Commissions welcomed! We are available for Radio and TV work, Event Compering, PR and Media Consultancy, Ghostwriting
- also foreign language translation and interpreting in French, German, Italian, Spanish and a bit of Dutch and Czech....

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Miss Blackpool 2011 Heat 2: Result and Interviews

Heat 2 Result:
1st Kimberley Braithwaite (left)
2nd Joanne Walker (right)

You can hear post-heat interviews with Kimberley and Joanne NOW by clicking on the sound icon below:

Cafe Of The Month Award For June - Spotty Blue Tea Pot, Hoylake

Best Kept Secrets is very pleased to announce that its Café of the Month Award for June 2011 has been awarded to the Spotty Blue Teapot Café, Market Street in Hoylake, Wirral.

The Best Kept Secrets ‘Café of the Month’ Award is awarded according to various criteria, including friendly service, diversity of menu, cleanliness of establishment and of course taste of produce, not forgetting that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that they refer to as “The Emilie Test”.

Liz Whaling, proprietor (Spotter-in-Chief) of the Spotty Blue Teapot, a tearoom with a difference in that it has been created to cater for Mothers of babies and toddlers as well as everyone else, said: We are so proud of this award, and to be nominated at such an early stage in our life – thank you so much this means the world to us”.
PHOTO CAPTION: Staff at the Spotty Blue Teapot Café with their Award - left to right: Liz Whaling (Spotter-in-Chief), Amanda Hardman (Chef and Baker), Sheila Britton (Spotter) and Vanessa Green (Spotter)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

"Miss Blackpool Confidential" Documentary on Preston FM

Join us as we relive the glamour and excitement of the 2010 Miss Blackpool competition through this fascinating two-part behind the scenes documentary. Part one can be heard on Preston FM on Wednesday 29th June at 4pm. You can tune in to Preston FM on 103.2 FM or via the internet on

Monday, 27 June 2011

Review: Blackpool Burlesque Show, Rose and Crown, 18th June 2011

Neither of us had attended a Burlesque show before, so we were not quite sure what to expect. Luckily we interviewed Kosmic Kitty and Kassandra Killjoy beforehand and they explained the concept of Burlesque so we did have a rough idea.  Both Kitty and Kassandra told us that Burlesque is, above all, fun.

And fun it certainly was.  The evening was held in the Beat Nightclub above the Rose and Crown pub, corner of Birley Street in Blackpool town centre on Saturday, 18th June.

There was a good audience, made up of a large cross section of people, all of whom had dressed up for the occasion.  There were French maids to keep the stage tidy and pick up the discarded garments and as well as the Burlesque Artists there was a ‘Chantease’ – that is to say a singer – Eva Fox – with a fantastic voice.

We were told by the very efficient commere (we think that is what a female compere is called!) - Lola Lektrik - that we had to clap, stamp and cheer when each of the acts came on stage and give them loads of support.  That set the atmosphere for the evening.

And we did indeed have a really great evening – there were lots of acts and every one was different and individual - for instance there was a girl with balloons, one dresses as a housewife, a fantastic fan dancer, and an amazing act dressed as a character from Star Wars.

We are really looking forward to the next show, which will be at Beat Nightclub above the Rose and Crown, Birley Street on Saturday, 17th September 2011 at 7 p.m. 

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Vice Squad re-release "Defiant" Album - exclusive interview with Beki Bondage

Vice Squad have issued a re-release of their "Defiant" Album on their own Last Rockers Label. This new release features five extra tracks and has been completely re-mastered. It is now available for download from all the usual sources.

To find out more about Vice Squad CDs, downloads and other merchandise, visit their official website at

We had a chat with Beki talking about the "Defiant" re-release and also looking ahead to the Band's appearance at the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool in August 2011.  You'll be able to hear the full interview - and some of the brand new tracks from the Album - in our Best Kept Secrets Show on Preston FM from 7 p.m. on Friday, 1st July.

You can tune in to Preston FM on 103.2 FM in the Broadcast area or world-wide via the Internet at

To hear a brief preview from the interview with Beki, click on the sound icon below:

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Blackpool Boxer Matty Askins big fight - 19th August 2011

Undefeated Blackpool Cruiserweight Matty Askin tops the bill in an evening of boxing at Blackpool Tower Circus on Friday, 19th August.

To book tickets visit Matty's website at

We met Matty for a chat about his boxing and to look ahead to the big fight. You can hear the full interview with Matty in our "Best Kept Secrets in Conversation" Show on Preston FM from 7 p.m. on Friday, 1st July 2011.

To get a taste of what's to come, click on the sound icon below.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Miss Blackpool 2011 Beauty Pageant - Heat 1 Results and Interviews

Result of Heat 1 of Miss Blackpool 2011.
First:  Samantha Marsh
Second:  Beth Dust

Heat 1 of Miss Blackpool 2011 was very special as it fell during Armed Forces Week. Members of the Armed Forces were invited to judge and were supported by lots more servicemen in the audience.

In the photo you can see Beth Dust (centre) and Samantha Marsh (right) with some soldiers from the Royal Artillery.

