Monday, 19 March 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Jumanji

This week Charlotte takes the Film Club in the direction of 'Games in Film', ranging from board, to video, to cross-country! Charlotte's first pick is 'Jumanji', that is the original from 1995 and not the recent re-imagining.

While exploring an abandoned mansion, a pair of twins stumble upon an old jungle-themed board game. When they start playing, they free a lost explorer, who's been stuck in the game's inner world for decades, but the only way to break the curse of Jumanji is to brave the rampaging forces of rhinos, elephants, monkeys and more!

The late Robin Williams stars, alongside Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce.


Local Theatre

David Widdowson joined us tonight to provide an update on happenings in the local theatre.


23rd and 24th March 2018
Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans

These Bridges
26th -28th March - 20.00
London is engulfed by an apocalyptic flood leaving few survivors on the flooded banks of the Thames. In the midst of this devastation two teenagers decide to take on the swollen, body-ridden haunted river to see what really lies on the other side…

This is a chilling and visceral tale of loss, courage, friendship and ultimately hope, performed as part of the National Theatre Connections programme by Best Theatre Arts, winners in 2015 of this prestigious national competition.

Tickets: £8/£5

Folk – Na-Mara + Sue Farthing & Megan Wisdom
6th April - 20.00
Na-Mara brings together talented English singer songwriter and guitarist Paul McNamara and wonderful mandolin player Rob Garcia. Together, they have built an enviable reputation for fine story-telling and musicianship, performing in clubs and festivals throughout the UK, at events in France, Spain and Germany and on BBC Radio 4 as well as a plethora of internet and local radio stations

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Lake Placid

It's time for Charlotte to conclude this week's Film Club, and so our last animal themed Film is 1999's Lake Placid.

When a man is violently killed in a Maine lake, Jack Wells, the local game warden, looks into the bizarre case, along with Sheriff Hank Keough and visiting paleontologist Kelly Scott. Looking for clues via a large monstrous tooth found at the scene, Kelly and the others eventually locate the culprit; an enormous reptile that threatens to eat the whole town.

Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman and Brendan Gleeson star.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: War Horse

Today's 'Animal' focused Film is "War Horse", a war drama released in 2011.

Albert lives on a farm in the British countryside with his Horse Joey, who he spares a special bond with. At the outbreak of World War I, the two are forcibly parted when Albert's father sells the horse to the British cavalry. Against the backdrop of the Great War, Joey begins an odyssey full of sadness and joy as he travels with the British Cavalry, while Albert tours the French battlefield, searching for his friend.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, the Film stars Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, Tom Hiddlestone, Benedict Cumberbatch and many more.


The Drivetime Sessions with @dodobones sponsored by @FightingcocksSA

On this week's Drivetime Sessions we were joined by local artists DodoBones. Whilst on air they played three songs: two of their own singles and a cover.  The two singles were named "Adieu" and "Tree House."  They also performed a cover of "Smooth Criminal" originally by Michael Jackson.  

You can find their Facebook page here:
If you would like to listen to the Drivetime Sessions again, follow this link, and navigate to Wednesday at 5:30. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Snakes on a Plane

Animals are still the theme of this week's Film Club, and so today Charlotte chooses to talk about a cult classic from 2006 "Snakes on a Plane".

The Film title does a good job of summarising the story, as thousands of snakes are released onto a plane in order to kill a key witness to a crime, and FBI agent Nelville Flynn, played by Samuel L Jackson, has to protect everyone on board.

Health Matters - Patient Records, Patient Awards, Urgent Care, 1000 Miles

Four Issues in tonight’s DriveTime

·         Patient Records – an Update
·         The One Show – NHS Patients Awards
·         St Albans Minor Injuries upgrade to Urgent Care?
·         NHS at 70

1. Patient Records – an Update
Do you remember the last time you went to see your GP – they would have had a computer in front of them, referred to it while they were seeing you, and probably typed something in during your appointment – they were referring to and updating your patient record. Now for years that record has been completely confidential between you and your doctor. But that’s no longer the case.

Some 4 years ago, there was an NHS program called Care.Data and that meant that our records were to be uploaded to NHS England and used for both our benefit but also for research purposes. Where it’s not for our direct benefit, that is referred to as “secondary use”. At the time, the NHS reluctantly gave us an opt out and around 2% of the population exercised it. But until recently the NHS has completely ignored those opt-outs.

