The things politicians think are important are usually different to the things that the people who voted for them think are important.

The bongs of Big Ben in Westminster have sounded for the final time for four years. The clock is being repaired.

Members of Parliament gathered outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday to mark the occasion of the bell’s final chimes. In New Palace Yard, around 200 parliamentary staff watched the tower while Big Ben bonged.

MP Stephen Pound wiped a tear from his eye. He said, “This is a desperately sad moment and you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. He described it as, “a moment of sombre sadness”.

Oh please, get a grip, it’s just a bell! This would be big news if the year was 1822, but we don’t need Big Ben to tell the time any more, we all have clocks on our wrists or in our pockets now!

More MPs showed up to hear the last chimes of Big Ben than made the five mile journey across town to Grenfell Tower where at least 80 people died in a fire, trapped in their homes! Did Steven Pound shed a tear for them?

Making the sound of a Bell in London into a big issue when no one knows what’s going on over Brexit, the National Health Service is in crisis and there are extra security fears just days after the latest attack in Barcelona, is either plain silly or a deliberate attempt to direct our attention away from the stuff that really matters.

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The Wet Office



It’s bad enough that we haven’t had a summer but why can’t the Met Office get it right?

Right now, it’s pouring down in the South East of England. It’s on days like these every year that I go back and look at the forecast that the Met Office issued three months ago, promising us the hottest and driest summer on record. Well I don’t have to go back that far.

This is from YESTERDAY’s Daily Mail, “Summer returns to Britain TOMORROW as Hurricane Gert brings Caribbean air and 82F – making the country hotter than Mexico and Greece”.

Honestly, Met Office, you get all of the information from satellites and weather balloons that is constantly updated and a full-time staff of over fifteen hundred people and a budget of £170 million a year and you still can’t get it right?!

And you know that massive super-computer that cost the taxpayer £97 million? You might want to turn it off and turn it back on!

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They don’t call it Mission Impossible for nothing! Tom Cruise has hurt himself filming Mission Impossible 6. Tom broke his ankle in two places while filming a jump between high-rise buildings in London.

Of course if Tom Cruise wants to take on a REALLY impossible mission, he should try explaining the plots of the last five Mission Impossible films!

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Phone Box

A little piece of Britain is going to die.

There’s hardly anything more British than little red payphone boxes. This week British Telecom announced that they’re going to scrap 20,000 payphones and thousands of those are in red phone boxes.

The traditional red phone boxes became an endangered species way before everyone had mobile phones. In the 90s a lot of them were replaced by sleek stainless steel jobs. Yuppies bought up the old red phone boxes and used them as shower cubicles in their docklands flats. The irony is that the new shiny silver ones that replaced them on our streets, looked more like shower cubicles.

When all of the red phone boxes are gone, the real problem is going to be at night, where are drunks going to pee?!

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The British can’t handle their drink. They get drunk any chance they can and even brag about it.

They drink the most, when they’re on holiday. The first chance they get is at the airport. When I catch a flight early in the morning, I’m amazed at how packed the bar is.

About 270m passengers passed through UK airports last year and spent an estimated £300m ($439m) on alcohol. Around a fifth of total retail sales in British airports is on booze!

Arrests of passengers suspected of being drunk at UK airports and on flights have risen by 50% in a year. A total of 387 people were arrested between February 2016 and February 2017 – up from 255 the previous year.

The Civil Aviation Authority reported a 600% increase in disruptive passenger incidents in the UK between 2012 and 2016 with most involving drink. More than half of cabin crew surveyed said they’d witnessed disruptive drunken passenger behaviour.

People who get drunk before they get on a plane are not nervous flyers, they’re scared of being sober.

Something changed in this county. I left Britain in 1983 and lived in New Zealand & Australia. Before I left, people used to be embarrassed about getting drunk. The next day they’d apologise and say, “I think I was ‘tipsy’ last night” or sheepishly say, “I think I had one too many”. When I came back to the UK in 1997, I noticed that people had started to boast about getting drunk. I remember a workmate saying to me, “I was so wasted last night, I came home and threw up in the frying pan!”

Call me nostalgic but I miss the embarrassment and the shame and I don’t like seeing drunks at the airport.

