Sunday, 27 December 2009


A spelling mistake by an Education correspondent is as bad as a Driving Instructor failing a driving test, an actor fluffing their lines or Wayne Rooney missing an open goal.

Okay, you get the idea, but I did indeed manage to spot a glaring spelling mistake by BBC News' Education correspondent, Gary Eason. In the third paragraph, Eason spells the word 'announced' as 'annmounced' - embarrassing for any journalist, especially a journalist working for the BBC with Education being his specialist field. The mistake (pictured, left) has since been amended.

The print screen (above) was taken shortly after 0:11 on 23/12/2009 when the mistake was yet to be spotted. At this point, I also e-mailed Ofcom to notify them of the error. I did not receive a reply.

But later the same day, not only was the word 'announced' omitted from the article, but it was changed dramatically. The print screen below shows the updated version, which includes a different headline to that of the previous version (pictured, above).

All print screens come from the same article (and URL).

"It's true...and I can prove it!"

Monday, 14 December 2009


Another frustrating week at WINOL.

On Monday, I used the morning to try and get on the guest list for live music at the Railway and Joiners. It proved quite difficult as it seemed the relevant people only arrived at the venues in the afternoon.

In the features conference, we discussed the disappointment of not putting what’s on guide up on the site. I realised I should have pushed production to do this. But the usual procedure of producing the script and getting hold of accompanying creative commons pictures was still good practice. I've been in contact with a lot of local bands on their MySpace to get permission to use their pictures.

On Tuesday I came in with my script but problems in the studio continued. After countless takes, Paul’s ‘Date with Fate’ was done perfectly but had no sound when it came to editing. Therefore, that and my what's on guide was left until the following day.

On Wednesday, by the time that the studio was sorted, it was time to film the bulletin so ‘Date with Fate’ and what’s on had to be scrapped.

On a positive note, I watched the bulletin and Cara presented very well. Rob Kirk from Sky News was very impressed with our efforts and it was fair to say it was the best bulletin yet.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


No holds barred Your Demise come to The Joiners on Monday (14th December).

The St. Alban's quintet are in Southampton as part of their 'Santa Slaughter' UK tour in December. They are looking to equal the dizzy heights of success of Enter Shikari.

From having their equipment stolen to line-up changes to breaking down on the M1, Your Demise's six year journey has been a rough ride. The guys eventually reaped their reward in April when their debut album, 'Ignorance Never Dies' was released.

On the stage and in the studio, they are highly energetic and utterly unrepentant; Kerrang! described their unrelenting music as "the shape of punk to come." Their debut single 'Burnt Tongues' is
just revving of the engine that is 'Ignorance Never Dies.' 

Your Demise will hit you as hard as any metal band you have seen this year.

Check out Jon Hopley's review of Your Demise next week here on WINOL.

Monday, 7 December 2009


Week 3 of WINOL was full of 'technical difficulties.'

I arrived to hear, as expected, that my latest listings post had been mangled in the conveyor belt system that is Joomla. For the second week running, I had to spend Monday morning sorting out the spacing and web links in the what's on guide temporarily signed in as an administrator.

As time consuming as it is, I am the listings man and have to tell the good people of Winchester what's going on at all costs!

We hit more 'technical difficulties' on Tuesday when my what's on video guide was meant to happen. I read out the featured listings in one take, only to get back on Final Cut Pro and find there was no sound! It emerged that there were problems with the tape decks in the studio. We had to wait until Wednesday for it to be fixed, so the listings and 'Date with Fate' feature had to be put on hold.

On Wednesday, a new sense of optimism filled TAB 9 as the studio was fixed and we could go and film!

'Date with Fate' proved a huge success amongst ravenous WINOL 'employees,' especially when put up against the what's on guide. I'm only assuming this, as nobody bothered to post it up on the site this week.

Oh, I do enjoy 30-mile round trips for nothing!

It wasn't all doom and gloom on Wednesday though; while 'Date with Fate' was marvelled in, I managed to compile the week's text version of the listings tucked away in the opposite corner of TAB 9!

Newsflash! Today, on the 7th December, my review of Vagina Monologues (that I worked so hard to get a press pass for) has finally been approved and posted on WINOL!

This comes exactly THREE WEEKS after I went to see the show.

So, as you can see, everything is going well...

Sunday, 29 November 2009


WINOL is well and truly up and running. The same could be said for me.

On Monday, I had two weeks worth of listings that hadn't been put on the site, so I used the morning to push them onto the site. The what's on section is slightly unique in the way that it does not need to be checked for grammar or whether it is decent or not. It was just my job to push it onto the site.

