Monday

COMING UP NEXT WEEK

ALAN’S GRAND FINALE – CLICK HERE TO GET THE DETAILS.

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MONDAY 3RD NOVEMBER

Comedian Al Murray takes charge of the bar in Alan’s studio, the Perfect Puds club celebrates the marvellous marshmallow and Scottish actor John Gordon Sinclair joins the fun.  We also featured advice on keeping pets safe and happy around bonfire night and a range of fabulous pimped up pet houses:  Details as follows:

KEEPING YOUR PETS SAFE ON 5TH NOVEMBER
Herbal dog biscuits – Pooch & Mutt Calm and Relaxed RRP £2.25
Thundershirt  RRP £29.95
FELIWAY DIFFUSER RRP £18.99
  
PIMPED UP PET HOUSES
The dog cottage company www.thedogcottagecompany.com/
 

Click HERE for The Marshmallow Recipe.

The Marshmallowists: http://www.themarshmallowists.co.uk/

 

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OCTOBER 27th

kacey-ainsworth-little-mo

KACEY AINSWORTH – GRANTCHESTER

From Albert Square to a tiny village in Cambridgeshire, Kacey Ainsworth (46) has come a long way from playing long suffering character “Little Mo” in EastEnders. She joins us today to talk about her latest role, playing Robson Green’s wife, Cathy Keating, in the new ITV crime series, Grantchester.

 

 

FOOD Allen 094221PERFECT PUDS

Irish Cooking Queen Rachel Allen (42) joins us today to make some delicious dulche de leche brownies with a helping hand from a few special little guests as well as talking about her latest book All Things Sweet.

Rachel is also the author of several best selling cookery books, which include Rachel’s Favourite Food at Home and Rachel’s Food for Living. Her popular television series for RTE and the BBC have been broadcast internationally and has made frequent appearances on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen. Rachel is regularly featured in articles and interviews and is currently a columnist and contributor to a number of Irish publications, including The Sunday Tribune magazine.

https://www.facebook.com/rachelallencook

 

SARAH BEENY

sarah-beeny-450-pic-ch4-6393465Over the last decade, Sarah Beeny (42) has made a name for herself as one of Britain’s finest property gurus. She joins us today to talk about her new show How to Sell your Home, which looks at the pioneering way of flogging our homes through online estate agents and how in turn, it could save us thousands of pounds.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/sarah-beenys-how-to-sell-your-home/episode-guide

 

DOGGIE HALLOWEEEN PARTY

We’ve got a range of caniBarking-BlondesWne friendly costumes, Halloween treats and toys to let your pooch feel part of the party atmosphere this Howl-o-ween. 

The Barking Blondes are wearing matching pumpkin outfits from FUN FANCY DRESS with matching tights and hats.

Pumpkin Costume with Top Skirt and Cummerbund £27.07

Orange and Black Stripped Tights £2.98

Fever Mini Top Hat £5.72

 

MOLLY AND MATILDA

Molly and Matilda are also wearing pumpkin costumes, new for 2014.

Dog pumpkin costume

£15

Canine and Co

 

DOG GUESTS

OUTFITS

Tyke is wearing an ‘Underdog’ costume, transforming him into the character from the children’s TV show about a superhero dog.

Underdog Dog Costume

£12.99 from Escapade

 

Murphy is looking for a Scooby snack with this charming outfit

Scooby Doo Dog Costume

£16.99 from Angels Fancy Dress

 

Rosie is wearing this outfit inspired by Lady Gaga. If you love Lady Gaga and you love your dog why not combine the two!

£18.99 from Escapade

Other costume options: Bat outfit (medium), Spider (x-large), Frankenstein (large), Witch (large), wizard (medium) provided by Dogs & Co, prices from £21.50

https://www.astarpets.com/search?type=search&q=halloween

 

DOGGIE TREATS

Treat providers

Large Halloween selection box (pictured above) containing a spider’s web cookie, a Halloween bat, ghost and cheerful pumpkin.

£8.99 Doggie Patisserie

A Halloween cake and iced cupcakes (pictured right) made with peanut flavoured sponge, the icing is both sugar and fat free so will not pile pounds on your pooch

£ 6.99 Cupcakes from Hungry Hounds Bakery for 6

£ 6.99 Halloween dog chocolate for 6

Halloween Trick or Treats for Dogs This Halloween treat pack contains two different Halloween inspired Fetch & Follow Dog treats including Bruce’s Proton Bites and George’s Gingerbread Tricks or Treat Biscuits

£5.00 from Fetch and Follow

 

HALLOWEEN TOYS/GADGETS

Puppia umbrella dog lead & harness. If you’re taking your dog out this Halloween make sure you keep them and their costume dry with this dog umbrella. The dog umbrella is the must have doggie gadget this autumn to keep your dog dry.

£24.00 from PetLondon & Pet Pooch Boutiqu

Zombie foot toy. This zombie foot toy with severed zombie foot with exposed bone and blood detail look and squeaker is ideal for your dog if they have a taste for the undead.

£7.99 from totallyfunky.co.uk

 

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OCTOBER 20TH

Neil Sedaka

NEIL SEDAKA

For over fifty years, Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka (75) has written, performed and produced countless songs. He joins us today to discuss his 7 date tour of the UK that starts on Thursday and his enduring career that continues to inspire audiences and other artists around the world.

http://neilsedaka.com/

 

AUTUMN WILDLIFE

deerOctober is an extremely busy month in the world of wildlife, so today Mike Dilger, is back to discuss all the latest nature news, along with some special guests on stage…

http://mikedilger.co.uk/index.php

 

Ms.-C-in-her-Shop1-1024x771

PERFECT PUDS

Canadian born Mellissa Morgan, aka ‘Ms Cupcake’ (46) has become something of a baking sensation in London, her inspirational cupcakes aim to bring ‘free from’ cake to the masses and her first of its kind vegan bakery does just that. Today, Mellissa will be tickling our taste buds with a cupcake inspired by the legendary British Bakewell Tart.

 Ms Cupcake’s Recipe for Vegan Bakewell Tart Cupcake – follow this link:https://alantitchmarsh.wordpress.com/recipe-vegan-bakewell-tart-cupcakes/

http://www.mscupcake.co.uk/

 

ADRIAN EDMONDSON AND NEIL MORRISEY

Neville_Cast_westendThey’ve both graced our screened for more than 20 years playing iconic roles such as Vivian in the Young Ones and Tony in Men Behaving Badly. Now, for their next adventure comedy legends, Adrian Edmondson and Neil Morrissey are joining forces in the West End in Neville’s Island and join us today to tell us why they’ve been squabbling over a sausage!

NEVILLE’S ISLAND: THE DUKE OF YORK’S THEATRE from 21 OCT 2014 – 3 JAN 2015

http://www.dukeofyorkstheatre.co.uk/

WITH THANKS TO OUR SAUSAGES SUPPLIERS!

