November 2001

I was thrilled to receive a phonecall from Radio Times saying that I had won four tickets in their phone-in competition to attend a special showing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone at the BAFTA theatre in Piccadilly on Saturday, November 17th.

My sister-in-law, Jan, niece Kay, her friend Laura and I had a wonderful time. We were treated to a buffet which was enhanced by the presence of a strolling magician, before we made ourselves comfortable in the 200-seater theatre to watch the film. No-one was disappointed.

This was not a straight adaptation of the book, but J K Rowling's involvement in the film's production had ensured that the screen version of her story was as close as possible to her own vision of it. The medieval setting of the world inhabited by witches and wizards invoked just the right atmosphere.

The casting was impeccable, with the child actors performing brilliantly alongside the long list of acclaimed stars. Alan Rickman was particularly impressive as the skin-crawlingly slithering – sorry I mean Slytherin – Snape.



A wandering Wizard poses with Kay (left) and Laura

Izzy wizzy, let's get bizzy! The man with the pointy hat demonstrates the scientific principles behind the multiplication of spherical objects and their practical applications in everyday life.

We were also delighted to see the large number of owls enhancing the production by performing their own stunt flying without the aid of broomsticks or SFX. Clearly destined for avian superstardom, I imagine they will soon be buying up luxury redwood tree mansions in Beverly Hills.

The special-effects people surely deserve accolades for managing to bring to reality an incredibly complex, Nimbus 2000-paced game of Quidditch.

There are a few creepy scenes which would make the film unsuitable for very young children. By the end, I had recognised what was the scariest aspect of the whole thing.

"Think how old we shall be by the time we get to see the final film of the final Harry Potter book!" I wailed to a horrified Jan. Now that IS scary!


A Star for the Galaxy

Fay Ripley, who plays Jenny Gifford in ITV's popular Cold Feet, which begins a new run on ITV this weekend, (18th Nov) reveals in a Radio Times interview that she is the niece of Sixties death-disc star Twinkle (Lynn Ripley). Twinkle 'starred' (sorry) in a Dutch-language advertisement for the continental press, modelling the 1965 Big L T-shirt.

Keefers on Radio Two!

On Radio Two's Sounds of the Sixties for November 17th, Brian Matthew played a request for Keith Hampshire. The sender was Eric Williams of Liverpool, who had stayed on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. There, he had met Bob Andressen, a former DJ with American Forces Network. Bob was a friend of Keefers, who recalled him playing the Young Rascals' Groovin' on his final Caroline show and Eric had requested that Brian play the record in honour of Keefers' birthday (November 23rd). Happy birthday, Keefers!

Who's Who In British Radio 2002 – Review by Mary Payne

Dawn and Paul Rusling have undoubtedly put a great deal of time and effort into producing this book, which lists people employed throughout the radio industry, and not simply those behind the microphone. They have also taken the trouble to humanise biographical data with personal anecdotes. It is sad then, to discover that Who's Who in British Radio 2002 has fallen victim to that scourge of modern publishing - inadequate proof-reading. From my own perusal, and from reports received from other readers, it is clear that the book contains many errors.

Although its title implies that it is an index of people currently involved in British radio, the book unfortunately suffers in trying to cover too wide a spectrum. Anoraks will be pleased by the inclusion of numerous ex-pirate DJs; Radio London fans, for instance, will be particularly interested to read about the current career of Mike Quinn. The book will enable younger readers to discover where real DJs come from! However, many of these former pirates are no longer working in British radio. An example is the inclusion of Jerry Leighton, about whom there has been no news since circa 1967.

I am flattered to have an entry in the book, especially as there are many far more deserving inductees. However, anyone who does not know me, might deduce from my listing that I have indulged in a spot of blowing my own trumpet in a somewhat fanciful manner, deliberately omitting all mention of my co-webmaster and husband, Chris! Please allow me to assure readers that this is not the case. I did not write the piece, nor see it before it was published.

People included who are somewhat more deserving of listings include Dave Cash, Roger Day, Ronan O'Rahilly, Keith Skues and Ed Stewart.

Who's Who in British Radio 2002, edited by Dawn Rusling and Paul Rusling.
Broadcastdata Publications
ISBN 1 900401 04 5
Available from bookshops, from Amazon.co.uk and direct from the publishers www.broadcastdata.net. Price £29.95

On The Road Again

Rod Argent (top left) writes:

This is just to let you know that Rod and Colin Blunstone (bottom left) will be on tour in November. Come and see us if you can!

Also, my on-line shop should be up and running within the next couple of days. Just click on www.rodargent.com to buy CDs (signed, if you want), Tee Shirts, Programmes, etc.

