5th March 2011
Last night we were at the Blackwood Miners Institute and played to a sell out crowd and what a fab crowd it was, a big thank you to my guest star Rhian Griffith who gave us a near perfect first half, she has the most beautiful voice and a lovely personality, everyone enjoyed her. I think last night couldn't have gone any better, how funny was it when I mentioned "Nikki" the girl who won the tickets to come and see me and she didn't turn up, did you enjoy the song we made up about her! Thank you to Rob on the lights you really did make our show sparkle and a big thank you to the management and front of house for looking after us so well, I truly can't wait to come back if you will have me. I also want to say thank you to Ian Parsons for coming last night and his ever increasing support!
My Mam and Dad came to see us today 5th March and we all went down the beach at what we think is called "Witches Cove" and it was a lovely morning, cold but sunny and truly spectacular scenery, took loads of pics.
Tonight it's another fav place to work the Hi Tide in Porthcawl...can't wait!
3rd March 2011
What a great night we all had last night at the Towers Hotel and Spa in Jersey Marine for the Admiral Swansea Bay Local Hero Awards with Bay Radio. I co hosted the night with the lovely Louise Apssey, we heard some very emotional, courageous and at times some funny stories about people in the community who won awards for their wonderful efforts, I was so humbled by the whole experience. We had some celeb’s present, from Gavin and Stacey Melanie Walters, Britain's Got Talent's Paul Potts, from the West End Phillip Arran and a wonderful little girl with a huge voice Jessica McNeil, but the true stars of the evening were the award winners who have sacrificed so much to help others. Thank you to all the kind sponsors especially Admiral our main sponsor, oh my goodness what a night.
I woke this morning totally shattered and a non existent voice with only 5 hours sleep under my belt looked forward to driving to Somerset to take my dear mother in law back home, I really didn't mind as she is such a wonderful woman with a heart of gold and is so good to Marie and I and our Sam adore's her, anyway I was soon at the house in Mid Sommer Norton and then went to see my brother in law as he works at the famous "Dickie’s" factory and he kindly gave me some work boots and overalls for my eldest son Tom to help him with his college course. I was back home in Wales by 2pm and a lovely relaxing afternoon with Marie and Sam in the play park in Cowbridge was a lovely way to enjoy each others company.
Tomorrow night 4th March I will be performing at the Blackwood Miners Theatre and the good news is I have sold out, so looking forward to that, and lucky for me I have the beautiful and hugely talented Rhian Griffith performing on the show too. Saturday night I will be doing it all over again at the Hi Tide in Porthcawl.
25 Feb 2011
I am enjoying my time at home, watching Sam grow is such a joy! I have been working as ever on my radio show and working on new ads for Trade Centre Wales, we have a brilliant one ready for the summer.
Next week will be busy as I am hosting the Bay Radio Admiral Hero Awards at the Towers Hotel Jersey Marine near Swansea and have my concert at the Miners Stute Theatre Blackwood on the Friday, really pleased to hear I have sold out for that one, then on the Saturday I’m at the Hi Tide in Porthcawl so a busy week.
We all went up to see my brother Phill, he’s now on the mend from his operation which was very good to see.
Last night I went to pics with my son Tom we saw “I Am Number 4” a strange kind of film but really enjoyed it, good to see Tom too.
Talking about going to the cinema, Marie and I went to see “The Kings Speech” and really enjoyed it, Colin Firth is amazing, after the film we went to a new pub for us called the Mason Arms in Bryncethin and what a pub, the food is fab I had a curry and Marie had a chicken Caesar Salad, the portions are huge and the beer was first class too, oh yes the wine too.
Last night Marie took her mum to see the Kings Speech so I looked after our Sam, we loved it. We played cars on the floor and a game off Peter Pan at bath time and two stories at bedtime, but he wasn’t having any of that so he came down stairs three times, then Marie and her Mum came back and up to bed he went with his mum. I loved looking after him while his mum was out, that was the first time I looked after him of a night time. Unbelievable that isn’t it?
I have been invited to play golf tomorrow Monday 28th Feb with three of my mate’s Kenny Morris who is a great singer and a good golfer, Jimmy Webb another great singer and another great golfer and also Mike Williams who works as a DJ and has a huge collection of music and yes another great golfer, so I do hope I can hit the ball well tomorrow, but at the end of the day great friends and I can’t wait to play, my poor brother Phill would love to be playing, he’s still recovering from his big operation, never mind he will be soon out there playing golf with the rest of us.
Thank you very much as always for visiting the site and for your support.
17 Feb 2011
Finally I’m in Mallorca and staying at the Nixe Palace Hotel near Palma, I’m waiting for a coffee and an orange juice, it’s been a crazy few days off what with my poor brother Phill having to go into hospital and have an operation, and I do hope he will be home for the weekend.
I join Independence of the Seas tomorrow morning and I work that night then home the very next day flying from Barcelona, this will be the shortest cruise I have ever done...one night!
Just come back from a long walk and a very nice lunch at a place near the harbour called the American Country Kitchen at the Porto Pi Centre, it had many shops and bars so plenty to look at. My lunch was quite cheap to, €30.00 for a nice big sirloin steak and a beer and they brought out a complementary chili con carne as a starter too, so very nice, I couldn’t do the long walk back to the hotel so got a taxi only €5.00. Back now and in my lovely room, it is very nice it’s a junior suite with bath robes and slippers and a mini bar, best not use that!
I join the ship tomorrow and work that night in the Alhambra Theatre two shows 9 pm and 11 pm I do hope I go well, here we go again I’m starting to get nervous, I’ve been doing this for 30 yrs and still get the heeby jeebies, if you know what I mean.
What a sleep 10 hrs and what a comfy bed, I woke up feeling very sleepy but once showered and a good breakfast inside me, which I didn’t know I had to pay for but it was ever so nice.
I’m all ready to get my taxi now and travel the 2 miles to the harbour and board the 160,000 ton Independence of the Seas, see you later.
Got onboard quite quickly and the first people I bump into were from St Clears near my home town of Carmarthen, they say there are loads on from Wales so that should be fun. I checked in to the guest relations desk and was given the key card for my suite, I get to the room let myself in and there was two people in bed still asleep, so I wasn’t too happy about that, they were soon out of there and my room serviced for me.
It’s a nice sunny day in Palma today, the harbour is so beautiful with the magnificent Cathedral as a back drop and the hundreds of small boats and yachts filling in the gaps, my mate Mark Bailey has a yacht here somewhere.
My rehearsal for tonight’s show is at 5.45pm and my show times are 8.45pm and 10.30pm and as per usual I’m a tad nervous but quite looking forward to it. The theatre is huge with an amazing band and I know the Cruise Director well too, his name is Joff Eaton a kind of posh English public school boy who does a great job on here, I take the Mickey out of his accent as he repeatedly says “Crikey” on stage, it’s very funny. Ok, see you later.
Both shows went really well I’m so pleased with it, I fly home today Barcelona to Amsterdam then onto Cardiff and then bed!!! Thanks for visiting my website and thank you for your support.
16 Feb 2011
got home from Mauritius safe and sound and it was lovely to see Marie and Sam, Sam was full of it as you can imagine telling me all about his nursery school and showing me some pictures he's painted, and put up on the fridge of course. With only a few days off we went to one of our favourite pubs for Sunday lunch the Farmers Arms or the Pub On The Pond as it is known locally, as always it was a beautiful meal and Sam ate the lot, mind you we are lucky with Sam as he loves good food, he eats cabbage, broccoli, carrots, spinach anything healthy really, but he loves spag bol must of all. I worked on my radio show for a couple of hours and managed to hit a bucket of balls at the golf range.
My brother Phill had to go into hospital for a keyhole operation but it wasn't successful and in the end had to be open up and a big op took place, he had his Gaul bladder taken out, boy he was in a bad way after that, I went to visit him in East Glam Hospital and he looked rough poor thing, timing was awful really as he should have been celebrating as his new comedy CD came out in Tesco and Amazon the same day, please go and buy it, it's fab and he is a talented funny man with a big heart and he deserve's some success, good luck bro!
It turned out to be a funny day but not in the funny sort of way, I had a call from my agent in Surrey and they told me not to go to the airport as my ship Independence of the Seas isn't going to make Lisbon due to rough seas so I will now fly to Palma Mallorca.
Don't forget to keep tuning in to my radio show on 97.1 Radio Carmarthenshire, 97.5 Scarlet fm, 103.3 Radio Ceredigion at 9am on Sundays and 102.1 Bay Radio and 106.3 Bridge fm at noon on Sundays as some shows come from the ships I'm on.
6th Feb 2011
Arrived in Cape Town yesterday morning feeling totally knackered I have to say, it was a long flight through the night, just couldn’t sleep, the seat on the plane was so uncomfortable and not much leg room, ho hum! Cape Town is such a great place, the waterfront is a bit like Cardiff’s Bay area with loads of bars and cafes, people busking in the street and artists painting beautiful scenes of Table Top Mountain. I didn’t have much time to look around as were sailing at 6pm and needed to unpack and I couldn’t wait to go to bed and catch up on some sleep, the panto had taken its toll on me and once again I got a chest infection and now have a bit of a cold, I hate the winter...do you? Our departure from Cape Town was spectacular, the famous mountain as the back drop and the Cape Town Highlanders piping us out to sea, I was so pleased that I had brought my new Cannon G12 camera so have loads of pics to show you when I get back.
Went to bed at 10pm last night and woke up at 5.30am and thought come on Mikey back to sleep and I then woke up at 10.30am, feeling really tired still, oh come on, I have to start feeling better soon. The one problem with the cabins on Cunard is that there is no kettle and tea and coffee making facilities, I was gagging for a cuppa, so into the shower and once up decided to go to church, the Captain gives the service and it was lovely, but my voice was rubbish and I sang like someone who can’t sing at all? Had some beautiful ham on the bone for my lunch, it was stunning; the food on Queen Mary 2 is superb!
My show is tomorrow night so please God let my voice be better by then. Tonight I have been invited to be a guest on the Entertainment Director’s TV Show that gets shown in all the staterooms throughout the ship, he’s a nice man and his name is Ray Rouse, so looking forward to seeing him later today. The sun is hiding behind some cloud today so if it comes out I’ll be there for a few hours.
The sun never came out today, oh well there’s always tomorrow, I worked on my show for a while and whilst doing that there was a knock on the door, it was an old friend Gary Williams, now there’s a singer and what a nice guy, Marie and I are very big fans of this man, he sang at our wedding too, check him out www.garywilliams.co.uk
Tomorrow is Durban and my night to work, I do hope I feel better, I have a 5 pm sound check and rehearsal then I shall be onstage at 8.45pm and 10.30pm we have 1500 Australians, 500 Americans, 200 Brits, 200 Canadians, 200 South Africans and others from around the world...wish me luck!!
Good morning and it’s Durban, the sun is shining and it’s going to get up to a high of 28 degs today, I have no suntan lotion so it’s a day in the shade or indoors for me, oh well I have my rehearsal at 5 pm so need to be ready for that, I feel the same as last year and not really on form, so I will not be able to do everything, no Nessun Dorma I’m afraid...it’s a shame!
Met up with Gary Williams for a fruit breakfast had a good old chat, then did loads of stuff, things you know what I mean, moochin around kind of stuff, boring really, oh I can’t wait to finish tonight, so I can then relax and hurry up and get well...I just can’t do poorly!
I have Barbra Streisand on the iPod and the view of Durban harbour out of my window, well porthole!
