Thursday 24 September 2020, 08:00 GMT

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Monday 23rd to Friday 27th August - finally my feet have touched the ground

What a weekend - from an  A  list celebrity Premiere to the V Festival - I don’t think words can describe how bizarre my weekend has been...Now back to normal here in the studio!

Southend seafront was lit up as a colourful procession and dramatic firework display capped off a week of entertainment at the annual carnival which is in its 104th year!

A bride and groom were arrested at the altar on suspicion of being involved in a fake marriage scam.  It is thought the bogus marriage had been arranged so the groom, a Nigerian national, could get a visa to stay in the UK, while the bride was paid up to £2,000 for her services.

And X Factor has been caught using Auto Tune, surely the aim was to make people sound worse than they really do as that is more entertaining...

And here’s what happened for the rest of the week


Southend United 1, Port Vale 3

BLUES’ youth team triumphed 2-1 at Leyton Orient yesterday with goals from Teddy Nesbitt and James Stevens.

BLUES boss Paul Sturrock will not be offering contracts to Izale McLeod or Elvis Hammond.
- By Chris Phillips

It was an encouraging opening day for Ryman League attendances. Crowds at the 33 matches totalled 7,301 and although that was a drop of 215 for opening weekend in 2009, last season's figure includes a near four-figure attendance at Dartford, who are now in Conference South.


A YOUNG girl must pay £ get her lost pony back. Nina Pettit, 11, was left in floods of tears after her treasured pet went missing from its paddock off the old A130, Rayleigh.  So when she discovered Steel, a year-old Welsh section A pony, had been recovered nearby by the police she was over the moon.  However, her mother, Alison Pettit, then spent ten hours frantically trying to find out where the animal was because police had lost the records.  Officers finally tracked him down, but said a private company is holding the animal. Mrs Pettit claims the company wants £806 to release him. - Evening Echo

Angry X Factor fans have complained that producers are using technology such asauto-tuning to make contestants sound better.  It was a hot topic of debate on forums after Saturday's show.
Bosses admit some sound is edited before it's broadcast - but only after the judges have made up their minds.

Popstar Darius has revealed how close he came to dying in a car crash.The singer - who won Popstar to Opera Star - broke his neck when a Porsche he was a passenger in skidded on oil at 70 miles-an-hour in Spain.  The injury was just three millimetres from being fatal.  The 30-year old's refused an operation in case it affects his voice. Speaking to Hello magazine, Daruis says he feels "like the luckiest man alive."

155-thousand music fans are continuing to enjoy the V Festival - to see headline acts such as Kasabian and the Prodigy. The event's celebrating its 15th year - and is split across two sites in Essex and Staffordshire. Even Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has been joining in the celebrations along with Rupert Grint  in the VIP lounge

And Drew Barrymore and Justin Long introduced Boxer Rebellion on stage in the Louder Lounge bar. Drew said: "I have liked this band for a while and wanted to tell them!"

Presenter Gaby Roslin said she was left "jellified" by a 100 foot head-first charity abseil. The 46-year-old decided to take the plunge in the style of Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, to help raise funds for children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent. She was joined by 170 other people for the abseil, the first to take place inside The O2 arena in London.

She may be an unknown to us - but British teenager Amy Jackson has become the next big thing in Bollywood. The 18-year-old was spotted by the director of 'Madrasapattium' on the shortlist for Miss England. She was at the film's UK premiere in her hometown of Woolton in Merseyside. She says she didn't struggle too much with the language.

Glee picked up two Emmys in LA last night. The smash hit TV show was honoured with the awards, during a special ceremony ahead of the MAIN event next weekend. More than 70 gongs were handed out - mostly in technical categories. The biggest winner overall was The Pacific - with SEVEN. The World War Two mini-series is up for another 5 awards next week.


A Group of travellers shocked the community when they turned up last week in several caravans.  An electricity generator was set up and the travellers had made themselves at home.They were quickly moved off Great Berry open space after being given an eviction order by Basildon Council.
Following a clean-up by the council’s park wardens, no damage appears to have been done to the site except for some scorched earth where a fire was lit - .By Adam Gaudry, Evening Echo

POLICE stations in Laindon, Pitsea, Billericay, Wickford and Corringham have had their opening hours cut back.All five stations, which were open between 10am and 8pm seven days a week, will now only be open to the public for four or five hours a day, six days a week, and will be shut on Sundays. - By Gina Marden, Evening Echo

