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....

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Review: The Sands Venue Blackpool Tea Dance, Tuesday, 29th January 2013

This has been in the diary since the last Tea Dance at the Sands before Christmas and it was definitely worth the wait!

The Sands Tea Dance Trio - piano, drums and base guitar - along with resident singer Paul Ellis - entertained for dancing from 2 p.m. until 4.30 p.m.   Paul Ellis is described by actor/singer Richard Shelton as "the man with the voice more like Sinatra than Sinatra" and we'd go along with that, perhaps adding that Paul Ellis's voice resembles Sinatra's but with an added hint of authentic rare Scotch Single Malt.

At £9.99 per person for a sumptuous afternoon - tea or coffee, sandwiches, savoury scones, fruit scones with jam and cream and a mouth-watering selection of cakes - this has to be one one of the best value afternoons on the Fylde Coast.  (£5.99 per person without afternoon tea).

The Trio played a wide variety of music which today included easy Sequence Dances, Ballroom Dances and even a Slush.   The atmosphere was very relaxed, friendly and informal and the trio are happy to play requests (hence the Slush).

At the Sands, there is plenty of room to dance - if you don't want to join in the dance on the main area, there are two wings - one on each side of the stage - and another small area near the bar where you can do your own dance.   And don't worry - no-one is going to judge you!

Next dates announced are Tuesday 26th February 2013 and Tuesday 26th March 2013 - so if you haven't been to The Sands Venue on Blackpool Promenade yet - do try to go.

And if you like Swing music then more dates for your diary are:

2nd February - Swing Night
9th February - Night Time at the Sea View Restaurant
17th February - Night Time at the Sea View Restaurant
18th February - Night Time at the Sea View Restaurant

2nd March - Swing Night
9th March - Night Time at the Sea View Restaurant
23rd March - Night Time at the Sea View Restaurant
29th March - Night Time at the Sea View Restaurant

For reservations, please call the Box Office on 01253 625262 or call in - the Box Office is in the Licensed Deli on the ground floor.

The Sands Venue
Palatine Building
Blackpool FY1 4TQ


Grand Theatre Blackpool launches new-look Grand Theatre Bar - 'Matcham's Bar'

The Blackpool launch of "The Woman in White" on Monday, 28th January 2013 was the occasion for the Grand Theatre to launch their new-look Stage Door Cafe Bar.

The cafe is a perfect place for lunchtime coffees, tasty snacks and you just never know who you are going to see there so you could be 'mingling with the stars'.

The Grand Theatre's iconic Matcham's Bar, tucked away near the stage door around the back of the beautiful Grade II listed building, now has a brand new look.

While you sip your coffee, have a look at the amazing art work around the walls.  Acclaimed local artist Robin Ross* was asked to design a series of ten original artworks to reflect the heritage of Blackpool's Grand Theatre, which was saved for our enjoyment today by the efforts of people like actress and entertainer Violet Carson (Ena Sharples of Coronation Street fame) who spearheaded efforts to ensure the tradition of The Grand goes from strength to strength.

Around that time The Friends of the Grand were created and their generous donation has helped to pay for the refurbishment of the cafe.
Grand Theatre archivist Geoff Tolson (who kindly helped us out when we wanted to find out what was on at the Grand Theatre in December 1916) said, "Touring theatres like The Grand in Blackpool are very different from theatres in the West End of London.

"Actors on the road treat the receiving theatre as a home from home and are often to be found chatting to fans and the stage crew in the welcoming atmosphere of the theatre bar."

So make sure you keep an eye on what is going on at The Grand Theatre Blackpool and visit the Stage Door Cafe Bar - you never know who you might meet there!"

*  NB Limited edition prints of Robin's work will be on sale in the Grand Theatre from 29th January 2013 with proceeds going to help maintain the beautiful building.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Review: The Woman In White at Blackpool Grand Theatre

I first saw an eerie black and white film version of The Woman In White a long time ago and gave always been fascinated by the story.