Now we have something called GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations); this comes into effect on May 25. There are a lot of detailed provisions here but the main one relates to opt in versus opt out. In the past, organisations could assume that you were happy for them to store anything on you unless you told them you wanted to opt out. Under GDPR, an organisation holding information on you must get your agreement by an opt in! So “implicit consent” will become “explicit consent” from May 25!

This creates a mass of confusion for the Health Service, and the Government doesn’t want to raise any issues around it until after the May Elections – so they’re going to be very tight for time! In summary, though, the opt-outs from 4 years ago will finally be respected! And everyone who opted out will be written to after the May Elections. So, if you would like to be added to that list of people who have opted out there’s still time – for all the details just go to

 2. The One Show – NHS Patients Awards
The One Show on BBC1, together with the Patients Association have just announced a new Awards Programme as part of the NHS at 70 Celebration; it’s an opportunity for us, as patients, to nominate someone in the NHS who’s done something special for us. The process is simple and the deadline is APR 5th – so there’s plenty of time, so who will you nominate?

There are five award categories
·         Children and Young People Award – you could nominate a healthcare professional who has provided exceptional care to a young person (defined as anyone below the age of 18)
·         Nursing Award – do you know a nurse who has provided exceptional care – this award is for them!
·         Healthcare Award – here you would name a healthcare professional other than a Nurse
·         Lifetime Achievement Award – this would be for someone who has dedicated much of their working life to the NHS; and finally
·         Unsung Hero Award – for people who don’t usually get noticed – porter, drivers, receptionists, volunteers etc etc! This one will be decided live on the One Show

3. Minor Injuries to Urgent Care?
Services offered at the St Albans Minor Injuries Unit are limited; an urgent care facility would have far more. I launched our local Patient Group Survey on Health Matters last month. So far we have almost 500 responses and over three quarters needed urgent care in the last 12 months.  Please go to
to have your say.

4. NHS at 70For details check out this great little video on Facebook

And an update on my NHS 1,000 mile challenge. After a few days on the Isle of Wight and lots of walking I’m just over 4 miles ahead of my current goal! Details at

So, this is a great time to support your NHS!

Monday, 12 March 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Jaws

Things are going wild at the Film Club as Charlotte is setting our theme of the week as 'Animals'!
Up first is Steven Spielberg's 1975 Shark classic "Jaws".

This novel adaptation sees a town befaced by terror when a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping. The Police Chief of Amity Island, New England, finds himself coming to blows with the Mayor about the attack, as his demands to close the beach are rejected for tourist revenue, and must team up with an Ichthyologist and grizzled ship captain Quint to capture the killer beast.

Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw star.

Friday, 9 March 2018

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 9th March 2018

Here is Simon's choice of films on free-to-air tv for the forthcoming week:

We’re the Millers
9.00pm – 11.15pm

45 Years
9.00pm – 10.50pm
Channel 4

7.10pm – 9.00pm

The Guest
11.25pm – 1.25am

10.00pm – 12.30am

The Artist
11.45pm – 1.20am

9.00pm – 11.15pm

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: The Post

To conclude this week's Film Club, Charlotte and Danny look at recent release Steven Spielberg's "The Post".

This Drama tells the historic tale of  The Washington Post's in-depth coverage of leaked secrets of the Vietnam War. Katharine Graham is the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and works with her editor Ben Bradlee to expose the three decades of Government cover-ups, despite risk to their careers, and even their freedom.

Meryl Steep and Tom Hanks star as Graham and Bradlee respectively, in addition to Bob Odenkirk, Bruce Greenwood and many others.


Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Darkest Hour

Charlotte continues to discuss her most recent watches today with the recently released Winston Churchill Biopic "Darkest Hour".

Gary Oldman stars as the Prime Minister during the heat of the Second World War, when he finds his country faced by the unstoppable Nazi forces rolling across Western Europe, with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him. Faced by insurmountable odds, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

Oldman won an Oscar for his portrayal of Churchill at this years awards show!