I missed the features conference in the afternoon with permission from Chris to help out Grant on the sports team. The Winchester City manager Stuart Hussey happened to live very close to my house in Southampton, so I took him to his house to help him film an interview with him. At the start of WINOL, Chris said the sports team was small in number, so I was glad to be able to help out.

As per usual, I had my what's on feature filmed on Tuesday. The piece as a whole is coming together well week-by-week. I am getting used to the style of script needed for what's on, and how it should be delivered in a lighter way than the bulletin, for example.

For the first time, the what's on piece was put after the main bulletin, instead of a stand alone item. Chris must have thought that it was worthy of being associated with WINOL's 'flagship,' so I'll take it as a compliment.

Overall, the WINOL site is a bit rough round the edges but is getting tidier thanks to discussions in the debriefing. The new 'flannel panel' has also improved the front page aesthetically.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


The features team seem to be getting into a rhythm on WINOL now after the two dummy editions.

As the weeks go on, I feel a lot more comfortable that I am able to deliver what is expected of me when it comes to Monday afternoon's conference.

On Monday evening, me and Kayleigh went to watch Vagina Monologues at the Mayflower in Southampton. Not only was it an enjoyable show to watch, but something of a luxury to have got access to the press area with the 'proper' journalists. It was pleasing to meet the press officer in person after making myself known via the phone; being given the password to their press centre was also an achievement.

The free drink wasn't too bad either!

Chris asserted that he wanted my what's on video piece to be permanent feature. After last week's 'debut,' I was more comfortable in front of the camera and matters improved on the technical side as well. Inevitably I could be more natural when recording and the editing could be better, but things are progressing well.

As Tuesday is now used for the planning and execution of the video feature, I now use most of Wednesday to do my main job, the full local listings. I am now in the habit of knowing where to look to compile the listings - I even know a lot of the web addresses for local venues off by heart! In many ways this is the easiest part of my job, but it's also the most fiddly.

In terms of WINOL as a whole, the website is coming together well. The bulletin actually gets recorded now and the ticker actually has news on it (only joking guys)!

Oh, almost forgot: it might help if the listings go on the site some time before the event takes place!

Friday, 20 November 2009


Walking to my seat. Uninspiring set. Surrounded by women. I thought the worst of my Monday night.

Four stools, a few tables, I expected a knock off episode of Loose Women talking about vaginas.

Talk about vaginas they did, disappoint they DID NOT. Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues at the Mayflower in Southampton will have you laughing from start to finish.

The blend of youth and experience between the four ladies was faultless, and their varying characters complimented each other on the stage.

Ex-EastEnders Anita Dobson's attitude and hilarious accents were truly side-splitting while South Today's Sally Taylor subtly was equally effective.

Louisa Lytton, also Ex-EastEnders, added sexy and sassy while Waterloo Road's Zaraah Abrahams came out of character the most, delivering the story of the devastating rape of women during the Bosnian war. This was the most poignant moment of the night, but there were quite a few, bringing such credit to the tales that Eve Ensler put together.

The comic timing often brought the show from the sublime to the ridiculous, which was the sheer class of the Monologues. Its ability to jump from suffering, to true love, to downright hilarious was extremely impressive.

Anita Dobson was undoubtedly pick of the bunch. She portrayed her characters with such authenticity, making each of her monologues all the more powerful. If that wasn't enough, her wild 10-minute orgasm (that seemed to go on for an eternity) gave the crowd by far the biggest laugh.

Aside from the set-up of the show, the script was simply an exhibition in English. The richness of the language was there for all to see, and only contributed to the amusing idea of women talking about their vaginas.

The show has been branded the "ultimate girls' night out," but as hard to believe as it may seem, it is funny and entertaining on many levels - whether you own a vagina or not.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Sunday, 15 November 2009


This week at WINOL was more hectic, but a lot more productive.

On Monday, the features news conference was more brisk and it appeared the team had better material to bring to the table. I worked closely with Jon and he was more than happy to preview and review the events I found for him.

I also asked Chris about the possibility of getting press passes at local venues, and we agreed that there would be no harm in asking. So when I went home, I rang the Mayflower Theatre's press office and was pleasantly surprised at my success. I managed to get two press passes for 'Vagina Monologues' on Monday 16th.

This week had a high focus on the ongoing battle between journalists and press officers (especially our own), so I was extremely pleased to win one over.

I was happiest with the what's on video piece that was recorded on Tuesday. It was practically my first time in the studio not including training sessions, and I enjoyed the session with Leanne, Rich and Matt. We faced the usual technical difficulties with the sound, lighting and the auto-cue, but once these issues were resolved, it took a relatively low amount of takes to get it right. A bit disappointing that I haven't been able to see the result of my efforts, but a learning experience nonetheless.

Joomla was up to its usual mischief again. Once I had done this week's listings and submitted the article, it came up with a message saying 'session expired!' So there's a time limit to produce an article is there?! Anyway, less said about Joomla, the better.