The BBC then very kindly dramatised it when I was studying the book for A level English - although I HAD already read the book by then - and then also did a more recent version of it starring Tara Fitzgerald  - so it is a popular story that has been doing the rounds for a while.

Having said that, there is nothing quite like a live theatrical performance to give a story that extra edge. Even if you know the basic outline of the plot, there is still a lot to be left to the creativity of the person adapting the book for the stage - in this case, Nicola Boyce - the director (Ian Dickens) and then the actors themselves.

This show has a superb cast featuring, among others, Peter Amory (who was in Emmerdale for 14 years) who plays a very easy to dislike Sir Percival Glyde and former Doctor Who actor Colin Baker  whose excellent portrayal of the flambuoyantly insidious Count Fosco leaves you unsure whether to like him or not...

If you know the story already, you won't be disappointed with this great new stage production. If you don't know know the story, I'm not going to spoil it for you. Let's just say there is love, murder, mystery, betrayal and lots of twists and turns.

Superb show - runs until Thursday 31 January

Tickets from £17.00 Concessions available
Booking and Transaction Fees apply

For the fastest way to book tickets for any show visit The Grand’s brand new interactive website where you can now select your own seat!

Alternatively call the Box Office on 01253 743339.

The UK tour continues as follows:
Thursday 14th February to Saturday 16th February 2013 Lincoln Theatre Royal, Lincoln
Tuesday 19th February 2013 Lincoln Theatre Royal, Lincoln

Tuesday 26th February 2013 The Garrick Theatre, Lichfield
Monday 4th March 2012 The Theatre Royal, Windsor

Lifehouse Lytham (fabulous health shop) Raw Health and Wellness Evening, 7th February 2013

The fabulous health store in Park Street, Lytham have announced a super event - a Raw health and Wellness evening on Thursday, 7th February 2013 from 7 pm. - 8.30 pm.

Go along and find out how to enhance your life by incorporating raw food into your diet.

Full details are on the poster or contact Michele on 01253 739550 or e-mail

The Lifehouse
11 Park Street
FY8 5LU and blog:

Sunday, 27 January 2013

"Bullets and Daffodils" - The Wilfred Owen Story

"Bullets and Daffodils" will be performed during 2013 at the venues shown below.

Bullets And Daffodils is a passionate tribute to Wilfred Owen in music, dance and spoken word, written by Birkenhead songwriter Dean Johnson, who has set the Great War poet’s iconic lines to contemporary music. The production features specially written original songs created by Dean Johnson to reflect the period that Wilfred Owen spent in Birkenhead, where he was educated at the Birkenhead Institute.   The drama follows Owen's life right up to his death in action in France in 1918 just one week before Armistice Day and tells the story through the eyes of Susan, Wilfred's Mother.

The drama is directed by Christopher Timothy (All Creatures Great And Small), and features contributions from David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), as well as specially created 'body poetry' created by Charlotte Roberts the Wirral-based dance teacher to accompany some of Owen's poems. 

For further details, check out


Friday 8 March
Oswestry Cricket Club, Oswestry
Tickets £6.00 (see poster below)
(Part of Owestry Litfest)
Friday 22 March
Bickerton Village Hall, Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 8AU
Tickets £6.00 (Website)
01829 782348 or 01829 720440
7-14 August
London, West End

Ice Hockey: Dragons Rule Roost As Flyers Flounder

Saturday 26th Jnauary 2013
English League Division 2 North
Fylde Flyers 3 - Deeside Dragons 6

Period Scores: 0-1, 2-1, 1-4
Shots On Goal: Flyers 51 - Dragons 71
Penalties In Minutes: Flyers 6 - Dragons 50

Flyers Scoring: Clark 1+1, Veldze 1+0, Whitby 1+0, Caunce 0+2, Jones 0+1, Melbourne 0+1

Flyers MVP: Joe Charlton

You can read a full match report on the Flyers official website here:

Photo by Peter Sheffield  - lots more at

The next Fylde Flyers home game is on Saturday 2nd February 2012 at the Sub Zero arena in Cleveleys, when they will entertain Blackburn Eagles - 5pm face.