The Drivetime Sessions with @tomcraven sponsored by @FightingcocksSA

On this week's Drivetime Sessions we were joined by the local artist Tom Craven.  Whilst on air he played three songs: two of his own singles and a cover.  The two singles were named "Dreams of Sixsmith" and "The Remedy."  He also performed a cover of "Down by the Water" by the band the "Decemberists".  

If you would like to listen to the Drivetime Sessions again, follow this link, and navigate to Wednesday at 5:30. Tom's other tracks can be found on his Soundcloud page.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Local Literary Feature with @ccaikman

Today we talked to Chris Aikman, our very own literary correspondent, about what's new on the St Albans literary scene!

Philip Pullman has called for authors to be given a greater share of the profits that publishers receive. He said
“To allow corporate profits to be so high at a time when author earnings are markedly falling is, apart from anything else, shockingly bad husbandry. It’s perfectly possible to make a good profit and pay a fair return to all of those on whose work, after all, everything else depends. But that’s not happening at the moment, I like every individual editor, designer, marketing and publicity person I deal with; but I don’t like what publishers, corporately, are doing to the ecology of the book world. It’s damaging, and it should change.”

According to a 2016 report the average earnings for a published author were just £12,500 and it’s falling each year, while the profits for publishers are steadily rising.



Force of Nature by Jane Harper

5 women go out into the wilderness, only 4 come back…

Detective Aaron Falk is very interested in the case of the missing woman, because she was the whistleblower in his latest case, and she knew things.

The sequel to the hit thriller The Dry.


I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Michelle McNamara was a true crime writer who tragically died before finishing this, her debut book about her efforts to unmask the infamous ‘Golden State Killer’, a vicious man who committed 12 murders and 45 rapes in California in the 70s and 80s, and was never caught.


So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs?
So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs is the hit stage show starring dinosaur aficionado Dr Ben Garrod. Get ready to go on an exciting pre-historic adventure as Ben talks you through the deadliest predators that ever roamed the planet. Yes dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus and Spinosaurus would have walked or swam right where you are now!
Pitting the knowledge of unwitting parents against their all-knowing kids, Dr Ben presents an interactive, educational and highly entertaining show using film footage from the BBC's 'Planet Dinosaur’. So come and test your knowledge against Dr Ben in this hit live interactive show which is bigger and better than ever.

Radlett Centre Wednesday 21st March, 6pm - 7.15pm

Charlotte's Film Club: Black Panther

Continuing this week's Film Club theme of features Charlotte has seen most recently, today our focus is on the latest Marvel Cinematic release "Black Panther".

After the events of "Captain America: Civil War", Prince T'Challa returns to take his rightful place as king of Wakanda, a hidden away Utopia of technology. However, following attacks from the dual-threat of Erik Killmonger and Ulysses Klaue, his capability as King and right to be the 'Black Panther' comes into question, and T'Challa must prove himself worthy of his people.

The Star-Studded cast includes Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Forrest Whitaker, Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman. 


Monday, 5 March 2018

Local author James Carol

Tonight local author James Carol joined us on Drivetime, talking about his latest book 

One of the (many) weird things about being a writer is how you can be working on one book one minute and talking about another that you wrote a year ago the next. Kiss Me Kill Me came out a couple of weeks ago, so it’s safe to say that that one is very much on my radar. However, while all that hoo-ha has been going on, I’ve been quietly working away on the next standalone. And I’m happy to report that it is now finished.

Actually, when I say finished, it’s not actually finished finished. What I mean is that I’ve come to the end of the first draft. Because the truth of the matter is that it will never be finished. Even when it finally gets published there will inevitably be things that I would like to change … that’s the curse of being a writer I guess.
more details can be found at the web site

Charlotte's Film Club: Veronica

It's a Monday, which can only mean it's time to start another week of Charlotte's Film Club! This week, Charlotte is looking at a selection of Films that she has personally just seen.

The first Film pick of this week is "Veronica", a Spanish Horror released in 2017. Based upon real-life reports, the Film tells the story of a teenage girl whose family is terrorized after a failed Ouija board test is conducted during a solar eclipse.

The Film itself has even been named "the scariest horror film ever" by some critics.


Thursday, 1 March 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Alien

Concluding a week of 'Extraterrestrial' films, Charlotte looks at another classic with Ridley Scott's 1979 'Alien'.