Roll on next week.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


The lecture about American expansion and Europe helped me understand why the individuals I am learning about are relevant to Journalism.

The first evidence of photojournalism as we know it today came from the American Civil War in the 1860s. Chris said that we could see those iconic images from that war were in our minds, in some way or another, I certainly could. He couldn't have emphasized his point any clearer.

William Randolph Hearst's methods appear to be the reason why News City was taught to us in the way it was last year.

First rule: 'Tell' the news (although Hearst made a fortune with the San Francisco Chronicle by exaggerating what he told of where the gold was in 1849!)

Second rule: Be aware of your audience. Much of his readership were semi-illiterate migrants whose first language varied massively, so simplified English was employed to reach out to them. This became known as the 'yellow press.'

Back in this country, Lord Northcliffe was adding his part to Journalism history, and it is still relevant today. He had a lot of success with what could be described as the early 20th century's version of 'reader response.' We have comments and blogs. They had letters.

In his paper Answers, readers would send letters with questions...and yes, you guessed it, they would be answered. This is a clear example of what is now known as a feature.

Louise Owen, Northcliffe's Private Secretary 1902-1922 said: "...his gift of acquiring information startled me; his knowledge of affairs was uncanny. He had a curious instinct for asking questions, and seemed to know each subject as thoroughly as the specialists themselves."

I am being trained to be something resembling this description.

More comparisons between Reporting Skills and Northcliffe: The 250-word rule. When churning out stories to fill a newspaper, this is the guideline. However, if you're doing September 11 - the morning after, it would probably be wise to temporarily ignore this!

In the words of Chris and Brian: "Give it what it's worth!"

(P.S - I originally thought it would be clever to make this post exactly 250 words, but I'm trying to get marks for my degree, so gave it a tad more depth!)

Sunday, 8 November 2009


As expected, this year's Winchester News Online started with a few issues to deal with.

Chris, in his typical style, piled the pressure on the whole team on Monday. He made it clear from the outset that we would all have to pull our weight to make it work. He also emphasized the importance of always bringing relevant ideas to the table in news conferences.

There was some confusion at the features news conference on Monday afternoon. As it was the first one, most of the team weren't aware of the preparation that was needed. It may have been beneficial if the first conference was used to as an opportunity to explain what would happen in them every week, and to share contact details. However, being thrown in at the deep end usually helps in the long run, and the requirement of delivering material at set deadlines was made clear.

As Features Listings Editor, my main task for most of Tuesday was to fill the 'What's On' section of WINOL. I was pleased with the listings I created and submitted the article hours before the deadline, but there were problems with it, as pointed on by Production Editor, Rich Taylor.

He pointed out that, although I put the events in chronological order, the reader-friendly element was lost and it would have perhaps been better categorised by type of event. So I went away and revised the listings accordingly, which Features Editor Alice Rimes was pleased with.

Friday, 6 November 2009


When Samantha Alexander asked Charles Foster Kane of their affair: "what would people think?" he replied, "I tell people what to think." Power of this magnitude became the success and ultimate downfall of one man's life.

His popularity gained from the New York Inquirer was such that he ran for Governor of New York and married Emily Monroe Norton, President Monroe's niece. However, Kane's extensive involvement with the Inquirer and criticisms of the President in it saw the gradual breakdown of their nine-year marriage.

His affair with Samantha Alexander ended any hope of salvaging the marriage and winning his political campaign in New York. His image of an honest journalist was dented after every paper - apart from his own - ran the story of their 'love nest' on the front page.

His second marriage mirrored his first, in that Kane wanted to make Samantha Alexander happy, but he seemed only capable of doing what he thought made her happy, and not what truly did.

Kane took a high interest in Alexander's singing from the first time they met, and with the power of his headlines, elevated her mediocre ability to high profile opera shows. Their marriage was plagued by Kane's brainchild to make Alexander a famous opera star, even though she had little aspiration to carry it out.

Kane eventually realised the limitation of his newspaper. All the propaganda-like headlines in the world couldn't disguise the fact Alexander was in a false position on centre stage. This was epitomised by one scene at El Rancho; the camera cut back and forth between Alexander and one man in the crowd, and each time his restlessness became more and more evident.

Kane's over-exaggerated applause at the end of the show was quite significant. It may have been the point when he realised it was a mistake for his wife to be on the stage, yet another example of him pushing her - or even both.

Overall, it appeared that Charles Foster Kane thought the power and wealth acquired from his work life would be enough to give him a happy private life, but by the end of 'Citizen Kane,' it was clear it had the reverse effect. He told New York what to think every day, then found it difficult to accept that he couldn't do the same with Emily Monroe Norton or Susan Alexander.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Ashleigh Hall's death exposes the dark side of social networking sites.