For more information about the Miss Blackpool Beauty
Pageant, visit the Official Website at:

To hear an exclusive post-heat interview with Runner-up Beth Dust and Heat Winner Samantha Marsh, click on the sound icon below:

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Enchantment over the Sea Dance on Blackpool North Pier - 9th July 2011

Saturday 9th July sees the return of the annual summer ball held in aid of Blackpool LIFE Charity; The Enchantment Over The Sea Dance is back on Blackpool’s North Pier. 

Ladies, it’s time to climb into the back of that wardrobe and bring out your favourite frock and gents you can dust off your dinner jackets, because Blackpool LIFE Charity are holding an extravagant Summer Ball like no other - The Enchantment Over The Sea Dance on Blackpool's North Pier next month.

The enchanting evening will be compèred by Blackpool’s very own Anne Nolan who will introduce live entertainment from the Chameleon Jazz Band and the amazing funky sounds of The Monster Squad.

Set in the stunning, beautifully lit Victorian Sun Lounge at the end of the North Pier, this sophisticated evening, which commences at 7pm, will be filled with wonder and surprise as guests dance the night away in truly enchanting surroundings. It’s a black tie event, so dress to impress!

Delicious canapés will be served throughout the evening and the champagne will flow like wine! The pier’s shuttle bus will carry guests in true style from one end of the pier to the other where the red carpet will be rolled.

Tickets for The Enchantment Over The Sea Dance are just £10 and can be booked by calling the North Pier Box Office on 01253 623304 or online via You can also book via

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Charity Dance Event For Clatterbridge Cancer Research - 28th October

Friday 28 October 2011 at St. Georges Hall, Liverpool from 7pm

The social event of the season arrives at Liverpool’s iconic St. Georges Hall on Friday 28th October – ‘Come Dancing for Clatterbridge Cancer Research’ promises to be a ball like no other!

Eight dancers - leaders in business, sport, politics and media in the North West - will be competing for the coveted crown of Come Dancing champions. Each competitor will undergo six months of gruelling training, coached by world class dancers from Headliners School of Dance, in preparation for the spectacular gala finale in front of a live audience at St. George’s Hall.

The event will be hosted by BBC Radio Merseyside’s Roger Phillips and judged by a panel made up of LIPA’s Mark Featherstone-Witty, Jane Clare executive editor from the Trinity Mirror News groups and Yvonne Dunn, former dancing world champion and principle instructor at Headliners School.

Tickets are £75 per person or £750 for a table of ten with corporate packages available. Tickets also include a three course meal after which guests have the opportunity to take to the floor themselves with a live band providing the music until the early hours.

For tickets or enquiries please call Laura Irving on 0151 343 4300 or email

CD Release: "Buy, Beg Or Steal" by The Hillbilly Moon Explosion - Out Now!

Title: Buy, Beg or Steal
Genre: Rockabilly
Country: Switzerland
Release Date: June 2011

Buy Beg or Steal
Broken Heart
She Kicked Me To The Curb
Trouble & Strife
My Love For Evermore
Night of the Living Ted
Imagine A World
Goin' To Milano
Touch Me
Rock'n'Roll Girl
Chalk Farm Breakdown
Enola Gay

The Hillbilly Moon Explosion are a well-known Swiss act (yes- from Switzerland...!) playing "vintage" rockabilly / hillbilly / surf rock with predominately female vocals. You can find out more about the band, their music and previous CD release on their official website here:

Afternoon Tea Review: The Spotty Blue Tea Pot, Hoylake

The Spotty Blue Teapot
12-14 Market Street, Hoylake
Wirral, CH47 2AE

Opening Hours:
Monday-Saturday: 9:30am - 5:30pm
Sunday: 10am - 4pm

Tel: 0151 633 2330

Afternoon Tea Review:
We arrived at twenty to four on a Monday afternoon and, in stark contrast to our first visit on the previous Saturday morning, the place was empty. We were assured we were in time for tea and though they don’t (yet – but it is on the cards) do afternoon tea as such, they could make it up for us. We had a very generous-sized cheese (locally sourced) sandwich with home-made chutney and salad garnish, followed by huge, home-made scones with butter, clotted cream and home-made strawberry jam. By then we were so full we couldn’t do justice the gorgeous Victoria sponge and cream or carrot cake we had chosen. All this and tea in those delightful, spotty blue teapots. Absolutely fantastic.

We should point out in the Spotty Blue Teapot, as well as daily papers, there is also an internet café area and a special area for Mothers with toddlers and babies – lots of toys, a special toilet for tinies and changing area for Mums with babies – as well as an area for reading or just watching the world go by. And they also do breakfast and lunch.

To find out more, check out their website at:

Preview: More North West Dates for Magic Trees

Canadian rock band Magic Trees have two live dates in the north west next week:

Friday 24th June - The Victoria, Church Road, St Annes on the Sea and

Saturday 25th June - The Cedar Tavern, Cedar Square, Blackpool.

and if you haven't seen this band yet, you really ought to try and get along as it really will be worth it.

Very often when you are watching a rock band in a pub or club and they announce "now here's a song that we have written ourselves..." your heart tends to sink - but that is not the case with the Magic Trees. Their own material is really good and easily on a par with the covers that they perform.  My own favourite is "My Night Sky" with "Your Heart Is My Mirror" a close second, while Lucy absolutely loves "Everything Is A Song".