Tour Dates: NOVEMBER 2001


Tues 13th Chester - Telford's Warehouse Tel: 01244 390090

Wed 14th Crewe - The Limelight Tel: 01270 251929

Thurs 15th Macclesfield - Bar Cuba Tel: 01625 669944

Fri 16th Cardiff - The Point Tel: 02920 465366

Sat 17th - Swansea Patti Pavilion Tel: 01792 477710

Fri 23rd - Bilston The Robin Hood R&B Club 2 Tel: 01902 497860

Fri 30th Nov - Leicester The "Y" Theatre, YMCA, 7 East Street, Leicester - no contact number

More new photos of Rod and Colin can be found here at their gig in March at the Stables in Wavendon.


Herman Munster and Cilla on The Video Beat

We were contacted this week by an Internet company called The Video Beat www.thevideobeat.com offering "over 600 rare and impossible to find VHS NTSC videos" specialising in material from the 1950s and 60s. Naturally, this is something likely to be of great interest to many visitors to the Radio London site, BUT, a word of warning! Do please note that this company only supplies videotapes recorded in American (NTSC) TV standard. These tapes will not play on many domestic video machines built to (PAL) European or Australian standards. Having said that, it is possible to get NTSC tapes converted to PAL, (many photographic shops offer the service) but this can prove expensive. Please also be aware that standards conversion will affect the quality of the original recording. Some up-market VCRs will play NTSC tapes, so it's worth checking your manual if you didn't buy the machine specifically for that purpose. Avid collectors may also consider it worthwhile purchasing VCRs designed to play NTSC tapes.

Here's a little more information for those who have access to NTSC-standard equipment:

The Video Beat specialises in VHS NTSC videos in the following genres:
1950s & 1960s Rock 'n' Roll Movies; 50s/60s Juvenile Delinquent Crime Dramas; 50s/60s Teen Movies; 50s/60s Hot Rod Movies; 1960s Surfing and Beach Movies; 1960s Biker Movies 50s/60s Rock n Roll, Rockabilly, Rhythm & Blues, Blues, Vocal Group, Doo Wop, Country, Hillbilly, Surf, Garage, British Beat, Mod, Psychedelic and more; Special Interest Documentaries and Shorts on Fads, Fashions, Teen Scenes, Hot Rods, Hippies, Beatniks, Artists, Icons, Personalities, Secret Agents, Sex Symbols, etc. Newsreels, Commercials and Educational films.

The latest titles available from The Video Beat include:

'Tetes DeBois - Tendres Anne' es 1965: a French TV teen music show with, "Wild footage of Gene Vincent playing the Cavern Club."

The 1968 Cilla Black TV Show: (UK) guests include Sandie Shaw and Cliff Richard.

The Munsters - Herman the Rock Star: (1965) An episode of the US TV comedy. Herman sings and plays guitar into Eddie's tape recorder and ends up being heard by a disc jockey.

The Beatles Down Under (1994 AUS TV documentary) Very interesting documentary on the Beatles' 1964 visit to Australia and what it meant to the country and the teenagers.


Media UK Forums

The team at Media UK www.mediauk.com has sent the following news update for contributors to their forums.

The forums have been updated at Media UK with new software. Now, you can see who else is reading a forum with you, rate threads to show other users how good they are, spell check messages if you want to, and private messages can now be longer.

In addition, the new software has made important security changes - the most important of which is that your password is now encrypted in our database, which acts as a powerful deterrent to would-be hackers.

We have also made many behind-the-scenes changes in new registrations, aimed at removing the more mischievous elements of Internet users. While we'll never eradicate them, we're confident we've gone a long way towards making Media UK an (even) nicer place to be.

With over 5,500 users, we're hugely proud of the community we have: we look forward to seeing you again soon.


Mystery Pirate

My name is Robertas, I am a Lithuanian Dx-er currently studying at the University of Essex, Colchester, UK.

On Sunday 4th November, between 10:17 and 10:44 UTC, I was receiving a very weak signal of some British pirate station on the frequency of approximately 6213-6216 kHz (sorry - my receiver does not have an electronic frequency meter). The programme contained much talk and some pop music. At 10:26 UTC a list of former pirate radio DJs was being read (it included Graham Gill, Richard Warner, and some others). I was not able to identify the station for sure; however, Radio London was mentioned a few times.

To our knowledge there are quite a few weekend pirates operating from the UK on this band. Can anyone assist Robertas in identifying this station?

Sweet of Software!

Having bought a selection of sweets in preparation for handing out to any little darlings who might knock on our door during Hallowe'en, imagine our surprise when we discovered that 'Love Hearts' have been brought screaming (just had to get that in..) into the 21st Century! Yes, the fizzy sweets with the romantic messages have been around since even before the days of watery wireless and they're still going strong.

As well as the favourites such as, 'BE MINE' and 'DREAM BOY', we found 'EMAIL ME' and 'WEB SITE'! Perhaps this was an invitation to go to manufacturer Swizzle's website and email them about what your perfect 'Love Heart' would be. Maybe 'TEXT ME' is next. Frankly, 'FISH FACE' always used to be my favourite!

Anorak PS: Maybe I've eaten too many sweets lately, but does the jingle package that enigmatically includes the word 'Swizzle' have anything to do with this...?