After a 32-year-old man blurted: "I've killed a girl," the danger of online paedophilia came to the surface again.

More and more, teenagers are increasingly in the habit of shutting their thoughts away from the outside world. Traditionally, they have been entered into a diary, now they are spilt onto online chat logs - the perfect scenario for perverts on the net.

Sites like Facebook and Bebo are as helpful for these predators as they are for keeping in contact with friends - parents have to remember this.

Friday, 9 October 2009


The way I see it, there is no doubt that David Icke’s ‘lizard theory’ is fairly crazy. The notion that reptiles are secretly controlling our actions is leftfield as it is, but the sheer lack of concrete evidence to back it all up is the side of Icke that discredits him the most. It all seems like a facade.

However, there are two sides to every story (yes...even this one). I believe that part three of the documentary, when David Icke was refused air time by a Canadian radio station (6:41, video above), exposed a regrettable tendency of human nature. In my eyes, he was understandably angry at the receptionist/radio station for giving him no reason why his interview was cancelled. In the context of Jon Ronson’s documentary, some Canadians had given Icke a hostile welcome, so the powers that be may have thought it could have harmed their station in some way. This in itself almost validates Icke even more as one of his main beliefs is that society, including the media, is subconsciously being controlled in some way. This decision denied his chance to put forward his side of the story; having this chance is meant to be fundamental in a democratic society. The refusal of the interview suggested otherwise.

Thursday, 8 October 2009


I would like to pick up on a quote from D. Sandy Petrey cited by Louise Weeks in her blog...

"Strikes became the primary symbol of socialist revolt. Zola consequently left his study of the commune to La Debacle to incarnate the movement of the proletariat in a strike, a subject whose vast dramatic potential had never before been exploited in a novel".

In my view, strikes – and miner strikes at that – would have been a very attractive symbol to people looking to join the socialist revolt. Throughout history, the largest revolutions have always been built on extremes, and there is little more extreme than mining, as Chris emphasized today. The meteoric rise of the Third Reich is perhaps best in underlining this. From the signing of the Versailles treaty at the end of WWI to January 1933, Hitler consistently turned the extreme conditions the Weimar Republic faced to his advantage: hyperinflation, failure of more moderate governments, fear of the left (largely cooked up by him in the form of the Reichstag fire) to name but a few – the only difference being every social class could relate, let alone the miners.

Propaganda was instrumental in this success. If strikes were “the primary symbol of the revolt,” strength and nationalism were the symbols of the Fascists in the early 20th century. One of the famous Nazi slogans was “one people, one nation, one leader while Benito Mussolini constantly referred to his policies as 'battles' in Italy. Both promoted unity in revolutionary, war-like conditions. It is my hypothesis that political allegiance or action will be as extreme (or not) as the conditions a people are faced with, which is where I draw my comparison to Petrey’s quote and my example.

Back to the original matter, The Hegelian view that a violent overthrow and eradication of the previous state is necessary is just as counter-productive, if not more than having an under-achieving government. the ultimate goal of revolt and subsequent dictatorship of the proletariat is equally as damaging as the rejection of the status quo (i.e – the ruling class).

Saturday, 3 October 2009


Released: 28th September 2009
Length: 43:16
Label: Polydor

Ian Brown’s sixth solo album brings together a lot of what the manic mancunian is about – as the title would suggest. But this is not one of his better moments.

‘Stellify,’ the first single to come from the album, opens up ‘My Way’ bursting with Brown’s larger than life sound. He said he still had something to say in the lead up to this LP, which appears the case in his video as he is seen walking the streets of Manchester with the 40-strong Northern Star Marching Band.

‘Crowning of the Poor’ is as provocative in its meaning as ‘Stellify’ is in its sound. Brown has always been known for big opinions and ‘My Way’ is no different as he bellows lines like: “billionaires in the yachts can’t, live the life that I got, can’t, zillionaires on the plots can’t stop the crowning of the poor.” ‘In the Year 2525’ follows suit but in the form of a light-hearted critique of man in the future: “in the year 5555...your legs got nothin’ to do, some machine doin’ it for you,” he bluntly predicts.

It’s never all doom and gloom with the ex-Stone Roses lead singer, as he exposes his bubbly and dreamy qualities in ‘Just Like You’ – and ‘Marathon Man’ confirms that he is likely to remain this way.

Then there’s the mellow and reflective side of Ian Brown, the side that falls in between the political wordsmith and the loud, in your face mancunian. ‘Always Remember Me’ is almost his version of a ballad while the mesmeric ‘For The Glory’ shows his modest side.