I had some bad news today from my mate Andy Griffiths he texted me to say Mark Bailey’s sister passed away on Friday night she was only 40 yrs old, I really feel sorry for Mark and his family, Mark by the way owns Trade Centre Wales and I have done his radio and TV adverts for quite a while now, so I have got to know him very well as you can imagine.
My brother Phillip is in the Caribbean at the moment and I had a message from him to say he just met two old pals of mine Johnny Cleveland and Mike Powell, now these are names from the past as in 1984 I was an Entertainment Manager in a Holiday Park in Corton Suffolk and I got to meet some of the nicest people in show business, there certainly is a great feeling of community spirit in East Anglia as far as the performers are concerned, they all seem to get along with one another, and all support each other. Great artistes like singer Eve Bridger who hails from North Wales and lives happily with husband Rod who was in the RAF, a really nice man with a great sense of humour, now who else, yes a duo called Twice As Nice John and Tommy, I loved working with these guys they were keyboards and drums and both sang so well, we toured all over Germany together entertaining the armed forces, oh boy there’s a book on just those days, yes you’ll have to wait for the book on that one. Another great artiste is Petrina Johnson now living in Surrey with Husband and their beautiful son Oscar, I first met Petrina in Corton in 1984 she was to be one of my cabaret artistes, she was only 16 yrs old then, but oh my goodness what a singer even then, now she is one of the most sort after singers in the world check her out www.petrinajohnson.com then there was Nicky Walker now living in Spain doing a great show there called Buddy Walker, a show celebrating the music of Buddy Holly, Nicky was and still is a fantastic entertainer, Google him I’m sure he has a website too. There are so many great acts from East Anglia including Johnny Cleveland who I think is one of the funniest guys ever and Mike Powell (On That Road Again) who I hear on the grapevine has remarried, good luck to you my old pal. Now that I have started mentioning names you know what it’s like you feel you have to mention all, but believe me there are too many to mention at the moment, oh Mickey Wright what a great singer with the biggest smile you will ever see, Denise Merrel a great singer, Chubby Oats who is no longer with us and what a funny man he was, he and I were on the Royal Variety Performance together, ah yes the Webb Twins they were on the hit TV show Hi di Hi with Ruth Madoc, ha, a great act. Ok no more on East Anglia, but I had three wonderful years there and one day I must go back and see everyone again....AAAAHHHH Mickey Zany sorry mate, only I still see Mick nowadays as we both cruise the world on the ships, tell you more about him another day, a top man and a very funny man too.
Just back from my first show in the Royal Court Theatre and thank the Lord it went really well, a packed house and a fab crowd mainly Australians, I did 50 mins and now I sit in my cabin waiting to go on for the 10.30pm show, why am I so insecure?
I’m back!!!!!!!! Ha Ha Ha it went so well again mainly an Ozzy crowd with a few Brits, Americans, Canadians and South Africans. It’s a fab theatre which some say is a hard room to work - due to people to your left and right, it’s a ¾ theatre so it’s great for me as I make use of the whole stage, it does remind me of the old Arcadia’s Palladium Theatre.
Now I’m done and it’s now time to try and relax, I’ve met some really nice people on here, Grahame and Julie from Western Australia, nice couple I have taken a picture of them. Also met a guy from Melbourne and he brews beer so loads to talk about there, I told him all about the different beers we have in the UK and he is going to look it all up on the net.
I managed to get some sunbathing in and listened to my iPod for a few hours, but now I’m starting to get bored, all this beautiful ship to enjoy and I’m fed up already, I really must start to take an interest in the gym, I must lose some weight anyway...come on Mike move yourself!
Today’s the last day and I have been given a letter with final arrangements for tomorrow and my transfer and flights, I fly to Dubai then on to Heathrow arriving 11.35am 12th February. I think Marie is getting a Chinese meal in for Saturday night I do hope I’m not too tired for it!
4th February 2011
Good morning...as ever I leave everything to last min and can't find this and can't find that, I have just zipped up the case, put the last bit of music in my bag and have I charged my mob? NO!!!! I am useless sometimes! I'm taking my new camera so hope to share some nice pic's when I get back. Car picking me up at 1pm and my flight goes at 6pm so see you later!
30th January 2011
Today is our last day in Robinson Crusoe and goodbye to the Princess Royal Theatre for a while, I'm coming back there in November this year with my one man show, so book up as soon as you can. Our Sam did come up on the stage with me yesterday and it was a wonderful moment, he loved it too! I would like to thank Meryl, Roy, Lesley and Sarra so very much for their huge support over last three months, they came to nearly all the Bouncers shows and indeed the panto, so a big thank you to you all. Also thank you to the cast and crew of Robinson C for making it a great time in panto, it only feels like yesterday we were all in Brecon and it was all new to us, good luck to everyone for the future.
29th January 2011
With only today and tomorrow to go it really is it now and only a week to go before I go to join the Cunard QM2, I'm not really ready for it, I'm one of those people that has to finish one thing before I start another, so Monday morning will be mad in our house. Also tomorrow morning my son Tom moves into his new flat in Cardiff so to be near to his Collage so a big day for him and the start of student life, I'm sure he will meet loads of new friends and have the time of his life!
Sam and Marie are coming to see the panto this afternoon and Sam says he wants to come up on the stage with me at the end...we'll see!!!
27th January 2011
Panto is almost over, it has been a lovely panto this season and I will be sad to finish, a great cast and crew and some great venues too. Moving on is what we all do and for me it's Cape Town South Africa and the Queen Mary 2 sailing over to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, I have picked up a chest infection "again" so I do hope I will be feeling better by the time I get to the ship. I did the same thing last March when I flew to Perth Australia and joined the QM2 there. It's a magnificent ship and I am very excited to be working on her once again, once back from there I join the Independence of the Seas for a few days and she is even bigger than the QM2.
When I finally get back from these two cruises I will be doing a TV Pilot with my dear friend Lyn Mackay at Morgan's Hotel in Swansea, it's called "THE PIANO BAR" so look out for that on your TV screens soon, also I will be doing my one man show at the Glyn Clydach Hotel Skewen near Neath South Wales with my band, so looking forward to that.
Keep an eye on the website for loads coming up this year, we are working on a 25th Anniversary Tour in November in association with C.I.B (Cardiff Institute for the Blind) and promoting our CD "What Colour id the Wind".
11th January 2011
Carmarthen Lyric Theatre over and I really felt quite sad to leave, well done Rachel and all the brilliant dancers of the Steps Dance School. This is my home town and I have fond memories of this fine theatre, the portrait of the late Elizabeth Evans OBE hangs in the foyer reminding me and many others of the help and encouragement she gave willingly to many budding actors, singers and dancers. I was fortunate to be in an early production of “The King and I” a long time ago. I will never forget her throwing stones at my flat window in Lammas Street Carmarthen shouting from the street “Michael Doyle, you must come and sing for us, you should be in opera not pop singing” maybe she was right? What a wonderful lady she was. I remember a young boy who played Louis in the “King and I” his name Wynne Evans, he was Liz’s son he must have been about 7yrs old, it’s funny because that’s the same Wynne Evans we see on our TV screens in the “GO COMPARE” adverts and I think he has an amazing voice as indeed does his brother Mark.
I now have a few days off and time to work on the radio show and think up some new ideas with my writing partner Andy Griffiths for Trade Centre Wales, what has Trevor in store for 2011?
We start on the 15th January at the Princess Royal Theatre in Port Talbot and the last leg of our Pantomime Robinson Crusoe, it’s a great theatre and some great people running it, always a warm welcome here too!
Please keep coming back to my website and thank you so very much for all your support.
9th January 2011
Happy New Year to all. I hope this will be a good one for us! I am still in Panto and now at the Lyric Theatre Carmarthen. This is my home town and it’s great to be here, the Lyric is a lovely warm theatre and I love to play here whether it’s panto or my one man show. I used to come here as a child, it was one of our cinema’s in those days, the other was the Capitol, the Capitol is still there but I have no idea what it’s meant to be now! The town has changed a lot and for the better I think, it’s great to walk around the new part of town and enjoy the new places to eat and drink or go to the brand new 6-screen cinema or take a look in Debenhams, it’s fab!
I have 3 weeks left now in panto and I am in two minds whether to take next year’s panto OFF...it will be the first time in 23 years, so watch this space!
I have another year of travelling to look forward to, I fly to Cape Town on the 5th February to join the QM2, she is a beautiful ship and has the feel of a ship of many years ago, a true Cunarder, I don’t think we will see anything quite like her ever again, she cost something like $400,000,000 to build!
I will be cruising on P&O, RCI, Cunard, Silver Seas and Celebrity Cruises this year so lots to look forward to!
I have also made a huge decision for this year and for the future of my career, for the last 21 years I have been represented by International Artiste’s Covent Garden London and it was a hard call to make to say I wanted to leave, they have been nothing but brilliant to work with over the years, I did Buddy and Grease in the West End with them and many summer seasons and TV Shows including the Royal Variety Show, but it was time to move on, much because showbiz has changed so much and I needed to go, but we are still good friends and I am very appreciative of that.
I now have another agent solely for the cruise industry and his name is Jonathan Blackburn and he has already got me booked up until the end of September and the rest I will do myself via my new website, I also do quite a lot of corporate work and for that I have another agent who is also brilliant and her name is Sheila Willicombe, so I’m in good hands there. My dear pal Ian Parsons takes care of the day to day work and is responsible for my website so keep logging on to see what’s happening.
My radio show is going from strength to strength and I now do a show on 103.3 Radio Ceredigion as well as the other four stations. I am still voicing the Trade Centre Wales Ads so Trevor is still there; I also front their website www.thetradecentrewales.com
So, a very busy year ahead, do keep checking my website for news, gigs and the odd TV clip, see you soon.
29th December 2010
I was interviewed on Radio Wales by Jamie Owen and Louise Elliott just before Xmas listen to it below in two parts
24th December 2010
We have opened in Blackwood and the crowds are fantastic, they just join in from the word go, this is a great panto house! The show has tightened up lovely and we all are having some fun. We have Rhian Griffith playing “Polly” and she does a fab job and has an amazing singing voice, trust me Rhian has the real X Factor, I worked with her in last year’s panto, she is a wonderful performer, we also have Llinos Daniel playing “Miley the Mermaid” who is doing a great job too, I last worked with Llinos in Contender, we were husband and wife, Mr & Mrs Tommy Farr, it’s so nice to work with her again, we have an amazing guy who plays the Dame and his name is Ian Lilley and what a voice and so very funny, he will go a long way, my mate Phill Howe plays the Captain of the Venture Captain Perkins, a great guy to be around he’s really funny and always comes out with something everyday, you may remember Phill from Hollyoakes in which he played Elliotts father, he has also been in East Enders, Casualty and The Bill, he is also a stand up comic so keep an eye out for him, playing Man Friday is probably the nicest guy you will ever meet, Sule Rimi who has an amazing talent, he plays the character brilliantly and we have a laugh every day, Sam Davies plays the Mighty Konga and this man is just the most talented man I have ever met, he can do almost anything, he has the most energy I’ve ever seen, but he has, he jumps around the stage like there is no tomorrow, he also was in Bouncers with me, you will remember him as Judd.
Our Director is Richard Tunley, he also directed Bouncers by the way, Richard plays the villain Bluebeard the Pirate and does a brilliant job, we have done three panto’s together now, Cinderella, Jack & The Beanstalk and now in Robinson Crusoe, I hope we work again together he’s a bloomin good director.
Well, talk of snow coming in over the weekend everyone is sort of panicing a bit including my wife as we haven’t really got everything ready for Christmas as Marie has had flu also Sam poor thing, I had man flu which was much worse of course!!
