Friday, 28 April 2017

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 28th April 2017

This week on the Film Guide, Danny and Simon broadcast live from base-camp near the peak of Mount Everest, in a bizarre tribute to 2015's 'Everest'.

Ok, that was a lie, but the pair did talk about the UK box office, new releases in the cinema, and a selection of films on TV for the coming week, from the comfort of the Radio Verulam studio.

9.00pm – 11.15pm

9.00pm – 11.20pm
Channel 4

Mrs Doubtfire
6.35pm – 9.00pm

Saving Mr Banks
8.30pm – 10.30pm

The Punisher
11.15pm – 1.30am
Channel 5

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
7.20pm – 10.00pm

Now You See Me
9.00pm – 11.15pm

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Liz Widdowson from @Ovo_Theatre

Today we spoke to Liz Widdowson About upcoming theatrical events
Robert Schumann - The Light and Shade which is on the 5th of May at 8:00PM which will be preformed at the Maltings art theatre
Sondheim's A Little Night Music Which will be directed by Paula Chitty.
Folk - Geoff Lakeman which is also only being preformed on may the 5th At 8:00PM.
Tales from the Wrecker’s Yard which is a DeeBee Production  directed by David Berryman, which will be preformed on the 25th and 27th of May at 8:00PM on both days as well as 2:30 on the 27th.
Spamalot which will be preformed at the Alban Arena on the 29th april at 7:45PM.
She Stoops to Conquer 12th and 20th of may At the Abbey theatre.
If you would like to listen to this feature again you can find it at: by navigating to thursday just after 5:30PM.

Chris' Film Club: The Imitation Game

Concluding this week's Film Club of Scientists and Mathematicians, today we look at 'The Imitation Game'.

Directed by Morten Tyldum, the film tells the story of Alan Turing, and his efforts to crack the Enigma at Bletchley Park, and then his horrific treatment at the hands of the state after the war.

Stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, and Charles Dance.


Coming up next week on the Drivetime show:@JamesCarolBooks, @GandLBAND, @MindInMidHerts_

On next week's Drivetime show we will be joined by local authorJames Carol on Tuesday. The Drivetime Sessions on Wednesday will feature George And The Liabilities. On Thursday we will be joined by Tracy & Siobhan from Mind in Mid Herts

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

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Drivetime Sessions with @DodoBones

On this weeks Drivetime Sessions we were joined by DodoBones. The group performed their self described 'wood rock' singles titled 'Greatest Dancer' and 'Hang Up'' as well as a cover of The Rolling Stones' 'Paint It Black'.

For more information on DodoBones, you can visit their Facebook page where you can find where their upcoming gigs will be.

If you would like to listen to the Drivetime Sessions again then visit and navigate to Wednesday at 5:30.

Chris' Film Club: The Theory of Everything

Next on this week of Scientist and Mathematician films, Chris looks at 'The Theory of Everything'.

Directed by James Marsh and based on a book by Jane Wilde Hawking, it tells the story of Stephen and Jane meeting, falling in love, Stephen being diagnosed with ALS, and becoming a success in physics.

Starring Eddie Redmayne (in an Oscar-winning role), Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox and Emily Watson.


Monday, 24 April 2017

Chris' Film Club: Hidden Figures

Chris is back to head the Film Club, and today he's set the week's theme as 'Scientists/Mathematicians'.

Starting us off, today Chris looks at 'Hidden Figures'. Directed by Theodore Melfi, this drama looks at three African-American women who worked at NASA in the 1960s, during the Great Space Race.

Stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, Kirsten Dunst and Mahershala Ali.

March For Science, Cassini-Huygen mission ending and SotM Peggy Whitson with @smrolfe

Science Feature 24-04-2017

March for Science 
Global event, over 600 cities around the world across 6 continents, marched with the original march that took place in Washington DC. In the UK, marches were held in Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Manchester and Norwich.

The marchers were scientists and non-scientists alike, marched for "robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest".

For the scientists there we were encouraged to go out and tell people that we attended the march, our experience of it and why we did it and show that we are a diverse group, that we are not all old white men with crazy hair.

Many were holding placards suggesting they should be writing papers or their theses and I saw a tweet that said that it was a struggle to get three co-authors together in a room, so to see thousands of scientists around the world come out and march must mean it is important.