The LP musically picks itself up again with ‘Own Brain’ with some flashy guitar and Stellify-like energy thrown in. As F.E.A.R showed everybody, Brown likes to play with words, and ‘Own Brain’ does the same as it is an anagram of his name.

However, the following two tracks ‘Laugh Now’ and ‘By All Means Necessary’ don’t have as much to offer or say in an album that otherwise tells Ian Brown’s own vociferous story. Meanwhile, the closing track ‘So High’ would have more place in the last dance of a Caribbean wedding, but displays plenty of personality and style – a constant feature of ‘My Way.’


Ian Brown really does do it his own way in this LP that is packed with the elements of him that have made him so successful. Overall, however, not the best collection of tracks he has ever produced.

Rating: 7/10

Monday, 21 September 2009


It was a long time coming, but Southampton picked up their first win of their League One campaign on Saturday.

This came after I read an interesting and philosophical blog from the Daily Echo.

Football fans are extremely fickle and Simon Carter regretfully underlines the situation is no different at St. Mary's. Writing last week, Carter condemned the minority of Saints fans who were already calling for the end of Alan Pardew.

Carter said "fans should remember that clubs in League One aren’t a bunch of jokers and Saints have no divine right to beat the likes of Brentford and Stockport."

Even if Saints didn't beat Yeovil on Saturday, Pardew should be nowhere near the end of his tenure at St. Mary's, and Carter's article still stands.

In the cold light of day, Pardew hardly had a pre-season with Southampton, eight new players have been brought in to try to get Southampton back on it's feet, not forgetting their 10-point penalty for entering administration in the summer. It was never going to be easy.

However, amongst all these teething problems, we must stop feeling sorry for ourselves and build on Saturday's win.


Monday, 3 August 2009



If you've ever been on this blog, you'll be familiar with my love for trance music, and I have gone and made my own mash-up to prove this love!

This track features two massive trance tunes from the last year: Moussa Clarke's 'She Wants Him' and Dakota's 'Chinook.'

It's got a promo on ITranceYou too - proud moment!

I had to convert this to mp3 so that I could embed it, so it's only 128kbps but if you want the original just give me a shout!

Post a comment and let me know what you think!

Thursday, 23 July 2009


At 103, Ivy Bean still knows how to live life to the full.

Mrs. Bean is the oldest social networker on Facebook and Twitter and has fans across the world.

Ivy, pictured with her Twitter profile, recently went on a three-day trip to Blackpool with friends from her Bradford care home. She then posted pictures from the wild weekend online, which were greeted with hoards of comments from her online fan club.

Her party of five had a combined age of 436!

Ivy told The Sun how much she enjoys partying: "We may be old but we're young at heart. I'm having more fun than ever," she said.

The charming lady also spoke to The University of Winchester's Kayleigh James this week. Ivy - a keen follower of Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Manchester United - said: "I went onto Facebook to keep in touch with my family, I had 9 friends, then when it went into the paper I had 5,000 from all over the world. People are so kind."

"Then twitter asked me if I would like to join and I just said: 'why not?' I love being on both," she added.

Ivy already has 23,000 followers on Twitter and 5,000 friends (with 18,000 further requests) on Facebook. On her Twitter she posted: "...sorry if I can't add you on Facebook but I have 18,000 friend requests waiting and I am only allowed 5,000 friends."

Care home manager Patricia Wright revealed in The Sun that another fun-filled outing is not far away: "They are already planning their next visit. People were screaming and shouting at them," she said.

Sunday, 19 July 2009


This was the moment Andrew Strauss caught Philip Hughes at first slip off the bowling of Andrew Flintoff...or did he?

The umpires in the middle decided NOT to refer it to the third umpire, despite the fact that Ravi Bopara was 'caught' by Nathan Hauritz in similar circumstances earlier in the test. On this occasion, the Aussie celebrations were quashed when the decision was taken upstairs and given not out.

While this wicket will be argued over and over again, it wasn't the only contentious dismissal of the day.

Flintoff stepped over the crease when Katich was caught at backward point by Kevin Pietersen. Mike Hussey was also given out when Paul Collingwood took a catch at first slip from a Graeme Swann delivery that only changed direction off the pitch - NOT off the edge of the bat.

Friday, 17 July 2009


2nd Test, Lord's
Australia 1st Inns: 22-2 (12 overs)

Australia went in for lunch on Day 2 in all sorts of trouble at 22-2 - 403 runs behind.

James Anderson picked up both wickets. Hughes was caught by Prior and Ponting was caught at first slip by Andrew Strauss.

However, Ponting's wicket was one of the most controversial decisions yet in this series as replays suggested that the ball didn't hit his bat. In fact, Hawk Eye showed that he should have been given out LBW in any case.

England were bowled out for 425 this morning after staging a mini-recovery in the lower order.

