Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The Drivetime Sessions with @Thepapersnakes sponsored by @FightingCocksSA

On this weeks Drivetime Sessions we were joined by local artists The Paper Snakes! They performed their singles 'On My Own', 'Do The Walk' and a cover of Stevie Wonder's 'I Wish'.

For more information on The Paper Snakes, including details of their upcoming gigs, you can visit their Facebook at

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

Charlotte's Film Club: Blade Runner 2049

Following on from Charlotte's pick yesterday of "Blade Runner", today the Film Club looks at the recently released sequel "Blade Runner 2049".

The Denis Villeneuve-directed sequel to the neo-noir classic sees Ryan Gosling as new Blade Runner Officer K, who discovers a long-buried secret when hunting down replicants that threatens to change society dramatically. To get answers, he must track down Rick Deckard, who has not been seen for thirty years.

Along with Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto and Ana De Armis star.


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Charlotte's Film Club: Blade Runner (The Final Cut)

Charlotte continues to rule over this weeks Film Club today, looking at the final cut of  Sci-fi classic "Blade Runner" today, in anticipation for the recently released sequel.

Set in a bleak distant future, Harrison Ford plays Deckard, a man who is searching for escaped ‘replicants’,androids who look just like humans.  Directed by Ridley Scott it also stars Rutger Hauer in a memorable role as Ford's nemesis, Young and Edward J Olmos.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Charlotte's Film Club: The Mountain Between Us

Chris, after several years of diligent service, has decided to pass the reigns of the Film Club onto someone younger and more knowledgeable about films! Shocker! In his place, Charlotte has been given control of the Film Club, starting us off with 2017 release "The Mountain Between Us".

This dramatic thriller sees two strangers stranded on a mountain together after a plane crash work together to endure the extreme elements of the remote terrain. Realizing that help is not on the way, they embark on a perilous journey across hundreds of miles of wilderness, pushing each other to survive and discovering their inner strength.

Kate Winslet and Idris Elba star.


Theatre update

David Widdowson from OVO joined us tonight providing an update on upcoming local events.

The Crucible

8th – 18th November 2017
Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans
By Arthur Miller | Directed by Janet Podd

A Musical Tour of Europe
20th & 21st October 20.00 at the Maltings Art Theatre

St Albans Chamber Opera present A MUSICAL TOUR OF EUROPE via London, Paris Vienna, Berlin, Prague, Seville, Venice and many more. With Verdi, Mozart, Puccini, Handel, Bizet, Strauss and others.
Hazel Neighbour… Soprano, Olivia Barry…. Mezzo, Peter Martin… tenor, Jonathan Saunders… Baritone. With the SACO chorus and Julian Barber MD at the piano.

Tickets: £15

More details can be found at the web site

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Chris' Film Dump: Funny People

Chris saves the best (or worst?) for last on the Film Dump this week, looking today at Adam Sandler drama from 2009 "Funny People".

Recently learning that he has a fatal disease, comic George Simmons (Adam Sandler) spots a struggling performer named Ira (Seth Rogen) and decides to become his mentor. As George teaches Ira the art of stand-up comedy they become close friends, with Ira helping George define his legacy. When an old flame (Leslie Mann) reappears and the disease goes into remission, George gets a chance to re-evaluate his life and figure out what is truly important to him.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Drivetime Sessions with @GraeJ Wall & Los Chicos Muertos! Sponsored by @FightingCocksSA

On this week's Drivetime Sessions we were joined by the blues and folk band Grae J and Los Chicos Muertos! They performed the singles 'Murder In Mind', 'Into The Sun' and a cover of Tom Petty's 'I Won't Back Down'.

For more information on Grae J and Los Chicos Muertos, including details of their upcoming gigs, you can visit their website at and their Facebook

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

Chris' Film Dump: Speed 2: Cruise Control

Chris continues to fill the "Film Dump" with features to avoid this week, today choosing  "Speed 2: Cruise Control".

Moving the action of the first film to a boat, Annie (Sandra Bullock) is looking forward to a Caribbean cruise with her cop boyfriend, Alex (Jason Patric), but their trip (unsurprisingly) turns dangerous. When an explosion disables the ship's communication system and it becomes clear that the vessel is under someone else's control, Alex and Annie must fight for survival as they discover that John Geiger (Willem Dafoe), a crazed passenger, is behind the chaos.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Chris' Film Dump: The Man with the Iron Fists

Continuing to look at Films worth avoiding, "The Man with the Iron Fists" is the "Film Dump" entry for today.