Their covers are great too, with a wide range of songs from Eurythmics to Cream, Fleetwood Mac to Queen - and do listen out for their own version of The Police's "Message In A Bottle"!

The band take their music seriously and have moved to England especially to write and record their second album  - a follow up to the sensational "Everything Is A Song" CD, which you can buy at their live gigs or online through the usual sources.

To find out more about the Magic Trees and their music, visit their website at:

New Release: "Heartstrings On A Handgrenade" EP by Louise Distras

Heartstrings On A Handgrenade - the second EP from Louise Distras.

1. Bullets
2. This Is Your Life
3. Blue On Black

£3.00 - Released 2nd May 2011.
Recorded by Ben Peel ( Wool City Folk Club / Thee Deadtime Philharmonic ) at The Rockhouse , Bradford.

To find out more about Louise and her music, visit her website at:

Louise Distras will be playing on the Almost Acoustic stage at the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool on Saturday 6th August.

A short interview clip with her will be posted here shortly.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

"Sunday Night At The Grand" - Lancaster Theatre Fund Raiser - 24th July

To celebrate 60 years of Footlights at the Grand Theatre, local entertainer Martyn Dayne has gathered a selection of local professional acts from around the area to entertain guests in true 'Talk of the Town' style.

Entitled 'Sunday Night at the Grand' party goers will enjoy drinks and a buffet whilst being entertained by singers, comedians and an illusionist.

Hot from success on 'Britain's Got Talent' we will be looking forward to another dose of distinctive comedy from Kendal's Steve Hall. Martyn has recently appeared at the North London Jazz Festival; Krystal Clarke has lately returned from performing in the Middle East. Sara Cheston (pictured) is a popular singer throughout the North West and Elaine Burke is a versatile artiste who can turn her hand to comedy or singing. Sam Fitton will fascinate with his illusions and mind reading. The event will be compèred by Martin Cash.

Proceeds will go towards the New Spaces Appeal which is raising funds to develop the theatre foyer

Sunday 24th July 7.30pm - Tickets are £12 each and can be booked here:

John Robb Lobbying For Fairer US Visas For British Bands

John Robb, (pictured) music journalist and frontman of Goldblade and the Membranes, has teamed up with Labour MP Kerry McCarthy to lobby the Government for fair access to the USA for British musicians.

The pair are meeting with Culture Minister Ed Vaizey  next week to enlist the support of the Government in calling for a change to the US visa system, which has constrained the ability of UK musicians to travel and work in the USA.

John Robb said, “The special relationship between the UK and the USA has been the backbone of international post-war pop culture. The shared influences, pool of creativity and flow of ideas have been crucial to what is one of the biggest industries in the world. “That flow is currently being hampered by the expensive and unworkable US visa situation for British bands. It’s a situation that is getting worse.”

The campaign is backed by organisations such as the Musicians’ Union, the Association of Independent Music and the Association of British Orchestras.  It has also had extensive input from UK Music, UKTI and the Traffic Control Group, as well as individual record labels, management companies and musicians.

Kerry McCarthy said, “Since I first raised this issue in Parliament in March, I was surprised by the responses from right across the UK music industry. They confirmed that this is a real difficulty for musicians and that it is becoming more and more critical. “We hope the Government will speak  up on behalf of British musicians to  encourage USCIS (the US Citizenship and Immigration Services) and the US Embassy to address this issue.”

John Robb added: “In the past few years the American visa situation has tightened up and become far more expensive till we have a situation where getting a British group into America can cost up to £2700, and that's not counting travel and accommodation expenses for bands outside London who have to travel for the 8 o’clock in the morning London American embassy interview."

"The forms that have to be filled in are very difficult to understand and lots of the money has to be spent on an American agency processing the forms. There have been endless examples of British bands, some very high profile, having to reschedule or cancel tours in the last year. And if a visa application fails, they don't get any of the money back." “American bands find it far cheaper and easier to travel and work in UK. What we need is a fairer and friendlier system that will break down the barriers, and let us do what we want to do, which is play music."

Friday, 17 June 2011

Blackpool Belly Dance Workshop With Sonia - 30th July

The Belly Dance Dolls present a unique opportunity to spend a Saturday with............SONIA from the world famous Belly Dance Super Stars!

The day is being held in the Lawrence House Studio at Blackpool's Grand Theatre on Saturday 30th July  and comprises a Modern Egyptian workshop, evening Gala Show with performances by Sonia, opportunities for local belly dance groups / classes to perform  and an after-show Hafla at the Med Taverna with dancing.

Two hour Modern Egyptian Workshop with Master Bellydancer SONIA
10am to 12noon or 2pm to 4pm
£20 - limited to 20 places only!
To buy workshop tickets contact Abi on 07709723822

Gala Show with performances by SONIA, The Belly Dance Dolls, Paul Tubaleki & North West classes
£10. Tickets for the show can be purchased from the Blackpool Grand theatre on 01253 290190 or .

