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Lots of Laughs

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

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Summer may be over but that doesn’t mean it has to be all doom and gloom from now on. With a stellar line-up of comedy in London this autumn, you can book into one of the capital’s many hotels and enjoy a whole weekend of laughter. From now until Christmas, many of the country’s best comedians are putting on shows, beginning with Kevin Bridges on 28th September:

28th September – 1st October: Kevin Bridges ‘The Story Continues…’

In less than a year, he’s gone from playing a 50-seat room at the Edinburgh Fringe last year to performing in front of 10,000 people in his home town, and now Scottish comic Kevin Bridges is continuing his journey up the comedy ranks with a show at London’s Hammersmith Apollo.

1st – 20th October: Paul Merton ‘Out of My Head’

His first solo show for quite some time, the ‘Have I Got News For You’ star and master of improvisation returns to his stand-up roots at the Vaudeville Theatre. He’ll be joined by Comedy Store Players regulars Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch and Suki Webster for the show which comprises sketches, music and magic.

19th October – 27th October: Dara O Briain ‘Craic Dealer’

The ‘Mock the Week’ presenter is a comedy legend and he will no doubt sell-out the Hammersmith Apollo for his honest, intelligent wit.

24th – 25th October: John Bishop ‘Rollercoaster’

For two nights Liverpudlian comic John Bishop will be bringing his life-affirming everyman observations to The O2 as part of his arena tour.

4th November: Alan Davies ‘Life is Pain’

Having been off stage for 12 years, the ‘QI’ and ‘Jonathan Creek’ star is back on the road with a London show at the Richmond Theatre. An hour of nostalgia, Davies reminisces about childhood holidays and phones with dials to make for a terrifically poignant show.

28th November – 3rd December: Michael McIntyre

The hugely popular comic is continuing his 58-date arena tour at the O2 Arena in Greenwich. Slick, silly, posh and baby-faced, he will undoubtedly have everyone in the huge audiences roaring with laughter.

With so much funny stuff to choose from, there’s no need to give into those winter blues just yet. Why not book into one of the many London hotels on offer and make a weekend of it?

Give flowers to show your appreciation on Mother’s Day

Monday, February 27th, 2012


With Mother’s Day coming up on March 18th it’s time to think about finding the perfect gift. Consider, too, what you’d like to say to your mum. Perhaps you’d like to thank her for putting up with you during those moody teen years, maybe you don’t see her as often as you should, or is it a simple case of celebrating someone who is always there for you?

Regardless of your reasons for sending Mother’s Day flowers, here’s a list of some of the most beautiful Mother’s Day gifts you could give.

Mother’s Day Rose Gift Bag

This elegant arrangement of cream and pink roses comes in an stunning black bag. It’s the perfect way to say thank you. The roses are presented with ribbon and ruscus and would make the perfect centrepiece for a Mother’s Day dinner. Having flowers delivered to her door is certain to make her day.

Mother’s Day Teacup and Saucer

This would be perfect for the mum that likes a vintage feel to her flowers. The cute teacup is overflowing with orchids, freesias, carnations and one gorgeous rose. It’s a unique gift that would put a smile on any mother’s face.

Hydrangea Hatbox

This beautiful gift is perfect for Mother’s Day because, in the language of flowers, hydrangeas mean friendship, devotion and understanding – sentiments that are wonderfully apt and, no doubt, much appreciated by your mum. The chic blooms come presented in a lovely vintage-inspired hatbox.

Mother’s Day Personalised Gift Bag

This gift bag is full of treats that will last your mum long after Mother’s Day. Even once she’s worked her way through the Sparkling Rosé, liquorice allsorts, chocolate dip and other goodies, she’ll still be left with a beautiful pink raffia bag to remind her of her fabulous gift. You can send your own words of love and thanks too, as you can personalise the gift tag with your own message.

Mother’s Day Cupcakes

This collection of sweet, more-ish cupcakes is enough to make most mums very happy on Mother’s Day. She’ll get 12 beautiful cakes and they come packaged in a stunning pink box. Just don’t expect her to share!

For more gift ideas visit www.interflora.co.uk

More Mums are Shopping Online than Ever Before.

Monday, February 13th, 2012

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Shopping trips with young children have to be planned like a military operation. You need a list of what to buy, where to buy it, snacks and toys to keep the children entertained and then march around the shops like a woman on a mission.