I miss the old days when the most disgusting example of drinking at the airport was when you’d see an old bloke slurping his tea out of a saucer.

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London Calling


Slim Jim

In the latest episode of my show for America, Slim Jim Phantom from The Stray Cats talks about how he got started playing the drums, the beginning of The Stray Cats and moving to London from Long Island as a teenager.

In “What’s Happening in Britain This Week”; A look at how the UK is just like North Korea; Electric cars are coming; What Brexit will cost; Guilty pleasures; Millions being lost in Britain because of a ‘fortune telling scam’; Dunkirk; The war on sugar; What has happened to England’s weather?

Listen to London Calling, Episode 43 here;

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British taxpayers have lost millions because of a gigantic fortune telling scam. And we’re set to lose even more money because, despite overwhelming evidence, people still refuse to accept that they’re being ripped off.

A group of con artists are running a racket that costs the British taxpayer £170 million a year. It employs 1,500 staff and has conned the British government into spending £100 million on a gigantic supercomputer that doesn’t work.

The name of this shonky organisation is, the Met Office. They claim to be able to predict the future, specifically the weather.

It rained yesterday and the temperature struggled to get to 16 degrees celsius 61F. It’s even colder and wetter today. So far, we haven’t had anything like a summer. We had a cold and wet July followed by a cold and wet August!

Here’s what the Met office predicted. These are some quotes from the Daily Express on the 29th June this year…

“HEATWAVE ON THE WAY: Sunshine until SEPTEMBER as roasting temperatures to roar back to UK!”

“Blistering sunshine and roasting temperatures forecast until September”.

“This summer could rival the scorcher of 2003!”

Read more here;

Please be aware of this scam and don’t be fooled by anything you hear or read about our weather.

The only thing you can predict about Britain’s weather is that it’s unpredictable.

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London Calling



In the latest episode of my show for America:

What it’s really like traveling on one of Britain’s most overcrowded trains.
Songs with your name in.
The British Home Secretary wants to make people who post extreme views online harder to catch.
Proof that Elvis is not still alive.
English soccer clubs missing out because of a dumb rule they agreed to.
Things that should be taxed.
What Britain has in common with North Korea.
People who say America never went to the moon are nuts.
Cell phone zombies.
We have too many passwords to remember.
Which is faster, the speed of light or the speed of dark?
Guilty pleasures.

Listen to Episode 42 of London Calling here;

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Football Crazy



English football clubs are missing out on revenue because of a dumb rule THEY agreed to more than fifty years ago.

We got news this week that it’s going to get harder to watch the Premier League on TV this season. A lot of people have been watching games on Kodi through PCs, X-Boxes, Google TV and Amazon Fire Sticks. It’s estimated that as many as a third of football fans watch soccer this way even though it’s illegal.

Now if you’re caught, you could have your online stream cut off. The High Court has issued a “blocking order”. Under this order, UK Internet Service Providers will have to stop people from illegally streaming matches. At the moment fans can only legally watch Premier League games if they pay for it with a Sky Sports and BT Sports subscription.

That sounds fair because Sky and BT have paid for exclusive rights. But what about the games that are not televised in Britain but are televised in other countries and pretty easy to find on the internet?

I’m talking about the games that are played on Saturday afternoons. The traditional kick-off time for soccer in the UK is 3pm on Saturdays but no games are televised at that time. It’s all because in the 60s, Bob Lord, the chairman of Burnley Football Club at the time, believed that allowing the broadcast of football at its most popular time would be detrimental to attendances at live games.

He gathered together the rest of the chairmen from the Football League and persuaded them all to agree to his suggestion that soccer should not be televised between 2.45pm and 5.15pm. So now when a network has bought the rights to a 3pm kick-off, the game is moved to a different time or different day, it gets ‘Skyjacked’.

No legal ruling has ever been put in place over this, but the Football Association, the Premier League and the Football League have continued to abide by this stupid rule ever since.

Sky and BT are worried about losing money because of illegal streams but what if you already pay for a BT and Sky subscription and your team is playing on Saturday at 3pm? The only way to watch the games on TV in the UK is illegally. If you do that, BT and Sky don’t lose any money, you’ve already paid them!