Parks Art Deco Cafe, Stanley Park Blackpool - Sunday Lunch dates for February and March 2013

And keeping on the 1920s and 1930s theme, the beautiful Parks Art Deco Cafe in one of Blackpool's Best Kept Secrets - Stanley Park - have announced their Mothers' Day Luncheon Menu for Sunday, 10th March 2013.  Please book early for this because this is a very popular event and the ever-popular Flip will be playing then too.

Sunday Lunchtime Music

February 2013

3rd - Sara Cheston and That Swing Thing

10th -  Flip

17th  -  Frank Flynn Trio

24th  -  Key Tars

March 2013

3rd  - Sara Cheston and That Swing Thing

10th  -  Flip

17th  -  Frank Flynn Trio

24th  -  Vineyard

To book call 01253 395191

Parks Art Deco Cafe
West Park Drive
Stanley Park

The Bees' Knees - Claridge's Hotel in London to hold monthly dance lessons with dance group

The gorgeous Claridge's Hotel in London are now offering a very special once-a-month dance class. If you've always wanted to learn how to dance the Charleston and Black Bottom properly (and who hasn't?) then now is your chance.

The dance classes will last for two hours and are to be taught by The Bee's Knees the dance group that brings the 1920s into the 21st Century.  These dance classes will be held once a month, with the first one to be held on 25th February 2013 and the cost is £125 per person.

Well worth a day out in London.

To book call 020 7201 1618.

To find out more about The Bee's Knees visit their website -

Happy Dancing!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

10cc's Graham Gouldman Coming to Colne Muni - 27th April 2013 - Full UK Tour Dates


 10cc's Graham Gouldman with Rick Fenn, Mick Wilson and Mike Stevens supported by Garron .
Anyone attending a 10cc concert in recent years will likely have witnessed the acoustic opening set, featuring Gouldman and fellow 10cc band members Rick Fenn, Mick Wilson and Mike Stevens performing some of the hits he wrote for other artists.

The success of these opening sets encouraged Gouldman to take the idea a stage further and Heart Full of Songs became a stand-alone acoustic entity, comprising the four vocalists and multi-instrumentalists.

In April, Gouldman will take this band on the road for the first time, giving 90-minute concerts in intimate venues throughout the UK, including a special performance at London’s Union Chapel on Wednesday 1 May.

The shows will feature 10cc classics such as I'm Not In Love and Dreadlock Holiday; pre-10cc Gouldman hits such as Bus Stop and Look Through Any Window (written for The Hollies), Heart Full of Soul and For Your Love (The Yardbirds), No Milk Today (Herman's Hermits), Bridge To Your Heart (Wax), as well as songs from Love And Work. Expect some surprises too!


APRIL   Thu 11             STOCKTON                   Arc

Fri 12t                   KENDAL                       Brewery Arts Centre

Sat 13                DUNFERMLINE Carnegie Theatre

Sun 14              ABERDEEN                  Lemon Tree

Wed 17             SHEFFIELD                  Memorial Hall

Thu 18              MANCHESTER              RNCM

Fri 19                    LINCOLN                       Drill Hall

Sat 20                 BROMSGROVE            Artrix

Sun 21             EXETER                       Corn Exchange

Wed 24                          SHREWSBURY             Theatre Severn

Thu 25              RUNCORN                    Bridley Theatre 

Fri 26                    STAMFORD                  Corn Exchange

Sat 27               COLNE                         Muni

Sun 28              GATESHEAD                The Sage

Tue 30              LEEDS                         City Varieties

MAY     Wed 1               LONDON                      Union Chapel

Fri 3                  (to be confirmed)

Sat 4                (to be confirmed)

Sun 5                WAVENDON                 Stables Theatre

Advance tickets  24hr Box Office 0844 478 0898

 More info from:

Reminder: See Colin Baker in the Woman In White at Blackpool Grand Theatre Monday 28th to Thursday 31st January

Former Doctor Who actor Colin Baker (pictured) will be appearing in this chilling adaptation of The Woman in White at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool from Monday 28 to Thursday 31 January 2013!