Well the snow did come and so did more coughs and colds but we are now feeling much better and ready for Christmas, our Sam as you can imagine is very excited, today is Christmas Eve and we have a 11am and a 2pm show.
Outside stage door this morning I slipped on the ice and fell quite hard on my back, so a tad sore at the moment, Richard Tunley our director was with me and laughed so hard I thought he was going to pass out...thanks Rich!
I’m looking forward to finishing today and rushing home for Christmas, we hope to be going to church this evening to a carol concert in Laleston.
Well Happy Christmas all and I just would like to say a huge THANK YOU for all your support over this last year, and also a big thank you to Ian Parsons my dear friend who has put together this website and looks after the day to day running of “looking after Me”, so here’s to 2011.
16th December 2010
2nd video clip for Robinson Crusoe added
14th December 2010
First reviews of Robinson Crusoe are in click here
13th December 2010
Publicity photo’s for Robinson Crusoe added on Panto Diary
9th December 2010
A video clip of Robinson Crusoe
5th December 2010
Having had a great last night at the Lyric Theatre Carmarthen with our play Bouncers and on that very same day opening with Panto it was a strange day, I have never done anything quite like that before, two different shows on the same day!!!
What a week in Brecon, how we got up and running I will never know, to be honest our director Rich Tunley was just brilliant and he got the whole thing going, stressful but well worth it. The weather was unkind to us so numbers were down due to freezing temperatures and snow, it has been so cold as indeed all over the UK. I had a very bad experience one night, I had to come to record some new Trade Centre Wales ads and I chose to drive over the Beacons, bad choice it took me 3hrs to get home, I was caught up on the mountain in awful driving conditions and in bad snow, I have never been so scared in my life, I thought that was it at one point, I started to pray and it gave me some peace and calmed me down. My car spun out of control a few times and there was one hill that well, I slid all the way down, it was horrible, thank God I'm alive!
Oh well it's panto panto panto now and we are all looking forward to Blackwood where we can start to enjoy packed out houses and great audiences.
I will soon have some photo's from back stage as we go through the panto and no doubt some very silly ones too.
30th November 2010
Bouncers is almost over and Panto starts on Wednesday 1st December in Brecon, I have never been so busy in my life, I have two scripts going on in my head, and in the back of my head I know I have to record some brand new ads for Trade Centre Wales very soon, but when and where will the gap come to do it? It will all slot into place it always does. My son Thomas has gone to London for his panto rehearsal with Sam Kane and Linda Lusardi so he’s happy. Sam my little boy is also happy as we have put the Christmas lights up outside the house, I know it’s early but I have no days off now until Christmas Day!
Today was our “Tech Day” which is a slow day with putting it all together and I have to say our Director Rich Tunley did a great job, I think we have a winner this year. We open tomorrow morning at 10am and we also finish with Bouncers tomorrow night at the Lyric Theatre Carmarthen, so a busy day ahead.
20th November 2010
2 new videos added on Television page
19th November 2010
Panto rehearsals for Robinson Crusoe have begun - follow my panto diary here
10th November 2010
The cast of Bouncers were interviewed by Nicola Heywood-Thomas for Radio Wales tonight
Click below to listen
9th November 2010
I had a lovely day off Sunday, we went for Sunday lunch at one of my most favourite pubs The Farmers Arms know locally as the "Pub on the Pond" near Wick, what a great welcome you get there and the service is first class as is the food! A trip followed to Toys R Us which our Sam loved, running around this huge toy shop, all we had as kids was Woolworth's!
Last night we played the Congress Theatre in Cwmbran, we had a full house and a fantastic reception, they loved it and so did we! I also had some fantastic news yesterday, as most of you will now know from facebook, my son Thomas has been accepted into the Royal Welsh Collage of Music and Drama, starting in January 2011, he is and indeed we all are over the moon with this wonderful news...WELL DONE TOM!!
Tonight we are in the Miners Theatre Blackwood and it's "press night" and rumour has it John Godber himself is going to be there, no pressure then! I would like to thank everyone who has and is supporting our play Bouncers very much indeed especially Sarra, Lesley and Meryl who have come to see us many many times...thanks girls!
6th November 2010
...6th Nov 2010...on Bouncers we have a fight scene it's between Sam (Judd) and me, Sam is a fight director and has choreographed our fight brilliantly, however an injury is typical of such a piece of drama and I have unfortunately torn a muscle in between my ribs, it's so painful! This morning was spent at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend. With pain killers, gel and a bruised ego I'm back home resting and watching Wales v Australia, back on tonight at the Muni Pontypridd, I guess I will have to take care of myself a bit more now! We start our panto rehearsals next Wednesday, boy I'm busy!
5th November 2010
...its now the 5th November 2010 and we have been running with Bouncers now for 5 days, we opened on the 1st Nov and we were all a tad nervous and excited all at the same time, we had a better 2nd night I think but the audiences have been just fantastic. Last night we were in the Torch Theatre Milford Haven and we had a packed house and it was the best show so far, we were all on fire and the crowd gave us a standing ovation...we were really pleased with ourselves! Tomorrow night is the Muni in Pontypridd then a DAY OFF...yeah!!!!
30th October 2010
I am so happy to be back home from the cruise as I have so much to do now, I have rehearsals tomorrow and its our only rehearsal before me and the boys take on our month long tour of John Godber’s play "BOUNCERS"...well it’s here and I am so excited its not true...please check the diary page for full details of the tour and I hope to see you there.
18th October 2010
I’m now eventually on P&O Aurora having missed getting to the ship last week in Palma Mallorca, I really can’t go over the details a second more, and it was a very stressful day to say the least!
I’m here now we sailed last night from Southampton and I’m settled into my ever so tiny cabin, but it does have a spectacular view over the ship’s bow, my cabin cannot be any further forward.
The cruise director is my lovely friend Nat Milverton who happens to be my other friend Steve Beswick’s other half, they are getting married next Feb in Barbados, I had the unpleasant task of telling them we can’t make it, it’s just too far for Marie and I to take our 3 yr old son Sam, it wasn’t easy to tell them, they are very good friends of mine and love them to bits!
My show isn’t until the 20th Oct so I have some time off, which is good for me as I have my “Bouncers” script at my side 24/7.
It’s a great team on here, the Captain is an old mate Peter Philpot, I’m looking forward to seeing him when he has a min, also Ian Wynne Smythe is the Executive Purser and I have known him for a very long time, it’s great to see my old mate’s now in senior positions!
We are still at sea and I have just finished my radio show which was transmitted from the ship. I have a day now of learning script and later Steve Beswick and I are going to watch Blackpool v Man City, I’m not really a football fan but now and again I do watch and enjoy, it’s Steve’s team Blackpool so I am looking forward to it!
What a day, Blackpool lost 3-1 to Man City and Blackpool was the better team as well? Give me rugby any day!
Another day at sea and overcast and a bit bumpy so didn’t do much really, had a nice pork lunch, worked on my Bouncers script and watched TV ...boring day really! We are in the Azores tomorrow; it’s a group of Islands smack in the middle of the Atlantic, to think the Titanic sailed not far from here!
I was up very early this morning, we had an hour back on the clocks last night, so as my cabin looks over the bow I watched as we sailed into Ponta Delagada here in the Azores. The day started off quite overcast but the sun soon burnt through the clouds and it was a lovely day. We sailed at 1 pm and we now have 5 nights at sea before we get to Port Everglade in Florida USA! I am working tomorrow and can’t wait to get on, the theatre on here is the Curzon Theatre and it’s a lovely theatre to work, it holds just over 800.
Another early rise for me, this clocks back every night is great but you are up early that’s for sure, I dreamt last night about the Bouncers Play, all night I think, I woke up going over the lines in my head, I think that’s how you learn them, I have come to learn to trust my brain more and more these days.
I went along to see my mate Steve Beswick the Bars Manager around 9.45am as he gets the coffee in around that time in his office, so a chat and another coffee, then went back to my cabin to finalize my show for tonight, I’m looking forward to the show and I do hope my sound will be ok as I have not been impressed so far with it, I have seen two other acts and their sound was like a transistor radio in the back ground, that might sound a little harsh but it wasn’t good?
I have enjoyed listening to my iPod today, songs like “Vincent” by Don Maclean and even Cat Stevens; I forgot how good he was!
It’s another lovely day here in the Atlantic Ocean, we had an added bit of excitement today, apparently we rescued 4 people in the Azores, they are from America and they had missed their ship the Ruby Princess which had been in the day before and they are hitching a lift with us to Florida, poor things I know how they feel as Marie and I once missed the ship in Jamaica, it’s an awful feeling, no money, clothes, medication and worse than any of that an embarrassing feeling, a feeling that you are the most stupid person in the world. The other piece of exciting news today was that our officers on the bridge spotted about 4 miles out some strange vessel and was not documented on their radar, so the ship altered course and we sailed across to investigate. It turned out to be part of a large boat that must have sunk and has somehow floated up to the surface, our ships security took a closer look in case there was life onboard, but it was just a sad old boat that was broken in two, what a terrible tale this boat could tell. The Captain of Aurora Peter Philpot came on the public address system to give us this news and told us he was going to report this wreck to the US Coast guard as it could be a danger to shipping etc!! Very exciting!!
I have 2 hours now before my rehearsal and sound check, and I have 2 shows tonight, one at 8.30pm and another at 10.30pm.
My rehearsal went really well and the sound is fab so is the band. A good old mate came in to oversee my sound, he’s actually a drummer and his name is Nigel Williams, he comes from Pembrokeshire and sometimes tours a “Sting” show around the UK, so I guess he knows what he’s talking about. The sound man is a great guy, his name is Jim and we worked together on Contender when it was in Aberystwyth, so good to see him too!
I have just 2 hrs now before my show starts in the Curzon Theatre, and they have some really clever lights in there, it looks like “Top of the Pops”, so I am looking forward to it! The sun is setting as I write over the ship’s bow and it looks spectacular, we really are in the middle of nowhere at the moment!
Well, my show went off just great, two packed houses and two standing ovations, so I am a happy man!
Last night the cruise director Nat Milverton interviewed me in the beautiful Carmen Room we again two packed house’s and it went really well, I spoke about my upbringing in Carmarthen, my first guitar, being an Entertainments Officer on the “Old Oriana” back in 1982 and some funny embarrassing moments that have happened through my life!
I am back on with my show tomorrow night the date today is 23rd Oct and we are “still” at sea heading west with clocks going back an hour most nights, right now we are 200 miles east of Bermuda, the weather is around 26degs with scattered clouds so just might sit the sun today with my Bouncers script.
Another day another dollar as the saying goes, yes we are still at sea, although we are edging closer to the land they call the United States of America, I once again did my radio show from the ship and with the time zone difference I had to do it 4hrs before UK time so in the middle of the night really. I’m on again tonight and my band call and sound check is in 20mins once again in the beautiful Curzon Theatre, I’m looking forward to the show tonight, we have a great gag that we are going to do, you see, I do a joke in my show, telling the passengers to steal all the biscuits and pool towels, so tonight Ian Wynne-Smythe the Executive Purser is going to come on unannounced pulling a suitcase and making out that it’s mine and demanding I open it so to see what’s in it, so when I am made to open it the entire contents of biscuits, towels and other ships stuff will all fall out onto the stage, I think it will go down really well and it will be ever so funny!
Two great shows, I loved it and EP Ian Wynne Smythe was a star in every sense of the word...it worked!