Sausages supplied by:

www.woodsbutchersknutsford.co.uk/

Sausage stuffing machine supplied by:

www.weschenfelder.co.uk/

www.barbecoa.com/

 

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OCTOBER 13TH

Shane-Filan

WESTLIFE’S SHANE FILAN

As lead singer of Westlife, Shane Filan (35) had it all – success, a family and a property empire. However, in 2012, he lost it all after being declared bankrupt with reported debts of £18 million. He joins us today to discuss life after Westlife, his new autobiography and tour.

To kick start the week, we’re back with our weekly newsflash. Our team of news hounds have trawled through the papers and extracted their top stories. However, it’s up to Alan and our studio audience, to decide which one packs the biggest punch. Author Kathy Lette, broadcaster Nick Ferrari and journalist Kelly Rose Bradford join us to discuss.

noel-and-two-dogs-139880251073302601-140502160837SUPERVET

He’s a god amongst animal lovers and his multi-million-pound neurosurgery and orthopaedic centre in the Surrey countryside is the go-to place for sick animals from all over the world. Dubbed the ‘Bionic Vet’, we watched earlier this year as he performed pioneering limb and paw replacements for dogs and cats, TV’s Supervet, Noel Fitzpatrick joins us today with news of the 2nd series plus he’s brought along a special guest.

The Supervet – Returns on Wednesday 15th October, 8pm, Channel 4

Following the success of the first series, The Supervet returns with eight more episodes this October, following the incredible work carried out by Bionic Vet, Noel Fitzpatrick and his team.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-supervet

 

maurice collinsVICTORIAN INVENTIONS

This year marks the 175th anniversary of the first pedal bicycle, which was invented during an era when Britain was regarded as the workshop of the world.

The Victorian age was a time of great change and Britain was introduced to some of the world’s greatest inventions. Here with a selection of items from his personal collection of bizarre and eccentric gadgets from the past, we have Maurice Collins.

http://victoriangadgets.com/

 

 

GARY LUCY IN THE FULL MONTY

In the limelgary lucyight for almost 20 years, Essex heartthrob and TV hunk Gary Lucy (32) has been a regular soap favourite, with roles such as Luke Morgan in Hollyoaks, Kyle Pascoe in Footballers Wives and DC Will Fletcher in The Bill. Always up for ‘exposing’ himself to new challenges, Gary is here today to talk about his latest role, taking centre stage in the UK national tour of The Full Monty.

http://www.fullmontytheplay.com/

DREAM BOYS

Our thanks to the Dream Boys for kicking off the show.  You can find out more about them via this link:

http://www.dreamboys.co.uk/

 

Paul-A-Young-chocolatier-001CHCOLATIER PAUL A YOUNG

National Chocolate Week is upon us and what better way to celebrate than have one of the nation’s favourite chocolatiers here to whip up one of his fabulous cocoa creations! Paul A Young is at the forefront of the British chocolate scene and his passion and creativity have won him a number of prestigious titles. Today, he will be here to demonstrate his multi-award winning Sea Salted Caramels.

http://www.paulayoung.co.uk/

 

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OCTOBER 6th

brian conley

BRIAN CONLEY

Everyone’s favourite entertainer, the one and only Brian Conley joins Alan to discuss, life, comedy, the circus and Barnum, the musical.

http://www.cameronmackintosh.com/productions/across-the-uk/barnum-uk-tour

 

guide_dog_blog

PETS

It’s National Guide Dog week so we’re meeting some of the wonderful dogs who help those with disabilities and the Barking Blondes are back with all the latest pet news and gadgets.

http://www.guidedogs.org.uk/news/national-events/guide-dogs-week-2014/#.VDJHp9FNRy4

 

PET GADGETS AND GIZMOS

ScoopFree Automatic Litter Box SX3

RRP: £141.99

http://www.petplanet.co.uk/product.asp?dept_id=5823&pf_id=8925&utm_source=ShoppingFeed&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=Cj0KEQjwzK6hBRCbzLz_r_f-3tkBEiQA-zyWsL1rN9fZ1isXh-lwA57J2QtkO-CCVW213BYfK8LkhGIaAp-R8P8HAQ

 

Hyper Pet K9 Cannon

RRP: £24.99

http://www.seapets.co.uk/products/dog-supplies/dog-toys-and-treats/dog-toys/ball-and-ball-launcher-dog-toys/hyper-pet-k9-cannon.html

 

LED Light Collar

£32.99

http://www.k9active.co.uk/led-light-collar-by-leuchtie/

 

Motorola Scout Pet Monitor

From £49.99

http://www.petplanet.co.uk/product_group.asp?dept_id=491&pg_id=3405

 

Hamster Racer Set

RRP £18.99

http://www.firebox.com/product/2204/Hamster-Racer-Set

 

eric lanlard

TRADITIONAL AFTERNOON TEA with ERIC LANLARD

Master patissier Eric Lanlard, maker of cakes for the royals, is back to set up the perfect afternoon tea – fit for a queen.

http://www.cake-boy.co.uk/eric-lanlard

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SEPTEMBER 29th

LUCY KAY

Runner up in this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, classically trained soprano Lucy Kay (25), is releasing her debut album, Fantasia, today. Lucy will be performing ‘Nella Fantasia’ from the album – a song she also performed in the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals. She is determined to introduce classical music to a wider audience with her fresh approach to the style.

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BRITISH BIRDS with MIKE DILGER

mike dilgerRecent studies have suggested that certain British birds are disappearing from our gardens with Greenfinch numbers declining by 30%, yellow Wagtails being added to the ‘red list’ of the UK’s most threatened birds and the Turtle Dove possibly becoming extinct by 2020. With the hot summer that we’ve had in the UK this year, we’re seeing more exotic European birds settling in here, with the Mediterranean Bee Eater breeding here for only the 3rd time in a century.

Wildlife expert, Mike Dilger, is on hand to discuss these issues and give us some answers as to who we might be seeing more of in our gardens this autumn.

http://mikedilger.co.uk/index.php

 

 

dave2COMEDY with DAVE SPIKEY

Multi-award winning Dave Spikey is one of the UK’s most sought-after comic talents, with a career spanning two decades and numerous TV appearances as a stand-up comedian, presenter, actor and comedy writer. Here today, Dave will talk about his journey to the top and his brand new upcoming tour, Punchlines.

http://www.davespikey.co.uk/live/

 

 

PERFECT PUDS

Today, hot off the press we will be unveiling the UK’s favourite regional bake! This week is National Craft Bakers Week and to mark the occasion, a new poll has revealed the nation’s favourite cake. Find out which won on today’s show.  We have beehive baking sensation Stacie Stewart here to show us precisely how to make this tasty treat.

beehive-black-cakeECCLES CAKE RECIPE

Ingredients

Makes around a dozen

For the filling

75g unsalted butter

150g soft brown sugar

150g currants

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

The zest and juice of 1 orange

1tbsp brandy or whiskey

50g mixed citrus peel

 

For the pastry

25g soft butter for greasing

1 block ready-made all butterpuff pastry

Milk and egg for glazing

Demerera sugar for dusting

 

Method

For the filling, melt the butter and then stir in the rest of the filling ingredients.