The play is based on the detective novel written by Wilkie Collins, which has never been out of print since its first publication in 1860! A fantastic cast bringing the chilling novel to life includes Colin Baker (the sixth incarnation of the universally loved Doctor in Doctor Who who is currently in I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!), Peter Amory (the evil Chris Tate in Emmerdale) and Grange Hill’s Karen Ford who played the art teacher ‘Miss Booth’ for seven years.

Walter Hartright, a handsome art teacher, is assailed by The Woman in White on a London road at midnight where she pleads with him for his help to prevent her from being taken to an asylum. She disappears just as suddenly as she appears, but this first unsettling encounter is the beginning of a long journey which takes Walter to the darkest continents of his heart.

Love, suspense and danger all combine to create this haunting mystery of mistaken identities and stolen fortunes, heroism, high drama and volatile passions.
Wilkie Collins was a contemporary and friend of Charles Dickens but outsold him in London and New York in 1860 with his first ever detective novel The Woman in White. Now adapted into a stage drama, this fast-paced story set in Victorian England promises to captivate and delight the modern audience.

The Woman In White is at the Grand Theatre Blackpool from Monday 28 to Thursday 31 January

Tickets from £17.00 Concessions available
Booking and Transaction Fees apply

For the fastest way to book tickets for any show visit The Grand’s brand new interactive website where you can now select your own seat!

Alternatively call the Box Office on 01253 743339.

Padraig Harrington signs with The Golf Swing Shirt

The Golf Swing Shirt Company is pleased to announce three-time Major Champion, Padraig Harrington, as their new global brand ambassador.

The Golf Swing Shirt is a golf swing trainer that is revolutionizing the way golfers learn, practice, and play golf. The shirt is designed to promote the feeling of "connection" between the arms and the body throughout the swing and will help to groove a reliable and repeatable golf swing that works day in and day out. Many of the best PGA instructors in the world, including teaching legend Jimmy Ballard, are using this swing trainer and reporting amazing results with golfers of all ages and abilities.

Padraig Harrington commented, “The Golf Swing Shirt seems to have been designed with me in mind as it promotes the feeling of the connection between the arms and the body, which is something I have worked on my entire career. I truly believe this product will make a difference to my game and am very happy to be associated with it. Everybody knows how much I like to practice and having a new training aid makes me even more motivated.”

Ray Rapcavage, the inventor of this unique product and owner of The Golf Swing Shirt Company, said, “We are delighted that a star of the calibre of Padraig Harrington has chosen to endorse our product. We all know that Padraig would only endorse a product he truly believes in and uses, so the fact that he is throwing his support behind our product and that he honestly believes it will make a difference to his game is fantastic. We look forward to seeing the benefits The Golf Swing Shirt will bring to his game in 2013.

"Our ultimate goal is to reach and teach the millions of golfers in every corner of the world since they can now instantly learn and feel a simplified golf swing. In making the golf swing easier to learn it will invariably help grow the game of golf and both Padraig and we at The Golf Swing Shirt Company embrace that prospect."

If you would like more information about The Golf Swing Shirt please contact:

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Exhibition The Titanic in Liverpool at The Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool

Tea Dances at the Marine Hall, Fleetwood, January and February 2013

Noel Coward's "Private Lives" Friday, 26th and Saturday, 27th April 2013 Thornton Little Theatre

Tickets £8 available from:

The Marine Hall Box Office: 01253 887693

or via the website:

An Amateur Performance by Consensus Touring Theatre performed in accordance with Samuel French.