In deep space, the crew of the starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship, and an organism from inside an egg leaps out and attaches itself to one of the crew.

Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Helen Horton, and Bolaji Badejo all star.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Arrival

Charlotte continues to look at Films of an 'Extraterrestrial' nature this week, with Denis Villeneuve's 2016 sci-fi "Arrival".

Amy Adams stars as a linguistics professor who must lead an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, the crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind.

Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg also star. The Film won one Oscar for sound editing, and was nominated for several more.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: War Of The Worlds

Today's Film Club pick is "War of the Worlds" from 2005, the sci-fi disaster thriller starring Tom Cruise based on the work of H.G. Wells.

Cruise stars as a dockworker, struggling to get through to his children Rachel and Robbie emotionally following a divorce with his wife.What is expected to be a tense weekend changes as electromagnetic pulses of lightning strike the area, the beginning of an all-out alien invasion, which forces the family to free across the country in the search for refuge.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: 2001: A Space Odyssey

The Film Club is dedicated to the topic of  'Extraterrestrial Films' this week, with Charlotte choosing to start off with the classic that is Stanley Kubrick's  "2001: A Space Odyssey".

This enigmatic adaptation of a short story by Arthur C. Clarke looks at how a strange dark artifact ties together ancient history and the far future. When Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and other astronauts are sent on a mysterious mission, their ship's computer system, HAL, begins to display increasingly strange behavior, leading up to a tense showdown between man and machine that results in a mind-bending trek through space and time.

The film won an Oscar in 1969 for 'Best Effects, Special Visual Effects'.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Film Guide with @ccaikman on West Herts Drivetime 23rd Feb 2018

23rd February 2018 – Films on TV

Chris fills Simon's shoes (though they are a bit tight, Chris has bigger feet) and he has picked some awesome films for you to watch for FREE! on free-to-air TV for the next 7 days.

9.00pm - 11.20pm

3.10pm - 5.00pm

A Bridge Too Far
Channel 5
1.50pm - 5.05pm

12 Years a Slave
11.10pm - 1.50am

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Sony Channel
9.00pm - 12.20am

Big Eyes
9.00pm - 11.10pm

Pitch Perfect

9.00pm - 11.10pm

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Spy

It's Thursday, meaning its the last day of Charlotte's Spy-themed Film Club. Today Charlotte's final pick of the week is the aptly named "Spy" from 2015.

In this comedy Melissa McCarthy stars as an agent who has spent her entire career as a desk jockey even with full field training. Using high-tech equipment and a hidden earpiece, Susan is the guardian angel who helps Bradley Fine (Jude Law) avoid danger. However, when Bradley is assassinated by Bulgarian arms dealer Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne), Susan wrangles her way into her first undercover assignment to help capture Boyanov and avenge Bradley.

Jason Statham, Miranda Hart and Morena Baccarin also star.


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: The Man from U.N.C.L.E

More Spy films on the Film Club this week, as today Charlotte chooses stylish Guy Ritchie thriller "The Man from U.N.C.L.E" to be the point of discussion.

Set during the height of the Cold War, a mysterious criminal organization planning to use nuclear weapons to upset the world's balance of power leads to an unlikely alliance between the US and Russia. CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) are forced to put aside their hostilities and work together to stop the world from being thrown into chaos, and  their only lead is the daughter of a missing German scientist, whom they must find soon to prevent a global catastrophe.

Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki and Hugh Grant also star.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Drivetime Sessions with @AmeliaLappert sponsored by @FightingcocksSA

On this week's Drivetime Sessions we were joined by the singer-songwriter Amelia Lappert. She performed her singles 'Hazy' and 'Gone Away', and also performed a cover of 'I'm Yours', originally by Jason Mraz.   

For more information on Amelia you can visit her Soundcloud page here.

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

Charlotte's Film Club: Johnny English

The espionage filled Film Club continues again today, as today Charlotte and Danny look at 2003 spy comedy Johnny English, featuring Rowan Atkinson.

When a villain intent on stealing Britain's Crown Jewels has the country's top undercover agents murdered, mediocre spy Johnny English is the only one available to prevent further mayhem. But even with help from quick-thinking sidekick Bough, the goofy agent lands himself in one precarious situation after another. Only when he meets up with Interpol crime-fighter Lorna Campbell is Johnny able to really save the day.