The real losers here are the clubs. They miss out on extra revenue because they’re not allowed to stream the 3pm Saturday games on their own TV channels and websites and charge fans around the world for the privilege. The irony is that in the UK, their own stupid rule has created a demand they can’t capitalise on.

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London Calling


Trevor Dann

In the latest episode of my show for America, Writer, producer and broadcaster, Trevor Dann talks about how he got started, some of the iconic radio and television programs he’s worked on, the people he’s worked with, hired and fired. As well as Trevor, There’s a roundup of what’s happening in Britain including ‘shrinkflation’, how the British government is going to ban gas and diesel cars and the truth about antibiotics. Mandy checks in, we hear about the world’s best jobs and how Donna was terrorised by David Hasselhoff.

Listen to Episode 41 of London Calling here;

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Should you be fined for looking at your mobile phone while you’re walking along?

In America they call people who do that, “smartphone zombies”. In Honolulu, pedestrians have been banned from looking at their phones while crossing the street. You could be fined up to £75 ($99).

It’s to reduce injuries and deaths from “distracted walking”. More than 11 thousand cellphone zombies were injured in the United States between 2000 and 2011. That’s according to a study from the University of Maryland.

I don’t know where I’m at with this one. Just because SOME people find it difficult to walk and chew gum at the same time, why should we ALL be banned from using a mobile phone while we cross the road? Is it just another attack on our freedom?

Then I think about other safety laws, like compulsory crash helmets. That law took away freedom but how many lives have been saved in Britain since 1973, when we made it illegal to ride a motorbike without a crash helmet?

Every day governments pass laws to make us a safer society. As they do this, we lose personal freedoms. Where is the line between where our right to choose is more important than the government’s right to impose their standards on us. Even if it’s for our own good?

Maybe there needs to be a compromise here. Maybe you should be allowed to use a mobile phone while you’re crossing the street, as long as you’re wearing a crash helmet.

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Mack Nuggets


Here’s what I’ve been up to on BOBfm lately including:
The Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’ should not be a woman.
Mark The Shark.
A fancy dress story.
The relative that came back from the dead.
Miniaturisation in the 21st century.
Mandy checks in but has she already checked out?
The Great Tandoori Transplant.

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I’ve had an experience that directly relates to one of the stories in the news this week.

The list of Britain’s most overcrowded trains is out. Number two on the list is the 7.55am Cambridge to London King’s Cross. Capacity 202 passengers, actual number of passengers 426. I’ve been on that train.

The normal rules of business don’t apply to Britain’s train operators. And, according to “Tina” from Great Northern Trains, neither do the rules of Einsteinian physics.

A couple of years ago, I spoke at a radio conference in London. That meant that I had to keep normal office hours for the day and had to join the thousands of people that commute by train.

In every other business the customer who pays more, gets more and a business’s most loyal customers get treated better than the occasional users. Frequent fliers on airlines get treated to air miles that give them free flights, upgrades and access to a lounge.

The opposite is true on Britain’s trains. If you travel at what the rail operator has decided is a “peak” time, you pay a lot more but you don’t get a better seat, in fact you probably won’t get a seat at all. The people who travel at this time are going to work every day, which makes them the rail company’s most loyal customers. They pay thousands of pounds every year for a season ticket. If you only occasionally travel by train and do it ‘off-peak’, you don’t have to stand, squashed up, cheek to jowl with hundreds of miserable strangers in a stinking hot train carriage. You might even get TWO seats to yourself and a table!

I joined the second most crowded train in Britain at Hitchin, the Sardine Express to Kings Cross. I paid around twice as much as I normally pay for a return to London. I had to stand for the 32 minute journey, with hundreds of other people who’d paid for the most expensive ticket of the day. The accommodation my ticket provided was just inside the doorway, stood, sandwiched between a fat bloke carrying a fold-up bicycle and a tall skinny man who was pushed so close to me that I’m sure I could tell which side he dressed.

As the windows steamed up and the temperature inside the carriage began to rise, I noticed a sign that said, “Great Northern Trains, follow us on Twitter”. I did better than that, I tweeted them,

“@GNRailUK Hitchin to Kings Cross. How come I pay twice as much for a peak ticket but don’t get a seat?”

And their was a reply,

“@GNRailUK Peak services are exceptional busy Graham. Are you able to get an earlier train to maximise your chance of getting a seat? “Tina”.