After Show Hafla at the Med Taverna Blackpool FREE to workshop and show ticket holders

For more information about this unmissable event or Blackpool's very own Belly Dance Troupe, visit:

Padiham Concert In Aid Of Pendleside Hospice - 24th June

There will be a special concert at the Padiham Unitarian Church BB12 8JH on Friday 24th June at 7.30pm with all proceeds to the Pendleside Hospice.

Young local singer Grace O'Malley (pictured) will take a prominent part with the following highly talented young people:
St Wilfrid’s BIG BAND
The Bethany Girls Choir from Africa
A remarkable RECORDER group.
The amazing Philippine singer SANDRA

The event will also be attended by The High Sheriff of Lancashire and Mrs Mileham The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons and other Civic Leaders.

Admission £5…including refreshments further details from Barry Brown on 01282 773336 or Maureen O’Malley  on 01706 224856

Special North Pier Show Preview For Accomodation Providers - 21st June

Calling all Blackpool & Fylde Coast accommodation providers!

Come and mingle with the stars of the North Pier Theatre’s spectacular summer season shows at 12 noon on TUESDAY 21st JUNE in the Merrie England Bar (at the front of the pier) and enjoy a FREE sneak preview of Blackpool’s most exciting line-up of shows this year.

Join Blackpool show producer Duggie Chapman as he introduces the stars of this year’s summer shows as they perform just for you... The Platters, Bobby Ball, The Houghton Weavers, Duncan Norvelle, Stu Francis, Jake & Elwood - The Blues Brothers and many more!

To claim your 2 FREE tickets to this event (places must be booked in advance) - call the Box Office on 01253 623304 or email (please include your name and accommodation name in your email).

Places are limited 700, so please don’t miss out, reserve your tickets now!

Doors open at 2pm - AFTERNOON TEA and a GOODY BAG containing vouchers for FREE TICKETS TO THE SHOWS will be provided!

Visit the North Pier's facebook page for more information and to keep up to date with all the show information -

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Blackpool Boxer Jeff Thomas In Title Fight - 25th June

BLACKPOOL boxer Jeff Thomas has landed an Irish title shot, only a few weeks into his comeback after a five-year absence as he takes on Stephen Haughlin for the Irish welterweight title in Belfast on June 25.

It is his second shot at an Irish championship – Thomas boxed Oisin Fagin for the light-welterweight strap in June, 2006, being stopped in the seventh of a scheduled ten-rounder.

The Fagin bout was Thomas’ last before he made a comeback to beat Rick Boulter in Colne on points in March and Thomas, whose mother is Irish, is determined to make the most of the opportunity.

We spoke to Jeff just before his comeback fight against Boulter and he explained his determination to succeed this time:

Vote For Colne Festival in 2011 British Blues Awards

The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival has been nominated in the British Blues Festival category of the 2011 British Blues Awards. Now organisers, Pendle Leisure Trust, need your vote!

Festival organiser, Alison Goode, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been nominated for an award and what makes it more special is the fact that we have been nominated by someone who enjoys the festival.

“We had no idea we had been nominated until we were contacted by the organisers, which suggests it is a fan of the festival that put our name forward.

“The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival is now in its 22nd year and it is nice to finally be recognised. We hope all those people who enjoy the festival year after year will take the time to vote for us.”

The winners will be announced during an awards ceremony at Newark Castle during Newark Blues Festival on Sunday, 11th September.

There are a total of 15 categories, including British Male and Female Vocalist, British Blues Band, British Instrumentalist and British Young Artist.

Colne’s festival is up against five other festivals in the British Blues Festival category – Blues On The Farm, Carlisle Blues Festival, Maryport Blues Festival, Newark Blues Festival and Swanage Blues Festival.

The Awards, which were launched last year, are nominated and voted for by members of the public and Blues music fans. Last year there were over 1,600 nominations for the various categories and more than 7,000 people voted.

Alison added: “We would like everyone to get behind us and vote for the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival. Simply go to and let’s see this fantastic event get the recognition it deserves!”

This August Bank Holiday weekend the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival celebrates a whopping 22 years of bringing the Blues to Colne! With more than 600 artistes performing at eight official venues over four days, this annual event is believed to be the biggest of its kind in this country and the second biggest in Europe!

Over the last two decades the festival has welcomed the crème-de-la-crème of Blues talent and the calibre continues for 2011, with such popular and well-known names as Jack Bruce, Steve Cropper and Robin Trower lined-up to play this year.
For more information about the Colne festival, visit the website at:

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Blackpool North Pier - 2011 Summer Season Shows Announced

An exciting line-up of summer attractions at the new-look Blackpool North Pier has just been announced. The shows are presented by Blackpool theatrical producer Duggie Chapman MBE, who for many years has been responsible for bringing many star names to the town.

Blackpool’s North Pier Theatre will be the place to visit this summer with entertainment to suit all ages, at prices to suit all pockets – There’s a different show every night of the week and tickets start at just £10 with free child seats available for every show!

Join The Platters, The Grumbleweeds, Cannon & Ball, Derek Acorah, Mike James Orchestra, The Houghton Weavers, the Blues Brothers, Stu Francis, Duncan Norvelle, Snow White and many more at Blackpool North Pier Theatre this year.