A LONG-STANDING coach firm is offering residents a glimpse into the area’s transport past as part of its 90th birthday celebrations.  Lodge Coaches will be celebrating the milestone by opening up its headquarters, in High Easter, to the public.  On display will be a host of classic buses, coaches, tractors and cars, with the oldest dating back to 1947.  There will be a chance to look around the vehicles and even ride on some of them.  The free event will take place at Lodge Coaches’ base, in High Easter, on Sunday, August 29, between 10am and 5pm.  Proceeds will go to the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.  For more details, call 01245 231262. - Weekly News

Steve Tilson and Paul Brush are still trying to settle their contracts with Southend United.  The duo’s lawyers have contacted the club in a bid to finalise the situation.  But the Echo understands Tilson, who was placed on gardening leave last month after seven years as manager, has now not been paid by Blues since April.  But the club insisted the matter was close to being sorted- .By Chris Phillips, Evening Echo

Ryman Premier Division
Aveley 1 -  1 Folkstone Invicta
Kingstonian 4 - 2 Billericay town
Wealdstone 3 - 0 Tooting Mitcham

Premier Division
Canvey Island vs Harrow Borough
Cray Wanderers vs Carshalton Atheltic
Hendon vs Concord Rangers
Lowestoft Town vs AFC Hornchurch
Maidstone United vs Hastings United
Sutton United vs Horsham
Tonbridge Angels vs Bury Town

Division One North
AFC Sudbury vs Ware
Cheshunt vs Great Wakering
East Thurrock vs Enfield town
Harlow Town vs Potters Bar Town
Leyton vs Waltham Forest
Maldon & Tiptree vs Grays Athletic
Thamesmead vs Brentwood Town
Tilbury vs Needham Market
Waltham Abbey vs Heybridge Swifts
Wingate & Finchley vs Romford

Division One South
Bognor Regis Town vs Whitehawk
Corinthian Casuals vs Fleet Town
Dulwich vs Whitstable Town
Faversham vs Walton & Hersham
Godalming Town vs Whyteleafe
Horsham YMCA vs Burgess Hill Town
Leatherhead vs Metropolitan Police
Meretham vs Chatham Town
Ramsgate vs Chipstead

Top 10 singles:

  10. (8) - ALL TIME LOW - WANTED

Top 10 Albums

  2. (1) - RECOVERY - EMINEM
  9. (5) - THE FAME - LADY GAGA


True Blood stars Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are going to spend part of their
honeymoon at the Emmys.  It's been announced the actors - who play Sookie and Bill in the vampire drama will present prizes at the awards show on Sunday. The couple only married in Malibu over the weekend.

Annie Lennox has left her record label Sony after 30 years to launch an attemptat getting a Christmas number one.  The former Eurythmics singer will release her next album, a collection of what she calls "dark" covers of Christmas carols, through Amy Winehouse's label Island Records.
She says she's wanted to make the album for many years.

Keith Allen and Phil Daniels are to head the cast in a movie based on an infamous chart hoax. Alarm lead singer Mike Peters put together a spoof act in 2004 as a front for his own single to highlight what he saw as ageism in the music business. The track ended up making the top 30.
The story, to be called Vinyl, is being adapted for the screen by director Sara Sugarman.

The X Factor hopeful who did a bizarre version of Duffy's Mercy on Saturday's show has been thrown out of another competition. Shirlena Johnson told Simon Cowell she was 30. The single mum from London had also applied for Miss Great Britain saying she was 28 - but the age limit is 29 and she's been dropped. However her shrieking and wailing were enough to win her a place in the next
round of X Factor. (She has since been dropped from the show for fear of her mental health!)


A SIX foot boa constrictor which went missing in Wickford a month ago, has been found - in the back garden of the house it escaped from. The snake, called Diego, slithered out of its tank at its owner's home in Barnfield. A massive search was carried out and locals dubbed the animal "the beast of Barnfield". For the full story see Wednesday's Echo.  - By Emma Palmer

GUEST: Richard Mcleod from Citizens Advice Bureau came in to give some advice to those of you who are about to embark on a holiday.  If you are flying and you suffer delays and cancellations be sure to check out the CAB website to help you get the compensation you deserve.  Richard’s biggest tip was take your brochure with you as it contains some useful information that will help you in times of trouble!!

If your summer trip takes you to the US and you need to complete a Visa waiver then from September it will cost you £8.90 through the government websites however there are some sites that are charging £50.  But, if you do it now you won’t need to pay penny and it should last for a year!

