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February Drive - Ninia Benjamin, Jimmy Sharp, Etheral Fire et al

It's been a cracking start to February on the Drive programme. Now at it's new time of 2-6pm (starting at 3pm Mondays and Tuesdays), the programme's remained bursting to the brim with studio guests and great music.

You can now catch interviews with high profiles figures and regular contributors in the 'Live At Five' slot. Mark Reed shifts to the earlier time to give us the latest lowdown on what's happening at the Brentwood Theatre. This fortnight he praised the success of the Phoenix Fundraiser on 30th January and tantalized our tastebuds looking forward to the Supper Club turning the Audrey Longman studio into a dinner party on 25th February. You can hear performances from the Fundraiser every Wednesday to Friday on Drive at 2.45pm.

Robin Bailey added his name to the list of Essex FSB guests when the former sports broadcaster was the first of his colleagues to sample to new earlier 5pm segment. Alan Jefcoate was in the studio the next week promoting National Apprenticeships Week. You can hear the business talk every Tuesday now at 5pm.

Keeping it business related we had two very interesting chats with local businessmen this fortnight. Jonathan Whittaker is three months in with his two business partners on the start-up of Inspiresport - he inspired us with his story of how he's found the change from employee to employer (www.inspiresport.co.uk). Meanwhile Stuart Hall proved that those that have been in business for a while can still cut it in the recession with the successes of his company ESL (www.payrollisboring.com).

Click here to listen to the interviews again: Jonathan Whittaker | Stuart Hall

TV comedienne Ninia Benjamin kicked off the comedy season at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch last week but not before checking in with the Drive programme and infecting us with her laughter and wit (www.niniabenjamin.com). Live musicians continued their Friday night presence with Jimmy Sharp (www.myspace.com/jimmysharp) and Etheral Fire (www.myspace.com/etheralfireuk) both notching up 16 points on our Name That Tune leaderboard. We double up from next week with bands or singer/songwriters now in the studio on Thursday nights too. We also continued our feature with local councillors with Keith Parker talking about the Brizes & Doddinghurst ward, whilst Keith Sparling reflected on his previous four years in post ahead of stepping down in May.



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