Every Saturday evening from July 16th to 29th October, international singing sensations The Platters will take to the stage with their live band performing much-loved Motown hits. Joining The Platters each evening will be Cherie Jade singing Diana Ross favourites and entertainer Andy Eastwood.

Sunday nights are Big Band Party nights at the North Pier Theatre! Each Sunday from July 17th to October 23rd inclusive, one of the country’s greatest and most popular big bands, The Mike James Orchestra and Singers, present The Last Of The Big Bands performing the great music of Glenn Miller, James Last, Count Basie, Bert Kaempfert, Andre Rieu and many others. Look out for special guests being announced soon!

Blackpool favourites The Grumbleweeds will be entertaining theatre-goers every Monday evening with their madcap style of humour from July 18th to October 24th. Joining comedy duo Robin and Graham each evening will be the UK’s premier comedy/folk group The Houghton Weavers who will be making their debut on the pier. (Please note The Houghton Weavers will not be performing on August 22nd; on this date The Grumbleweeds’ special guests are folk group The Cracked Flags).

Tuesdays, from July 19th to October 25th, see the fantastic Jake and Elwood in The Best Blues Brothers Show in The World… Ever! The “brothers” will explode onto the stage and take you on a musical journey like no other… totally live… totally brilliant!

Each Wednesday evening, from July 20th to October 26th, one of the greatest 60s shows currently touring the country will appear at Blackpool’s North Pier Theatre. In Rock ‘n’ Roll Paradise you can meet Roy Orbison, Big Bopper, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Jerry lee Lewis… together at last on one stage performing with an amazing backing band. Making its Blackpool debut, this show will have you dancing in aisles from the opening number right through to the rousing finale!

Thursdays at the North Pier Theatre, from July 21st to October 27th, see the return of comedy legends Cannon & Ball in Kings of Comedy along with their special guests Duncan “Chase Me” Norvelle and Stu “Crush A Grape” Francis. It’s a guaranteed laughter-filled evening.

The UK’s number one spirit medium Derek Acorah, former resident medium on television’s Most Haunted and star of Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns, Antiques Ghost Show and Paranormal Egypt, will make his debut on the pier when he brings his live show to the theatre every Friday evening from July 22nd to October 28th. (Please note that Derek will not be appearing at the North Pier Theatre on Fridays 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th September due to the World Firework Displays which will be launching from the pier’s decking area on these dates and on October 14th).

Duggie Chapman will also be presenting, every Wednesday afternoon at 2pm from July 27th to August 31st and during the October half term holiday, a special summer-time fun-for-all-the-family pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Duggie Chapman said, “This is one of the most exciting line-ups at the North Pier Theatre for many years. I wanted to keep show prices at an affordable price, especially in the current economic climate so for all shows there will be tickets available from just £10 and there will be free child places available. This programme is a real mixed bag of entertainment for both visitors and residents alike and there is something for all ages.”

Tickets can be booked for all North Pier summer shows by calling Ticketmaster on 0844 847 2452; or online at" or

Don’t forget there is no entrance fee to Blackpool’s North Pier – you can visit the pier and stroll along its decking for FREE. Enjoy some of the leisurely attractions throughout the day and evening such as the famous two-storey Carousel ride, or relax with a Costa coffee and cake in the Tramstop Café. Enjoy the sunshine, without the breeze, in the Sun Lounge or a meal in the Carousel Family Bar. There’s something for everyone at Blackpool North Pier.

Sophie and Hollie Through To Miss England Final! Full Semi Final Results.

Recently crowned Miss Fylde Coast Sophie-Leigh Anderson (top photo) took a step towards more crowning glory last night as she won through the Miss England Semi FInal and secured a place in the 2011 Miss England final itself. That competition will take place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel on 18th and 19th July with the winner qualifying to represent England at the finals of Miss World!

Sophie was joined in the final by Hollie Robinson (bottom photo)who was a runner up in the Miss Preston Competition and was also a finalist in the separate Miss Blackpool competition last year.

54 Girls took part in 4 rounds at the Semi Final. This included the bootcamp in the morning and the interview process during the day. Later in the day, the girls took to the stage in a fashion show set in a marquee where they competed in the eco round and the evening wear round.

14 girls in total were chosen to join the other finalists. The full list is as follows:
Amy Willerton / Miss Bath City
Alexandra Devine / Miss Harrogate & District
Roxanne Smith / Online Popularity Winner
Margarita Nazarenko / Miss South West London
Abbie Green / Miss Wigan
Katie Farr / Miss University
Sophie-Leigh Anderson / Miss Fylde Coast
Harriet Noakley / Miss Blackburn
Hannah Gray / Miss Newcastle
Hollie Robinson / Miss Preston Runner Up
Jenna Horgan / Miss Plymouth was chosen as Miss Champneys
Amy Spinks / Miss Norwich won the Sportswoman Award
Georgina Denton / South East Beauty: Miss Hook was named as the Beauty with a purpose: Semi Final
Shiralee Gould / Miss Weymouth was chosen as the Semi Final Public Vote Winner

To find out more about the Miss England competition, visit the official website at:

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Sands Blackpool Afternoon Tea Dance Continues Throughout The Summer!