Along with Atkinson, John Malkovich, Ben Stiller and Natalie Imbruglia also star.


Liz Widdowson: Local Theatre Correspondent

Today Liz Widdowson, the manager of the Maltings Arts Theatre came in to talk to us about upcoming events in the St Albans Theatre scene.  Here's the rundown of what she said:

26th February: Best Theatre Arts (an award winning young people's theatre company) presents a double bill 'Dr Hugh and the Creatives' and 'To Be Shaw'- a collection of moments from the works of George Bernard Shaw.  £8.  This production will also be playing at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City on 5th March, tickets £10.

2nd March- Folk @ the Maltings- The Daria Kulesh Quartet supported by Ben Moss and New Roots finalists Bow by Bow. 

8-10th and 15-17th March Terrence Rattigan's Deep Blue Sea- This is an OVO production of one of Rattigan's greatest works, directed by the local actress Kat-Anne Rodgers.  8pm, tickets £12, £11 and £7.50. Malting's Arts video.

23-25th February and 27th Feb-3rd March- Abbey Theatre/Company of Ten present Mary Shelley's Frankenstein- This is a production of Mary Shelley's novel, adapted by Patrick Smallford.  Tickets £12 and £11.  All performances 8pm except the 25th which is 2:30pm.

8th- 9th March- Company of Teens presents 'My Fear vs The World'- 8pm, tickets £8 and £7.

Useful links: 

Abbey Theatre 
Maltings Arts Theatre
OVO Theatre

Monday, 19 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: The Bourne Supremacy

This week, Charlotte is setting up a very secretive Film Club by choosing the theme of 'Spies'. The first pick of the week is 2004 thriller "The Bourne Supremacy".

This second installment of the Bourne action-spy series sees Matt Damon take on the role of Amnesiac assassin "Jason Bourne"once more. While hiding in India Bourne is framed for stealing millions of dollars from the American CIA, and an attempt is made on his life which kills his girlfriend instead. Vowing revenge, Bourne sets out to prove his innocence and bring the culprits to justice, but has to evade CIA head Pamela Landry who is pursuing him relentlessly.

Julia Stiles, Joan Allen, Karl Urban and Brian Cox also star.


Thursday, 15 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Me Before You

Our Valentines themed Film Club is coming to an end! Charlotte's last lovey pick for this week is "Me Before You" from 2016.

This 2016 adaptation of JoJo Moyes popular romance novel sees young and quirky Louisa become a caregiver for Will Traynor, a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. Will's cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined.

Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin star as the two focal characters in this emotional romantic comedy.


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Fifty Shades of Grey

The 'Love' themed Film Club continues in accordance with Valentines day, and today Charlotte discusses book adaptation "Fifty Shades of Grey".

Released in 2015, Dakota Johnson stars as college senior Anastasia Steele, who is given the chance to interview prominent businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for their campus paper, pushing her down a life-changing path. Christian, as enigmatic as he is rich and powerful, finds himself strangely drawn to Ana, and she to him. Ana plunges headlong into an affair and learns that Christian's true desires push the boundaries of pain and pleasure

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: La La Land

The Film Club this week is still all about 'Love', continuing today with Charlotte's choice of La La Land, the 2016 musical.

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling both star as amateurs in Hollywood who have a common desire to do what they love which draws them together. But as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.

The Film won and was nominated for multiple Oscars, including  "Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role" for Emma Stone.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Atonement

We're getting closer to Valentines day which can mean only one thing! That's right, a week of Film Club themes devoted to the theme of 'Love'. Charlotte's first pick for this week is "Atonement" from 2007.

Based on the book by Ian McEwan, this English drama follows the lives of young lovers Cecilia Tallis (Keira Knightley) and Robbie Turner (James McAvoy). When the couple are torn apart by a lie constructed by Cecilia's jealous younger sister, Briony (Saoirse Ronan), all three of them must deal with the consequences. Robbie is the hardest hit, since Briony's deception results in his imprisonment, but hope increases when their paths cross during World War II.