Leave to cool so the butter solidifies a little and the mix is easier to spoon.

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Grease and line a baking tray

For the pastry, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of about 3mm/⅛in. Using a 6cm/2½in cutter, cut the pastry into rounds.

Place a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of each round, then brush the edges of the pastry lightly with your glaze.

Bring all the edges together into the middle and pinch to seal, don’t worry if it looks messy this will be underneath.

Turn the sealed pastry parcel over, then gently roll out until you see the fruit, but be careful not to break the pastry. Gently pat back into a round shape and place onto the greased baking tray.

Slash each cake across three times using the tip of a sharp knife. Brush the cakes with more glaze and dust with demerera sugar

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown and puffed up. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool.

 

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SEPTEMBER 22nd 2014

 

batman.jpgFILM PROPS MEMORABILIA

Did you ever dream of owning Marty McFly’s hoverboard from Back to the Future? Or how about Rocky Balboa’s boxing gear from Rocky? The Prop Store is hosting a huge film props auction where you can bid for just these items. Here to tell us more is Prop Store founder, Stephen Lane .

Stephen started the Props Store in 1998 after collecting props himself since 1991.

The Prop Store is an online store but you can visit their warehouse by appointment. They have 3 warehouses in the UK with over 10,000 sq ft of space housing props from Alien to Terminator to Batman. They opened up a store in LA in 2008 which also has over 10,000 sq ft of warehouse space.

Since opening the Prop Store, Stephen and his team have sourced props from all over the world, from production companies, distribution, rental houses, crew members etc. He rarely buys from auctions as that prop is then already known to the public and he likes to own rare pieces.

FILM PROPS AUCTION

The Prop Store auction consists of contemporary props and costumes from films and TV. There are over 375 items that you can bid for online and over the phone now.

Over 200 lots will be on exhibition from the 1st – 16th October at the Vue Cinema in White City Westfields, London and the Live Auction takes place on the 16th October.

 

 furchtesterTHE PUPPET MONSTERS

Joining us today we have some of the fuzzy cast members of The Furchester Hotel, a brand new children’s TV series made by CBeebies and Sesame Workshop about an ‘almost’ world-class hotel run by a family of happily hectic puppet monsters. Today, the puppets will be here to talk about their new show and the adventures hotel life brings.

THE FURCHESTER HOTEL: The BBC along with the creators of Sesame Street have produced a new CBeebies series, The Furchester Hotel, which will first air this Friday (26th September.) at 5pm. The series is set in the hotel and is run by a monster family, Scottish uncle Fergus Fuzz, Auntie Funella Furchester, and their seven-year old daughter Phoebe Furchester-Fuzz. The show also includes famous faces that children may already recognise, The Cookie Monster who lands his dream job as room service and headwaiter and his Sesame Street acquaintance Elmo, who is front of house. There is also a reception bell called Isobel, a furry monster who dings to announce the guest’s arrival.

 

 

viginia

VIRGINIA MCKENNA

 Award-winning actress Virginia Mckenna (83) is best known for her role in the film Born Free, but it was her own experiences in Africa that led her to co found the charity of the same name that is now celebrating it’s 30th Anniversary. She will be talking about the anniversary of Born Free as well as her new collection of poems Tonight the Moon is Red, which is out now.

 

The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare and was founded in 1984 by Virginia, her late husband Bill Travers and their son Will Travers who is the charties president. Born Free works on the belief that wildlife belongs in the wild and zoos ultimately need to be phased out. Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and many more species in their natural habitat, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict.

 

thumb_butterflyCAKES

International baking sensation and queen of couture cakes, Mich Turner has an award winning business, a host of celebrity clientele and an MBE for services in catering. Here today, Mich will be discussing her newly released fifth book, Mich Turner’s Cake School, as well as offering us expert tutorials on how to decorate the perfect cake.

 Mich Turner’s Cake School: Expert Tuition from the Master Cake Maker by Mich Turner. Photography by Amanda Heywood. Published by Jacqui Small, £30.

 

Mich’s Recipe

Art Nouveau Butterfly

This striking design cleverly combines a cut-out butterfly with hand painting and hand piping. The technique is simple and the effect impressive. Change the colour and size of the butterflies to create variations. This technique translates well to birthday, anniversary, celebration and wedding cakes. All the detail is applied once the butterfly is in situ on the cake, minimizing any possible changes.

Stack the cakes centrally following the instructions on pages 154–155 and edge the base of each tier with the orange ribbon. Place the cake on a decorative cake stand. Knead the orange sugar paste until smooth and pliable. Roll out to a thickness of 3mm (1/8 inch). Place the butterfly template on the surface and use a sharp knife to carefully cut around it.

Neaten and smooth the edges of the butterfly carefully with your fingers. Flip the butterfly over and dampen the back with a little cooled boiled water. Lay the butterfly directly onto the top tier, moulding it over the edge of the cake and rubbing and pressing it into position. Blend the black colour dust with the rejuvenator spirit in a little bowl and paint the details on the top wings as shown. Add the veining detail to the top wings, making sure they are symmetrical. Paint the detail on the lower wings and paint the central body of the butterfly. Fill the piping bag with white royal icing and pipe a trail of random white pearls around the outside edge of the butterfly. Continue piping the pearls until the outside edge of the butterfly is fully decorated, then leave to dry. Repeat this process on a second butterfly on the base tier. Dress the cake with handmoulded hellebores to finish.

Ingredients

1 x 20cm (8 inch) round cake covered in white sugar paste (see page 145)

1 x 10cm (4 inch) round cake covered in white sugar paste

50g (1¾oz) orange sugar paste

1 teaspoon black colour dust

1–2 teaspoons alcohol rejuvenator spirit

2 tablespoons white royal icing

5 x Hand-moulded

Hellebore Roses to finish

 

You will also need:

2.5cm (1 inch) orange double satin ribbon

Cake stand

Mini rolling pin

Butterfly template

Sharp knife

Paintbrush

Piping bag fitted with a

No. 1.5 nozzle

 

Hellebore rose

These little hellebores were inspired by a Mother’s Day gift from my boys. I have started with a simple 5-petal cutter, but with clever shaping, dusting and piping created a realistic hellebore that can be used to decorate many celebration cakes and individual crown cakes. They are delicate because they only have a single layer of petals so handle them with care.