EVERY TUESDAY FROM 21st JUNE to 6th SEPTEMBER - 2pm until 4.30pm.

Following on from its successful trial run, the Sands Venue on Blackpool Promenade has announced that the Tuesday afternoon tea dances will continue throughout the summer months. There isn't one on the 14th June but there will be on on 21st June and every Tuesday there after, but just check with the venue before setting out!

This is a great way to spend an afternoon of live music and dance in the traditional way. Guests will be welcomed into a friendly environment of waltzes, quicksteps and foxtrots, with a sprinkling of Latin, performed by a fantastic live band for just £9.99

Guests will enjoy a tea or coffee, assortment of sandwiches and scones included in the price.

One of the (many) special features of the Sands Venue in Blackpool is the layout of the three dance floors which enable those who don't want to join in a sequence dance to go and 'do their own thing'.

You can re-read our review of the first tea dance that we went to back in April here:

We had a great time at the first weekly afternoon tea dance at the newly re-opened Sands Venue on Blackpool Promenade today.  The building is looking great with its ground floor deli / cafe and there is also the top floor champagne bar which we plan to check out soon.

This tea dance was really enjoyable with a good mixture of music played by the Frontline Dance Band who have played for dancing on cruise ships for several years and really know their stuff!

But the afternoon was really topped off with a sumptuous afternoon tea served half way through. There was a selection of sandwiches: ham, cheese,egg, ham & tomato, cheese & tomato,  tuna, some lovely little cream scones and delightful cakes (see photo) served with tea or coffee.

At £9.99 per person this really is good value when you consider you are dancing to a specialised 4 piece  dance band and getting a lovely cream tea included in the price. The venue is definitely worth a look so why not book up for the tea dance next Tuesday from 2pm.

They now have a walk in box office in the cafe on the ground floor of the building on the promenade so, if you are in town you can just pop in and book up.

To find out more about what's on at the Sands Venue in Blackpool, visit their website:

See Pam Ayres On Tour - September & October 2011

Popular poet Pam Ayres is taking her show to theatres across the country later this year to concide with the publication of her autobiography "The Necessary Aptitude".

In 2010 PAM AYRES celebrated 35 years as a professional entertainer. It was November 1975 when Pam made the first of her appearances on the ITV talent show, Opportunity Knocks, the “Britain’s Got Talent” TV show of its day, and this proved to be the start of an incredible career for a unique entertainer.  

There is no other contemporary entertainer whose career was established by writing and performing comic verse

Pam's show includes a selection of new poems and stories as well as some audience favourites. After the show, Pam will be signing copies of her new book.

Tour dates are as follows:
Sun 10 July: Pavilion , Exmouth -  5.00pm. Tel: 01395 222477
Weds 21st Sept: LYTHAM ST ANNES - Lowther Pavilion - tel 01253 794221
Fri 23rd Sept: LEEDS - City Varieties. Tel: 0845 644 1881
Sat 24th Sept: RICHMOND - Georgian Theatre Royal. Tel: 01748 825252
Sun 25th Sept: NEWCASTLE - Theatre Royal. Tel: 08448 112122
Weds 28th Sept: NORWICH - Theatre Royal. Tel: 01603 630000
Sun 2nd Oct: HIGH WYCOMBE - Wycombe Swan Theatre. Tel: 01494 512000
5th/6th/7th October: CHELTENHAM - Everyman Theatre. Tel: 01242 572573
Sun 9th Oct: CANTERBURY - Marlowe Theatre. Tel: 01227 787787
Sun 16th Oct: BASINGSTOKE - The Anvil. Tel: 01256 844244
Weds 19th Oct: GUILDFORD - G Live. Tel: 0844 7701 797
Sun 23rd October: BIRMINGHAM - Town Hall. Tel: 0121-780-3333

For more information about Pam Ayres, check out her offcial website at:

Fylde Rugby Club Announce Signing For New Season

Fylde RFC is delighted to announce that scrum-half Steve Depledge has joined the Club for the 2011/12 season. The 23 year old former Bath & Leeds Carnegie Academy player has been first choice no 9 at Otley for the last two seasons whilst they were in National One and was the Club's Player of the Season in 2009/10. He also skippered the Cross Green club on a number of occasions.

He has played frequently in the Aviva 'A' league for both his home town club, Bath, and Leeds since moving to the North to study for a degree in the city. He has been almost ever present in Otley's starting line-up, making 56 appearances and scoring 12 tries in two seasons.

His representative honours include South West U'16s, England Colleges, British Colleges, Somerset County at various ages and including senior level, and a member of the current Yorkshire senior squad.

Steve was born in Bath and attended Beechen Cliff Senior School and then Richard Huish Sixth Form College in Taunton. He joined Somerset's Cricket Academy for a period but choose rugby instead. He studied at Leeds Metropolitan University where he graduated with a BSc honours in Sports Coaching. He works as a community rugby coach based at Leeds Carnegie.