I’m sat waiting to board my plane back to London, Miami Airport has become alot more friendly since the last time I was here with Marie!
17th October 2010
I have just added the television documentary of Contender onto the Contender page of the site
13th October 2010
After spending a lovely weekend with our friends Hughie and Dee in the Cotwolds celebrating Hughie's 58th birthday with our other friends Ian and Jackie, Paul and Elka and Dave and Judy and having a great days golf at one of the Cotwolds most poshest courses "The Wynchwood", which I have to say was nothing short of perfect, the day that followed must have come from hell. I had the alarm set for 3.15am and in the car at 3.40am, Executive Cars Wales as always took me to Heathrow. We got to the airport around 6 am, so far so good. Once checked in I realised I had left my mobile phone at home, my nightmare had begun. We took off 20 mins late and due to an air traffic control problem over France we had to fly over the Bay of Biscay and into Spain that way, I was on my way to Palma via Madrid. We arrived at Madrid late and I missed my connecting flight to Palma, there was no flight to Palma until 5 pm and my ship Aurora sails at 6 pm so no good to me, at this point I was stranded in Madrid. I queued up over 6 desks for up to 5 hrs with NO phone only my laptop to communicate with P&O Cruises and Marie, no wanted to help at the Madrid airport, sending me to info desk to info desk, no water, no food and dying for a toilet but just couldn't risk leaving my place in the queues I found myself in. I finally got some sense out of someone at the Iberia desk and she kindly allowed me to use their phone and I was able to call Marie and P&O and I thank Rachelle at the P&O office very much as she was so professional and got me out off there, I was finally on a BA flight back to Heathrow and thanks to Executive Cars they were there to take me home, so my day was simply to fly to Madrid to queue up for 5 hrs to fly straight back home again! Who said travel was interesting?
3rd October 2010
What a week its been, Marie and I went to Marco Pierre White's Yew Tree restaurant for the meal of our lives, what a pub, amazing food, excellent beer, fabulous wine, outstanding service and and a wonderful atmosphere. Marie and I were invited by Marco himself and we hoped he would have been there but unfortunately he couldn't make it, but we still had a fantastic time, if you ever get the chance to go you really must, it is an amazing dining experience, P&O Cruises also have Marco's restaurants onboard some of their ships! We couldn't get into the Yew Tree to stay over so we booked into a nearby hotel called the Donnington Valley Spa Hotel near Newbury, fab hotel with first class facilities, the obvious spa (as the clue is in the name of the hotel) which really was very good, a beautiful pool, steam and sauna, a very good and well equipped gym and treatment rooms, all great if that's your kind of thing! For me the hotel was great as it had a golf course and yes I did play and loved it! We also had a look around the town of Newbury and found it to be an awfully nice place, with a canal with barges and boats sailing along and using the lock gates too, some lovely pubs some with live jazz going on, we found a lovely pub called the Lock, Stock and Barrel which had a beer festival going on...perfect! Soon home and back in a rehearsal room for the forth coming play Bouncers, I can't believe it's only a month to go before we open at Swansea Grand and embark on a months tour! I also did a bit of filming for Trade Centre Wales for their new website...watch this space!
My Birthday arrived on the 1st October and it was the BIG 50...."HELP"! I had a great day, it started with watching the Ryder Cup first thing in the morning and couldn't believe the weather, it was so bad they had to stop play. We had a great night in spite of our little boy Sam who a few days ago picked up the dreaded "chicken pox" and has been feeling awful poor thing, anyway my mate Dave arrived with prezzie's for all and we went and got a Chinese meal and a few beers!
The next morning arrived with some nice weather and Dave and I were happy with that as this was the day we went to the Celtic Manor in Newport to watch all our favourite golfing stars in the Ryder Cup, it was my Birthday treat from Dave, and what a treat! We were picked up by my friends at "Executive Cars Wales" who dropped us off at the drop off point at Tredegar House near Newport, then a long walk to the buses, a slow double decker bus took us to the bus terminal at Celtic Manor, feeling very excited we then had another long walk into the grounds and onto the "Twenty Ten" course and the Ryder Cup, wow isn't enough of a word to describe the atmosphere when we got there. Golf has been a huge part of my life and to be there at this enormous world sporting event just took my breath away, I found it quite emotional too. We saw everyone that day, the one and only Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Rory Macilroy (who is only 21 by the way) we even saw Michael Jordan who is Tiger’s mate, we also saw the Captain Colin Montgomerie of course and loads more! We were quite hungry around 2pm and had a nice £8.50 burger and a lovely £5.00 pint, oh well they were bound to make a few quid that day!
After watching some world class golf and our legs about to give way, with mud up to our ear holes it was time to go home and straight to bed ....exhausted!!! Well worth it!
Today is Sunday and it's still Ryder Cup fever and our boys still trying to win this amazing event...so !
It's back to rehearsals tomorrow for "BOUNCERS" as we only have this week to nail it so to speak, we open on the 1st November at the Swansea Grand Depot Theatre and all details are on the diary page, please take a look and I hope to see you there, but please remember Bouncers is a play not me doing my own show, we had one or two last year not fully understanding the concept?
I'm off to Palma next Monday to join P&O Aurora and sail to Fort Lauderdale Florida via Southampton and back in time for Bouncers!
21st Sept 2010
Having been back only 24 hrs from the P&O ship Oceana and having a lovely Sunday off with my family, it was soon time to travel to Blackwood and to the Miner’s Theatre for a first rehearsal for the play Bouncers, it turned out to be a relaxed day. However, it’s always hard work putting it all together, loads of script to learn. I have some brilliant guys around me, Sam Davies is very clever, energetic and a very funny actor, then there’s Gareth Bale another great actor with brilliant skills and another funny man, then there’s Richard Tunley a very versatile actor and a very good director. I first met Rich at Swansea Grand when I was doing Mal Pope’s Musical play Contender, he was to direct me in my first Owen Money Theatre Company Panto “Cinderella” we have become great mates and to be honest he has given me a wonderful opportunity to act, he told me I could have a career in acting and it has changed my life, I love to act and Bouncers is one of, if not the best thing I have ever done, it gives me a chance to multi role with characters and show a completely different side to what I never knew I was capable off, so I truly thank Richard Tunley with all my heart for giving me the opportunity. We open with Bouncers on the 1st November at the Swansea Grand Depot Theatre in the Arts Wing and I am very excited...just got to learn it now, again!
The next day I was back in the Radio Station to prepare for my radio show, I go out over five stations in Wales 97.1 Radio Carmarthenshire, 97.5 Scarlet FM, 102.1 Bay Radio, 106.3 Bridge FM and 103.3 Radio Ceredigion every Sunday from 9 am with Bridge FM from 12 noon.
I also had two new ads to record for Trade Centre Wales so “Trevor” was busy (Trevor is a key character in my ads for TCW).
Before you knew it I was then in a rehearsal at the Hi Tide in Porthcawl for my concert at Swansea Grand Theatre which was the next night 17th Sept and I thank Dai Jones the manager so much for giving us the space, it went really well and the band were on top of things very quickly, we had a new person in our band that night, a dear friend of mine and an amazing singer called Rhian Griffith, we did panto last year together and we are doing panto together again this year...oh yes we are!
Once at the Grand we were soon set up and ready to sound check and look at lighting, with my band and sound all in place we were ready to go! I have a fantastic band in which I am very proud of with my Musical Director Michael Morwood at the helm, Michael has become a very good friend and also his beautiful and talented wife Rhian who are also God Parents to our son Samuel, sadly and regrettably I missed Samuels birth as I was on Arcadia in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and he came early, Rhian Morwood took my place and went with my wife Marie to the hospital and was there at Sam’s birth, I will be forever grateful to her as she was a tower of strength for Marie. I met Michael about six years ago he came to our house and I was then to discover that he had been musical director for many well known West End musicals and had been a tutor at one of the world’s most famous music collages “Mount View”, Michael has a very unique way of playing and understands exactly what I need in terms of accompanying me, I feel I have moved on so much with my show since he has come on board. Paul Shepherd is on drums and I consider him to be one of the best drummers in the business, and I’m not the only one to say that. I’ve known Paul for a very long time, we go back to when he was playing for Vince Hill, I learnt so much from him and I still do, he has a very good understanding of how it all works, I have Jon Goode on Bass and what a player, Jon and I have a great friendship, he plays all over the world in huge Christian Fellowship Shows and also is part of the band at the City Temple in Cardiff, he has been and still is a tower of strength to me, he’s very enthusiastic and really cares what we produce out there, and on 2nd Keyboards, Sax and flute is Julian Tucker, now he is a very talented man from London with a huge knowledge of musical arrangements, sounds and well basically he is my orchestra, then we have my beautiful backing vocalists, Rhian Morwood with an amazing range and a lovely sound to her voice and there’s Llinos Thomas who has an earthy warm voice and a lovely person to have around, she once did backing vocals for none other than Sir Elton John, I also did panto with Llinos 4 years ago she was Cinderella, but as Rhian Morwood is about to have another baby we had another Rhian to join us the lovely (as I have mentioned earlier) Rhian Griffith, she has a beautiful voice and even has her very own CD out.
The show at the Grand was a great success and we could never achieve any of this if it were not for my sound guy’s Adrian Bamford and Ian Bamford of Neath Music who have been doing my sound for years, the best equipment and a real sense of pride in their work, and really nice guy’s, they are the fifth Beatles, if you know what I mean!
Our show at the Swansea Grand went really well and it was a 100% sell out, check out the review!
I came off stage and my agent Jonathan Blackburn came to my dressing room to see me with his lovely wife Gail, he was happy so that was good, I was really pleased to see him, he came all the way from Surrey too that was nice. My wife Marie worked hard on the night looking after all the VIP guests and checking back and for with me for all my silly nervous needs...thank you Marie I love you.
My Mam and Dad came to the show too, I always feel a bit un settled when they are in, it’s just because they are my parents I guess, it was lovely to see them there though!
Also I thank Ian Parsons and his lovely wife Rhian for coming and supporting me, you see Ian does more than that, as you are reading this, it is he who puts all my website together, he is a great man with a massive heart and I owe him so much, he has also just had a book published called “Swansea’s Grand” buy it it’s amazing, it took him 4 years to complete, it is so interesting and a very good read, and thank you Ian for adding me to it! Follow this link to buy it
Also a big thank you to my boss at the radio station Andy Griffiths for lending his support, he always tries to come to my gigs, Andy and I work together to produce the ads for Trade Centre Wales, he is also a legend in radio, everyone in the industry know Andy Griffiths.
I would also like to thank “Executive Cars Wales” and David Llewellyn for looking after me with my travel arrangements to and fro from Airports throughout the year; he was there too with his lovely wife Sue. After the show he took me straight to London Heathrow for my flight to Gibraltar as I was to join P&O Azura a 116.000 ton brand new cruise ship, and I worked that night, a 7.15pm, 8.30pm and a 10.30pm show. I was met by an old pal of mine Cruise Director Neil Oliver who I haven’t seen for years, we had a fab night but boy was I tired, I looked into the audience and I couldn’t believe my eyes there were loads of friends of mine in from Wales, half the Wedges (my golf society) were in the front, and half way back another great mate Kevin Davies from Newcastle Emlyn and his wife Ann, I nearly fainted when I saw his face, a few pints after the show I went to bed and slept like a log for 10 hours.
It’s the night before Southampton and an hour back on the clock for us, I’m ¾ packed and will be on the 9.10am train in the morning, should be home for 12.45pm, I have the afternoon off, then back to radio and ads for TCW then Friday another concert this time at the Congress Theatre Cwmbran, another firm favourite of mine. Busy boy I hear you cry!
