on the Film Club is 'Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery', which features Seth Green (aka Oz in Buffy)

World-class playboy and part-time special agent Austin Powers is defrosted after 30 years in a cryogenic freeze to match wits with his nemesis, Dr. Evil (also played by Myers). Possessing antiquated spy skills and mannerisms from the `60s, Austin must confront a villain like no other while making peace with his own out-of-date, swinging sexuality.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Chris' Film Club: Cruel Intentions

Continuing the week of films starring the 'Buffy' cast, today Chris looks at 'Cruel Intentions', starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.

A modern adaptation of classic French play  'Les Liaisons dangereuses', the film is set among wealthy teenagers attending high school in modern New York City instead of 18th century France. Two vicious step-siblings make a wager: to deflower the new headmaster's daughter before the start of term.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon star.


Health Matters March 2017. St Albans Beds; Hospitals; Bowel Cancer.

Four Issues in Tonight’s DriveTime

·         39 Beds in the City Hospital
·         Care Closer to Home
·         Hospital Reconfiguration
·         Bowel Cancer

1.     City Hospital Bed Closures – 39 beds in Sopwell and Langton Wards (part of Runcie Wing). Closed by Herts Community Trust (“HCT”). Cost pressures – need to find £2.9m savings. Closing these beds saves £3.8m but providing new facilities in Watford and Hemel costs £0.9m

Step Down Beds – for patients to recover before going home. Introduced a new FIRST service – Facilitating Integrated Re-enablement to Support Transition. Short term service to support 50 patients in West Herts. All part of a new “Discharge to Assess” service.

The core issue – cuts affect St Albans patients disproportionately. Go along to the meeting tonight at the Jubilee Centre, Catherine Street 6:00-7:30 pm

2. Care Closer to the Community
Doctors providing service for which we need to go to Hospital at the moment! Some services already rolled out (Respiratory, Heart, ECG); new services being rolled out this year (gynaecology, diabetes, wheelchair, stroke, pain management, dermatology), plus enhanced services for care homes. Massive change to how we will access services, but major concerns about effectiveness. Significant report from the Nuffield Trust which concludes
While out-of-hospital care may be better for patients, it is not likely to be cheaper for the NHS in the short to medium term – and certainly not within the tight timescales under which tNHS Trusts are expected to deliver change. The wider problem remains: more patient-centred, efficient and appropriate models of care require more investment than is likely to be possible given the current funding envelope.

Subject for next St Albans Patient Group meeting – March 29. Details at

3. Hospital Reconfiguration
Watford – emergency, critical and planned care; St Albans – planned care. Plans awaiting sign-off by the Commissioning Group. Critical issue is funding, and the impact of the Sustainability Plan involving North Herts and West Essex. Extra money in the budget last week but nowhere near enough!!!!!!

4. Bowel Cancer Month
All men and women aged 60 to 74 are invited to carry out a faecal occult blood (FOB) test. Every two years, they're sent a home test kit, which is used to collect a stool sample. If you're 75 or over, you can ask for this test by calling 0800 707 60 60. 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Chris' Film Club: American Pie

This week on the Film Club, Chris follows the alumni of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, starting with 'American Pie'.

A 1999 teen sex comedy film written by Adam Herz and directed by brothers Paul and Chris Weitz, the first film in the American Pie theatrical series follows a group of teenagers in their cringe-worthy exploits.

Stars Alyson Hanningan (Willow).

Consumer Advice

Our monthly update with Elizabeth Crampton from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Why use a funeral plan?
Funerals can be expensive, costing perhaps several thousand pounds, and many people worry that when they die, they won’t leave enough money for their funeral.

With a funeral plan, you arrange and pay for it in advance.

You can arrange a funeral plan for your own funeral or for someone else’s, as long as the funeral will be held in the UK.

But a pre-paid funeral plan is not the only way to pay for a funeral. There are other options and ways to save on the cost of funerals.

How do they work?

You pay either a lump sum or instalments to the plan provider, or to a funeral director. Your money is either invested:
Into a trust fund with trustees, or
In an insurance policy, which is then used to pay for the funeral whenever that turns out to be.

The aim of both methods is to safeguard your money until it’s needed, ensuring that it’s used to provide the funeral you have paid for.

Smart Meters 
Smart meters are the next generation of gas and electricity meters and offer a range of intelligent functions.

For example, they can tell you how much energy you are using through an in home display. They communicate directly with your energy supplier meaning there will be no need for your supplier to visit your home to read your meter in future.
For more information go to the web site