James Anderson and Graham Onions put on 47 for the last wicket to frustrate the Aussies.

This came after Collingwood (16), Prior (8) and Flintoff (4) accounted for yesterday's middle order collapse taking England from 302-4 to 378-9.

TOUGH TASK: Mike Hussey (above) and Simon Katich have to build a partnership for Australia.

Thursday, 16 July 2009


2nd Test, Lord's
England: 126-0 (Lunch)

It was a frustrating morning with the ball for Australia as England's openers raced to 126 in the first session of the 2nd Test at Lord's.

After having a hard time in Cardiff, Andrew Strauss (47*) and Alistair Cook (67*) have hardly been threatened on a batsman-friendly pitch at the Home of Cricket.

Mitchell Johnson's erratic bowling is Ricky Ponting's greatest worry at the break. Johnson, the supposed leader of the Aussies bowling attack, has conceded 53 runs from 8 overs (Economy rate: 6.62).

England scored at a steady rate of 4.34 runs per over and hit over 20 fours in the process.

DEJECTED: Peter Siddle looks away in disgust after being hit for four during the first session.

Monday, 13 July 2009


First Ashes Test, Cardiff (Day Five): England 435 & 252-9 drew with Australia 674-6 declared

If anyone was victorious in the first Ashes test, it was England.

From the first ball of the last day in Cardiff, the odds were stacked against the home team, and after being reduced to 70-5 around midday with 70 overs to go, the Aussies must have thought the series lead was theirs.

However, despite needing 169 runs just to draw level, a certain Paul Collingwood yet again took centre stage, yet again determined to show his team-mates how not to give your wicket away.

Stuart Broad (14) and Graeme Swann (31) stemmed the Aussie tide temporarily, partnering Collingwood and simply playing for time.

But as Collingwood trudged off after spending nearly six hours at the crease, he - like the rest of the country - still must have thought his knock of 74 wasn't enough to save the match.

Cue England's next two heroes: James Anderson and Monty Panesar who were left to keep out the Aussies for 40 minutes. It should never have come down to this.

As the end drew closer, my father's mood from dejection to hope to elation mirrored that of the capacity crowd in Wales as the two tail-enders blocked and played straight ball after ball - managing to edge ahead of Australia in the process. This was significant as it would have forced the Aussies to bat if they bowled England out, which effectively bringing the close of play forward by 10 minutes.

So when Ricky Ponting saw the clock edge past 1640 BST, he shook the hands of the two batsmen signalling a draw, Sophia Gardens erupted and Andrew Strauss could breathe again.

Match Scorecard (BBC Sport)

Despite one of the most epic draws in the history of English Cricket, there are several issues for the team to ponder over before the 2nd Test begins at Lord's on Thursday...

- The openers have to perform and not rely on the middle and lower order to get England out of a batting mess. In terms of expectation and performance, the scorecard was turned on its head.

- As well as getting the runs, the batsmen have to be much more obdurate and not give their wicket away to the Aussies - let them get us out without playing wild shots (e.g. - Pietersen deciding to sweep a Nathan Hauritz delivery miles outside the off stump that would have been called a wide).

- Get them out! England only picked up six Australian wickets in the whole of the first test before they declared on 674. It will be hard to win a test, let alone regain the Ashes if this continues.

- Selection changes? Batsmen like Owais Shah may expect a chance following a poor display at the top of the order while Stephen Harmison could be recalled to add power to the bowling attack. Andrew Flintoff is also an injury worry.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009


11 years ago, Southampton's Craig David was virtually unknown - waiting to be noticed in the music industry. Five studio albums and 14 top ten singles later, he wouldn't be able to go anywhere in the U.K without being mobbed on the street by adoring fans.

So for 18-year-old Shirin, who would love to match his success, could it be an omen that her latest single 'Insomnia' happens to have the same title as that of her Hampshire counterpart?

The Fareham R&B singer has been writing her own songs for 8 years now and is hoping to be the next singing sensation to come out of the South Coast.

But after heading BBC Radio 1Xtra's 'Introducing Homegrown' feature on Sunday, which showcases unsigned artists from this country, she feels her time is getting closer.
The signs are promising with Shirin expanding her presence from the local to the national scene by managing to get 'Insomnia' played alongside the likes of Tinchy Stryder and Kid Cudi. If her appearance on 1Xtra sparks enough interest, she will be sitting on the verge of being listened to by millions on Radio 1.

The exposure has definitely made many start to take her seriously: "The most interesting thing about being on a national station is watching people I haven't spoken to in years come out of the woodwork and start realising what's going on," she said.