This 2012 Martial Arts thriller sees a humble blacksmith settle down in a feudal Chinese village. When a band of warriors, assassins, and a rogue British soldier descend upon the village and its people, the blacksmith is left with no choice but to turn himself into a living weapon to protect his people.

RZA, Russell Crowe, and Lucy Liu star.


Health Matters - NHS Future, Stay Well, Patient Transport, Nascot Lawn

Four Issues in Tonight’s DriveTime

·         NHS Future is Precarious
·         Stay Well This Winter
·         Patient Transport
·         Nascot Lawn

1. NHS Future is Precarious says CQC
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a report this morning on the NHS highlighting
·         Staff shortages (vacancy rates up 16% over the last two years)
·         Bed shortages as a result of reduced capacity and bed blocking
·         Falling numbers of nursing home beds (down by 4,000 beds over 2 years)
·         1.2m people now not getting social care support they need (up 16% in 12 months)
While the quality of care was being maintained currently thanks to the efforts of staff, that resilience is not inexhaustible given the rising pressures. The report says “We are going to see a fall in the quality of services that are offered to people and that may mean that the safety of some people is compromised.”
Locally, we’re already experiencing this as a result of the Commissioning Groups £45m deficit; this leads to rationing and operational delays.

2. Stay Well This Winter
There’s a lot we can do to help ourselves, and this web site covers them all
·         Keep Warm – wrap up warm; keep your house warm; get help if you need it; watch out for others
·         Ten Common Problems, and how to deal with them! There are tips for each of them! They cover Heart Attacks,  Colds, Sore Throats, Asthma, Winter Sickness, Painful Joints, Cold Sores, Cold Hands & Feet, Dry Skin, and of course the FLU!
·         Watch Out For Winter Tiredness – get as much light as you can, sleep well, relax, and eat a healthy diet.

3. Patient Transport – another Commissioning Group problem!  The company providing patient transport in our area (“Private Ambulance Service”) went into receivership at the beginning of OCT. The local Ambulance Service is providing a caretaker service until new arrangements are completed.
Patients are being prioritised based on clinical need, but if you need any help call 01603 481 208; it operating weekdays 8:00 am to 6:00 pm each day.

4. Nascot Lawn – Nascot Lawn is a large Victorian house in Watford that has been converted to provide respite care for children with complex health needs and learning disability. In June our local commissioning group (HVCCG) announced that they were cutting £600K a year of funding to the unit. But, after the threat of a judicial review they have changed their position and Nascot Lawn, or rather what remains as some staff have already left, will remain open. A short-term relief for patients, but such a pity they’ve had to endure the last 4 months of chaos – and the future is still uncertain!

Have you been affected by these issues? Have you had a good or bad experience with the NHS in the last few weeks? Let us know here.  

Monday, 9 October 2017

Chris' Film Dump: Grown Ups

Chris is back on the Film Club, this week looking at Films worth avoiding on the 'Film Dump'!

Up first is 2010's 'Grown Ups', in which Adam Sandler, Kevin James and co. play a group of childhood friends reunited for the funereal of their old baseball coach. Picking up where they left off, the buddies -- with wives and children in tow -- discover why age does not, necessarily, equal maturity.

Salma Hayek, Chris Rock and David Spade also star.

Friday, 6 October 2017

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 6th October 2017

Simon, original lead singer of New Jersey rockers Twisted Sister, was in the studio to present the Film Guide today, but before he could start, the studio spontaneously burst into flames. Danny tried to tell everyone that it was because he was 'hot stuff', but people had long since stopped listening to Danny (both in person and on the radio) so that was quickly dismissed. A little investigative work was done, which determined that the source of the fire was Simon's chair. Digging a little deeper, it became clear that Simon was keeping a lit Cuban cigar in his back pocket. After everyone had finished facepalming, he explained that he had the cigar to celebrate successfully making it through a week without starting any fires. Oh Simon! 

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.

American Hustle
12.10am – 2.30am
Channel 4

9.00pm – 11.40pm

11.05pm – 1.50am

10.00pm – 12.40am

I Origins
11.15pm – 1.25am

Legally Blonde
10.10pm – 12.10am

Les Misérables
12.45am – 3.55am

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Chris Film Club: Z for Zachariah

The Film Club week of "Dystopian Futures" comes to an end today with Chris' choice of 2015 drama "Z for Zachariah".

In the time following a disastrous event that has wiped out human civilisation, one scientist (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and one miner (Chris Pine) find themselves caught in a love triangle for the affection of what seems to be the last woman on earth (Margot Robbie).