Stanley Park, Blackpool, Sunday 5th May 2013 10 am The Alan Seddon Thank you 10k

From the Running Track in Blackpool's Stanley Park Multi Lap course round the beautiful Park. Traffic Free and great for all types of runner.

Entry: £8.00 (£6 for UKA/ARC Club Runners)

On-line Entries

Closing Date for entries by post: 29th April 2013

Entries on the day subject to availability and £2 extra

Please make cheques payable to 'Fylde Coast Running'
Enclose SAE for race info.

All numbers to be collected on the day.

Changing, Toilets and Baggage Area at track.

Entry forms also available at the Parks Art Deco Cafe.

Alan Seddon, known locally as Mr Stanley Park, has spent a lifetime in the sport of Athletics. He is a former athletics correspondent, author and has coached many leading athletes to perform to international success.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Pavilion Tea Room and Restaurant Valentine's Evening Menu 2013

The Pavilion Tea Room and Restaurant in Ashton Gardens, St. Annes-on-the-Sea, Lancashire have announced a special Valentine's Evening dinner with live entertainment and a romantic three-course meal.

The menu sounds wonderful:

Starters - butternut squash and cherry tomato soup or salad of crayfish tails and oak smoked salmon or asparagus wrapped in air-dried ham or home-made spinach and ricotta ravioli or Cumberland sausage and Bury black pudding duet

Mains = poached wild halibut or braised belly of pork with apple puree and walnuts or golden butter roasted poussin or stuffed red peppers with cherry tomato and chervil coulis or roasted prime rib of beef.

Desserts - white chocolate mousse or grand mariner and strawberry meringue nest or raspberry creme brûlée or Chef's signature Tiramisu with a demitase of alcoholic espresso or sticky toffee pudding.

I don't know about you but I could eat all of those!

£22.50 per person

Booking essential - call 01253 724440 to reserve a table.

Bon Apetit!

The Pavilion, Ashton Gardens, St. George's Road, St. Annes-on-the-Sea, Lancashire FY8 2AE. E-mail:

Social Dance at the Monterey Beach Hotel, St. Annes, Tuesday, 19th February 2013 7.30 p.m.

It may be winter outside but at the Monterey Beach Hotel it's spring!

The Monterey Beach Hotel

North Promenade


Invite you to a Grand Social Dance

On Tuesday 19th February 2013

Bringing to St.Annes the first appearance of

The Frontline Dance Duo

(formerly of the Sands Venue Blackpool)

Ballroom,Sequence and Latin American.

Grand Raffle in aid of Rosemere Cancer

Time 7.30pm

Carriages 11.30pm.

Tickets £3.00 each,

Available from Monterey Beach Hotel, tel 01253 721317.

Or Barbara Wright-Hurst 07731 654629

B and B available at the Hotel £25 per person - book through the Hotel.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Stanley Park, Blackpool - one of the Fylde Coast's Best Kept Secrets

Have you visited Stanley Park lately? It's a brilliant place and looks fantastic, even in the depths of winter.

The Friends of Stanley Park Visitors' Centre, next door to the Parks Art Deco Cafe are currently showing an exhibition about the Illuminations from now until 3rd March 2013.

Further exhibitions are planned during 2013:

15th March - 12th May "Blackpool Winter Gardens"

16th May - 14th July "Comrades" showcasing the collection of the Comrades of the Great War Club in Blackpool

18th July - 22nd September "Lost" - looking at some of Blackpool's lost buildings

26th September - 1st December "Landscape Masterpiece" about Stanley Park

5th December 2013 - 2nd February 2014 "Dug In"about the World War One Trenches in Blackpool

If you are visiting any of these exhibitions, why not pop in to the Parks Art Deco Cafe?

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Homemade Gingerbread Man Competition - win free tickets to Hansel & Gretel at Blackpool Grand Theatre

Are you a budding baker? Well step right this way as the Grand Theatre Blackpool is looking for the best homemade gingerbread man in town!