Finally Richard told us about some changes that affect us if we are buyinh items from countries within the European Union.  European Consumer Centre for services Article 21 has been set up to protect consumers and you can find out more here: 0845 608 9494


  1. Knocking Toy Story off the top spot is the all action movie The Expendables with the highest per-screen average!
  2. Angelina’s latest action spy packed thriller is a new entry at 2
  3. Toy Story has lost the top spot but holds on to a respectable 3rd position holding to the highest grossing figure.
  4. Another new entry is Piranha 3D- it does what it isays on the tin really!
  5. Marmaduke again a new entry - an animation of the newspaper cartoon strip that we know and love, but will it do well on the big screen?
  6. Inception is still doing well but it has taken a tumble since last week
  7. Knight and Day isn’t as popular as I thought it might be!
  8. The Last Airbender  - Martial Art Fantasy movie after 2 weeks in the top 10 it looks as though it could be making an early departure
  9. Step Up 3D is knee sliding out of the top 10
  10. The Scrocer’s apprentice hasn’t really whipped up a storm in the charts and will be flying away on its magic carpet before the weekends out


Rupert Grint - who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films - has revealedthe film company are creating a Potter theme park in London. The actor has told fans the studio where the franchise was filmed will be opened up so the public can tour the life-size sets. Meanwhile, Rupert says after 9 years of doing the Potter films, it's strange to think that's the end of playing Ron.

Funny man Michael Cera's (PRON Sera) new film Scott Pilgrim Versus The World is out in cinemas from today. The actor from films including Juno and Superbad, plays a teenager whose new girlfriend has 7 ex-boyfriends who want to kill him. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Ramona Flowers - the girl who's stolen Scott's heart


A TEENAGER was stabbed by a gang of men near a children’s playground.The 17-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after being attacked at 3.30pm yesterday, near the play area at Norwich Walk, on Basildon’s Craylands estate. He remained in a serious condition at Basildon Hospital last night. It is believed a gang of mainly black men and one white man stabbbed him, before fleeing.
The victim, who is thought to live in Norwich Walk, managed to struggle to a nearby convenience store where police and paramedics were called. Witnesses to the stabbing can contact detectives at Pitsea CID on 0300 3334444 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111- .By Gina Marden, Evening Echo

SPORTS coaches say the Basildon sporting village project will have a crucial role to play in the future sporting life of the district.  Scott Hann, head coach at South Essex Gymnastics Club, and Eamonn Martin, chairman of Basildon Athletics Club, both spoke strongly in support of the £38million complex now being built in Gloucester Park.  Both say they understand residents are angry at Basildon Council for selling playing fields and other facilities to fund the centre.
But they insist the benefits of the new facility will massively outweigh what the area will lose through the sell-off. - Evening Echo

THEATRE - What’s On!
There is an all male production of Shakespeare's The Tempest being performed by The Fesitval Players at Cressing Temple in Witham tonight at 7.30, tickets are £15

Mercury Theatre, Colchester
Bertolt Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle is on for Friday and Saturday this week at 7.30 with tickets price at £6 and £4 concessions
Then next week:
Love's a Luxury: Guy Paxton and Edward V Hoile's farce about a successful theatrical producer's ill-fated attempt to enjoy a quiet country break. Stars Ben Freeman.
Performances from Tuesday 31st to Thursday 2nd September at 7.30 and 2.30 on the Thursday
Tickets are between £9.50 and £20.50

Danger Mouse saves the world can be seen at Westcliff Theatre on Sunday 29th August at 2pm  and  Thursday 2nd September at 11am and 2pm The Queens Theatre, Hornchurch
Danger Mouse bursts onto the stage in his first ever theatre tour. The whole team are back together from Colonel K, trusty sidekick Penfold to arch enemies Baron Silas Greenback, Nero and Stiletto. There is even a special appearance from Agent 57

The Queens open their latest production Ladies Down Under,
Amanda Whittington's comedy about four women who win the jackpot at the races and jet off for an Australian adventure. Opening night is Friday 27th at 8pm for the previews and tickets will be £14 and then for the rest of the run are between £14 and £23. The run lasts until September 11th.
And next Thursday I will be talking to Diana Croft, a local actress who plays Jan.