17th Sept 2010
Just finished a sell out show at Swansea Grand Theatre, thank you the people of Swansea and beyond for your ongoing support, it really is one of my favourite venue’s and holds so many great memories for me, no time to reflect on a great show though as I have to leave in the small hours of 18th September for yet another cruise, this time on the new P&O Azura.
3rd Sept 2010
Another train journey to Southampton only this time I have gone a day early so to give me more time to join the Oceana tomorrow. I have done six cruises on Oceana this year, it’s a great ship and I have many friends on there, this time a new cruise director is joining Rob Boyd, I haven’t worked with him before but everyone says he’s a nice guy.
Looking back over the last week has been a good feeling in terms of work, rest and play! I came back from Stockholm having had a very successful time on Jewel of the Seas and on the Sunday night I was performing at the Carmarthen Showground with my band and a very talented young lady called “Maria Lyn” who did a great job taking care of the first half of the show, I think we’ll see more of her! What a night, one of the “best ever” kind of nights, a packed and I mean a packed out showground of people from mainly South Wales but also from all over the UK including Ireland. The night was for the Caravan Club of Great Britain and we all had an amazing time!
The next day bright and early Marie, Sam and I travelled to Somerset and we had a good old fashioned family day out at Longleat, Sam was so excited as you would imagine, “will we see tigers, will we see lions” we did see allot of wasps though! Longleat was a great success, we had a picnic with all the family and the uninvited wasps, we went to see the pets corner and Sam touched a snake, we went on the train ride around the famous Longleat lake, we then went to see Postman Pats model village and a very scary slide in the Adventure Park, Sam loved it and I had never been so scared in my life, Marie said I looked a white as a ghost when I finally arrived at the bottom of the tube like slide, boy that was fast and scary!
Once safe at home in Wales it was a Radio show to prepare and two ads for Trade Centre Wales, the “Back to school” ad came out great, really funny!
I had a great night out with my son Tom down the Bay in Cardiff, we went for a pint together in the Terra Nova and my cousin Jane met up with us and we had a really nice time chatting, laughing and catching up, she’s a lovely girl and we were really close to each other as kids! Tom and I went to see “Salt” in the cinema and loved it, an Italian meal to follow and a good chat, Tom starts his new job in Brecon next week at the Gremlin Hotel, so he’s looking forward to that!
Marie, Sam and I also went down the Bay last week and once again Sam took his scooter and we had another ride on the carousel and we took a ride on the “BIG WHEEL” oh my goodness, I’m not good with heights, and Sam loved it as did Marie...too high for me!
I join Oceana today, I’m up early from my hotel and soon off to the ship, it’s a lovely sunny day, only one thing clouding it, I have a cold, well it’s actually “man flu” so there!!!
Once onboard the usual order of events took place, go to Cruise Director’s office sign forms and pick the schedule for the cruise, then to the crew office and sign more paper work hand over your credit card for any purchases you may incur during your stay, then a water tight door induction at 3.30pm which I got out off doing as I have been on ships regularly I didn’t have to go...whey hey, result!
Once unpacked and settled into my cabin, I rushed up to the salon and had a haircut and I was soon at the bar enjoying the sail away with my old friend Dee Taylor who is the Deputy Cruise Director, she was a bit sad as her husband Hughie got off the ship today and went home, he happens to be my mate too!
A good night’s sleep with gentle side to side rocking of the ship and an unfortunate 4 am indigestion moment, I woke refreshed and ready to take on the day of cafe’ latte, a roast chicken Sunday lunch and awaiting a visit to the ship’s doctor at 4pm, he must help me with my awful man flu, I must sort it out before the 17th Sept as on that date I have my concert at the Swansea Grand Theatre....help!
The trip to the Medical Centre was “ok” I met a nice Doctor who told me I would live, he came from South Africa and gave me some anti histamines and said I should start to feel better by tomorrow, I hope so as I have my show tomorrow night at the Starlights Lounge.
I watched a film on my laptop last night before I went to sleep called “The New Daughter” what a load of rubbish, but watched it through to the end and thought, why did I keep watching that?
A new day and another day of taking pills for my cold, I know I’m going on about it but it just isn’t good when you have to sing and be your happy self...moan moan! I had my rehearsal and the band are fantastic as is the sound and lights, thanks to production manager Gareth, I just hope my voice stays there, I have a cold you see...oh you know, have I mentioned it at all!
I did my two shows last night and both went great, my voice held out and I really enjoyed it, the crowd were fab. After the second show I made my way to the bar and was met by none other than Dancing On Ice star Nicky Slater who had been in and watched my show with his lovely wife, what a nice couple and we chatted until the small wee hours, we spoke about the cruises, panto, radio shows, my voice over work, he shared with me his life in Ice and indeed the show, we then spoke about our faith and it was really interesting as we both walked much the same road, he used to go to “Christians In Sport” and I to “Christians In Entertainment” so we had lots in common. They have a 2 and a 1/2yr old and we have Sam who’s 3yrs old so loads to chat about, what lovely people and I do hope I see more of them before I fly home.
Today we are in Gibraltar and first thing it was glorious, the sun shining and perfect blue sky, then around 12.30pm the sky darkened and down came the rain and howling winds, then about 3pm the sky opened up and beautiful sunshine again, unbelievable!
I’m on again tonight which is a repeat show of last night, I’m on at 10.45pm, let’s hope for another full house. Tomorrow we are in Cartagena once again and I do love it there.
It’s now only 2hrs before I go back onstage, I must warm my voice up before I go on, it’s been a long day waiting to go onstage and do my act. I have been doing a bit of work on my show ready for Swansea Grand, looks like there are two brand new songs going in “At This Moment” is one which Michael Buble has recorded on his new album and the other is a Josh Groban song “To Where You Are” which is beautiful.
Another packed house and the show went down great, I have tomorrow off and back on again the very next day this time down the other end of the ship at the Footlights Theatre.
We sailed into Cartagena first thing this morning and today is going to be a lovely sunny day, we have lunch booked at the usual place and this time our Executive Purser James Cusick is coming along, James is a larger than life character with a fantastic sense of humour and a very infectious laugh which you can hear miles away, James has a blog which he writes why not take a look www.jamescusick.com it’s ever so good and gives a good look at the day to day adventures on P&O Cruises.
Today we are at sea and on our way to Civviteveccia (I have no idea how to spell this but it’s our next port and the gateway to Rome).
I’m on tonight at the theatre and have two shows this evening one at 9 pm and another at 10.45pm let’s hope for another great night!
Just this second come off stage and the 9 pm house was totally packed and I enjoyed every second of it! I have 50 mins now before I go back on, so a nice cup of tea and I’m listening to Shirley Bassey’s new album, its fantastic!
Well, the second show went great too, after the show I met up with one of the other acts onboard Paul Hughes, he has an amazing voice and happens to be a really nice guy, we had a lemonade and some toasties and a good chat, he flies home tomorrow from Rome.
Today we are in Civviteveccia and Dee Taylor asked me if I would like to go to the local hospital to visit one of our musicians his name is Alan, I know him as “Monkey” he became very ill about 3 months ago and has been laid up in hospital here for ages, so it was lovely to see him doing so well and he really appreciated us going to visit him, I do hope he gets to go home to the UK soon, it must be awful to be in a foreign hospital not being able to speak the language and so forth, fair play to P&O they have sent someone from the company to help care for him, we met a lovely lady called Jo and she has been flying back and forth to Italy to be with Alan, bless him we wish him well and a speed recovery!
I am now packing and getting ready for my last show here on Oceana I fly home tomorrow and I am looking forward to that. My son Tom starts his job in Brecon as well tomorrow, so good luck Tom.
The last show went great and it felt sad at the end I have had a wonderful time on Oceana throughout the summer.
Time to fly home and once again I find myself at Pisa Airport, not a great airport and soon I will be home, getting into Heathrow Terminal 5 at 3.10pm. Next Radio, Trade Centre Wales Ads and then the big one...Swansea Grand Theatre on 17th Sept.
21st August 2010
Today I travelled straight from the airport having flown from Tallinn via Prague and Amsterdam to Midsomer Norton in Somerset where Marie and Sam were waiting for me at Marie’s Mum’s house. Tired and hungry we decided to go to a beautiful country pub called the “Duke of Wellington” in the delightful little village of Holcombe, it had only just re opened and had a face lift, what a lovely pub and it sold a favourite beer of mine called Buttcombe Bitter so my brother in law Dan and I were happy. Dan and his other half Sandra or (Rah Rah as my son Sam calls her, in fact we all do now), have not long ago had a lovely baby boy and his name is William and he’s smashing, Dan and I have started to call him Billy Boy.
The next morning Marie and I drove down to Hampshire to attend our friends little boy George’s christening, it was a nice drive down and we called in the services near the Southampton turn off on the M27 and almost had to take out a mortgage just to pay for two cups of Costa coffee and 2 pastries and we didn’t even finish it all!
We arrived early at Dave and Julie’s and soon we were in the church and ready for the christening, Marie and I were God Parents, I did a reading as did Julie’s sister and it was a lovely time had by all. At the church, it was a lady vicar and she did a great job, funny at times, she even took out a puppet which we all enjoyed. It came to the big moment and our beautiful George was christened with holy water and then the vicar thought it fun to throw holy water over the rest of us, some thought it odd, I thought it was fun “and” we got a blessing!
The after church gathering was superb, it was at a lovely country pub and they sold some nice beer, Ringwood Bitter and it was lovely as was the food and Dave and Julie paid for the lot.
Soon the drive back home and pick Sam up on the way from Nanna’s and soon we were at home sweet home, but for me only for 12hrs as the next day I flew to Copenhagen via Amsterdam.
I stayed in a lovely hotel in Copenhagen called the Scandic and it was just opposite the famous Tivoli Gardens, a resort type place with a fun fair and bars and the like.
I needed to eat that night as it had been a long day and I ordered a beer and a burger from the lobby bar, I nearly died when they told me how much it was in pounds, it was £42.00! Bed soon after my ever so expensive meal and before you knew it the sun was up and I made my way to the ship, the spectacular Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Sea’s.
I was a little nervous this time round as my agent Jonathan Blackburn was travelling and he wanted to see my show, I soon met up with him for a coffee and we were soon at my rehearsal which I wasn’t really up for, but the production team are tip top professional under the keen eye of Production Manager Susan Foster (who incidentally took all my photo’s on my website),there’s a brilliant 9 piece band under the direction of Rene Sandoval and first class sound by Derrick Shaffer and amazing lighting by Pete Swoboda, so I was in good hands.
The show was soon upon us and tonight I had 7pm and 9pm shows, the cruise director the lovely Clo O’ Conner from Ireland known onboard as HelloClo met me back stage about 10 mins before curtain up and could see I was a bit nervous so she settled me down and said some things I wanted to hear and there I was, on stage doing my thing and had two of the best shows ever, my agent saw both shows and was really pleased and has some great ideas for the future.
We went out and celebrated until 3am, oh my poor head the next day, but it was worth it!
Tomorrow Jonathan Blackburn and I fly home; I have a show on Saturday and a big show on the Sunday at Carmarthen Showground playing to almost 3000 people.