The winner will win an amazing handmade gingerbread house courtesy of Kellycakes of Blackpool and a pair of tickets to the magical opera Hansel and Gretel at the Grand Theatre on 1 February!

Once upon a time…one of the world’s best loved fairy tales comes to stunning life, in the magical opera Hansel and Gretel. To celebrate this enchanting fairytale being brought to life at the Grand, we are holding our very own gingerbread baking competition!

Just send your home-made gingerbread man to the Grand Theatre, Blackpool to be in with a chance to win an amazing gingerbread house courtesy of Kellycakes of Blackpool and a pair of tickets to Hansel and Gretel! The Gingerbread house is on display in the window of Kellycakes on Whitegate Drive, Blackpool. The runner up will also win a pair of tickets to this brilliant production.

Hansel and Gretel is a brilliantly fresh production, which captures the enchantment and delight of this dearly loved classic opera, written by the Nineteenth Century composer Engelbert Humperdinck. 

Two hungry children driven from their home find themselves alone in the great dark forest where they happen upon a magical house made out of sweets and gingerbread! From witches and fairies to ovens and broomsticks, together with an incredible score full of unforgettable tunes, Hansel and Gretel is an exciting opera experience not to be missed!

Hansel and Gretel has been a favourite for both adults and children alike for over a century. Co-Opera Co's brilliant new production, created by James Bonas, combines startling visual effects with incredible vocal talent. This production of Hansel and Gretel truly brings to life all the danger, delight and magic of this dearly loved opera for a new generation of opera-goers.

Whether you are an incurable opera lover or a first-time opera-goer, you will love this fresh, youthful take on the beloved operatic gem, Hansel and Gretel. Packed with incredible live music and adventure – Hansel and Gretel is truly a piece of theatre for everyone!

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to win an incredible gingerbread house and tickets to the sensational Hansel and Gretel! All you have to do is send your personalized gingerbread man to

The Marketing Team,  ‘Gingerbread Bake-Off’, The Grand Theatre, 33 Church Street,
Blackpool FY1 1HT

Please include your name, address and contact telephone number with your gingerbread man! The deadline for this competition is Monday 28 January.

Hansel and Gretel will be at The Grand for an exclusive one night only performance on Friday 1 February.

Tickets from £16.50 - Booking/Transaction fees apply

For the fastest way to book tickets for any show visit The Grand’s brand new interactive website where you can now select your own seat!
Alternatively call the Box Office on 01253 743339.



Mauri To Play At Rebellion Festival 2013!

Mauri Clash City Rocker (in photo) has been confirmed to play at this year's Rebellion Punk Festival in Blackpool.

The annual festival runs this year from Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th August at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

Hundreds of varied bands will be playing over the 4 days and big names confirmed so far include Cock Sparrer, Cockney Rejects and The Damned

Tickets for the full weekend are available now at £130 each - but that goes up to £140 on 1st May.
A limited number of day tickest are also available from £30 each.

For the full weekend line up and details of ticket offers etc, check out the official festival website here:

Ice Hockey: Flyers Slain By Dragons

Fylde Flyers ice hockey team lost 9-2 away at second placed Deeside Dragons on Sunday evening.

Photo by Peter Sheffield /

You can see - and purchase - great photos from the match here:

More info:

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Flyers Game Abandoned Due To Ice Issues

Fylde Flyers ice hockey team's first home game of the new year - at home to Hull Stingrays - had to be abandoned after 4 minutes of the second period due to a dangerous patch in the ice surface.

The score was 2-3 at the time. 

The Flyers are hoping that it will be possible to reschedule the match for later in the season.

Flyers are away t Deeside Draggons this evening and then away to Sheffield Senatirs next Sunday.

Their next home game is on Saturday 26th January when they entertain Deeside Dragons at the SubZero Ice Arena in Cleveleys, 5pm face off.