There’s just not the time for browsing at a leisurely pace. Online shopping lets you avoid all of that stress. No wonder more and more mums are using online shopping to avoid nightmare trips to the shops with the children.

New research shows that 61% of mums who have internet access now do their grocery shopping online. 72% of mums surf the internet while watching TV or use their smart phone to access the internet daily.

With online shopping, you can sit back, relax and do your shopping at a time that is convenient to you. Popular browsing times for mums are 6am, lunchtime and from 8-9pm.

It’s cheaper to shop online as competition is high so prices are lower. Also online retailers don’t have to pay expensive rent on high street premises, which means they can pass on the savings to the customers.

If your local high street doesn’t have what you are looking for then online shopping is ideal for you as there are many top businesses selling products you can’t otherwise get, giving you a huge variety of choice.

When online shopping look for sites such as Littlewoods.com that offer free delivery and free returns to save on the cost of delivery and returns if the item is not suitable.

LCD, LED and plasma televisions: which is for you?

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

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As modern televisions look very similar to each other with pleasing to the eye, shiny and stream lined designs, you could be forgiven for thinking that LCD, LED and plasma TVs are all the same. They even have similar features such as the ability to access the Internet or display photos.

But despite their similarities and as televisions are sizeable investments, knowing what you want from your television is essential to buying the right model. With the more simple characteristics of the available televisions seeming to be so alike, which set is the best for you?

LCD

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) televisions have back lamps behind the screen which shine white light through millions of coloured liquid crystals to create a black and coloured picture. LCD TVs are perfect for the smaller to average sized screens (typically up to 32 inches) as the technology really suits the display, with images appearing sharper and clearer. It is only recently that the LCD TV has expanded beyond the 32-inch option with many manufacturers now providing models over 40 inches.

As well as using less energy than the plasma TV, the LCD also produces less glare and is therefore more suited to natural daylight conditions meaning the need to close the curtains to hide your early-evening soaps from the late afternoon sun is greatly reduced.

LED

Light Emitting Diode (LED) televisions work very much the same way as the more common LCD option. The LED TV is relatively new to the market in comparison to the plasma and LCD, however it has gained a fast following for its energy efficiency and size. An LED TV can be much slimmer than the standard LCD or plasma TV due to its backlight structure that separates it from the crowd. Traditionally, televisions had large back lamps used to light the screen, LED televisions offer two alternatives:

 

  1. The back lamps which usually feature are substituted for lots of tiny LED lights
  2. The back lamp format is removed completely and small LED lights are used around the sides of the screen, creating what is called an Edge LED TV.

 

Plasma

Although many buyers are opting for LCD or LED televisions, the plasma TV remains an old favourite. The plasma TV works as mini fluorescent tubes are lit by a stream of ultra-violet light which hits various dots of colour to create an image. This process takes place between two pieces of glass, which causes the infamous plasma TV glare.

Sleek and stylish, Panasonic are considered the authority on this type of HDTV but plenty of other manufacturers still produce this breed of box, as well as concentrating on LCD and LED alternatives.

This is due to the fact that plasma TVs are able to produce deeper blacks and stronger colours as well as a quicker image response time in comparison to LCD and LED TVs. This also puts the plasma TV at an advantage for the next generation of home entertainment: 3DTV.

According to the BBC, the average Brit spends 3.8 hours a day watching TV, so making sure you get the right set can make sure that time is well spent.

 

Autumn reality TV shows not to miss: The X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and Big Brother

Monday, October 10th, 2011

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Strictly Come Dancing: Alex Jones

The nights are drawing in, the leaves are changing colour and The X-Factor is back. This can only mean one thing: autumn is officially around the corner. Your Saturday nights are sorted until Christmas, but have you sorted your TV Licence so that you can make the most of the best reality TV shows this autumn?

The X Factor

The most high-profile singing competition in the UK is back, with a fresh panel of judges and the promise of delivering the next global superstar.

After endless dramas surrounding the future of the nation’s sweetheart, Cheryl Cole, and the departure of TV mogul Simon Cowell, the new judging panel has already made its mark. New mentors, N-Dubz’s Tulisa, Take That’s Gary Barlow and former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland have taken to their new roles like ducks to water.