People who were there or are listening now that wouldn’t consider themselves as professional scientists, know that the support and interest that you show for science is extremely important to professional scientists. Please continue to follow science news and take the time to check sources of articles – where was the study conducted and by whom, how many repeats or participants were there in the study, has it been repeated by other institutions elsewhere to verify the results? By conducting this next level of research, we can help avoid sensationalist headlines and so forth from gaining traction. 

Check out the events of the day and what you can do to continue to support by going to the website or searching the hashtags #marchforscience #sciencemarch


Cassini-Huygens mission
The spacecraft has been studying Saturn for 13 years, following a seven year journey to the planet (launched 1997), when its nominal mission was four years.

The craft has begun its final orbits of Saturn. It is being manoeuvred into a final dive into the atmosphere of Saturn, as the Galileo spacecraft was at Jupiter because it is too much of planetary protection issue to leave an unresponsive, fuel-depleted craft to wander the Saturnian system unchecked because of the very real possibility of life on the moons.

It will plunge into the atmosphere on 15 September this year, but before this it will complete several orbits where it passes through the ring system to discover more about them. It will first pass through the rings on Wednesday (26 April) at 9 am. The data it collects will help estimate the mass of the rings, in turn telling us about their approximate age.

Discoveries made by the Cassini probe include:
  • The first probe to land on the surface of an outer solar system body, Huygens landed on Titan in 2005, during decent saw rivers and lakes of hydrocarbons. Later it was discovered that it rains methane there.
  • Found plumes of material spouting from Enceladus along the surface “Tiger Stripes”, recently found to have a sub-surface ocean and evidence of hydrothermal vents. Also, evidence of organic particles, which could be precursors to life, were detected in the plume.
  • A greater understanding of Saturn’s cloud system by observing storms. The largest temperature increase was seen and molecules previously never detected were seen.

Previous to the Cassini-Huygens mission, only brief encounters with the planet had occurred, by way of fly-bys by Pioneer 11, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. Everything we know about the planet, its moons and rings comes from this amazing mission.

There is so much more information and discoveries than I could possibly cover in a 5 minute piece so please visit: for more details and to follow the final months of the mission.


Scientist of the Month
Peggy Whitson

Peggy Whitson.jpgHas set a new record for the longest U.S. Astronaut in space, 534 days, 2 hours and 49 mins, cumulative. She is on the space station for the next 5 months, so she will be adding to this to a total of 650 days! She has a while to go before she breaks the record for longest ever cumulative time spent in space, which is 879 days.

She is a biochemist, was the first woman to command the ISS and first to command it twice. She is also the female with the most spacewalks. She was a project scientist on the Shuttle-Mir program. You can send her a message celebrating her record with the hashtag #CongratsPeggy.

Night Sky This Month
For early risers, Mercury is at greatest elongation on 17 May, look for the planet in the Eastern sky just before sunrise at 5:05 am.

Venus is the morning star at the moment. Jupiter is available for viewing from sunset into the early morning with Saturn rising around midnight.

10 May is the full Moon.


Friday, 21 April 2017

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 21st April 2017

Tonight Danny is hitting the town because it's that time of the year again when he pretends he is not being ravaged by the sands of time and getting a year older. Simon, in preparation for tonight, started drinking some time in 1983 and came to the studio 'jussst the rite level of *hiccup* loose' (direct quote). It was one of his better shows.

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 Crazies
1.25am – 3.35am

The Queen
4.55pm – 7.00pm

The Sessions
12.00am – 1.45am
Channel 4

Source Code
10.55pm – 12.40am

The Naked Gun
10.05pm – 12.50am

Starred Up
11.20pm – 1.25am

Good Will Hunting
11.20pm – 1.50am

Thursday, 20 April 2017

AJ & Duncan from @StAlbansMusical

St Albans Musical Theatre Company is a thriving local membership that are producing amateur musical theater and other dramatic and musical arts activities.
Inspired by the classic comedy film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The tale of King Arthur along with his squire, Patsy and a selection of knights, who go on an epic quest to find the Holy Grail.
We were joined by AJ and Duncan who are from the cast on the Spamalot. This is on next week and Spamalot is  largely based on the holy grail. AJ plays Sir Galahad. Duncan has 8 costumes that he needs to put on during the show. If you would like to join them then tickets can be bought on

Coming up next week on the Drivetime show: @smrolfe, @ga_interiors, Dodo Bones, @ovotheatre

On next week's Drivetime show we will be joined by science correspondent on Monday. On Tuesday we will be joined by our Interior Design Feature. The Drivetime Sessions on Wednesday will feature Dodo Bones. On Thursday we will be joined by our theatre correspondent.