Steve Depledge said: “I am very excited and thrilled to be joining Fylde and working with the calibre of coaches they have in Mark Nelson and Brian Ashton. As a player, I have ambitions to be the best I can and I believe Fylde will give me this opportunity to improve so that I can help the Club build on their success from last season and strive for further success in the future. I spoke to Mark about the upcoming season and when he outlined the ambitions of the Club and the brand of rugby that Fylde embrace, I was very keen to join. Having played for Otley in National 1 for the previous two seasons I know what a tough challenge it’ll be, as the standards in National 1 increase year on year. I hope my experience at this level will help contribute to another successful season at Fylde.

“It was a tough decision to leave Otley as I have made a number of friends there and it was my first proper club having previously been at two academies but with the outstanding set up at Fylde and the squad they have it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. I’m very much looking forward to meeting the rest of the squad and can’t wait to start pre-season and what looks like being an exciting season in National One and hopefully a very successful one too!”

Head Coach Mark Nelson said: "Steve is a high quality scrum-half and will be a real asset to Fylde. He comes with a glowing reputation from his two seasons at Otley and has very good experience of National One as well as at Somerset & Yorkshire county level. Steve approached us and we were really impressed by his commitment. When talented players like Steve want to improve their careers by moving to the Woodlands then it shows we are creating an exciting development environment which is being recognised widely."

Photo: Steve Depledge & Mark Nelson. Taken by Helen Ashton.

Book For Hot Ice Show 2011 at Blackpool Ice Arena - 6th July to 4th September

The world's most spectacular ice show returns to The Arena, Pleasure Beach Blackpool for the 2011 season - running from 6th July to 4th September.

Hot Ice was recently awarded "Best Show" at the Big E awards in Las Vegas. It features the best in ice-skating, including stylish costumes, unbelievable feathers and glittering rhinestones to set the ice alight with sparkle. The show boasts innovative lighting designs and special effects that will thrill the audience.

This is a show suitable for all ages. A show that will always be remembered. A show not to be missed by anyone. See Hot Ice at the Arena, Pleasure Beach Resort, Blackpool.
To book tickets or for furtehr information, visit the offical website at:

Armed Forces Week 2011 Celebration In Blackpool - 18th to 26th June

Once again Blackpool is hosting a full programme of events in honour of Armed Forces Week from 18th – 26th June 2011. Just a small sample of what’s on offer include:

19th June Tony Christie at the Opera House, Winter Gardens, Church Street
20th June Flag Raising Ceremony at the Town Hall
20th June – Music for Heroes concert featuring The Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band, Jackie Trent, Johnnie Casson, Tony Martin, Claire Byrne, Lee Brady and many more, at the Opera House in the Winter Gardens – this is free but you must collect tickets beforehand from the Tourist Information Centre in Clifton Street or from the Winter Gardens Box Office on Church Street.
21st June Afternoon Tea Dance at the Sands Venue, Promenade £9.95 live band and old-fashioned afternoon tea
22nd June – Afternoon Tea Dance in the Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens. Tickets £4 – keyboard and tea and biscuits or cake
22nd June – Afternoon Tea Dance at the Tower Ballroom £9.95
23rd June - Miss Blackpool Beauty Competition - members of the armed forces judge heat 1. Free admission - Coco Night Club, Corporation Street, Blackpool 9pm.
24th June – Gala Dinner at the Norbreck Castle Hotel
25th June  - Cadets in the Park – It’s a Knockout style competition from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
25th June - Gala Dance in the Tower Ballroom

Further information from  and/or visit Blackpool Tourist Information Centre in Clifton Street, Blackpool.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Miss Blackpool Competition 2011 - Article in Northern Life Magazine

There's an article all about the Miss Blackpool competition in the current issue of Northern Life magazine (June/July 2011). With contributions from organiser Karen Cookson and reigning Miss Blackpool Ella Green, it looks back at the history of the competition and examines how it has evolved to keep up with modern trends.

It also looks ahead to the heats of this year's competition which will be held at CoCo nightclub In Blackpool on Thursday evenings 23rd & 30th June, 7th 14th 21st &28th July and 4th August, leading up to a dazzling black tie grand final at the Norbreck Castle Hotel on Friday 19th August.

Northern Life magazine can be purchased in the Blackpool area at: WHSmith Blackpool, WHSmith Fleetwood, Asda Blackpool, Asda Fleetwood, and at all good newsagents.  Elsewhere, to find out where your local stockist is - or to find out more about Northern Life magazine - check out their website here:

To find out more about how to enter the 2011 Miss Blackpool competition - or to book tickets for the Black Tie Grand Final on 19th August, visit the competition website at: 

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Blue Devils Jazz Orchestra At Fleetwood Marine Hall - 17th June

"Hot Jazz from Harlem" a ten piece orchestra featuring the music of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Luis Russell and many more. With Mike Lovell's SIX-IN-A-BAR+1 with Rosie fronting the show.

Friday 17th June 7.30 to 11pm

Marine Hall, The Esplanade, Fleetwood, Lancashire, FY7 6HF
Tel: 01253 887693


Saturday, 4 June 2011

Review: The Swing Commanders at the Sands Venue, Blackpool, 3rd June

"40s swing...", "western swing..."? To be honest, it's really unfair to try and give the Swing Commanders a label as all you are doing is setting yourself up for someone to say " oh, I don't think I really like that..." when there really is nothing to "not like..." .