Ingredients

15g (¾oz) white petal paste per flower

Colour dusts (yellow and green)

White royal icing (see pages 130–133)

Yellow sugar paste (see page 144)

Yellow royal icing (see pages 130–133)

You will also need

Mini rolling pin

6cm (2½ inch) 5-petal cutter

Veiner

Foam pad or modelling mat

Ball tool

Bun tray or paint palette for shaping/setting

Paintbrush

2 piping bags fitted with No. 1.5 nozzles

Scribe/pokey tool

 

Knead the petal paste until smooth and pliable. Roll out to a depth of 1–2mm (just under 1/8 inch) and cut out a 5-petal flower. Press each petal between a veiner to add realistic markings. Place the flower on the foam pad or modelling mat and use the ball tool to frill the petals. Pinch the tip of each petal to shape. Place the petals inside a bun tin or paint palette to firm and set in position (for at least 4 hours). Use a paintbrush to dust the inside of each petal at the pinch point with a shade of yellow/green colour dust. Fill one of the piping bags with white royal icing and pipe a series of white lines, radiating out from the centre of the hellebore. While the icing is still wet, fix a small pea-sized flattened ball of yellow sugar paste in the centre of the hellebore. Use a scribe or pokey tool to add more indents over the surface of the yellow centre. Fill the second piping bag with yellow royal icing and pipe a small yellow pearl (anther) at the outer end of the white strands (filaments) to create the stamens. Leave to dry for 1 hour.

Mich’s TIPS

1 When moulding with sugar paste, it is always best to have clean, dry hands. As you knead the sugar paste, it will start to soften and become more pliable and easier to mould and shape.

2 Always work on a small amount of paste at a time as it dries out very quickly.

  1. Keep any leftover sugar paste tightly wrapped in cling film in a cool, dry place.

 

 

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SEPTEMBER 15th 2014

 

canon and ballOur guests today include the iconic comedy duo CANON & BALL

and musical theatre star, JODIE PRENGER  giving a great performance from the musical Calamity Jane.

LGTCalamityJaneLargeTHANK YOU!  Our thanks to suppliers of Jodie’s bullwhips:  Outdoor Hobbies   http://outdoorhobbies.co.uk/bullwhips-210-c.asp

 

In our Pet strand we feature everything you need to throw you own Doggie Dinner Party.  

DOGGIE DINNER PARTY
 
Dog bowls supplied by
 
Raw food parcels supplied by
 
Dog tuxedos supplied by www.canineandco.co.uk

PERFECT PUDS

You can find Stacie’s recipe for Sticky Apple Pudding with Brandy Sauce by following this link HERE. Her website is http://www.staciestewart.co.uk

 

stacie stewart

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MONDAY SEPTEMBER 8th 2014
Actress Penelope Wilton joins Alan in the studio with clips of the new Downton Abbey series, we have a fabulous demonstration on how to achieve an impressive croquembouche and a performance from chart-topping Collabro…
season2_characters_slideshow_isobel_04

Penelope Wilton as Isobel Crawley in Downton Abbey ITV

 

PETS

Vet Jo Inglis meets some truly out-of-control pets including Harry the naughty German shepherd.

If you want more details on the dogs looking for a home please check the following websites:

 

 

8764_Eric_Lanlard_jpg-550x0PERFECT PUDS

Master Patissier Eric Lanlard creates a fabulous croquembouche and shows us how to do it.  You can find full details of that recipe HERE.

Eric is appearing at The Cake and Bake Show at Earls Court, London in `October. You can find full details HERE.

 

NICKY CAMPBELL

Long Lost Family – What Happened Next? is on ITV on Tuesday 9th September at 8pm

 

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Details of previous features on The Alan Titchmarsh Show from series 14:

The Gorgeous White Table and Chairs supplied by LondonFurnitureonline.co.uk
Kitchen equipment with thanks to Lakeland.co.uk

Faux flowers supplied by peony.co.uk

Monday 17th March 2014

Riverdance

Riverdance are celebrating their 20th anniversary and will be performing on the show to celebrate the fact that today is St Patrick’s Day.

Riverdance was first performed during the 7-minute interval of the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, in 1994. Later that year, the BBC commissioned a repeat performance of the act for the 1994 Royal Variety Show, when it was introduced on stage by Sir Terry Wogan. At ‘Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest’ it was named as one of the most popular interval acts in the history of the contest.

The troupe are performing a 20th anniversary tour across the UK from 2nd September – 13th December 2014. Tickets are on sale now. They are also touring across Europe this year, in countries including Germany, France, Austria, and of course, Ireland.

For full ticket information, click here

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Amanda Lamb

Amanda Lamb

Amanda Lamb joins us today to discuss her property programme, ‘Selling Houses with Amanda Lamb’, which is on More 4 every Tuesday at 9pm.

In the show, Amanda helps three homeowners improve their houses before one buyer comes round to view them and decide which is their favourite. The homeowners also get the chance to snoop around each other’s houses before they go head-to-head.

For some, the truth is hard to hear and Amanda’s advice and their rivals’ comments are not always welcome – especially when it’s so close to home. But with budgets tight and time short the pressure is on to make the most impact with their makeovers. Catch it on MORE 4, Tuesday 9pm.

Consumer – Energy Saving Gadgets

  • EFERGY ELITE WIRELESS ENERGY MONITOR: (Cost: £39.95) – The monitor updates every six seconds so you can instantly see the impact of turning a light on or off, boiling the kettle or using your tumble dryer. It has an innovative memory function that allows you to see how much you have used today, yesterday and in the last week or month. The elite monitor also displays your daily average use so you can see when you are using more electricity than normal and see how your average usage reduces as you change the way you do things.
  • ECO BUTTON HALO: (Cost: £13.00)Plug the energy saving device into your computer and the illuminated button acts as a prompt to save electricity. When not using the computer, press the Ecobutton and it goes into a low-power mode, to be started up again on your return
  • THE RADIATOR BOOSTER: (Cost: £24.99) – The white tube sits on top of a water-filled radiator and sucks up lost heat from behind it using a small fan plugged into a nearby electrical socket. The fan circulates the warm air around the room and according to the Energy Saving Trust you might be able to turn down your thermostat by as much as three degrees Celsius.
  • RADFLEK RADIATOR REFLECTOR PANELS: (Cost: £21.99 for 3 sheet pack, which should do 3-6 radiators depending on the size). When inserted between a radiator and the wall the Radflek claims to reflect 95% of the wasted heat energy radiated from the rear of the radiator back into your room.
  • ECO SHOWERDROP: (Cost: £12)The Eco Showerdrop hangs by the shower control. It includes a digital calculator that shows the flow of water while you wash and, according to the manufacturer, it claims it can cut usage by up to 35 litres a year.
  • PULSE ECO SHOWER HEAD: (Cost: 29.99) – Pure Pulse uses a “smart technology” which increases the pulse effect as the water pressure increases. (Footage available)

Consumer Tried and Tested

ANTLER JUNO CABIN CASE

  • Size: 56 x 35 x 23 cm
  • Weight: 2.4 kg
  • Packing Capacity: Non Expand – 40 Litres
  • RRP: £120

EASTPAK SPINS CAMOVE

  • Size: 55 x 35 x 20 cm
  • Volume: 34 Litres.
  • RRP: £85.00

PRIMARK HARD SHELL CABIN LUGGAGE

  • Size: 55 x 40 x 20 cm
  • Weight: 2.6kg
  • Capacity: 34 litres
  • RRP: £21.00 

Monday 10th March 2014

The Alan Titchmarsh Show
Timothy West and Prunella Scales

Timothy West and Prunella Scales

Last year Prunella Scales and Timothy West enjoyed their Golden Wedding Anniversary, and to celebrate they took part in four canal journeys across Britain and France as part of new show ‘Great Canal Journeys.’