That made me even more angry so I replied to Tina,

“@GNRailUK It’s not my fault you don’t put on long enough trains. How dare you blame ME. I paid for a seat, YOU failed to provide one!”

I didn’t hear from Tina after that.

Fancy asking “Are you able to get an earlier train?” Not NOW, I’m already on THIS ONE! Did I miss something? Was Tina suggesting that one of the platforms at Hitchin railway station is actually a portal into another dimension, where I can travel backwards in time?

It wouldn’t have done me much good, the earlier train had been CANCELLED!

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Has another bogus theory has been thrown out there? Is it keeping us from the truth?

It’s being reported this week that experts at the British Medical Journal are saying that you shouldn’t finish an entire course of prescribed antibiotics. They they say that reducing the use of antibiotics is essential to help fight the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

I can’t remember the last time I was prescribed antibiotics. Surely if bugs are becoming resistant to antibiotics, it must be because we’re taking them every day, not once in awhile.

Well, we are on antibiotics, all of the time. According to the World Health Organisation, the overuse of antibiotics in livestock production is the main source of resistant strains of salmonella, E.coli and MRSA. These resistant bugs pass from animals to humans in the food we eat.

In Britain, antibiotics are routinely given to intensively reared animals in their feed and water to ward off diseases that would otherwise be inevitable in cramped and crowded conditions. Farmers are using the same antibiotics used in human medicine – drugs classified by the World Health Organisation as “critically important to human health”. 45 percent of all antibiotics used in the UK are now given to animals.

It’s the overuse of antibiotics in livestock production that is fuelling the problem of antibiotic resistance. The World Health Organisation has described the problem as approaching “crisis point” and says the world is moving to a situation where many infections might soon be untreatable. The EU estimates that at least 25,000 people die in Europe each year from an antibiotic-resistant infections.

Until our government does a better job of regulating farming practices, the problem is only going to get worse and more people are going to suffer and die from infections that used to be easy to treat.

Why isn’t that making the news? Could it be that the big food producers don’t want you to know what’s really going on?

The truth will set you free, but first it will make you uncomfortable.

And the truth is we’re all taking antibiotics every day whether we’re prescribed them or not because they’re in our food.

That’s a bitter pill to swallow.

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Ban the car

The anti-car people are going to have to find a new reason to hate cars.

For years they’ve been banging on about how bad cars are for the environment. They’ve been blaming the cars and their drivers but the truth is it’s not the cars that are dirty, it’s the fuel. I’ve been saying this for ages, come up with cleaner fuel and the problem will be solved without us having to give up our cars.

The car haters have been trying to get us onto public transport or pushbikes and even turn the ignition off when we’re stopped in traffic.  

Well, there’s news this week that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK by 2040. A new air quality strategy announced by the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, proposes that all cars on the UK’s roads should eventually be electric or hybrid.

So all that anti-car protesting didn’t work. If the car haters had put all of their energy into the development of electric cars years ago, maybe we’d already be enjoying the benefits of going electric.

Car haters should shut up and stop encouraging us to ride the bus. Busses run on dirty diesel. If we want to save the planet, we’ll have to start getting people OFF the bus and into their electric cars. Hopefully bus lanes will disappear and we’ll build more roads for our clean cars.

But you know what, I think the anti-car brigade will continue because I don’t think they really care about the environment. Anti-car people just hate cars. They hid behind the pollution issue. The proof of that is that they constantly campaigned to ban the car but did nothing to encourage the use of cleaner fuel. Well now the pollution issue is going away, soon cars will be a cleaner way to get around than diesel burning public transport.

My prediction is the anti-car people will continue to try and get us out of our clean cars. They’ll just latch onto a different crusade, probably the need for us to all get more exercise.

And that’s when we’ll know for sure that the anti-car people’s agenda was never environmental, it was just mental.

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Peter Frampton

In the latest episode of my show for America, Peter Frampton talks about how his life changed after Frampton Comes Alive, working with David Bowie, saving a bird and what he’s up to these days.