Although the format has not changed since last year, there is a fresher, trendier vibe to this year’s show and the polls indicate that public opinion has been largely in favour of the summer shake-up. When the new judges were announced in the tabloids, there was concern that nobody would be able to fill Simon, Cheryl and Danni’s boots but so far, so good for the new judges.

After years of sob-stories and silliness, the auditions stage also seems to have switched focus to the search for talent – the novelty acts that previously had audiences roaring with laughter have been shown little sympathy by both the judges and the audience.

Big Brother

Big Brother has made a shock return to the small screen after Channel 4 announced that the hit series would come to an end last year. Just 12 months later, the show that follows housemates living together, under the constant surveillance of TV cameras, has been revived by Channel 5 and is now occupying the weekday evening slot under the supervision of former winner, Brian Dowling.

This year, the show kicked off in style with Celebrity Big Brother, which was won by Paddy Doherty, star of Channel 4’s compulsive documentary My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. In early September a stream of glamorous, young contestants entered the house and this year’s show has already been hailed by the tabloids as the ‘sexiest Big Brother ever’. The first night went with a bang as housemates were introduced to their new roommate, Baywatch legend Pamela Anderson and it looks like plenty of surprises and shenanigans will unfold in the coming weeks.

Strictly Come Dancing

BBC One favourite Strictly Come Dancing has also taken up its annual Saturday evening slot and the show kicked off with all the customary glitz and glamour we’ve come to expect. The show, which involves celebrities teaming up with professional dancers to take on the gruelling yet exhilarating challenge of learning a host of well-known ballroom and Latin dances, is scheduled to run until Christmas.

This year, the shows are more accessible than ever before and you need never worry about missing an episode, as you can catch up online, record the show and watch it later or even watch it on your mobile phone. If you are planning to watch live TV online or on your mobile, remember that the law relating to TV Licensing stays the same, so make sure you have a valid TV Licence.

After an exciting summer, the autumn is closing in and the return of the nation’s best-loved reality TV shows has got many of us looking forward to snuggling up on the sofa and enjoying nights in front of the television; with The X Factor and Big Brother back on our screens, it’ll be Christmas before we know it.

Keeping up with the Kardashians on E! New Series

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Keeping Up With The Kardashians

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The Kardashians are the first family of American reality TV. Throughout five series they have entertained fans with their relationships, business ventures, squabbles, travels and triumphs.

The family will return for their sixth series showing on the E Channel on Sundays at 10pm. This season fans will get an inside look at Kim’s relationship with new beau New Jersey Nets star Kris Humphries, who Kim thinks is “the one.” Kourtney and Khloé divulge they are wary of investing their emotions into Kim’s new relationship.

Meanwhile, Kourtney and Scott have finally moved into an amazing new home, and Scott goes up against his girlfriend in a battle to reclaim the key she gave Kris. Scott pushes Kourtney to get it back, but she doesn’t want to hurt her mum’s feelings. But the tables turn and Kourtney is soon disappointed when she learns that Kris strongly disapproves of her trying to have another baby out of wedlock.

Also this season, the family takes a long overdue vacation to the tropics in honour of Kris and Bruce’s 20th wedding anniversary.

But things don’t stay so sunny in paradise – when strong personalities come together, cloud bursts are inevitable. Scott finds it difficult to enjoy the celebrations in moderation, and he and Rob finally address the tension that’s been simmering between them since Kim’s birthday party in Vegas over a year ago.

The sixth season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians premieres on Sunday 26th June 12 at 10pm only on E! Entertainment Television (Sky: 151/ Virgin Media: 156). For more information visit E Online.

You can take a sneak preview at series six in the below clip:

Winnie the Pooh – Back in Action

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Winnie The Pooh: now back on the big screen thanks to Disney Animation Studios

Fans of Winnie the Pooh waited with baited breath for the release of the latest Pooh Movie, Winnie the Pooh.

Released on 15th April 2011, the newest movie from the Disney Animation Studios was a hit with parents and children alike.

It really demonstrated the love still felt for this lovely golden teddy bear almost 80 years after he first appeared in print.

Winnie the Pooh first appeared in 1926 in the London newspaper The Evening News in a series of serialised stories. Loved by all, it wasn’t long until the Pooh stories were brought together and published in a book in 1927 in the USA. A runaway hit with people of all ages, Winnie the Pooh captured the hearts and minds of the American people and soon grew into a $50million per year business.