Today is fly home day, I so wish I had said fly me to Heathrow now instead of Amsterdam and then Cardiff, I now have 5 hours to kill in Amsterdam Airport, although it is a nice airport, I have one of those “Priority Passes” so I get to relax in the business lounges at airports, which means free food and drink! I have just been on the phone to Mark Bailey of Trade Centre Wales and he wants me to film six short videos for his new website, so we’ll be doing that on 28th Sept by the look of things! I get into Cardiff at 8.50pm tonight and I can’t wait to get home. In the morning I have to go for a meeting with Mark Bailey at 10am then record some links for my radio show then home for lunch then a meeting with Richard Thomas and Mark Burrows at 5pm down Cardiff Bay then go to my gig at the Mountain Ash Bowls Club, boy this month is busy!
7th August 2010
Travelling down on the train once again to Southampton to join P&O Oceana it felt a bit like “ground hog” day, the same train, a few familiar faces but only this time it was pouring down with rain, the sky looked so dark and it gave me a reminder that winter will be here before you could say pantomime! Oh yes it is! I had a lovely time at home; I did my usual radio commitments and another advert for Trade Centre Wales. We had a couple of money issue’s to deal with this week and that was a little scary but once over that hurdle Marie, Sam and I went down Cardiff Bay for a couple of hours and Sam took his new scooter and rode it all around the Bay, he loved it we even had a ride on the beautiful Carousel, our horse’s name was Tyler and it was Sam’s first ever fairground ride, he screamed with excitement as we went round and around waving to Mum as we went past each time, I have to say even I enjoyed it, sometimes you just have to let go and chill out a bit. My life is so hectic all of the time and I need to slow down now and then! We went for a drink later in the trendy Terra Nova pub on the Bay and Sam rode his scooter in and out of the pub, no one seemed to mind and it was great fun! I had a call from my eldest son Tom and he proudly told me he has a job working in the Gremlin Hotel in Brecon starting in September, and it won’t be long before he goes to do his panto with Linda Lusardi and Sam Kane at the Venue Cymru Theatre in Llandudno North Wales so he’s going to be busy!
Soon my train arrived in Southampton Central Station and after waiting for what seemed ages for a taxi I was onboard and settled into my cabin, this time there wasn’t a balcony for me, I don’t mind really at least my wife had one last cruise to relax on. Once again it was sail away time and a few drinks with my mate Hughie and his lovely wife Dee, this cruise Dee has her Mum and Dad travelling so it was great to see them again, such lovely people. A beautiful meal followed at the Grill and I had the most fab rib eye steak and mushrooms and even nicer company, present at dinner was Hughie, Dee, Dave and Julie (Dee’s parents) and next to us Captain Hamish Reid and his wife Anne and daughter Grace, I hadn’t seen Grace for quite a while and oh my word how she has grown 14yrs old now, where is all the time going to? It was soon to bed and another day to look forward to onboard beautiful Oceana. Good night!
I had every intention of going to church this morning but let myself down and had a lay in until 11am, I did what Marie and I hate doing and that is getting up in time for lunch! Well, in time for lunch it was, the sun was shining and just off our port bow ahead of us was the Grand Princess. Around 2pm an announcement came over the ships pa system that a school of whales were near to the ship, I could not believe my eyes, the last time I saw a whale at sea was when we were leaving Hawaii in 1998, but here in the Bay of Biscay a school of whales, the spray coming from their heads shooting at least 10 feet into the air, what a sight, I didn’t have my camera with me but a lot of our passengers did, so I do hope to get something from someone soon, wow, whales!
Lovely sunshine and a cold Magners finished of my afternoon perfectly as I sat at the Pennant Bar looking out to sea and missing home, Marie, Sam and Tom, it’s a privilege to work on cruise ships but sometimes I get very home sick, today is one of those days.
My cabin becomes my little home for now with a nice big double bed, a telly, a kettle with tea and coffee making facilities, my iPod and speakers and my good friend my laptop, I have my golf mags beside the bed, a photo frame of my family in the window and my musical arrangements and a note book with all the notes of my shows in the cabinet under the telly, which I will be looking at tomorrow morning ready for tomorrow night’s show in the Starlight’s Room.
So, do I stay in tonight or go out and watch the welcome aboard show with Cruise Director Hughie Taylor, I’ll let you know tomorrow! Bye!
Day 3 of the cruise and yes I went out last night and watched the welcome show and cruise director Hughie Taylor did a fine job welcoming every one onboard, he was really funny too. Today unfortunately is overcast but never mind there’s loads to keep our passengers occupied, I went to an Art Talk and loved it, you can see how easy it would be to be get into it, just need the money I suppose! I had lunch at Marco Pierre White’s and it was lovely, I had warm sardines on toast! Soon be time for my rehearsal and I shall be on tonight at 9.15pm and 11pm and again tomorrow at 10.45pm all in the beautiful Starlights Lounge, it has a great atmosphere and I also have some of the ships company regularly come to watch my show from the back (whey hey, 234) sorry a private joke!! Anyway, I will let you know how it all went! I’m just back from my rehearsal and sound check and it all went off great thanks to a brilliant production manager Gareth and a first class musical director Roger Carr who incidentally used to be Marty Kane’s musical director, so I am in good hands. Time now for a lovely cup of tea and a milk choc Hobnob, I know how to live life to the full don’t I!
Good morning its Gibraltar today and it going to reach a high of 35degs so a bit of bronzing this afternoon once I’ve done an hour on the script for the play I’m doing later this year called Bouncers, my friend Dee is going to help me! Now, last night was my show I did a 9.15pm and an 11pm show it went great but I didn’t think it went as well as it should, the audience were a bit laid back and with it being a “formal” night everyone I think felt a little uncomfortable in their attire, well that my excuse anyway! I’m back on tonight in the same room and let’s hope for a better night, they enjoyed it don’t get me wrong and they were all on their feet at the end but it was hard work getting them there! I don’t know excuses excuses!!!
It’s almost time to walk down to the Starlights Lounge to do another show, I’m feeling good and up for it, I only hope my audience is because I really want to give them a good show tonight, today has been so hot and sticky and there will be a few sunburnt people walking around, see you tomorrow and I’ll let you know how it went. Tomorrow we are in Cartagena Spain.
I had a great night last night and the audience were fabulous, so I was a happy man. I have had some good news this morning on an email from my agent, you see I was looking at my flight details and noticed to my horror that I was to fly back to Cardiff on the 22nd August but that is the date I am to be alongside my wife as God parents to our friends David and Julie’s son George. I rang my agent and it’s all been sorted and I now fly home from Tallinn on the 20th August via Prague and Amsterdam getting into Cardiff at 9pm so I now have a day in-between to get myself to Hampshire for the christening on the 22nd August, I have already missed my mate Mark Bailey’s wedding I couldn’t miss this christening as well!
Today is lovely sunny Cartagena and as we always do here we go to lunch at the beautiful restraunt La Patasha and it was as always fabulous. Back onboard they had an amazing sail away party going on and it’s what P&O Cruises do brilliantly every time. It was around 35degs again today so allot of happy campers so to speak. I went to see two fantastic acts in that night Paul Hughes a great swing singer and Jane Middleton who did a tribute to Annie Lennox, she was amazing!
At sea today and I’m on again tonight this time in the Footlights Theatre. My rehearsal was at 12.30pm and after we had finished Roger and Chris from the band came round my cabin and showed me how to copy DVD’s to my laptop, so a busy day on the PC! My shows tonight are 9 pm and 10.45pm and again tomorrow at 9 pm. Tomorrow we are in Civviteveccia Italy and my mate comedian Martin Daniels is coming on so it will nice to see him again. Let you know all about the show tomorrow!
Today we are in Civviteveccia in the heart of Italy, it’s the port for Rome, and it’s very hot and overcast and starting to rain! The show went great last night although I enjoyed the late show most of all! I have to pack my cases this afternoon as tomorrow I fly to Stockholm via Munich to join the 6 star cruise ship Crystal Symphony. I haven’t been on the Symphony for a couple of years now so I’m looking forward to the ship, it’s ever so posh on there, the service is of a very high standard and the food is mouth watering! I hope to speak to you tomorrow, maybe at the airport!
I’m at Pisa airport and it’s a nightmare, so many people all huddled into this tiny airport, my flight is delayed and that means I won’t make my connecting flight to Stockholm and the ship the Crystal Symphony sails tonight, such stress and somebody once told me show business was glamorous! My show last night went great, my mate Martin Daniels came to see me and we had a couple after the show...very nice! Oh well back to the stress of my day now so see you later!
Stop panicking Mr Doyle...I got to Stockholm and yes I missed my flight, but got on another flight later that day and when I spoke to my agent he said just that “stop panicking Mr Doyle, the ship sails tomorrow evening” so not only did I fly on a later flight I was upgraded to Business Class as well...result!
Once onboard the beautiful Crystal Symphony and settled into my fabulous stateroom, the phone rang and it was my dear friend and an amazing singer Mark O’ Malley who kindly alerted the ship that I would be late, anyway, he told me to stop unpacking and join him for a drink in the Saloon Bar, I did and we had a great time and more importantly a good old fashioned laugh, so thank you Mark.
I slept like a baby that night as the bed is just divine, morning soon came round and what a busy day, suits to be pressed, shirts sent to the laundry, my show to work on as tonight will be mainly an American audience, rehearsal at 1.30pm which went great, then a passenger emergency drill at the lifeboat muster, then to meet the cruise director Scott Peterson for a meeting regarding the entertainment programme, and I will be on stage tonight in the beautiful Galaxy Lounge at 8.30pm and 10.30pm and our clocks go on an hour tonight as we are in Helsinki tomorrow morning. See you tomorrow.
What a relief both my shows went down really well, this is a six star cruise ship with mainly very rich Americans onboard and both my shows worked well, so now I can relax and enjoy the ship, it has the biggest sun loungers I have ever seen, I had a lovely day sunbathing today it was around 30degs here in Helsinki today, the Baltic’s are experiencing very hot temperatures at the moment, but I am certainty not complaining! Tonight I went to the Captains Welcome party and met the man himself, what a nice man, I also met most of the senior officers and they were all great company. Tomorrow we are in St. Petersburg, I was only there a few weeks ago, this time we are docked alongside for 3 days, I fly home from Tallinn Estonia on the 20th August in time for my best friends sons christening down in Waterlooville in Hampshire as Marie and I are to be God Parents.
3 August 2010
Livorno Italy and the hottest day ever, many ships are in and we are docked next to Ocean Village, I sailed on her when she was Arcadia, what a great ship, many of the senior officers now on the more modern P&O ships were on that ship in much less a rank, many are now Captains themselves, my mate Steven Beswick used to work as an assistant barman and now he’s the Bars Manager on Oriana. A long time ago I met my wife on that ship and we have such fond memories of sailing around the world on her. Also in Livorno today was the Grand Princess, she’s massive and comes in at 116,000 tons and it was lovely to see two of my old pals that I hadn’t seen for ages, Paul Fredrick and Berni Flint, I didn’t have any time at all to speak to Berni as we were about to go to the airport in the taxi, but so nice to see him if it was only for a fleeting moment, you may remember Berni Flint from the original Opportunity Knocks with Hughie Green. In the taxi to the airport a man in the back of the car shouted “Doylie” I turned around and it was Paul Fredrick, I haven’t seen him for a very long time, he said it was about 20 yrs ago at a Ford Mondeo launch. Paul has an amazing voice and sings very high indeed, I remember seeing him first perform at the Tumble Rugby Club and I was so impressed with him and his voice, so great to see him again.