Prunella and Timothy join us today to talk about their adventures, Timothy’s new Eastender’s role, and the more serious issue of Prunella’s battle with mild Alzheimer’s.  

Great Canal Journeys starts tonight (Monday)at 9pm  on Channel 4  and in the first programme Tim and Pru travel along the 21-mile Kennet and Avon canal, from Bath to Devizes, meeting canal-side characters and wildlife along the way.

Back in 1990, to promote the fully restored canal, Tim and Pru were invited to be the first boat in 42 years to travel the full length of the K&A. To complete this magical trip, Tim and Pru, take on the infamous Caen Hill – 16 locks in close succession – which takes five hours to navigate. It’s a daunting prospect for any crew, let alone one in their 80s.

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Patricia Hodge in Relative Values

Patricia Hodge

Patricia is joining us today to talk about her role as Lady Marshwood (Felicity) in Sir Trevor Nunn’s acclaimed production of Noel Coward’s ‘Relative Values’ – showing at London’s Harold Pinter Theatre from the 19th March to 21st June, following a sold out run at the Theatre Royal Bath.

Patricia was very nearly taken down a different career path, after boarding school, she worked in a fish finger factory and later in a shoe shop (Bond Street).

Patricia then qualified as a primary school teacher but the stage beckoned and at twenty-two years of age, Patricia attended the ‘London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art’ (LAMDA).   The rest, they say, is history.

For Harold Pinter theatre ticket info, click here

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Liz Bonnin – Bang Goes The Theory

Liz Bonnin

Liz Bonnin joins us to chat about the brand new series of ‘Bang Goes the Theory’ (Series 8), which starts tonight on BBC ONE at 7.30pm

‘Bang Goes the Theory’ is a British television science magazine series, co-produced by the BBC and the Open University which first aired in 2009. The show gives a hands-on approach to test scientific theory and demonstrate how science shapes our world.

In the new series, Liz and the rest of the team are going to be tackling 8 main subjects, with one episode dedicated to each. The eight subjects are: Energy, Cancer, Big Data, Flu, Railways, Flooding, Ageing and Emergency Aid. However, on the show today, we are going to be focussing these four:

Tried and Tested : 

Today we are putting waterproof mascara to the test with the help of five members of The Crystals – Crystal Palace Football Club’s cheerleaders.

THE MASCARAS :

COLLECTION WATERPROOF LONGER LASH MASCARA RRP: £2.99

RIMMEL SCANDALEYES WATERPROOF MASCARA RRP: £6.99

L’OREAL PARIS VOLUME MILLION LASHES WATERPROOF MASCARA RRP: £10.99

YVES SAINT LAURENT WATERPROOF LUXURIOUS MASCARA RRP: £24.50

Consumer Item : 

Holiday Compensation :

According to the Citizens Advice bureau – “Under package holiday regulations you only have the right to cancel if your organiser has made major changes to your holiday. Otherwise, you may be able to cancel your holiday but your organiser might charge you a cancellation fee. You will normally be able to find information about your organiser’s cancellation policy in your holiday brochure or with your booking information.”

WHAT IF YOUR FLIGHT IS DELAYED?

  • If you’re travelling within the European Union and your flight has been cancelled or delayed for more than two hours, your airline must look after you. This includes two phone calls or emails, refreshments, meals, accommodation if the delay is overnight, and transport to and from overnight accommodation. Airlines will only pay for reasonable expenses, so don’t expect them to pay for alcohol and expensive meals or hotels.
  • If you are delayed for more than three hours, you can claim compensation of between 250 to 600 Euros, depending on the flight distance.
  • If you are delayed for more than five hours, you can decide not to take the flight. You can also get the money back on your ticket and be flown back to where you originally started your journey.
  • HOWEVER, you won’t be able to claim compensation if the flight is delayed in extraordinary circumstances, outside the airline’s control. Extraordinary circumstances include problems like extreme weather conditions or strikes. Even if there are extraordinary circumstances leading to a cancellation, you are still entitled to care and assistance including food, drinks and hotel accommodation where appropriate.
  • In the UK the time limit for bringing a claim for compensation is six years from the date of the delayed flight so if your flight was delayed as far back as 2008, and you have the necessary documentation to show that you were on the delayed flight, you can still claim.
  • Your rights when your flight is delayed or cancelled outside the EU vary depending on the terms and conditions of your contract with the airline.  Most airlines will offer passengers a choice between a later flight, or a refund.  Some airlines may provide refreshments and accommodation and you may have to claim for this later. You should keep receipts and keep your costs to a minimum.

SHORT-CHANGING RAIL PASSENGERS

  • Research from the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has estimated that rail passengers are being short-changed by more than £100 million in unclaimed refunds.
  • The money is often not pursued by customers because they are unaware they are entitled to it or unsure how to make a claim. More than 75% of commuters surveyed by the ORR said they knew ‘not very much’ or ‘nothing at all’ about what they could claim, and only 20% said details were readily available.
  • Operators have been urged to be more upfront about what people are entitled to, rather than just pay out to customers who kick up a fuss.

RAIL DELAY COMPENSATION EXPLAINED

  • There are currently two compensation systems that rail operators use – The ‘Delay Repay’ scheme, and the ‘Charter’ scheme. ‘Delay Repay’ passengers can claim a 50% rebate after a half hour delay, and a full refund after an hour, regardless of the cause of the delay. ‘Charter’ scheme compensation terms and levels vary by provider but customers are entitled to at least 20% of the value of their ticket, or 10% for a return ticket, after a delay of an hour. This has to be deemed to be within the train operator’s control.
  • Compensation is usually paid in vouchers, but the ORR found that only 55% to 85% are ever redeemed because most can only be used in ticket offices and not when booking a journey online.
  • Most companies provide details of compensation and refund rights in their passenger charters, available on their websites and at ticket offices. Some operators make on-train announcements when delays reach the payout threshold.
  • To claim a full refund if your train is cancelled or if you decide not to travel on a train which has been delayed, take your ticket straight to a ticket office at the time you decide not to travel and they are obliged to give you a full refund. You can also return an unused ticket to the train company by post within 28 days.
  • Claiming compensation after travelling on a delayed train can be more complicated because train operators each operate their own system.

IMPROVEMENTS?

