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.