In “What’s Happening in Britain?”; Dr Who fans furious over the choice of the new Doctor; Should you tip at a petrol station? The family that’s a real life sitcom; Mooning garden gnomes; The future of transport is electric; If you visit Britain, check your change; The UK still doesn’t have the hang of the Brexit negotiations.

Listen to Episode 40 of London Calling here;

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“You have to plug them in, what a nuisance, it takes ages!” That was the disappointed response I got today when I told a workmate that it won’t be long till we’re all driving electric cars.

Most mainstream manufacturers are either selling electric cars or developing them for release soon. Jaguar has its first electric car, Nissan are launching a new Leaf, Volvo have announced that all of their cars will have electric motors by 2019 and Tesla will start deliveries of their “affordable” Model 3 at the end of this month.

The problem some people have is they’re used to filling up with fossil fuels. They don’t realise that it takes LESS time, not more to fill up an electric car.

Cars spend more time parked than they do moving so if they’re charging when they’re parked, you NEVER have to waste time filling them up.

If electric cars had come out before petrol and diesel cars, I’m sure people would be up in arms complaining about all the time you have to waste taking petrol and diesel cars to a filling station.

No one complains about having to plug your mobile phone in at night to charge it up. Imagine what a pain it would be if once a week you had to take your phone to a charging station, plug it in on a forecourt, stand next to it and wait a few minutes while it filled up and then go and pay for the electricity in a shop?

The real bonus of electric cars is not the time saved filling up but the money saved. Fuel costs for a conventional car average 12 pence per mile, so if you do an average 12,000 miles a year, that will cost you £1,440. An electric vehicle costs an average of two pence a mile, making the cost of the same annual milage just £240.

One day, we will realise what an expensive nuisance it was to have to stop and fill your car up with fuel.


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Dead Wrong



Spend any amount of time with my family and you’ll feel like you’re in a sitcom.

I’ve just spent two weeks with them in the North West. Last week, I called my uncle Norman to set up lunch. On the phone he told me that my mother’s cousin, Agnes had died.

I rang my mother and told her the bad news. The next night, I was round at my aunty Hazel’s and I told Hazel that I’d told my mother about Agnes. Well it turns out that Agnes is NOT DEAD.

It was Agnes’s HUSBAND, Derick, who had died, NOT Agnes. Norman had got mixed up! Luckily my mother called Hazel straight after talking to me and Hazel put her straight.

I’m just glad my mother phoned Hazel straight after she’d spoken to me and didn’t call Agnes’s house hoping to offer condolences to Derick. If Agnes answered the phone, that would have been a conversation that Carla Lane could have written!

Mum – “Hello, is Derick there?”,

Agnes – “Who is this?”

Mum – “It’s Olive, I was Agnes’s cousin”,

Agnes – “What do you mean WAS?”

Olive – “Who’s this?”

Agnes – “It’s me, Agnes”,

Mum – “Oh hello Agnes, I thought you were dead!”

Agnes – “No I’m not dead!”

Mum “Oh that’s a relief!

            …How’s Derick?”

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Dr Who

They shouldn’t have chosen a woman to play The Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’!

Some fans of the show are furious now that Jodie Whittaker has been confirmed as the show’s first female Doctor.

Here’s a few things that have appeared on Twitter;

“#DoctorWho has been ripped out of his essence to make a bunch of overheated feminists happy. #RIPDoctorWho You will be missed…”

“Well! This is one less show I have to watch! Adios #DoctorWho! A woman should not be the Doctor”.

“The new Doctor Who is now a Woman, and I don’t like it, I will not watch the new doctor who series.”

I honestly can’t see what all the fuss is about.

These fans are quite happy to suspend disbelief and accept the existence of a sonic screwdriver, a 1950s police phone-box that can travel in time and grumpy, man sized pepper pots from another planet that speak English and shout, “exterminate!”.

But a female doctor, oh that’s just too far fetched!

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London Calling


Trevor DannIn the latest episode of my show for America, I talk to Trevor Dann, the British writer and broadcaster who has been associated with some of the most influential radio and television music programmes and events of the last 30 years. He talks candidly about his background, growing up in Nottingham, his career and his BAFTA award winning involvement in Live Aid. As well as Trevor, in this week’s “What’s Happening In Britain”, fancy dress stories and what do the royal family REALLY cost?

Listen to Episode 39 of London Calling here;

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