Health Matters - A New Hospital? Urgent Care? Pharmacies; NHS at 70

Four Issues in tonight’s DriveTime
  •          A New Hospital for St Albans?
  •       St Albans Minor Injuries upgrade to Urgent Care?
  •       Stay Well Pharmacies’ Campaign
  •       NHS at 70

1. A New Hospital For St Albans – A St Albans Resident has created a petition for a new hospital for our area – is there a case to be made?
It comes down to two issues – the location of the new Hospital, and the impact on the City Hospital.

The Strategic Review on hospital reconfiguration in our area concluded that a new hospital was too expensive and that there were very few suitable sites; an extensive piece of research concluded that the best site was at Kings Langley – next to Junction 20 – and whilst that’s virtually mid-way between Watford and Hemel it would be dreadful for St Albans patients!

The outcome of that “strategic review” was really a tactical fix (significant re-build at Watford and elective surgery at an upgraded St Albans Hospital). So there are two issues with this petition that really need clarification

1.1. Location – there is only really one site for a “centrally located” hospital – that triangle of land between the M1 and the M25 at Bricketwood.  But experts have ruled that out apparently. Alternatives are on the Crown Estate land between Redbourn and Hemel or the old Handley Page site between London Colney and Radlett. But both of those would be unacceptable to Watford residents!

1.2. Impact on St Albans City Hospital – a new hospital would almost certainly mean that all three other hospital sites would close (Watford, Hemel and St Albans); so if you sign this petition, is that what you want?

We need further clarification on these points!

2. Minor Injuries to Urgent Care?
Have you ever wondered why both Hemel and Welwyn have Urgent Care Centres but St Albans only has a Minor Injuries Unit? Indeed – what’s the difference? The key point is that Minor Injuries is nurse-led with minimal diagnostics, whilst Urgent Care is doctor-led with extensive diagnostics.

For some time now, the organisation responsible for these units – Herts Urgent Care has wanted to standardise these centres and provide Urgent Care facilities at St Albans. But our local Commissioning Group (who hold the purse strings!) are reluctant saying there is no evidence of demand for such a unit in St Albans. Recently, patients going to our MIU average just 25 per week! So our local Patient Group has launched a Survey today. Please go to
to have your say.

3. Stay Well Pharmacy
A new campaign launched today seeks to promote Pharmacies as a first “port of call” for minor ailments. The campaign claims that last year 18m people had a GP consultation and 2m people went to A&E when they could have gone to a Pharmacist! Watch out for the advertising and see if it helps! For more details go here (the NHS site wasn’t available in time for this blog!

4. NHS at 70 – This is the year that the NHS, turns 70; July 5th is a significant day and an opportunity for us, as patients, to appreciate and support all of those dedicated NHS staff. There’s a great little video on Facebook that

And also an excellent web page that highlights some of the activities that we can get up to to show our support; for example – and I’ve signed up for it – the NHS 1,000 mile challenge. I’m a bit behind schedule at the moment (done 100; should be on 120) but I’ll catch up when the weather improves!

So, this is a great time to support your NHS!

Friday, 9 February 2018

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 9th February 2018

9th February 2018 – Films on TV

Simon Carver chooses his pick of films from free-to-air TV for your viewing pleasure across the week ending 9th Feb:

Looper (2012)
11.05pm – 12.55am

Saturday (2015)
Lonely are the brave
4.00pm – 6.15pm

Spy (2015)
9.00pm – 11.25pm
Channel 4

Belle (2013)
7.40pm – 9.50pm

Room (2015)
9.00pm – 11.20pm

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
10.00pm – 12.05am
Channel 5

The Ladykillers (1955)
3.00pm – 4.50pm

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Locke

Rounding off a week of works featuring actors who started on television, the final Film Club of this week looks at Tom Hardy in "Locke".

In this 2013 drama, Hardy stars as a construction foreman who is stuck driving in a car to the premature birth of a child resulting from an affair, and must do his best to organize his personal and professional life via phone calls, while also imagining conversations with his father.

The film only stars Hardy, but also includes the voices of many actors such as Andrew Scott, Olivia Colman and Tom Holland.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Collateral Beauty

The week of actors who started their careers on tv continues again today, with none other than the iconic Fresh Prince Will Smith, and his role in 2016 drama "Collateral Beauty".