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Drivetime Sessions with @abbie_gathard sponsored by @FightingCocksSA

On this weeks Drivetime Sessions we were joined by the talented folk singer Abbie Gathard! She performed her singles 'I Waited All This Time', 'Your Ex-Man' and a cover of Katie Melua's 'The Closest Thing To Crazy'.

For more information on Abbie Gathard, including details of her upcoming gigs, you can visit her Facebook at

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

Chris' Film Club: Twelve Monkeys

Continuing to look at "Dystopian Films" this week, today Chris picks "Twelve Monkeys" from 1995 to discuss.

In the future, time travel has been invented and is going to be used to find a cure to the population-destroying virus that swept across the earth. Bruce Willis stars as the Convict chosen to gather information on the virus, but is left with little help aside from the manic Jeffrey (Brad Pitt).

Directed by Terry Gilliam, Brad Pitt won a Golden Globe for his supporting role.


Health Matters - Patient Transport

Urgent Update - Patient Transport
The Provider ceased trading; East of England Ambulance is providing the service. They have set up a contact centre telephone 01603 481 208, which is operating 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday (with an answerphone taking messages outside of these times). All patients who are eligible for patient transport, and have transport booked for their next out-patient appointment, can call the contact centre to confirm their transport arrangements. Eligible patients should also use this number for making bookings.

We are encouraging users to phone the call centre for bookings or to confirm imminent journeys, rather than enquire more generally or ask about bookings into the future. In this way we can ensure that operators' time is freed up to help patients with urgent queries. Patients who can make their own way to their appointments are being asked to do that if they can. 

If you know anyone that needs to use patient transport to get to an NHS Facility, do let them know! Many thanks
Alan Bellinger

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Chris' Film Club: The Road

"Dystopian Futures" is this weeks theme selected by Chris, we continue looking at dark dramas with "The Road"from 2009.

Set many years after a grim catastrophe that left America as nothing but a grim wasteland, a man and his son aim to travel across the continent to make it to the sea. Along the way they must survive as best they can on what they can scavenge, and try to avoid roving gangs of savage humans who will turn them into slaves, or worse.

Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee star as the two main characters.

Local Literary Feature with Chris Aikman @ccaikman

On the show today we had the first Local Literary Feature since coming back from our summer break, and sitting in the hot seat now is West Herts Drivetime's Chris Aikman, who has taken over from Marie Kemplay who sadly cannot present the feature any more.

On the feature this week Chris and Danny discussed the six books vying for the Man Booker Prize (4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster; History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund; Exit West by Mohsin Hamid;
Elmet by Fiona Mozley; Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders; and Autumn by Ali Smith), as well as the news that legendary writer Marcel Proust used to pay newspaper editors to review his books favourably.

Chris also chose two 'Books of the Month', one fiction and one non-fiction: Munich by Robert Harris and What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton. And finally Chris and Danny discussed big local literary event this month - The Chorleywood Literary Festival - that sees the likes of Richard Osman, A.N. Wilson, Andy McNab, Henry Blofeld, and St Albans' own Roger Protz all making appearances. For more information on the event please visit the website here.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Chris' Film Club: What Happened to Monday?

Chris is back with a new theme for this weeks Film Club, setting the theme as always on a Monday, look forward to a week of "Dystopian Futures", starting with "What Happened to Monday?".

Set in a future in which overpopulation has led to families being restricted to having one child, Noomi Rapace plays each sister in a family of identical septuplets, forced to hide the truth of their birth from the government. When one of their own disappears, the sisters must take action to find her.

Willem Dafoe and Glenn Close also star.

Health Matters - Nascot Lawn and Patient Transport

Two quick updates on decisions impacting people in our area.

1. Nascot Lawn – I mentioned Nascot Lawn in the last Health Matters - It is a large Victorian house in Watford that has been converted to provide respite care for children with complex health needs and learning disability. The local Commissioning Group (“HVCCG”) said it would close on OCT 1. But it hasn’t as, after pressure from key stakeholders, HVCCG reversed its decision. That’s a relief for many parents in our area; such a pity that they have been put through the trauma of the last three months.

2. Patient Transport – the company providing patient transport in our area (“Private Ambulance Service”) went into receivership over the weekend. The local Ambulance Service is providing a caretaker service until new arrangements are completed.

Although patients are being prioritised based on clinical need, this may lead to some disruption in the immediate term; if you are concerned about your transport then ring the hospital or care setting where you have your appointment. 

Have you been affected by either of these issues? Tell us how.

Alan Bellinger - 2/10/2017