The Swing Commanders are superb musicians and we had a really enjoyable evening's entertainment at the glittering Sands Venue on Blackpool Promenade last night.

In a packed and varied set list, there was pretty much something to please everybody. Granted, there might not have been much to appeal to Lady Gaga diehards but I'm sure the band could easily put together a half decent rendition of "Pokerface" or "Bad Romance" if they put their minds to it...

What we did get was a tremendous selection of high energy musical treats ranging from some 1920s Scott Joplin, through - OK - some 1940s swing... even a bit of Tom Jones.. and right up to date with a brand new song - a theme song for the band - composed by the band's highly talented and versatile guitarist Simon Brady.

The Swing Commanders are great to watch with entertaining stage routines, clever instrument changes and, if I may say so, very "easy on the eye" band members.

The three girls - wearing twee country dresses for the first half and delightful "bathing belle" sailor suits for the second - really blended well together with their Andrews Sisters style harmony songs - among them "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" and "Mr Sandman"

Individually: Rosy Williams sings, plays violin (classically trained), bass and trumpet and does a decent jive as well. She performed a really gritty vocal on "Blues in the Night".

Siena Lloyd, who was blonde bombshell in the eponimous touring show, treated us to a smouldring rendition of latin favourite "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps" - as well as "My Baby Just Cares for Me" and she also plays saxophone, clarinet, bass, keyboard and cowbell.

Gaynor Sutcliffe sings beautiful harmonies and also plays keyboard, a second fiddle, piano accordeon, bass and, last night, she sang a wonderful version of the Doris Day favourye "I Just Got Back From The Windy City", during which she gave a superb demonstraion of tap dancing!

The aforemention Simon Brady (British Country Music Association muscian of the year 2010!) switched seamlessly from lead guitarist to slide guitar to an amazing home-made 10 string Hawaiian madolin and also admirably crooned his way through a song about having chickens at home...

Drummer Mark Warburton gave a whole meaning to the term drum solo whn he left his drum kit during the appropriately named "Drum Crazy" and stood at the front of the stage playing tricks on a snare drum and juggling his drumsticks.

The hits flowed free and easy last night. We had "Beyond The Sea", "Sixteen Tons", "Che Sara Sara", "That's Amore", another oldie in "Alabama Jubilee" and even some rock n roll in "Johnny Be Goode".

Band leader Peter Riley holds the whole thing together. Plucking his double bass, introducing the songs, telling the odd joke and strutting round the stage in an almost Mick Jagger fashion. As he said: "every show needs its Punch..."! He even treated us to an impromptu Tom Jones tribute with a sinagalong version of "Delilah"!

So there you go - something for everybody - even if you "don't like western swing..." A highly enjoyable feelgood evening with great music from great musiciana and lovely songs from lovely singers - and definitely worth a look if the Swing Commanders are coming to your town!

To find out more about the Swing Commanders, check out their website at:

"Retromania" Book Event: Waterstones, Manchester- 7th June

There's a great opportunity to hear music writer Simon Reynolds talking about his new critically acclaimed book ‘Retromania’ in conversation with music journalist John Robb at the Waterstones book shop in Manchester on Tuesday 7th June at 7pm.

Simon also wrote the best selling book about post punk, "Rip It Up", so it promises to be a fascinating debate about a brilliant book and where music is at now.

Yiou can read John Robb’s ‘Retromania’ review here:

Tickets: £5 / £3 for Waterstones Loyalty card holders.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Best Kept Secrets "...In Conversation" Show - 7pm Friday On Preston FM

There's something for everybody in our "Best Kept Secrets...In Conversation" show on Preston FM from 7 to 8pm tomorrow evening Friday 3rd June. In this show, we will be featuring:

Gabby Sharp looking ahead to her charity swim on Grasmere
The full interview with Choking Susan lead singer Colleen Caffeine
Robin Ross and Canadian artist Indigo talking about Urban Street Art
Janice Flynn talking about her award winning garden
Julian Dawson talking about his new book about keyboard player Nicky Hopkins
the newly crowned Miss Fylde Coast Sophie Anderson
reigning Miss England Jessica Linley
stand up comedian Paul Chowdhry talking about his current tour
Singer Rachael Sage introducing her new CD
Leslie Grantham talking about his new stage comedy

You can tune in to Preston FM on 103.2FM in the broadcast area and worldwide via the internet on

Charity Garden Open Day For Macmillan Cancer Care - 26th June

For the 10th year in a row, Janice and Frank Flynn will be opening their award winning garden in Pilling to the public on Sunday 26th June as a fund raising measure in aid of Over Wyre Macmillan Cancer Support.

We were lucky enough to be able to go along and take a sneak preview this week and it really is a sight to behold (see photos) !

Admission costs £5 which includes a cup of tea or coffee or a cold drink and there will also be a raffle, cake stall and plant sale on the day. Donations of cakes and plants for the stalls are invited.

For more information, email:

We will be featuring a special interview with Janice Flynn talking about the charity open day and also telling the story of how her dream garden became a reality in our radio show on Preston FM tomorrow evening - Friday 3rd June - from 7pm.
You can tune in to Preston FM on 103.2FM in the broadcast area or listen in worldwide via the internet at