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

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Drivetime Sessions with @DariaKulesh

On this weeks Drivetime Sessions we were joined by Daria Kulesh. She performed her ethereal folk singles titled 'Gone' and Heart's Delight' as well as the traditional performance of  'She Moved Through The Fair'.

For more information on Daria, including details of her new album "Long Lost Home" which is available now, you can visit her page for links to social media and information on upcoming gigs.

If you would like to listen to the Drivetime Sessions again then visit and navigate to Wednesday at 5:30.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Max's Film Club: End of Watch

Concluding this week is 'End of Watch', a crime thriller filmed in the 'found footage style'.

Longtime LAPD partners and friends, Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) patrol one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Though they may bend the rules, their honor and dedication to the job are unquestioned. Taylor and Zavala always have each other's back, even if Taylor's filming of their daily activities for a college course is a bit ill-advised.

All hell breaks loose for the officers when they run afoul of a vicious Mexican cartel.


Jane Slatter of @SIStAlbans joins us to talk about the Diamond Anniversary of the St Albans Soroptimist Club

Today we were joined by Jane Slatter from the St Albans and District branch of Soroptimist International, a global organisation working to help women and girls achieve their potential through education and empowerment.

The St Albans club has just celebrated its 60th anniversary, after serving the St Albans community since 1957.

For more information head to or their Facebook and Twitter pages.

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

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Drivetime Sessions with @starseedzmusic

On this weeks Drivetime Sessions we were joined by Starseedz. They performed some folksey pop titled '#Love' and 'Falling Stars' as well as the "Starseedz sound" cover of The Vaccines 'If You Wanna'.

For more information on Starseedz, including details of their new single "Made That Way" dropping on the 12th May, you can visit their page for links to social media and information on upcoming gigs.

If you would like to listen to the Drivetime Sessions again then visit and navigate to Wednesday at 5:30.

Max's Film Club: Jarhead

Our next Jake Gyllenhaal feature on the Film Club is 'Jarhead'.

Set in the late 1980s, Anthony Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) enlists as a Marine, training in boot camp under a sadistic drill instructor. During this time Swofford undertakes a sniper course, shortly before the advent of the Gulf war. When the United States becomes involved, Swofford is shipped out, facing uncertainty each day -- about the war and home -- the soldier tries to maintain composure.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Max's Film Club: Source Code

Today Max continues our Film Club week of 'Jake Gyllenhaal' with 2011 thriller 'Source Code'.

Jake Gyllenhaal stars a a military helicopter pilot, brought into a top-secret operation that enables him to experience the last few minutes in the life of a man who died in a commuter-train explosion. The purpose of his mission? To learn the identity of the bomber who caused the crash, and prevent a similar catastrophe.

Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright also star.

Health Matters. Hospitals, NHS Priorities, Dementia, Easter

Four Issues in Tonight’s DriveTime
      ·         Hospital Plans – An Update
·         NHS Priorities 2017
·         Understanding Dementia
·         Ill over Easter

1.    Hospital Plans – should we have a new hospital covering this area (St Albans, Watford, Hemel Hempstead)?

Current Plan: Re-furbish/Rebuild Watford General Hospital for acute and planned care at St Albans. This has been proposed by the local Commissioning Group and the Hospital itself. Whilst it is a tactical fix rather than a strategic solution (the strategic review has been going for over 3 years now), it has one big advantage over a new build – it’s deliverable!

New Hospital: people in Hemel Hempstead have been very active in promoting a new build centrally located hospital. There is a petition that has already had over 10,000 signatures; so if you’d like to see a new hospital, sign before APR 20th (just 10 days left).

2. NHS Priorities 2017 – Better Care but longer Wait!
Simon Stevens (NHS CEO) laid out the priorities for the next three years of his “Five Year Forward View):-
·         Relieving Pressure on A&E – GPs in A&E; better screening; more Urgent Care Centres
·         GPs open evenings and weekends – extra GPs, Clinical Pharmacists, and Mental Health specialists
·         Earlier diagnosis of cancer – within 28 days
·         Improvements to Mental Healthcare
·         Improvements to the 111 Service
·         Move to accountable care organisations.
But, an impact on waiting lists for elective surgery; the target is 92% of patients within 18 weeks is being missed regularly.