  • Rail minister Stephen Hammond said new franchise deals with operators would make the claim procedure clearer. Industry body the Rail Delivery Group insisted applications for compensation had already been made simpler.
  • There are also websites and apps that help passengers claim refunds for delayed trains, alerting the user when their train has reached the point where they can have a full or part-refund.
  • For help saving on your train journeys, there is also a new ‘Two Together Railcard’ for you and the person you travel with most, which offers a third off rail fares when you travel together. It’s not just a card for couples either – you can get one with a best friend, or a member of your family.

Monday 3rd March 2014

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Pudsey – The Movie

Ashleigh and Pudsey

Everybody’s favourite dancing dog, Pudsey joins Alan on the show today with owner Ashleigh Butler in tow.  Pudsey will be talking about his starring role in new movie  ‘Pudsey The Dog: The Movie’ as well as to perform a routine choreographed especially for us to the song ‘We Go Together’ from ‘Grease’

Ashleigh and Pudsey rose to fame when they won Britain’s Got Talent in 2012. Since then, they have performed for the Queen at The Royal Variety Performance, appeared on numerous TV show and even hosted Who Let the Dogs Out (CBBC).

 Pudsey is starring in his own film, which is to be released on 18th July 2014. It is produced by Vertigo Films and Syco Entertainment (owned by Simon Cowell). Ashleigh doesn’t appear in the movie at all but was present on-set throughout the filming process.

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Simon Callow appears in Being Shakespeare

Simon Callow

Writer, director and actor Simon Callow (64) joins us today to talk about reprising his role in the one man show ‘Being Shakespeare’, which is on at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London until the 15th March.

‘Being Shakespeare’  is a one man stage show which previously ran in 2011 and 2012 across the UK. There are 22 performance dates from 26th February to 15th March. The play sees Simon acting as some of Shakespeare’s most unforgettable characters as well as Shakespeare himself.

Simon said. “With it being Shakespeare’s 450th birthday this April I thought it was the perfect chance to revisit the role. I love playing lots of different characters in the play especially Sir John Falstaff he is my favourite, he has such a grand personality he is a fat, vain and boastful knight.”

For full details of tickets to Being Shakespeare, click here

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Adam Richman in his Man Vs Food days

Adam Richman

Adam Richman is best known as presenter of hit TV show ‘Man Versus Food,’ which saw him entering into battles with monstrous meals and calorie-filled cuisines, and with over 60% of winnings under his belt, he has proved to be the true champion.

Now retired from food challenges, Adam joins us today to talk about his new, slightly healthier lifestyle, four stone weight loss, and latest show ‘Fandemonium’ where he looks into some of the US’ hidden super-fan gatherings.

When not working, Adam enjoys nothing more than watching his favourite American Football teams, the New York Yankees and the Miami Dolphins, but he is also a huge fan of English football and supports Tottenham Hotspur and Grimsby Town, and goes to see them every time he is over in the UK. He’s even going this week.

Consumer Item – Coupons 

  • With ever-increasing access to information via the internet, saving money has become even easier. Hundreds of websites offer discounts on products and services at a variety of online UK retailers, and even printable options for high street outlets and restaurants. If you have a particular shop in mind, it’s worth looking if there are any deals out there first, as it could mean a big saving.
  • Free product samples are also available from some manufacturers via competitions and surveys, either on or offline. The drawback with most of these, however, is that to get your freebie, you normally have to sign up for regular newsletters, either via email or in the post.
  • Magazines or newspapers are also a great place to search for coupons with great discounts. Also many products like books will have coupons inside, and things like cereal boxes may have offers on them.
  • Loyalty cards and ‘stamp cards’ are also a good way of saving. Many stores offer freebies or money off the more you buy. This is particularly helpful for regular regimes, such as your morning coffee or a beauty regime, like a haircut of wax.

For more information on Jordon Cox, visit his website and sign up for his newsletter at www.couponshop.co.uk

Offers highlighted :

  • £1 off Shreddies if you click on a link on their Facebook Page. Limited number available. One coupon per person per household, and not in conjunction with any other offers.
  • Book online at Optical Express, then print the voucher and take it to your nearest store by 30 Jun 2014 for a free eye test. If you book a test, the voucher will also give you £30 off £100 of complete glasses (frames and lenses), but you can just get the free eye test without buying anything. The voucher’s valid UK-wide, however, all eye tests in Scotland are already free.
  • 50p off your next purchase of Velvet toilet tissues when you fill in form on the Velvet tissue website. Term and conditions apply.
  • Book online at Optical Express, then print the voucher and take it to your nearest store by 30 Jun 2014 for a free eye test. If you book a test, the voucher will also give you £30 off £100 of complete glasses (frames and lenses), but you can just get the free eye test without buying anything. The voucher’s valid UK-wide, however, all eye tests in Scotland are already free. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Three courses for £13.75 at weekends at Pizza Express with printed code from the website. Restaurant, dish and date exclusions apply.
  •  Free kindle e -book in bars of Galaxy – code is inside the wrappers and you can choose from a list of e-books. Terms and conditions apply.

I Never Knew That About Britain

The team from I Never Knew That will be back on your screens tonight at 8pm with more fascinating facts from the series.

Monday 24th February 2014

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New ITV sitcom
Edge of Heaven

Louisa Lytton

Louisa Lytton and Adrian Scarborough star in the new comedy series ‘Edge of Heaven’ which airs on Fridays at 9pm on ITV. 

Edge of Heaven is a brand new ITV comedy series which is set in Margate and centres on a family who own an 80’s style B&B called The Edge of Heaven (named after the Wham! song of the same name).

The family consists of a mother called Judy (played by Camille Coduri from ‘Doctor Who’) her husband Tandeep (played by Nitin Kundra from ‘Steel River Blues’) and her two grown up children Alfie (played by Blake Harrison from ‘The Inbetweeners’) and his sister Ann-Marie (played by Laura Checkley). Tandeep is the step-father to Alfie and Ann-Marie.

Check out Edge Of Heaven, ITV, Friday’s at 9pm

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Neil Stuke

Neil Stuke

Series 3 of BBC legal drama Silk begins tonight at 9pm on BBC One. Neil Stuke, who plays senior clerk Billy Lamb, joins us to discuss the trials and tribulations awaiting his character this series.

Respected for this work on stage as well as on screen, Neil’s West End credits include Mojo, Blue Orange and the hugely successful Boeing Boeing.

Neil also starred in Celebrity Masterchef 2010, narrowly missing the title to Lisa Faulkner. He also renovates and re-designs properties.

Food Art Feature 

With thanks to the Experimental Food Society for their help in sourcing our amazing food artists today.  For further information, please visit  www.experimentalfoodsociety.com.