More info:

Photo: Captain Wayne Whitby back in action in the abandoned match, having missed the first half of the season through injury. (Photo by Lisa Jones)  

Asda Help Sammi Support Tommys- The Baby Charity

A kind hearted team of friends and family turned out to help Sammi Marsh do some charity bag packing at the Asda store in Marton, Blackpool today to help Sammi raise her target of £2.500 to be able to run in this year's London Marathon in aid of Tommy's - the baby charity.

Sammi said: "Tommy's charity researches in to stillbirth, miscarriages and premature birth.This is a matter close to my heart as my cousin suffered the loss of a little boy."

You can help Sammi reach her target by making a donation via her Just Giving page at:

To find out more about Tommy's The Baby charity, go to:

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Review: Russian State Ballet Of Siberia's "Nutcracker" at Blackpool Grand Theatre

Raymond Gubbay Ltd., now in their 46th year, have again brought the Russian State Ballet of Siberia to the UK for their annual tour.

If you are very lucky you can catch their performance of Swan Lake at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool on Sunday, 13th January 2013 - at 2.30 and 7.30 p.m.

This evening (Saturday, 12th January 2013) we saw one of our favourites - "The Nutcracker".   This beautiful ballet in two acts with a traditional Christmas theme is a real treat for the whole family, with music by Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, choreography by Vasily Vainonen and Sergei Bobrov, ballet concept by Marius Petipa after a fairytale by E.T.A. Hoffmann.

We love the fact that the Russian State Ballet of Siberia bring not only their soloists and corps de ballet but also their full orchestra conducted by Alexander Yudasin.

The magic of any performance by the Russian State Ballet begins as the house lights go down and the members of the orchestra stand as the conductor comes into the auditorium.   This evening the overture was accompanied by a delightful snow effect in lights on the curtain, setting the scene.   The costumes were absolutely gorgeous - a lovely touch to have the top hats and cloaks and hoods dusted with snow as the guests made their way to the Christmas party at the Stahlbaum family home.  The scenery was also beautifully designed.  The Nutcracker was magical and the changeover scenes so skilful that you could believe he really did come to life. The mice were particularly scary with their glittering eyes.

I could have sworn too that the temperature fell during the delightful dance of the snowflakes performed by members of the Corps de Ballet in beautiful white tutus and sparkling headgear that began the dream sequence of Act Two.  The Pas de Deux in Act Two is my favourite of all classical ballet pas de deux and this was particularly well interpreted by the two soloists this evening.

The Russian State Ballet is currently touring the UK - next stop Swindon, then Leicester, Southend, Hull, Basingstoke, Darlington, Liverpool, Ipswich, Marlowe, Wolverhampton, Dartford, Croydon, Aylesbury, Wimbledon, Buxton, Bromley, Brighton and Edinburgh.

Do try to see them - they also perform Swan Lake, Coppelia and La Fille Mal Gardee - all of which are a delight and all performed with the same perfectionism and dedication that epitomise performances by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia.  

Our thanks as always to all the members of the State Ballet of Siberia for bringing such delight to our shore, to Raymond Gubbay and to all those involved in making the evening so memorable and enjoyable - especially those behind the scenes at Blackpool's iconic Grand Theatre.

The Grand Theatre
33 Church Street
Blackpool, Lancashire
Tel.:  01253 290190

NWCFL: AFC Blackpool 1 - Winsford United 1

AFC Blackpool came from beind to salvage a point in a bad tempered 1-1 draw at home to Winsford United.

Squires Gate FC's game away at AFC Liverpool was postponed due to an unsafe pitch.

Gate are next in action next Saturday away at Ashton Athletic. AFC Blackpool do not have  a game next Saturday and theirnext match is at home on Saturday 26th January when they entertain Maine Road FC.

more info: 

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Reminder: Russian State Ballet Of Siberia at Blackpool Grand Theatre THIS WEEKEND!

The Grand Theatre is delighted to bring one of Russia’s most acclaimed ballet companies back to Blackpool. The Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia will perform Coppelia, Nutcracker and Swan lake in January 2013- three very different ballets, all performed to the same exquisite standard.