3. Understanding Dementia
Many people with dementia may not remember what happened 45 minutes ago, but they can clearly recall their lives 45 years earlier. If you would like a better understanding of dementia and to know how you can best help someone with dementia here’s a date for your diary – 19th May at St Albans City Hospital. One hour session at 12:45, 2:00, or 3:20. It’s being held in the Lecture Hall – Post Graduate Centre. For further details and to book contact pavithra.ketheeswaran@whht, There are additional dates at HH Hospital (APR 17) and Watford Hospital (May 15).

4. Unwell Over Easter
A few simple steps
·         Make sure you have your prescription medicines up to date
·         Remember, Pharmacies are open even if your surgery isn’t
·         Use 111 – and only use 999 if it’s really urgent!
·         Stay Well

Monday, 10 April 2017

Max's Film Club: Nightcrawler

The second week of Max's Film Club takeover begins! This week, our chosen theme is 'The works of Jake Gyllenhaal', starting with 'Nightcrawler'.

Los Angeles scrounger Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) survives via scavenging and petty theft, yet stumbles into a new career as a cameraman, arming himself with a camcorder and police scanner on nocturnal forays across the city in search of shocking and grisly crimes. Desperate to get the best possible footage he can, Louis throws himself into increasingly dangerous situations, desperate to get that 'Money Shot'.

Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed and Bill Paxton also star.


Consumer Advice

Tonight was our monthly update on consumer matters with Elizabeth Crampton from the Citizens Advice Bureau, the following items were covered.

Work Place Bullying
If you’re bullied at work or your colleagues behave in an offensive or intimidating way towards you, it could be unlawful harassment under the Equality Act 2010. Harassment is a form of discrimination under the Act.You can ask the harasser to stop. Only do this if you feel it's safe. You should make it clear that you find the behaviour offensive and that you’ll take further action if the harassment doesn’t stop.

You could ask for an informal discussion with the harasser and it may help you to have a colleague with you when you do this and at any subsequent discussions.

If you don’t want to talk to the harasser, you can write to them or ask someone else to write on your behalf. Keep a copy of all the correspondence you send and receive from the harasser and any other person involved.

Probate Fees

Probate fees on some estates will increase by almost £20,000 from May, as the Ministry of Justice confirmed it will push through a massive hike to charges for processing forms, despite rejection in a consultation.

The huge rise in the fees for applications for grants of probate - dubbed a 'stealth tax' on estates - comes despite less than 2 per cent of respondents in a consultation agreeing with the new charges.

Probate fees, which are paid by executors to process estates and allow families access to money and assets left to them, are currently a flat £215 for all estates worth £5,000-plus.

From May they will be paid on estates above £50,000 instead, but above this level costs will rise by between 40 per cent and 9,202 per cent
More information on these items and more consumer issues can be found at the web site

Friday, 7 April 2017

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 7th April 2017

Kieran here, filling in for Chris whilst he is on his travels.  In the studio this week, award winning radio presenter the gorgeous Danny Smith and intrepid urban-explorer-turned-parkour-enthusiast Simon Carver talked through the UK Box Office Top 10, new movie releases, and Simon’s movie choices on free to air TV for the forthcoming week. Simon appeared at the radio studio in his clerical attire, chosen for its range of movement and airy feel that gives the advantage in free running displays.

Ok, at least half of that was a lie. But the pair did talk all things film, and here are those that made the cut from free to air TV.

The Transporter
9.00pm – 10.50pm

An American Werewolf in London
11.15pm – 1.15am

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
5.35pm – 9.00pm

X Men: First Class
9.00pm – 11.35pm

3:10 to Yuma
10.50pm – 1.15am

Side Effects
9.00pm – 11.10pm

Tooth Fairy
2.25pm – 4.30pm

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Max's Film Club: Faster

We conclude this week of celebrating Dwayne Johnson's works  with 2010 Thriller 'Faster'.

Following a 10-year prison stint, Driver (Dwayne Johnson) is desperate to take vengeance on those responsible for his brother's murder. Within hours of dispatching his first target, he has two men on his tail: a veteran police officer (Billy Bob Thornton) and an eager assassin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen).

Driver tries to stay a step ahead of his pursuers, but there are hints that his list is incomplete, and the unknown person may endanger his life.


Amanda Carnell joins us to talk about her 100km walk from London to Brighton, all in aid of @cchssupport

Today we were joined by Amanda Carnell and her son Finlay, 8, to talk about her fundraising efforts for the CCHS Support Group which offers support to families affected by the rare genetic condition, Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome.