2nd Aug: I was up nice and early and after a breakfast of toast and marmalade I was off to the studio’s of Town and Country Broadcasting to work on my radio shows for the group of stations I broadcast on, I also did a live chat with Helen Enser Morgan on her Bay Radio show. It was soon time to look over scripts and record a new advert for Trade Centre Wales ready for their Bank Holiday Weekend campaign, once done and dusted I was home for a lovely sausage and mash lunch with Marie and Sam, I do love that dish, living the dream eh!!!
Its just a few days at home now and I will be off again on Oceana and the train back down to Southampton, this time I will be trans shipping from Oceana to the six star cruise ship Crystal Symphony leaving Oceana in Livorno and flying to Stockholm from Pisa, so I’ll see you there! Bye for now.
24 July 2010
I’m back on a train and back to Southampton to join a cruise ship, only this time my wife Marie is with me and we are going for a week on P&O Oceana cruising to Gibraltar, Cartagena, Civviteveccia and Livorno then flying home from Pisa to Heathrow on 31st July.
Marie is so looking forward to having some rest, which means to her uninterrupted sleep, any mums out there with little children will fully understand!
It’s a dark and gloomy day and overcast, it looks like it could rain at any time, Marie always says it’s because she’s travelling with me! Well, I do hope we have some nice sunshine if only for her to have a nice relaxing time and get a sun tan!
We both enjoy the Oceana very much as our dear friends Hughie and Dee Taylor are there, they are the Cruise Director and Deputy Cruise Director of the ship, but more importantly our friends, so tonight we will be dining with them at Marco Pierre White’s new restaurant onboard, it’s lovely and have great rib eye steaks so that is what I’ll be having ...can't wait!!!
A great first day and night onboard, we met two of Hughie and Dee’s friends from the Cotswold's Maggie and Lucy and we all enjoyed a magnificent evening sail away with the Grand Princess first to sail followed by P&O’s Ventura I’ve never heard so many ship horns blowing at once, we must have disturbed a few people, oh well it is a port and they must be used to those kind of noises, next to sail the very glitzy Celebrity Eclipse slipped past then we moved off the quay away we sailed down the Solent, what a great sight for anyone watching from the shore, four huge cruise ships one after each other sailing down the famous Solent just as the great liners of the past once did including the Titanic!
We all had our lovely meal that night and we were soon in bed, we slept for 9 hrs and Marie couldn’t believe she had slept for all that time, soon out and about and a walk around the ship and food again this time at the Plaza where it’s a buffet style but very nice, and once back in our lovely balcony cabin we had another 2 hr sleep!
I’m on tomorrow in the Starlight’s Cabaret room, a great room to work and I am very much looking forward to that, see you tomorrow!
At last, a nice hot sunny day onboard, we sat in the sun for a good 4 hrs and drank loads of water as I’m working tonight. I have never seen so many people on deck, we took ages to find a couple of chairs, all the sun beds were taken up with our guests and quite right too!
I was soon in my band call and sound check and all was fine and dandy, the Production Manager Christopher is real pro and made sure all my requirements were met, so it’s 2 shows tonight and 1 tomorrow, so I’ll let you know how it went tomorrow when we are in beautiful sunny Gibraltar.
What a great night last night, when I walked out on stage the first row of seats were people from Wales, they gave me a big cheer and we all had a great time, it’s always a real pleasure to work with musical director Roger Carr he has a very good band and always does a fab job for me and everyone else they play for, I have another show tonight at 10.45pm then tomorrow we are in beautiful Cartagena. Marie and I went ashore today in Gibraltar and walked through the busy town with so much likeness to the UK, policemen look like ours and so do the post boxes, one thing is lovely they still have the old fashioned phone boxes which everyone loves and so many were taking photos of them, it was so funny, they even have Marks and Spencer’s and Mothercare there too, it’s a lovely place.
The time is 9.40pm on 27th July and I have an hour before I go on stage for tonight’s show and for some reason I feel a little nervous, I think it’s because my voice is a bit sore, oh well I’ve performed with worse, so I will be glad when I’m on doing my act and I’m looking forward to having a nice pint after the show with Marie, Hughie and Dee!
The show went really well but I did have a sore throat but the crowd were just fab, so I enjoyed it very much indeed. After the show I did indeed have that nice cold pint and was then looking forward to seeing Cartagena again the next day.
Oh yes, Cartagena was so hot around 32degs and it was time for a lovely meal and few drinks with Hughie and Dee at a very nice restaurant that happens to be an old paddle steamer moored not far from our ship, after lunch Marie and I just basked in the hot Spanish sunshine and it was still hot until 7pm, we went out that night and watched a great singer Paul Hughes he is a swing singer and loads of Michael Buble songs so we enjoyed that!
Today is a day at sea and once again a very hot day and with a pleasant breeze it was welcomed. I’m on again tonight this time in the Footlights Theatre so my rehearsal was at 12.30pm and went well thanks to Martin the sound man who really gives me some great monitors so I can hear.
My show went great and the band under the direction of Roger Carr were magnificent, I opened the show with “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and Jenny on Trombone played the solo like nothing you have heard before, she was brilliant!
Today is Civviteveccia in Italy and another days sunbathing and joining the ship today is Zoe Tyler from Loose Woman and fantastic comedian Martin Daniel's so lovely to see them again. Home tomorrow and flying from Pisa and see our lovely little boy Samuel who has been staying with his Nanna in Somerset and being spoilt rotten no doubt! Bye for now!!
19 July 2010
Having had a nice week at home with my family, and also working on my radio show it was soon time to get myself packed again and head back to Southampton to join another cruise ship, this time the beautiful P&O Oriana. There is always something not quite right, well; I have forgotten to dry clean my suits so not ideal really! Oh well, as I travel to meet the ship my son Sam is getting ready to go to a “Pirate Party” with all his nursery pals so he is very excited about that, my eldest son Tom and I went to the cinema last week to see a great film “Wild Target” with Bill Nighy, he is so funny, Tom and I laughed our heads off!!
I have mixed feelings about this next cruise, don’t get me wrong I love the Oriana and my job only, it’s my dear friend Mark Bailey’s wedding on the 17th July and I am going to miss it, everyone’s going except me, so feeling quite down about that, there was a misunderstanding between the cruise company and me, I had thought I had that date off and somehow I didn’t? My job can sometimes get in the way of my home life what with all the travel, do you know I have been so far this year to Singapore, Freemantle Australia, Mauritius, Bangalore, Cochin, Mumbai, Dubai, Norway, Sweden, Tallinn Estonia, Gibraltar, Cartagena, Rome, Livorno, Pisa, Monte Carlo, Brest France, La Rochelle France, La Corunna Spain, Copenhagen, and even Harwich in England!!!
I’m on the train now bound for lovely Southampton and to Ocean Terminal to board Oriana...see you in a bit!
I finally got onboard the Oriana and loads of memories came flooding back, I first joined this ship in 1996 when she was only a year old she’s now 15 yrs old but still looking good, she has an expensive feel about her, good fixtures and fittings. Once settled into my cabin I had loads of formalities to do, first to sign forms at the Cruise Directors office then go to crew office and “sign on” ships articles, next a water tight induction by the safety officer, then safety drill and finally all entertainers to meet the cruise director Michael Mullanie, he’s a full of beans type character and a very nice man. Lucky for me I have a really good mate onboard he works in Gary Rhodes restaurant as his Number one chef, so I will eat well, his name is Matt and a great bloke to know. Gary Rhodes will be travelling this cruise, I have met him before, he came to see one of my shows and I had some fun with him during the show, I told him as a joke “you need to be putting some cheese on toast with baked beans and a fried egg on top” on your menus, he laughed thank goodness, and when I visited his restaurant onboard I ordered duck as my starter and he gave me (you’ve guessed it..) cheese on toast with baked beans and a quails egg on top...the entire restaurant burst into laughter!
Woke up on the first day at sea and it was one of those horrible dull, rainy dark days in the North Sea, incidentally my wife Marie hates those kind of days at sea, who can blame her, it doesn’t do our passengers any favours either, never mind there’s loads to do onboard and fantastic food.
My first show is tomorrow night and tomorrow is also Copenhagen so let’s hope it’s nice and sunny there as it is so lovely a place, see you in a bit!
Copenhagen: We arrived under a very dark sky and the heavens opened and what a downpour, I feel sorry for our guests as its always a disappointment when you have spend a lot of money on a holiday and it rains, we are in with quite a few ships, the Crystal Symphony is next to us and I’m on that one next month, so it’s nice to see her too. The sun did come out in the afternoon so some happy faces at last.
My rehearsal won’t be long now as I am on tonight at the Theatre Royal here on Oriana, a great room for comedy as the 750 seats are all around you like a semi horse shoe, I’m looking forward to working tonight. Tell you all about it later!
Well, I did my shows and thoroughly enjoyed it, I love this theatre it’s just the perfect room for comedy, and it’s intimate and all seats have the perfect view, no pillars. The band is superb under the direction of my old mate Nick Stewart, so yeah 2 great shows and the crowd were lovely. After the late show it was straight to the pub for a couple of pints and I met a lovely family from Newcastle, Mal, Corrine and Mal’s parents, so nice to relax and just chat and laugh!
A day at sea followed and Amen, the sun came out and it was quite hot in the Baltic’s so I sat sunbathing and listening to my iPod, I have two new songs to learn so I must get them in my head! Oh well Stockholm tomorrow!
Stockholm was boiling hot and I sure enjoyed the sun and the cold magners, although over shadowed by the fact my dear friend Mark Bailey is getting married on Saturday to the beautiful Rhiannon and I cannot be there simply because I’m here, I know they are disappointed but what can I do!
Today was Helsinki and fab weather once again and it’s not so good at home so sorry about that but here we are in the Baltic Sea and it’s amazing sunshine, we are in St. Petersburg Russia tomorrow let’s hope it’s going to be good weather there to!
It’s the 17th July today and we are now in Russia and it’s overcast and very windy, loads of other ships in, there’s the beautiful Celebrity Eclipse which has been following us around and a NCL ship plus a funny looking ship called the Aida is in today. Well, today is my mate Marks wedding to lovely Rhiannon and I feel awful that I’m not there as I said the other day “what can I do”!
We will be here for two days now, I have my other show tomorrow night and I can’t wait to get on and do it, the guests are wonderful people and I’m so looking forward to getting back on stage for them.
Its day 2 of St Petersburg and the sun came out lovely around 27degs so allot of happy campers so to speak. My rehearsal all done, great band and a fab sound so I’m ready!
I really enjoyed my shows and I really love the theatre on Oriana the Theatre Royal it’s just the best ever room for comedy, so thank you to the band and production team for helping to make my stay a great one.
I’m now at Tallinn Airport in the business lounge with non other than world famous chef Gary Rhodes, a very nice guy.
Oceana next on Saturday 24th July.
7th July 2010
Be sure to check out the new Contender page on the site. The hardest thing I have ever done!!!