Go to Swizzle's website at www.swizzle.co.uk and you can catch up on what they've been doing for the last thirty years or so. (The site had a caption saying the site was closed, when we tried it while writing this on a Sunday.)


It's not all 60s at Radio London, you know. We do venture bravely into other decades at times. Read our report of just about the best 70s soul band this side of Milton Keynes, as they performed a sell-out show in Aylesbury. With lots of pics!

Read it here...


Back on the Net

Our Man in San Diego, Howie Castle, tells us that the city's award-winning Number One station KOGO is once again available via the Internet at www.kogo.com/listenlive.html. This follows a long absence from Net streaming, caused by a lengthy dispute between broadcasting companies and those involved in commercial production, over additional payment for commercials transmitted via the Internet. Howie warns that listeners, "Might hear some occasional gaps in the audio where the commercials go."

November in The Hall (possible follow-up hit to 'September in the Rain'?)

When London's Capital Radio began broadcasting in 1973, everyone knew that Kenny and Cash and Duncan Johnson had worked for Radio London, but how many listeners realised that Kerry Juby had been a Caroline DJ? Kerry's very brief spell aboard the Mi Amigo secures him an entry in Pirate Radio Hall of Fame, www.offshoreradio.co.uk.

In addition to new audio clips and photos, webmaster Jonathan also has news regarding a programme intended for broadcast at Christmas, featuring rare Kenny Everett archives.

Louise and Chris:
keeping broadcasting in the family

Mebo II at 4.00am

Jeff Martin has launched a website dedicated to his love of offshore radio, (but not forgetting Luxembourg) which he faithfully followed throughout the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. geocities.com/jeffgold220

Jef's personal story is well worth reading. The following extract is his account of his discovery of Radio Caroline, at the age of seven:

"One day in the summer of 1964, I was sitting on Margate beach with my Grandma. She had her brand new tranny with her and it was playing The Hollies, The Beatles, The Searchers and others. She pointed out to sea and told me that the Radio station was on a ship. "Out there" she said, and it's called Radio Caroline. My life was changed forever. All this seven-year-old wanted for Christmas that year was a radio."

Moving on in time to the RNI years, we couldn't resist the following quote:

"Radio Atlantis was fun pop radio at its best, but the signal in Derby was usually poor. So I stayed faithful to the guys and girls of the Mebo II. Yes, I did wake at 4am some mornings, just to listen to Louise on Skyline."

We're sure Louise Quirk will be very flattered to hear it, Jef. Her second cousin just happens to be Chris Payne, and here are the two cousins together.


Cling-on stars: The Barnacles, with thanks to Colin Lamb and Phil Mitchell for these superb portraits

Everyday Crustaceous RNI Folk

Issue Five of the Radio NorthSea International Fanclub Magazine contains a report of last summer's RSL with listener feedback, a Rogues' Gallery and a bottom-scraping episode of Tony Currie's clamtastic underwater soap, The Barnacles.

Colin Lamb is anxious to recruit new club members and particularly to receive ideas as to how a proposed fourth RNI RSL might be successfully financed in 2002.

Colin was delighted that we had passed on his knee-mail address to RNI's Larry Tremaine, and has already received a message from Larry, which no doubt he will be reporting on in Issue Six.

The RNI website is at www.rni.org.uk.


More Fab Info

With John Shirley and others expressing interest in a book about the Big L Fab Forty, (Sept/Oct Happenings) Hans Knot informs us that he and Bert Bossink have already published a book on the subject. I contacted Bert to find out more and he replied:

The Radio London Book was a 360-page photocopied book written mostly in English, with pictures of sleeves of records that reached the Radio London charts. Included are sleeves from Elvis, Beatles, Jim Reeves, Cliff Richard, Shadows, The Attack, Unit 4+2, etc.

During 1997 and 1998, I sold 350 copies, but it's now sold out until we have new copies made. I will make some for devoted fans of the Big L on request, but this entails a lot of work and takes five or six weeks.

The price of my Radio London book is 45 Dutch Guilders (that's almost 13 Sterling) but the postage to the UK is 15.50, which makes it very expensive.

In a few weeks' time I will be also an author on the website of Hans Knot. We're doing an article on Roger Miller and we will publish also an old London Chart from March 1965 with Roger Miller's "King of the Road" at number one!

I have just seen in Oostende, Belgium on Sunday, a concert with the Swedish Spotnicks and Dutch group The Maskers. There will also be published a Spotnicks Story on Hans's site but that's written in Dutch.

Very nice that you do keep Radio London in our minds with your site. I will never forget Big L so long as I live and have still a lot of fun playing old tapes and some things that I have put on CD with old Radio London Programmes!

Good music and good times will never die!!

Best wishes from Holland to you, Bert Bossink

b.bossink@tref.nl

Many thanks to Bert. Anyone who is interested in obtaining a copy of the book should contact him as soon as possible, so that he knows what quantity of new copies he will have to produce.
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