Amanda will be walking 106km from London to Brighton in aid of the charity which has affected her son since birth.

To donate to the cause head to Amanda's Just Giving page at and for more information about the CCHS Support Group visit their website at

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

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Drivetime Sessions with @Li_LiLiadain

We welcomed Li-Li Liadain back to the studio and she did not disappoint. Li-Li announced the title of her upcoming album 'Butterflies on Paper Moons' and performed two of the album's projected tracks 'Deep' and 'What am I supposed to do?'. Li-Li concluded with an original take on 'I Say a Little Prayer' made famous by Aretha Franklin.

If you act quickly you can see Li-Li live tonight, the 5th April, 8.30pm at the Hare and Hound's open mic night. 

Stay up to date with Li-Li's antics by visiting her Facebook page or checking out her website:

Also head to the West Herts Drivetime Facebook page to watch a live recording of her performance. Or listen again by visiting and navigating to today's Drivetime show.

Max's Film Club: Hercules

Our next Film Club entry starring Dwayne Johnson is 2014's 'Hercules'.

Though famous across the ancient world for his larger-than-life exploits, Hercules (Dwayne Johnson), the son of Zeus and a human woman, is haunted by his tragic past. Now, he fights only for gold as a traveling mercenary, accompanied by a band of loyal followers, including Amphiarus (Ian McShane) and Autolycus (Rufus Sewell).

John Hurt also stars as the Lord that employs Hercules to fight off the savages attacking his lands.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Max's Film Club: The Other Guys

Next on this week of 'Films featuring Dwayne Johnson', is 2010 comedy 'The Other Guys'.

Desk-bound NYPD detectives Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) work day to day, making no headlines. Gamble relishes his job as a paper pusher, but Hoitz is itching to get back on the street and make a name for himself. When a seemingly minor case turns out to be a big deal, the two cops get the opportunity to finally prove to their comrades that they have the right stuff.

Dwayne Johnson cameos in a big way along with Samuel L Jackson, with Michael Keaton starring as the Police Captain.


Local Literary Feature with Marie Kemplay and @TheAngelaClarke

Today Marie talked to local author Angela Clarke about her new book, "Watch Me", which came out in January.  It is the second in the 'Social Media Murders' series, which is a series of  serial killer and mystery books themed on different social media platforms. This book is centred on Snapchat because it is the fastest growing social media platform at the moment.
This book series explores the darker side of social media, and centres on two female lead characters, one of which is a journalist, with the other being a DS with the Metropolitan Police.
As well as the 'Social Media Murders' series, Angela has also written a more humorous, upbeat book called "Confessions of a Fashionista", which was published in 2013.  She has also written for the Guardian and online feminist magazine 'Vagenda'.  In response to these articles, she was trolled online and from that started to think about social media and its less friendly side.

Angela's website:
Angela's twitter: @TheAngelaClarke
Link to 'Watch Me':

Links to more local literary events:

Monday, 3 April 2017

Max's Film Club: Furious 6

It's time for a week of Max's Film Club, and this week the theme is ' Dwayne Johnson Features', starting with 'Furious 6', the 6th entry in the Fast and Furious franchise.

Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian's (Paul Walker) crew have scattered across the globe since their successful heist in Rio (Spoilers!), but must still live as fugitives, unable to return home to their families. However, when Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) comes to the group offering pardons in exchange for help taking down a crime group, which includes Dom's old flame, they find themselves heading to London to work once more.

Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Luke Evans also star.

Being Mrs Thrifty

Penny Carr joined us tonight for more money saving tips.

Waitrose have now started charging for their free coffee from today so owners of My Waitrose cards have to make a purchase to get a free coffee!. But if you buy say a button mushroom for 1p you can get your "free coffee".

Coffee Loyalty Cards
Many coffee shops have these cards for example Starbucks but you only get 38 days to claim your free coffee so keep an eye on your card, you can also pay by using an App.

Visitors to IKEA can get a free meal with any purchase made in store – but there are quite a few catches.

Shoppers will need to be members of the free IKEA Family loyalty scheme and the mid-week dinner freebie must be claimed by April 14.When they get to the checkout to pay for the product, the cost of the meal will be deducted from their final bill.

So if they spend £20 in the restaurant and £30 on home furnishings, such as bedding, a lamp or plants, their final bill will come to £10 – as the cost of the meal is taken off.

More details can be found at the web site