Edinburgh’s comedy nominations
Bo Burnham, Greg Davies, Josie Long, Russell Kane and Sarah Millican are all in the running for this year’s Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award.  Long and Millican are both former winners of the Best Newcomer Award, while Kane has now been nominated three times for the main award and once as Best Newcomer. Burnham is 20 years old and best known for his youtube comedy videos, while Davies gets his first solo nomination, but has previously been nominated as part of comedy group We Are Klang. The Best Comedy Show Award carries a £10,000 prize.  Meanwhile, the nominees for the Best Newcomer Award are An Audience with Imran Yusuf, Asher Treleaven, Gareth Richards, Late Night Gimp Fight, Roisin Conathy and The Boy With The Tape on His Face
- By Alistair Smith, The Stage

SPORT: Shenfield Pete’s look at the weekends sporting action!
Football - Champions League group stage draw on Thursday at 5pm, and the Europa League draw is on Friday. Friday night is the European Super Cup final between Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid in Monaco. Games of the weekend, Tottenham vs Wigan (9-1 last year), Man Utd vs West Ham on Saturday at 5.30, and Aston Villa vs Everton on Sunday at 4pm.

Cricket -  Essex are 90-7 overnight against Warwickshire at Edgbaston. On Thursday the 4th and final test gets underway at Lord's between England and Pakistan, England currently 2-1 up in the series.

F1 - Belgian Grand Prix this weekend. 1pm Saturday for qualifying, and 1pm Sunday for the race.

Golf - Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, the final qualification event for the Ryder Cup - the team is to be announced on Sunday after that event.

Tennis - On Monday, the final Grand Slam - the US Open - gets underway. Andy Murray seeded 4th with Rafa Nadal 1st seed, going for the last Grand Slam he's yet to win, and Roger Federer 2nd seed going for his 17th grand slam title.

Rugby League - Challenge Cup final at Wembley between Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves on Saturday at 14.30.

Rugby Union - England's women are doing very well in their World Cup campaign - they beat Kazakhstan 82-0 after beating Ireland 27-0 in their first game. Their final group match is against the USA on Saturday at 6.30pm.

GUEST: Leanne Roberts came in with her track Summers Day which is her entry in to the UK Regional Open Mic competition on Saturday 18th Septembe at the Towngate Theatre, Basildon.  You can go along and support her on the day, tickets are £7.50, you can buy them through the website and collect them on the door from 1pm.

YOUNG Campaigners are celebrating after winning their battle to stop buses charging adult fares for 14- and 15-year-olds.  More than 1,500 youngsters in south Essex signed a petition, organised by Southend Youth Council, calling for bus operator Arriva to bring its policy in line with other areas.
The campaign was spearheaded by the town’s youth mayor, Adam Connolly, and his deputy, Alex Bright, who handed in a petition with 1,500 signatures to Southend Council in July. Youth councillors argued that the policy was unfair to south Essex youngsters and launched their campaign in April to gather support.  * FULL STORY IN FRIDAY'S ECHO.

BRIGHT spark Lewis Kelsey is celebrating after passing his GCSE maths – five years early.
Leiws was set to sit the higher maths paper, but teachers opted to put him in for the lower paper, where the highest possible grade is a C, to help reduce some of the pressure.Lewis, who is also in line for a place in the Essex Chess Team, said he will now wait until he is 16 before doing any of the other GCSEs. For all his hard effort and success, Diane is buying her son a brand new laptop.


Saturday 28 Aug 10 Premier Division
Aveley   VS   Concord Rangers   
Canvey Island   VS   Carshalton Athletic   
Croydon Athletic   VS   Billericay Town   
Kingstonian   VS   AFC Hornchurch   

F.A. Cup - [ Preliminary Round ]
Barking   VS   Redbridge   
East Thurrock United   VS   Waltham Abbey   
Harlow Town   VS   Barton Rovers   
Leighton Town   VS   Heybridge Swifts   
Maldon & Tiptree   VS   Hertford Town   
Saffron Walden Town   VS   Great Wakering Rovers   
Southend Manor   VS   Brentwood Town   
Thamesmead Town   VS   Beckenham Town   
Uxbridge   VS   Tilbury   
Waltham Forest   VS   Enfield Town   
Witham Town   VS   Ilford   

Sunday 29 Aug 10 F.A. Cup - [ Preliminary Round ]
Romford   VS   Beaconsfield SYCOB   

Monday 30 Aug
AFC Hornchurch   VS   Wealdstone   
Billericay Town   VS   Canvey Island   
Bury Town   VS   Aveley   

I’m off for a catch up weekend with friends and family, have a wonderful bank Holiday and I will see you Tuesday Morning

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