Smith stars as a New York advertising executive who suffers the loss of his daughter, and retreats from life. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Love, Time and Death. When his notes bring unexpected personal responses, he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully lived and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.

Helen Mirren, Kiera Knightley, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton and Naomie Harris also feature alongside Smith.

The Drivetime Sessions with @Starseedzmusic sponsored by @FightingcocksSA

On this week's Drivetime Sessions we were joined by the local duo Starseedz. They performed their songs 'Dumb Idea' and 'The Star Seeds', and performed a cover of 'She's Not There', originally by The Zombies.

For more information about Starseedz you can visit their website at

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

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: 50/50

The week of looking at actors who origin from television continues today. Charlotte picks "Joseph Gordon Levitt" to look at on this edition of the film club, but most specifically in "50/50".

This 2011 comedy is inspired by a true story, and centers on a 27 year old who learns he has a serious cancer case, and does what he can to fight the disease, while living life to the fullest.

Along with Gordon Levitt, Seth Rogen, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anna Kendrick star.

Local Literary Feature with Chris Aikman @ccaikman

On the show today we had the first Local Literary Feature of 2018. Chris and Danny discussed their reading targets for the year, as well as the latest news from the literary world, including a group of authors who are pushing for a rule change in the Man Booker Prize. The two also discussed the winners of the recent Costa Book Awards, which were as follows:

First Novel - Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Novel - Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
Biography - In The Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott
Poetry - Inside The Wave by Helen Dunmore
Children’s - The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
Book of the Year - Inside The Wave by Helen Dunmore

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was also Chris' pick for the Fiction book of the month. Finally, there is one local book event in February:

Meet Finn, the brave police dog

Finn and owner Dave Wardell will be at St. Francis College (Letchworth Garden City) on Sunday 25th February at 3:30pm, to introduce their new book, Fabulous Finn.

For seven years, Finn and Dave tracked murderers and rapists, burglars and missing persons, car thieves and assault suspects, before Finn was seriously injured in the line of duty. Finn is the winner of the 2017 Daily Mirror Animal Hero of the Year Award and the 2017 IFAW Animal of the Year Award. 

Tickets £6 (£3 accompanied children), deductible from the cost of the hardback book (£16.99) if purchased at the event. Tickets from David's Bookshop 01462 684631.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: About Time

As its a Monday, today Charlotte sets a new Film Club theme; "Actors who started on TV". Today the focus is "About Time", specifically due to Margot Robbie featuring.

In the film, when Tim Lake turns 21, his father tells him a secret: The men in their family can travel through time. Although he can't change history, Tim resolves to improve his life by getting a girlfriend. He meets a girl , falls in love and finally wins her heart via time-travel and a little cunning. However, as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds that his special ability can't shield him and those he loves from the problems of ordinary life.

The star studded cast features Domnhall Gleeson, Bill Nighy, Rachel McAdams, and ofcourse, Margot Robbie.

Project Sunshine Presents: Love Is... at @MaltingsTheatre

David Berryman was our guest tonight to tell us about Project Sunshine.

Over the past 2 or 3 years I have been involved in a project in China. It’s to do with what the media calls “The Left Behind Kids”.  It’s a project David fell into whilst doing his day-job business there.

The last twenty years has seen mass movements of people in China from the countryside to work in cities, This has meant that there are some 62 million children left in rural, often deprived areas. Nevertheless, the children are keen, often desperate, to go to school, even though it may take hours to walk there.

David thought it might be a good idea to help the children learn English and decided take a team from UK to do a “play in a week”. So in October 2017, they did just that, when 10 went to mountain villages north of the Great Wall. At the end of an action-packed week this St Albans-based team had 200 children on stage singing songs in English.

As they plan to return this year they are starting fund-raising with a song and poetry evening on the Sunday closest to Valentines day, Sunday 11th February at The Maltings Arts Theatre at 8.00pm
for more details go to the website

Friday, 2 February 2018

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 2nd February 2018

2nd February 2018

Simon's pick of films on TV for this week!