Consumer Feature

WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU’VE BEEN MISLED BY A STORE OFFER

  • Although most stores are completely above board, if you do find that once you have purchased a product that you are not happy with it or feel that you have been misled, then there are steps that you can take. When you purchase an item from a store, you are entering into a contract with the store therefore if you have been misled, then it is effectively a contractual breath.
  • Make sure that you go back to the shelf/area that you picked up your item, and check that it is definitely the store’s fault, and not something that you have misread. 
  • The next step is to go and see a customer service representative from the store in question. Report your findings to them. It is then at the store’s discretion as to whether they exchange or refund items, although most will do so straight away.
  • If not, then you can then get in touch with the store’s head office either by phone, email or letter. Also contact your local Trading Standards Department so that they can keep track of any misleading offers.  
  • In some cases the law does allow for mistakes – stores have so many products that come in and out, that mistakes do happen, and they do take that into account. 

Monday 17th February 2014

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Andrea Lowe from DCI Banks

Andrea Lowe

Actress Andrea Lowe is better known as Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot in British Crime Drama series ‘DCI Banks’. Today she joins us to talk about returning to her fast-pace role after maternity leave, and her thrilling new storyline.

The British crime drama, based on Peter Robinson’s Inspector Alan Banks novels, has returned for a third series. Although Andrea had not read any of the novels before taking on the role of Annie, she’s a fan of Peter’s, saying “He is an amazing writer and I would recommend him to anyone.

DCI Banks is on ITV on Monday nights at 9pm.   

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Emmerdale’s Samantha Giles

Samantha Giles

Fresh from her latest internet-dating nightmare Samantha Giles joins us to tell all about her character Bernice’s latest dramatic storyline in Emmerdale.

Last week we saw Bernice handcuffed to a bed after her venture into online dating went wrong. Samantha will also tell us about Bernice’s climatic revenge on scoundrel Anton in Thursday’s episode.

Samantha plays Bernice Blackstock, a high maintenance and tactless character who loves to try and bag a wealthy man.

Bernice returned to the village in 2012 after nearly a decade away to try and seize ownership of her Mum’s pub, The Woolpack, but this proved unsuccessful. She has 3 ex husbands, including the village vicar, and 2 children.

Consumer Item

Doorstep scammers – Top Tips

According to Which, only 39% of people know how to report a scam.

  • In all cases report the scam to Action Fraud and Trading Standards so that they can keep track of current scams.
  • Report to your local police station as it may provide them with useful information in catching the fraudsters, as with Stanley.
  • If you have lost money to a scam, or even just been contacted by fraudsters, you should beware that you are likely to be targeted again. Fraudsters often share details about people they have successfully targeted or approached, using different identities to commit further frauds.

Contact Action Fraud and Trading Standardswww.actionfraud.police.uk and www.tradingstandards.gov.uk

Extreme Crafts

Many thanks to the following contributors who appeared in our “Extreme Crafts” section on todays show :

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9ft long chain saw sculpture from Andy Burgess

James Marr – Co-founderof The Bamboo Bike Club – www.bamboobicycleclub.org

Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse – Fashion Designer  – contact Stephanie on Facebook www.facebook.com/StefanieNieuwenhuyse

Andy Burgess – Chainsaw Sculptor  – contact www.andy-burgess.com

Tried and Tested

Steam Mops

THE MOPS

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Lakeland Electronic Steam Mop

LAKELAND ELECTRONIC STEAM MOP

  • Swivel ‘elbow’ steering to get into tight areas.
  • The microfibre pads lift dirt and grease easily from tiles, vinyl and sealed wooden floors, leaving them almost dry.
  • Kills 99% of germs and bacteria.
  • Three microfibre pads included.
  • 1550W
  • Weight: 2.6kg
  • Water capacity: 0.35L
  • Chord length: 7m
  • Running time: 15-17 minutes
  • RRP: £89.99

 

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Black and Decker Steam Mop

BLACK AND DECKER STEAM MOP DELUXE + STEAMBUSTER

  • 180⁰ swivel head manoeuvres around furniture and in tight spaces.
  • A fresh lemon scent is dispersed through the steam during use.
  • Select your floor type using the digital handle command.
  • Detachable multipurpose portable steam cleaner. Also includes professional cleaning attachments.
  • Steam burst on demand releases 50% more steam for cleaning stubborn dirt.
  • In-built water filtering system protects the steam mop from lime scale for longer life.
  • Steam automatically shuts off when locked in the upright position.
  • Kills 99.9% of bacteria and germs.
  • Two microfibre pads included.
  • 1600W
  • Weight 3.25kg
  • Water capacity: 0.35l
  • Chord length: 6m
  • Running time: 11-16 mins
  • RRP: £149.99
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Thane H20 Mop

THANE H2O MOP X5 5 IN 1

  • 180⁰  pivoting design
  • Upright and hand held in one.
  • Lightweight and manoeuvrable.
  • Adjustable steam control.
  • One microfiber pad included.
  • 1300W
  • Weight: 2.5kg
  • Water capacity: 0.40L
  • Chord length: 6m
  • Running time: 15 minutes
  • PRICE: £99.99

Monday 10th February 2014

Lynda La Plante

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Author and dramatist Lynda La Plante

Lynda La Plante started her career in the 70s as an actress, but soon realised she was destined to be a writer and in 1987 she wrote her first novel. Now, 26 years later, Lynda has  almost 30 novels published and a host of awards including a CBE, BAFTA, Emmy and even an honorary fellowship from the Forensic Science Society under her belt.

Lynda joins Alan to talk about her latest ventures including  a ‘Quick Read’ book, a new crime novel and a stage play. 

Lesley Joseph

Lesley Joseph is best known as mini-skirted man-eater Dorien Green in classic British sitcom ‘Birds of a Feather’, which has recently returned to our screens after a 15 year break. Today Lesley joins The Alan Titchmarsh Show to talk about her latest roles – from Dorien making us blush, to Lesley getting us in a flush, as she stars for the third time in musical comedy Hot Flush!, which recounts in colourful detail the ups and downs of life as an older woman.

lesley joseph

Full details of tour and ticket information for Hot Flush! here

Dr. Dance

Dr Peter Lovatt, or rather ‘Doctor Dance’, is a psychologist and former professional dancer who has set up his own ‘Dance Psychology Lab’. He studies the way dance can affect people psychologically and help them with a range of psychological issues such as confidence, memory, romance and self esteem.

For more information on Dr. Lovatt and his work, visit his website at www.peterlovatt.com

Monday 3rd February 2014

The London Irish Pensioners Choir – for more information, please click here

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Cavendon Hall, Barbara Taylor Bradford’s latest novel

Barbara Taylor-Bradford

One of Britain’s leading female authors, Barbara Taylor-Bradford has sold over 88 million books in her career.

In October 2007 Barbara was awarded an OBE by the Queen for her services to literature. In 1999 she also became the first living female author to be featured on a postage stamp. She now lives in New York City with her husband Robert Bradford. Barbara met Robert on a blind date in 1963 and they recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year in December 2013.

Barbara Taylor Bradford’s new book ‘Cavendon Hall’ is her twenty-ninth novel. It is set in 1913 at the end of the Edwardian Era and a year before the start of World War I. “I enjoy writing about the Edwardian era, my first novel ‘A Woman of Substance’ was set in the Edwardian era and I felt it was time to revisit this time period again.”

