Sorry we have been off the radar for a little while but things have been joyfully busy at A1 VOX, with the studio ticking over nicely.

Unfortunately Charles has had a nasty fall which means he won’t be making an appearance at A1 VOX for a wee while. But whilst he won’t be with us in body he is quick to let us know that he is still very much with us in spirit, and electronically, as we continue to use the marvellous inventions of e-mail, the telephone, and even other studios, to aid and abet his continued presence.

We all wish you the very best Charles and look forward to hearing your comforting tones resonating the walls of VOX Towers sometime soon.

This week we have a mixed trio for you in the form of comedian, sports presenter, and actress.

Mickey Hutton started his career as a musician playing guitar with Jimmy Nail in the wonderful world of the working men’s clubs.

Jimmy used to outrage audiences by performing on stage in a dress and pit boots. As a result the gigs often degenerated into all-out brawls.

So Mickey left Newcastle for the bright lights of London, moving away from music, and instead trying his hand at stand up comedy.

‘My most heart-stopping moment was when I was about to step on stage and one of the crew told me Robin Williams was three rows back. I was petrified – he is my all-time comedy hero and here he was watching me!’

Mickey became so successful that he started touring as a comedian until his career took another turn as he got the chance to host live on Sky for TV show, Saturday Night. He interviewed guests as diverse as Grace Jones to Frank Carson.

‘Grace was actually a sweetheart and no problem at all because we had music in common and got on fine – I played harmonica for her in the dressing room’

Mickey went on to act in numerous TV programmes including Spender (with pal Jimmy Nail), A Street Car Named Kevin, Monarch of the Glen, and Breeze Block. To top it all off he’s also had his first novel, Massive, published.

Mickey performed at the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival and brought his comedy prowess to countless countries across the globe including, The Falklands, the Middle East, Hong Kong, Jakarta, and Bangkok to name but a few. However, none of these places can compete with his Tyneside roots. He is especially fond of the old North East Quayside:

‘There was a bloke who used to run a portable pet shop on the Quayside market and his patter was brilliant. He used to say “Here’s your rats, here’s your mice. Feed the pets, starve the kids’

Hmmmm – With this years budget and tax debarcle it may well be a lot cheaper to raise mice than children so perhaps this chap had a point!

Mickey was full of beans on his visit to us and managed to charm not only Chris and myself, but the clients on the other end of the ISDN too. Nice Job!

Steve Rider could have been on a track in Bahrain, or commentating from the Olympics and he would still exude the same calm, controlled, delivery that he had when voicing at A1 VOX.

Steve is one of the best known sports presenters of our time having worked for both the BBC and ITV. Indeed his defection to ITV is still one of the most high profile from BBC Sport since Des Lynam.

Steve has been an anchorman for ITV football, and Formula One, as well as being the lead presenter for their coverage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

In December 2011 it was announced that Steve had joined Sky Sports to present F1 Legends for Sky Spots F1. The channel was debuted in March 2012.

Steve has always maintained a low-key and professional style in fronting major sporting events in marked contrast to presenters who some feel try to steal the event’s spotlight.

“I’m not that bothered about the environment that should surround a presenter at the beginning of a programme. That is meaningless to the audience, it is just a macho thing for a production team. We used to have these discussions: wouldn’t it look great if you were standing by the 18th green as Nick Faldo putted out and you would say “No that would get in the way of everybody’s enjoyment of the event”

That is what true presenting professionals are all about Steve, understanding their role in things and not over egging their own performance, or ego. Mr Rider – we salute you.

We’re used to seeing Joanne Froggatt looking drab, decked out in an apron with no make-up and her hair scraped back playing Anna Smith in the hit period drama Downtown Abbey. However, when Joanne turned up at A1 VOX she couldn’t have been further from her on screen persona, donning lovely tousled golden locks and a perfectly made up face.

We got to talking girly stuff and it turns out that she is planning her wedding. So being freshly hitched myself this opened up a whole can of Brides-are-Us worms, from the planning, and the dress, to little tips from oneself (straight from the ‘I do’ trenches).

Talking of dresses Joanne said that her one complaint abut Downtown Abbey would have to be the frocks!? You see her character was somewhat limited in her wardrobe options and whilst the set was positively dripping with stunning Edwardian gowns…she wasn’t!

“Every day I went ‘Ohhhh. I’ve got such costume envy’. Every.Single.Day. I bet they were sick to death of me. I’d be like ‘Oh this is beautiful! Oh look at the boots!’ I was obsessed”

But Downtown isn’t the only gleaming accolade in this young woman’s repertoire. She won an award for most promising newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards in 2010 for her film role in, In Our Name.

She plays Suzy a soldier coping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and immersed herself in research for the part including speaking to female members of the armed forces and visiting Combat Stress, a charity dedicated to working with sufferers of PTSD.

“That was probably the most useful research because after having all the facts and figures it was amazing to sit with people and talk to them and get the human side”

So it looks like this lass from Yorkshire is doing pretty alright for herself.

I am just waiting for that all important wedding invitation to land on my doormat. Yes!….. I can see it now…. me sat next to Dame Maggie Smith on the big day and commenting on how good it is to finally see dear Joanne in one hell of a fancy frock!


A few weeks ago I received a letter from Pink Pussycat Films (yes really!), informing all at 20 Old Compton Street that a day’s location filming would be taking place on Greek Street for the film ‘King of Soho’.

Oh woe me then as due to the fact that I was slaving over a ‘hot telephone, A1 VOX, stove’, I completely missed the opportunity to snap some pics for ya, so I have instead added the pictures below, all courtesy of Big Pictures.

Steve Coogan, the comedy actor, who made his name as arrogant and incompetent chat show host Alan Partridge, has taken the lead role in the biopic.

Starring alongside the 46-year-old is former Brookside actress Anna Friel, who more recently appeared alongside Bradley Cooper in Limitless. She will play Raymond’s long-suffering wife, Jean.

Both Steve and Anna were spotted out on the streets of Soho shooting some of the first scenes for the film, with Anna dressed in a fur-lined vintage coat and Steve looking dapper in a navy suit, tie and grey overcoat.

The film charts the life and times of Raymond, who began life as a self-confessed black market ‘spiv’ before going on to open Britain’s first strip club, The Raymond Revuebar, in 1958.

He later published a number of pornographic magazines and had begun handing his estimated £650 million empire over to his daughter Debbie when she died from a heroin overdose in 1992.

So if you want an inside glimpse to the seedier side of all things W1D, and find out a bit more about one of Soho’s iconic characters, don’t miss the – ‘King of Soho!’