Shirin has already worked with the likes of Benny Cassette who is the producer behind the Black Eyed Peas as well as KC Porter who has worked with Michael Jackson. She has also supported Wiley who reached No. 2 in the U.K with the massive floorfiller 'Wearing My Rolex' last year. "He is such a cool, relaxed guy," she revealed.

But despite being this familiar with the limelight, she will always remember where she came from if she is to make it big: "[I would] give back to my family and everyone who helped me get there and do whatever I could to help new talent be developed."

She is also certain that she wants to get there on merit, cutting no corners: "I don't want to be handed anything on a silver platter, I'm doing it the hard way, but for me it's the best way!"


Monday, 8 June 2009



Last night, UK Health Secretary Andy Burnham called it a "sad day for British politics" following the BNP's acquisiton of two seats in the European Parliament.

But are the failures - the recent "sad days" - attributed to the mainstream parties to blame for this recent shift towards centre and far-right politics in this country?

Burnham said: "It's not a good night for anybody who campaigns against racism in politics, they [the BNP] wear suits but at heart that's the kind of party they are."

The BNP had the most success around Yorkshire and the North-West of England in the European vote. Elsewhere, the results have most notably seen the worst results for Labour since World War II and encouraging signs for the UK Independence Party.

BNP leader Nick Griffin hailed his party's results as "a great victory."

Griffin also attacked the UK's governments actions over the past 50 years: "In so many ways the liberal élite have transformed this country and as they've done so, they've forced people to be quiet about it with laws which make telling the truth an offence," he said.

- The expenses scandal particularly couldn't have come at a worse time for Labour and an under-fire Gordon Brown.

Watch Griffin's speech in full...

Wednesday, 20 May 2009



Whether you think the EU is simply a papered-over Fourth Reich or a promising state that has improved European relations, it is a very contentious issue in the U.K.

If you believe this country can survive on its own, then why do we need our aspects such as law and currency modified by, essentially, people from other countries. In recent times, the U.K. has pretty much been stable enough to make up its own mind on matters, rather than relying on somebody in, say, Sweden to make it up for us.

However, if you're an elderly person living in Portugal and how your country has changed for the better, then you're clearly not going to have much of an issue with being part of the European Union.
On the other side of the coin (euro or pound?! Up to you!), if you are a middle-aged right-wing Briton who is proud of your country's heritage, why answer to Europe at all?

From a nationalistic point of view (which I adopt a significant amount of the time), I wouldn't like to see the EU having too much of an affect on me as a "Southampton boy" or "southerner" and so on. However, I suppose it already has with the influx of Polish workers here in the south who are prepared to work for less - not great in social or economic terms, but if they do their job better than an Englishman for half the price, it would most definitely be the Polish person who would get the job - every single time.

In short, a lot of this comes down to national tradition; I would much rather deal in sterling during my loathsome 8 hours a week at work than use a currency that has no sentimental value to me whatsoever. But, without wanting to offend the likes of Estonia in any way, the EU is one of the very first milestones in their short history in any case, thus little nationalistic pride to be lost - even if Brussels and Strasbourg have the final say more often than not...

Why not join in the fun @
Winchester Journalism?!

Thursday, 23 April 2009


Brad Pitt and pals set out to kill 100 Nazis each in occupied France - In cinemas 21st Aug!

'Inglourious Basterds' - Official Site

Thursday, 2 April 2009


Released: March 23rd 2009

Length: 50:55

Label: Wall Of Sound; Astralwerks

It has been almost 4 years since Röyksopp released their last studio LP, and in the midst of their eagerly awaited return, one is left ever so slightly disappointed with latest album ‘Junior.’

‘Happy Up Here,’ the first release from this album, pushes Röyksopp’s happy electronica to the max while ‘The Girl and The Robot’ brings a new energy to their style featuring the unmistakable vocals of Robyn. ‘Vision One’ is another highlight with a gritty yet dreamy hook – but overall, the album lacks the inspiration that oozed out of ‘Melody A.M’ (2001) and ‘The Understanding’ (2005).

Röyksopp use Karin Dreijer-Andersson in the high-tempo but relatively weak ‘This Must Be It’ and the cleverly arranged and retro ‘Tricky Tricky.’ However, it is unlikely either track will generate the same success as 2005 hit ‘What Else Is There?,’ which Dreijer-Andersson also featured on.

The more prominent use of strings in ‘You Don’t Have a Clue’ and the instrumental ‘Röyksopp Forever’ touch on the beautifully haunting sounds that the Norwegian duo are known for. Meanwhile, ‘It’s What I Want’ includes the duo’s familiar synthesized vocals but struggles to capture the imagination.