The novel tells the story of two families who all live in one stately home, Cavendon Hall, in the Yorkshire Dales. One is an aristocratic family; The Inghams who are very wealthy, whereas the other family, The Swanns are the The Inghams’ servants. “I am going to write a series of books about Cavendon Hall. I am hoping to start writing the next book later this year, and hopefully my husband will be turning them into a TV series.”

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Legendary broadcaster Terry Wogan

Terry Wogan

Legendary broadcaster Terry Wogan joins Alan today to talk about his involvements in the Oldie Awards.

Despite a long career in television and radio, Terry still doesn’t like seeing or hearing himself on television, saying “I always think ‘what is that idiot doing now?”

THE OLDIE OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2014 – For the last 14 years, Sir Terry Wogan has been presenting the ‘Oldie of the Year Awards’ which are held annually by The Oldie Magazine. The Awards give out a variety of unusual and ever-changing gongs to celebrate some of Britain’s most amazing older people. For example, last year Mary Beard won one of ‘The Oldie Pin Up of The Year Award’. Other previous winners of different awards have included Ian Paisley, David Hockney and Moira Stuart.

The nominees for this year’s awards include Mary Berry, Sir John Major, Nicholas Parsons, actress Anne Reid, Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative MP) and Eve Branson (philanthropist and mother of Richard Branson). Also nominated are Ronald Blythe, a 91-year-old editor and journalist and long running columnist for the Church Times, Joan Woolard (a Lincolnshire pensioner and widow who successfully challenged Barclays Bank over bad treatment of customers) and Jeanne Socrates (the oldest woman to single-handedly sail around the world non-stop without outside assistance). Terry will announce the winners of this year’s awards at a private lunch the Simpsons-in-the-Strand on Tuesday 4th February.”

Monday 27th January 2014

Christopher Timothy

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Christopher Timothy appears in Dial M for Murder

Everyone’s favourite veterinarian, actor Christopher Timothy joins Alan in the studio today for a chat about his role in the forthcoming tour of Dial M for Murder, Frederick Knott’s intense and darkly gripping thriller.

Christopher Timothy stars as Inspector Hubbard in this exciting new production.

The play, famously filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in the 1950’s, tours the country and includes Bromley, Richmond, Aylesbury, Manchester and Glasgow. For full details of dates and ticket info, click here.

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Mat Horne appears in the UK tour of The Pride

Mat Horne

Also joining Alan today will be actor Mat Horne. Probably best known for his eponymous role in Gavin and Stacey, Mat will be talking about his role in The Pride, Alexi Kaye Campbell’s hilarious and heart-felt landmark play about courage, compassion and the fear of loneliness in life’s journey towards self-discovery.

For full dates and ticket information, please click hereKew Gardens Orchid Festival
Full details of the Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens can be found here
Tried and Tested – Juicers

Cookworks KP400 Juicer, RRP: £24.99

Russell Hobbs – The Desire Juice Extractor, RRP: £89.99. Available at www.uk.russellhobbs.com

Sage ‘The Nutri Juicer Pro’ by Heston Blumenthal, RRP: 299.99. Available at www.sageappliances.co.uk

Samson Six in One GB-9001, RRP: 179.00. Available at www.energiseyourlife.com

Lakeland Juicepresso, RRP: £299.99, Available at www.lakeland.co.uk

Tribest Green Star Elite Juicer, RRP: 599.95, Available at www.tribest.co.uk

Monday 20th January 2014
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Strictly Come Dancing – Actor Mark Benton

Hotfooting his way over in between rehearsal and performance at Wembley Arena, Mark Benton joins Alan today for a chat. Mark is currently on tour with Strictly Come Dancing, for a full list of tour dates etc please click here.  Along with being well known for his role in the long running Nationwide Building Society adverts, Mark has also appeared in Early Doors, Northern Lights and Barbara.  His latest role was in BBC hit drama Waterloo Road, where he played the role of maths teacher, Daniel Chalk. Mark is set to return to the show in 2014.

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Paul Hollywood Get Your Bake On tour

Paul Hollywood Paul joins Alan today for a chat and a cookery demo, taken from his new book  Paul Hollywood’s Pies & Puds, published by Bloomsbury, £20.00 Hardback. Following the success of The Great British Bake-off, Paul is about to embark on a nationwide tour “Get Your Bake On”. With 22 dates across the country, Paul Hollywood Live – Get Your Bake On! sees Paul take to the stage for an evening of baking, comedy and fun up and down the country from April 28th to May 26th. For full tour dates, please click the image to the right. Paul Hollywood’s Sausage Plait For the puff pastry 100g strong white bread flour 100g plain flour Pinch of salt 75ml–100ml cold water 165g chilled unsalted butter

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Paul Hollywood’s Black Pudding Plait

For the filling 300g chestnut mushrooms, trimmed 2 tbsp thyme leaves 1 tbsp sunflower oil 25g unsalted butter 2 red onions, thinly sliced 2 tsp soft brown sugar 1 tbsp sherry vinegar 300g top-quality sausagemeat (or skinned butcher’s sausages) 100g black pudding, cut into 1–2cm pieces Beaten egg, to glaze 1 tsp sesame seeds Salt and pepper

Sausage plait

This is either a poor man’s Wellington, or a posh sausage roll, depending on how you look at it. It’s certainly good enough for a special meal. The sausage filling is spiked with black pudding, enhanced with a savoury mushroom base and topped with caramelised onions.

Wrapped in crisp, buttery ‘plaited’ pastry, it looks really impressive but it’s easy to make. Make the puff pastry following the recipe on page 28.

Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge while you make the filling. Heat your oven to 200°C/gas 6. Line a large lipped baking sheet with baking parchment (some butter may leak out of the pastry) . Put the mushrooms in a food processor and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until the mushrooms are broken down to a rough paste. Add the thyme and give the mix a final pulse. Put the mushroom mix into a dry frying pan on a medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until all the moisture has evaporated from the mushrooms. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. Heat the oil and butter in a wide frying pan on a medium-low heat. Add the onions with the sugar and cook slowly until soft and lightly caramelised. This will take at least 20 minutes. Stir in the vinegar. Roll out the pastry into a rectangle, about 26cm x 30cm, and place on the prepared baking tray. Spread the mushroom paste down the central third of the pastry, leaving a 5cm gap at the top and bottom. Mix the sausagemeat with the black pudding, mould into a long sausage shape that will fit on top of the mushroom paste and place it on the paste. Spread the caramelised onions on top of it. Cut slits on the diagonal all the way down the pastry on each side of the filling at 2cm intervals. Brush lightly with egg. Take one strip over the filling from one side, then one from the other and so on, crossing the strips over to form a plaited e!ect. Tuck the ends of the pastry under the plait, trimming o! excess if necessary. Brush the plait with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Leave to settle for 10 minutes or so, then serve hot or cold. This is

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