It wasn’t until 1977 however that Pooh Bear really made his mark. The release of the first full length animated Pooh movie by Disney Animation Studios, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh turned Pooh Bear into an international superstar. Followed swiftly by a TV series as well as three spin off movies and, in 2007, a modernised TV series, Winnie the Pooh has been loved by all across borders and age groups. The latest Disney Animation Studios movie will introduce the newest generation to the teddy bear we all love, Winnie the Pooh.

Winnie the Pooh (2011) follows the story of Pooh Bear and his friends Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo and, of course, Christopher Robin, through their adventures in the 100 acre wood. Loosely based on three Winnie the Pooh stories, In Which Eeyore Loses a Tail, In Which Christopher Robin Leads an Expedition to the North Pole and In Which Rabbit Has a Busy Day, this new Winnie the Pooh Movie is actually a brand new story for the friends.

Eeyore manages to lose his tail again on his journeys around the wood, so Christopher Robin organises a competition to see which animal can find the best replacement tail! There are some interesting suggestions as the animals compete to win a huge pot of hunny. There is a cuckoo clock, a balloon, a scarf, a weather vane and more! Understandably Eeyore is even glummer then when he started as he might just have to live without a tail forever!

Throughout the competition, Christopher Robin disappears and the friends, with some intellectual translation from Owl, determine that he has been kidnapped by the terrifying and vicious Backson!

Rabbit mounts an expedition to rescue Christopher Robin and the animals of 100 acre set up an elaborate trap for the Backson. To find out what happens to Christopher Robin and all the characters go and see Winnie the Pooh in a cinema near you!

A trip with your family to seen the glorious Winnie the Pooh is the perfect day out which will be enjoyed by parents, children and grandparents!

Winnie the Pooh is still showing in cinemas throughout the UK and the Winnie the Pooh DVD will be available soon.

Katie: My Beautiful Friends, Channel 4, Mondays 9pm

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

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We all have those Fugly days. Our hair won’t sit right, our make up looks dull and those trousers feel tight. However, it’s the bold and brave people in Channel 4’s new documentary Katie: My Beautiful Friends that make us really sit up and think about what we’ve got. If you’re not familiar with Katie Piper, and you should be if you watch TV, she’s the brave former model who survived an acid attack instigated by an ex-boyfriend. Although she lost her face, she’s built a future inspiring others and learning to live with her scars.

The four part series comes off the back of her charity, which was created as a support network for people coming to terms with disfigurement and to raise money for the kind of groundbreaking post-operative treatment she received in France. It follows her as she puts together the launch and recruits similarly disfigured ambassadors for the cause.

The first programme looks at the trials and tribulations of 22-year-old Chantelle who since birth has suffered from a disorder of the veins and arteries which has given her a furiously red, bulbous nose, a lifetime of being bullied and has now developed into a life-threatening condition.

On the other side of the spectrum is ballet student Adele who was born “normal” but five years suffered an epileptic fit in the shower, knocking the tap as she fell. She was, as a result, left with burns across nearly half her upper body. Because of the “perfection” demanded from the ballet industry the now 19 year old decided that it was better just to end her career.

However, what makes this series stand out is also the fact that we focus on other issues and problems suffered by Katie. Yesterday, not only did she have to learn about the PR machine when she wondered how to bag herself free champers, but – on a more serious note – had her resilience tested when she took a call from her lawyer informing her that the man who organised the attack on her was beginning his third appeal.

But picking herself up and continuing is Katie’s moto. She took a few moments to regroup and then set to work again. Next time we have one of our Fugly days we’ll remember all the brave and inspirational people Katie has already highlighted and of those in the future.

Watch the first episode here on C4 on demand and tune into the next episodes every Monday at 9pm on C4

Big Brother 11 – Even the housemates can’t be bothered with it

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

bb11 housemates 2010 THUMB.jpgBig Brother 11 had set itself up to be an explosive, weird-filled funfest in which it would bow-out to the general public of Channel 4, perhaps serving as a reminder of what we could be missing. However, it hasn’t transpired as such and it is now slowly limping out of shot like a sick dog going to die under a hedge.

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Nikon S1000pj: World’s first projector camera

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Want to show your digital snaps to friends without you all having to gather around a tiny LCD screen or mess around hooking up the camera to a big screen? Nikon has the answer. It’s the world’s first camera with a built in projector.

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