Coppelia is on at The Grand on Friday 11 January 2013 at 7:30pm.
Nutcracker is on at The Grand Saturday 12 January 2013 at 2:20pm and 7:30pm.
Swan Lake is on at The Grand Theatre on Sunday 13 January 2013 at 2:30 and 7:30pm.
Tickets from £21.50 - Concessions available - Booking and Transaction Fees Apply.

For the fastest way to book tickets for any show visit The Grand’s brand new interactive website where you can now select your own seat!

Alternatively call the Box Office on 01253 74 33 39.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

A date for your 2013 Diary - Northern Vegan Festival, Saturday, 13th April 2013, Sachas Hotel, Tib Street, Manchester M4 1SH

With over 90 stalls, cookery demonstrations, talks, films, entertainment, caterers and your chance to try out how delicious Vegan food is - if you have never tried it - this is definitely not to be missed. Saturday, 13th April 2013 Sachas Hotel, Tib Street, Manchester M4 1SH (nearest stations Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly).

Further details:

Also on Facebook

Check out your local veggie cafes -

Bolton: Sury A, The Kitchen on Great Moor Street

Manchester: Earth Cafe, The Eighth Day, Fuel, The Thirsty Scholar, Bistro 1847

Ashton-Under-Lyne: Topaz Cafe, Lily's Restaurant

Toast - Blackpool's superb Cafe/Bar/Grill - have opened in Wood Street, St. Annes, Lancashire

For breakfast, brunch, lunch, a snack, a coffee,evening meal or just a drink if you haven't been to Toast you are missing a treat. The extensive and very varied menu is the same in both venues where you will also find the same high standard of food and service.

They have recently opened in Wood Street, St. Annes-on-the-Sea, Lancashire where there is plenty of room to chill out.

At peak times it is advisable to book to avoid disappointment.

Special events catered for.

28 Corporation Street

Wood Street
St. Annes-on-the-Sea

Friday, 4 January 2013

Listen Again - Hear All The Best Bits From Tonight's Radio Show!

If you weren't able to listen in to our "Best Kept Secrets...In Conversation" show on 103.2 Preston FM this evening, here's the chance to listen to all the best bits. It's talk only, unfortunately, as we are not licensed for commercial music on this website, but what there is is still a damn' good listen...!

Just click on the various sound icons below to listen in (please note this may take longer to load if you are using a Mac...):

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Best Kept Secrets Review of 2012 on 103.2 Preston FM This Friday

Join us for a very special edition of "Best Kept Secrets...In Conversation" on 103.2 Preston FM this Froday from 7pm where we will be looking back at the very best of 2012.

We'll be playing you our favourite releases from the past year and playing some of the great interview clips that we have featured in our shows.  We'll also be talking about some of our "favourite things" and awarding our own informal awards for best song, best book, best venue and that sort of thing.

Among the interviews, we will be featuring:
Colin Callendar from the Ricoh Womens British Open Golf
Michele Enright from Blackpool's Same Sex Open Dance Championship
and new singing sensation Scott Dennett.

Lucy reads out her favourite poem of the year and there is music from:
Morten Harket
Lucy London feat Mike Taylor & TJ
Dean Johnson
Alex Butler
Scott Dennett
Ska Face
and Lynne Fox.

So join us for the very best of 2012 to see in 2013 from 7pm on Friday 4th January on 103.2 Preston FM.

You can tune in to Preston FM on 103.2 FM in the local broadcast area or listen live worldwide via the internet at  

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Tea Dances at the Marine Hall in Fleetwood, Lancashire

The beautiful Marine Hall in Fleetwood, overlooking Morecambe Bay, presents quite a varied programme of exciting events all year round so do check out their website.

They also hold regular tea dances and the floor is wonderful to dance on.  Details on poster.

For further information, please call 01253 887693
or see their website

The Marine Hall
The Esplanade