The disappointment doesn’t end there. ‘Miss It So Much’ is cute and summery but all too samey while ‘Silver Cruiser’ allows a breather from a succession of high tempo tracks, but sounds too much like an inconsequential interlude. ‘True To Life’ hopefully comes in before ‘Silver Cruiser’ has sent you to sleep and continues in the same vein as earlier, more promising tracks, but not to the effect that the Röyksopp we know and love has delivered in the past.


Another decent set of tracks from this unique outfit, but perhaps not as refined and consistent as ‘Melody A.M’ and ‘The Understanding.’

Promising. No more, no less.

Rating: 7/10

Thursday, 26 March 2009


Former Spurs, Portsmouth, Gillingham and Brighton defender Guy Butters is giving something back to a community that has supported him for so long.

Butters, 39, is currently working under Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s hugely successful community scheme.

He is relishing his latest role as West Sussex Development Officer for ‘Albion in the Community’ and is grateful that he is still very much in Football: “The feedback and enjoyment I get is really good and it’s good to give something back,” he said.

Brighton was voted as Community Club of the Year at the Football League Awards in 2007.

Butters left his last fully professional club Brighton last year after a career spanning two decades to play at a semi-professional level for Conference South side Havant & Waterlooville, leaving him the chance to stay behind the scenes at The Seagulls.

“The chairman [Dick Knight] was always telling me about the community work and he wanted to get ex-pros on it.”

Alongside 25 other coaches, Brighton’s community scheme runs P.E lessons to encourage children to participate in a wide range of sports, as well as exclusively football-based after school clubs and skills training centres. Butters, alongside fellow senior coach Tony Clark, works with schools in the West Sussex area to get young people into sport.

Butters hopes that his work in the community will give him the start he needs to take his experience into coaching at a more professional level within Football as he pledges to stay in the game for as long as possible: “As I’m getting my coaching badges, I want to keep moving up the ladder and see where it takes me,” he said.

Friday, 6 March 2009


Much to my delight, new Southampton manager Mark Wotte seems to have given a flailing side a new lease of life...and some points to go with it. Nine out of nine in fact.

Saints are struggling financially, which in recent seasons has taken its toll on the field. Jan Poortvliet decided to deal with this problem by disregarding the more experienced players with higher wages, almost without exception. The goalkeeper, Kelvin Davis, and defenders Chris Perry and Rudi Skacel were the only first team regulars from last season that Poortvliet picked on a regular basis earlier this season.

But Mark Wotte has been less stubborn since taking over at St. Mary's in late January. He seems to have found a balance between youth and experience in the side by recalling the likes of Jason Euell and Marek Saganowski from a loan spell at Brondby in Denmark. He has also reverted back to using the 4-4-2 formation - which was out of the question under Poortvliet - and it has reaped its rewards - especially at home.

Here's how Saints picked up three wins on the spin in their last three games...

Saturday, 21st February: SAINTS 3-1 Preston

Three first half goals were enough to secure Saints only their second home win of the season.

Andrew Surman opened the scoring after 19 minutes by placing home from close range after Marek Saganowski laid the ball into his path.

Saganowski made it 2-0 ten minutes later following good build up play by Adam Lallana and Simon Gillet. The Pole latched home ruthlessly from the edge of the box to give Saints a strong lead at the half time whistle.

Ross Wallace pulled one back for Preston 17 minutes from time, but a strong Saints back line headed by Chris Perry and new signing Jan-Paul Saeijs held out.

Saturday, 28th February: SAINTS 1-0 Cardiff City

Saints ended Cardiff’s 13-match unbeaten run to strengthen their fight against relegation.

David McGoldrick converted an 11th minute penalty after Cardiff’s Mark Kennedy was adjudged to have handled a Jason Euell cross.

Saints’ keeper Kelvin Davis pulled off a magnificent one-handed save from Cardiff striker Paul Parry in the first half.

The Bluebirds tired towards the end after their midweek cup clash with Arsenal and Saints managed to hold on to a vital three points.

Mark Wotte: "I am very proud of my team and the way they have been fighting for each other in the last few weeks."

Tuesday, 3rd March: Ipswich Town 0-3 SAINTS

A resurgent Saints side dominated play-off chasing Ipswich to pick up their third win in a row.

Jason Euell headed home his first goal of the season from an Andrew Surman free-kick shortly after a Jan-Paul Saeijs header was disallowed.

Saints had another goal disallowed in the second half after Chris Perry had tapped home from a Simon Gillett corner in a game where 3-0 flattered Ipswich.

Euell took full advantage of a defensive error calmly netted his second with five minutes to play. Late substitute Matt Paterson fired in Saints’ third shortly after as David Norris lost possession for The Tractor Boys in their own half.


Southampton are still two points from safety with their relegation rivals also picking up form at the right time.

They face a tough away day tomorrow at second-placed Birmingham City, but there is renewed hope at St. Mary’s following recent performances under Mark Wotte.