4th July 2010
I Joined P&O Oceana on Saturday 26th June in Southampton and boarded the ship at the nice new shiny Ocean Terminal and in with us that day was the very posh Celebrity Eclipse...anyway, once onboard it was lovely as always to see my dear friends Hughie and Dee Taylor who are the entertainment directors onboard, they wouldn’t let me unpack as we were to go into town for lunch and a bit of light shopping and follow Hughie into the bookies, I do not have a clue in those places. A nice lunch in Marks cafe and back to the ship and unpack and settle into my beautiful balcony cabin, it’s always nice to have a balcony, fresh air in the morning and watch the sun go down at night, sunsets are truly amazing at sea. I had a drink with Executive Purser David Hall that first night and what a great welcome from him and some of the ships company, I have been with P&O for years and have got to know a lot of people, lovely Hayley the Bars Supervisor, Martin the Bars Manager and Colin the F&B Manager, so a cheery get together, a meal followed at Marco Pierre Whites with Hughie, Dee and Captain Hamish Reid, great company. We are playing golf later in the cruise, so until then I have my shows to do and I am so looking forward to that. My 1st shows all went well, on this ship you do your 1st show over 2 nights, on the second day of my shows we had a problem with the ship, our propulsion system had failed, oh no I thought what about our game of golf, that won’t happen now, so we had to sail back into Cartagena and we stayed there for another full day, engineers were flown in and soon had the ship going again, we set sail for Monte Carlo in the South of France and all was well again, the weather was fab 24 to 28 degrees so plenty of sunshine and happy suntanned guests. I also had the great pleasure of meeting two very talented people Miss Andrea Dickinson www.andreadickinson.co.uk and one of the nicest guys I have ever met and what a singer and he was funny too, Mr Shuan Perry, if ever you get the cance to see these wonderful acts go see them! I however had another 2 shows to do before I flew home from Nice and into Heathrow and my driver from Executive Cars Wales waiting for me to drive me home to Marie and Sam. Next, another advert to record for Trade Centre Wales and then get ready for another cruise on P&O Oriana.
22nd June 2010 6.00pm
Having a few days at home has been wonderful, we spent the weekend celebrating my mam and dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary and Fathers Day in the beautiful seaside town of New Quay in Cardiganshire, we had a great time and all the family was there, Mam, Dad, Phil, Liz, Tasha, Jack, Tom, Sam, Marie and me, we had the most beautiful meal at the Wellington Inn in New Quay and enjoyed the Quay West Holiday Park in the evening, thank you to the manager Mr Jason Denson for the most wonderful welcome and for taking care of my parents. I started my career in that park it was called Holimarine in those days, its changed quite a bit. It was soon time to come home having woke to a beautiful morning with the sun shining over the bay! Golf the next day at the Grove Golf Club in Porthcawl and I always enjoy that even if I don’t play so well!!!! I recorded another advert for Trade Centre Wales the next day and then more Golf with my brother Phil. Saturday 26th June I’m back on one of my fav ships P&O Cruises Oceana with my mate Cruise Director Hughie Taylor and Captain Hamish Ried....more golf I hope!
16th June 2010 1.30pm
I have just got off the P&O ship Arcadia, I had a great time and all my shows went well, I met a new cruise director called Tracy Clegg and what a lovely lady and an excellent cruise director I must say, all the guests loved her, I was so lucky to have Ray Lamond as musical director too, great band and superb sound and lights thanks to “G”, and it was really nice to see stage manager Chris Keith again, another nice guy! Another wonderful thing on Arcadia is I always eat well as I know the Executive Chef Trevor Conley very well, not many can say they have the Chef cook just for you! Funny enough I met the one and only Marco Pierre White
last cruise on the Ventura and he gave me a private cooking lesson on how to cook a fish, what a great day that was, he has only invited my wife Marie and I to his pub “The Yew Tree” so really looking forward to that! Well it’s a week off at last now and a nice weekend in New Quay West Wales to celebrate my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary, my brother Phil and his family will be there alongside my lot so something lovely to look forward too! Don’t forget to keep listening to my radio show every Sunday on five stations throughout South Wales 97.1 Radio Carmarthenshire, 97.5 Scarlet FM, 102.1 Bay Radio, 106.3 Bridge FM and 103.3 Radio Ceredigion most of which comes from the cruise ships I work on! Thank you also for the support you are giving to my charity for the blind the CIB (Cardiff Institute for the Blind) and linked to the RNIB we all are so very grateful! My next ship is the beautiful P&O Oceana on the 26th June...see you there!
10th June 2010 11.30am
Just got off the P&O Cruises Ventura, what a ship, all shows went great but the 7.30pm show are a little thin on the ground but as I have said before the 9pm and the 11pm make up for it. My dear old mate Martin Daniels was on and gave an amazing show, he really is a great act, also another good friend Mark Walker was on and he to gave fab shows, it must be great to have famous Dads like Martin and Mark, have you worked it out, Paul Daniels is Martins Dad and Roy Walker is Marks Dad, well, my Dad is famous in Carmarthenshire...so there!!! I have many cruises in my diary and really enjoy them, being paid to see the world as my Dad says, however, I do miss home a lot and my family and friends...oh and my golf! I played golf last cruise with the Captain, he to is a great old friend his name is Julian Burgess, I have known him years since he was the navigator, anyway we played in La Carruna in Spain, what a course, it must have been the poshest golf club I have ever seen...wait for it £55,000 to join, we almost died when we heard how much, and he beat me...he does play off a handicap of 11 tho! Next I'm off to the P&O ship Arcadia, I love this ship, it has a lovely warm theatre it seats 850 but feels intimate, looking forward to catching up with all my friends I haven't seen for a while and getting some sunshine too!
Oh, by the way I will be in Bouncers this November/December and going into Panto so keep coming back for all the details
2nd June 2010 10.30pm
I'm just back from the beautiful RCI ship Jewel of the Seas, a long day getting there, up at 3 am and that was all of us, Marie, Sam and me and off to Cardiff Airport and a flight to Amsterdam, I do love that airport, the trouble is you spend money there, next a flight to lovely Tallinn in Estonia, did you know "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" was partly filmed there, what a wonderful place, the old city is fabulous. We finally arrived and booked into our hotel and went exploring and found a great restaurant that served the best Italian food ever, I know in Tallinn, thing is Sam loves it! Next morning we boarded the Jewel and settled into our lovely suite, its a great ship and has lots going on, from a climbing wall to snooker tables that are self levelling, a 12 deck atrium and beautiful restaurants to a 1000 seat theatre called the Coral Theatre, all the shows went great and I also met up with an old mate and a fantastic comic Jeff Stevens, he went down brilliantly such a great comic, I have always been a fan of Jeff's! We all enjoyed the Jewel and thanks to the cruise director HelloClo and production manager Susan Foster who incidentally a lot of the photos you see here on the website, the pic on the home page is indeed the theatre here on the Jewel! Great ports Tallinn, Gothenburg Sweden, Harwich and Copenhagen. Great to be home if only for 48 hours! Next its the fabulous P&O Cruises Ventura another amazing ship, see you soon!
24th May 2010 1.30pm
My Oceana cruise went great and I enjoyed seeing my old pals again, there's Steve Beswick the Bars Service Manager, I have known him since Canberra days and Hughie and Dee Taylor the Cruise Director and Deputy Cruise Director and really good friends, the Capt is also a good mate his name is Hamish Reid and a really nice man who loves his golf and when at home he breeds sheep!!! We went to Gibraltar and a port in Spain I can't spell then Civviteveccia near Rome and lovely Livorno the next day, but it was hotter at home could you believe it!! It's Jewel of the Seas next...
18th May 2010 6.00pm
I had a great time on P&O Artemis despite the fact we had some engine problems, we had a week at sea then finally got to the port of Piraeus the port for Athens, not soon after we sailed for Istanbul there were awful riots in Athens so we got from there just in time. Soon we cruised into the wonderful city of Istanbul,(I always have a memory there of my 40th birthday, gosh that's almost 10 years ago now..)we had an overnight stay in Istanbul then sailed for Kusadsi where I then flew home for a day off with my family, Sam our little one doesn't see me much bless him and I miss him terribly, as I miss my wife Marie and yes my eldest son Tom. Who said showbiz was glamorous!!! I then joined the P&O Ventura in Southampton, a beautiful ship and quite big weighing in at 116,000 tons so big enough, I loved that ship, a nice theatre called the Arena, only set back was I had to do 3 shows in a night, the first the 7.30pm was very quite but the 9 pm and the 11 pm soon made up for that, 2 packed house's and what an atmosphere, the officers and crew really looked after me especially the cruise director Leon De St Cruix and the Executive Purser David Shepherd ..thank you gentlemen. Next was a flight from Stavanger Norway to Heathrow and straight into the studio in Swansea to record some radio links and record another commercial for Trade Centre Wales, yes Trevor keeps me busy! I then got myself back to Southampton and joined the P&O Oceana where I am at the moment and about to go on stage at the Footlights Theatre, next week Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas.
22nd April 2010 4.00pm
Don’t forget you can hear my radio show every Sunday from 9am on 97.1 Radio Carmarthenshire, 97.5 Scarlet FM, 102.1 Bay Radio and from 12 noon on 106.3 Bridge FM. Through out the summer months the show comes from the cruise ships I work on. This summer I will be in the Med, Baltic's and Norway! I will also be playing golf with the wedges www.wedges.org as much as I can and help raise much needed funds for a number of charities including blind charities which my single What Colour Is the Wind helps blind and partially blind people through out Wales and indeed the UK, if you haven't already bought one you can download the song here on my website, please go to Multimedia...Thank you!
17th April 2010 9.37 am
Volcanic Ash...can you believe this natural disaster could stop the world, I am now living in hope that my cruises will still be on, I feel so sorry for the people stuck in airports all over the world, my mate Mark O' Mally is stuck in Madras India poor thing, but hey the people in Iceland wont be too happy either! (Please God if there is any chance of putting a plug in this thing we, the human race would be truly grateful).
14th April 2010 01.00am
I’m looking forward to the coming cruise season, next is the beautiful P&O Cruises Artemis, she started her life as Royal Princess in 1984, the first ship ever to have outside balcony cabins, she has a great show lounge reminiscent of the show lounge on the old P&O Victoria, a fabulous room to work! Next the P&O Ventura a huge ship 116,000 tons, I haven't worked this ship before so a new challenge awaits, plus my old mate Leon De St Cruix is the Cruise Director, so be nice to see him again! (its his round too...even though he will say its really mine).
7th April 2010 8.55pm
Just when I got over the long flight home from Mauritius, enjoyed some time at home and had the real pleasure of buying my son Tom a snazzy suit for his 21st Birthday I was off again to India, flying to Bangalore then a lovely 8 hours in the airport there, then a short flight to Cochin in the south of India. I stayed in a hotel in Cochin and had some of the nicest Indian food I have ever tasted, well it was India after all! The next day I joined Cunard's beautiful Queen Victoria, settled in and before you could say Vindaloo I was in rehearsals and on stage doing my show. We soon sailed away and onto Mumbai and it was hot hot hot 38degs to be precise, it seems to me that living in India you are very rich or very poor, sad at times to see such poverty! On then to Muscat in Oman, family connection here in Muscat as my Uncle Steve was based here for many years working for a global company called Cable & Wireless,it was an amazing place! Then onto one of the most exciting places on the planet...Dubai wow X 100!!! The tallest buildings, the biggest this and the longest that, it went on and on and on, I would love to holiday there one day! Long flight home again and so excited to see my wife Marie and our little Sammy who was ready to tell me all he's been up to. Now, I have my son Tom's 21st Birthday to look forward to and golf with my society the Wedges!
24th March 2010 5.55pm
flew to Perth Western Australia via Singapore and embarked the world famous Queen Mary 2, its huge over 150,000 tons with an amazing theatre that holds 1200 people, the food is delicous and the decor around the ship modern yet classic Cunard Liner. I had a wonderful welcome and had 2 great shows, all went well. I took over from the one and only Des O' Conner! I flew home from Mauritius with some wonderful fellow entertainers Mark O Mally, David Howarth and Mark Donaghue.
Im now getting ready to fly to Mumbai to join the beautiful Queen Victoria and sail to Dubai...I know, but somebody has to do it!
17th March 2010 6.25pm
Mike performing on the cruise ship Queen Mary II