Lucy (2014)
9.00pm – 10.45pm

Suffragette (2015)
9.00pm – 11.10pm
Channel 4

Jane Eyre (1943)
2.10pm – 3.45pm

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
10.00pm – 12.25am
Channel 5

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
9.00pm – 11.30pm

The Dressmaker (2015)
9.00pm – 11.20pm

Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)
10.45pm – 12.50pm

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: The Da Vinci Code

The week of Tom Hanks is coming to an end! Charlotte chooses to send off our Film Club this week with mind-blowing 2006 thriller 'The Da Vinci Code".

This adaptation of Dan Brown's best-selling novel of the same name sees a murder in the Louvre of Paris and a number of cryptic clues in some of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous paintings point to an ancient secret hidden long ago. Hanks stars as scholar Robert Langdon, who must do everything to crack the code, despite opposition from those who wish to hide the truth.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: Forrest Gump

Today on the Film Club, Charlotte picks one of Tom Hanks' most iconic roles, in 1994's 'Forrest Gump'.

The slow-witted Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks) has never thought of himself as disadvantaged, and leaves a life that is anything but dull and uneventful. Whether dominating on the gridiron as a college football star, fighting in Vietnam or captaining a shrimp boat, Forrest inspires people with his childlike optimism. But one person Forrest cares about most may be the most difficult to save -- his childhood love, the sweet but troubled Jenny (Robin Wright).

Robert Zemeckis directed the film, which won multiple Oscars in 1995.

The Drivetime Sessions with @thepapersnakes sponsored by @FightingcocksSA

On this week's Drivetime Sessions we were joined by the local duo Papersnakes. They performed their songs 'Simple Song' and 'Fields of Dreams', and performed a cover of Coldplay's 'Yellow'.

For more information about Papersnakes you can visit their website at

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

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Howard Linskey- "The Chosen Ones" @HowardLinskey

Today we chatted to local author Howard Linskey about his upcoming crime novel 'The Chosen Ones', which is being released in June and is the fourth book in the 'DS Bradshaw series.'  This series follows DS Bradshaw, a detective, and two investigative journalists who investigate the same crimes from different perspectives and collaborate to solve the crimes.  The novels are set in the '90s in North Eastern England, because Howard himself worked as a journalist in Northern England in the '90s.  Setting his novels in the '90s also means that he can use more plot devices: the lack of technology means that it is harder to trace criminals, due to the lack of CCTV and phone tracking. 

Howard also told us that writing novels with recurring characters can be a double edged sword: on the one hand the author knows the characters very well, but on the other hand it is very easy to include details contradicting things in previous books. 

Howard has published 7 books in total, and 'The Chosen Ones' will be his 8th.  In addition to crime novels, he has also written WW2 historical fiction. Howard also recently appeared on CBS' series 'Written in Blood', about crime writers who base crimes in their novels on real life cases and criminals.  On this show Howard talked about how he based the psyche of one of his villains on the notorious moors murderer Ian Brady.

"The Chosen Ones" is about a series of unlinked women who disappear with no reason.  It will be available for preorder in June!   He has just started the 5th book in this series, which is scheduled for release in 2019.  All Howard's books are also available as audiobooks. 

Howard's Twitter
Howard's Website

Charlotte's Film Club: Toy Story

The Film Club is still all about the best of Tom Hanks this week, with Charlotte looking at animated classic 'Toy Story' next!

Woody the cowboy doll is a kindhearted leader of the toys belonging to a young boy named Andy, but sees his position as Andy's favorite toy jeopardized when his parents buy him a Buzz Lightyear action figure. The two clash immediately, with Buzz believing he really is a space ranger from another galaxy, but must work together to find Andy when they are lost moving to a new home.

The voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen star as the iconic Woody the cowboy and Buzz Lightyear respectively.


Monday, 29 January 2018

Charlotte's Film Club: The Terminal

This week, the Film Club is all about everyone's favourite actor, Tom Hanks. Charlotte spends today talking about Hanks' role in 2004 Drama-comedy 'The Terminal'.

Hanks stars as Viktor Navorski, an Eastern European tourist who arrives at JFK airport in New York as war breaks out in his country, leaving him caught up in international politics. Because of the war, the Department of Homeland Security won't let him enter or exit the United States. He's trapped at JFK -- indefinitely. While living inside the airport, Viktor finds himself falling for a flight attendant played by Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Stanley Tucci, Chi McBride and Diego Luna also feature.