RIP Bill Tidy

Bill Tidy, the beloved cartoonist renowned for his quick-witted and masterful artistry on popular shows such as Countdown and Countryfile, has passed away at the age of 89.

His devoted family, including his children Sylvia and Rob, were by his side and paid tribute to their “most brilliant cartoonist and the very best dad”. Tidy’s lasting contributions to the art world include his celebrated works The Fosdyke Saga and The Cloggies, which captured the hearts of audiences throughout his illustrious career.

Sadly, Tidy’s health had been in decline in recent years after he suffered two serious strokes. Nonetheless, he continued to inspire and entertain, earning the admiration and respect of all those he encountered.

Born in Liverpool in 1933, Tidy did not have any formal artistic training but began his working life in the Royal Engineers branch of the Army. He sold his first sketch to a Japanese newspaper in 1955 and went on to publish cartoon strips in numerous national newspapers, including The Fosdyke Saga for the Daily Mirror and The Cloggies for Private Eye.

The Fosdyke Saga was such a success that it was eventually adapted into a 42-part radio series for the BBC in 1983. In addition to his newspaper work, Tidy appeared on many television shows, including Watercolour Challenge, Countdown, Blankety Blank, and Countryfile, and illustrated over 70 books.

Tidy’s contributions to journalism and the art world were recognized with an MBE in 2000, and he played a pivotal role in establishing the British Cartoonists’ Association. His passing is a great loss to his family, friends, and fans alike, and his legacy will undoubtedly endure for generations to come.

Big Finish review-Torchwood: We always get out alive

Gwen Cooper and Rhys Williams are on the run from a cataclysm. They’re the only survivors, and they’re driving away from the disaster as fast as they can. They’ve got to get away, they’ve got to warn the authorities, and they just can’t be late for the babysitter, again.

Dim problem. After all, they’re Torchwood and they always get out alive. But this time there’s something in the car with them. Isn’t there?

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This is actually a difficult audio to review, it’s an absolute joy to listen to. But, I really don’t want to reveal too much about the storyline.

We always get out alive, is another example of perfect synergy between writer and director.

Guy Adams and Scott Handcock have crafted an imaginative story, which in lesser hands could’ve been very boring. 98% of it is just Rhys and Gwen sitting in a car, but it’s gripping and epic-but at the same time keeping it a small, intimate story.

This is a strong character-driven piece, in which we get to know more about Gwen and Rhys’ family life.

Guy Adams truly delivers here, he uses the natural chemistry between Eve Myles and Kai Owen, the constrictive nature of being in a car and, the medium of audio, to the stories full advantage.

Once more the monthly Torchwood range delivers, this is a must-listen.


Big Finish Review-Torchwood:Believe

The Church of the Outsiders is on a mission to lead mankind to a new era of evolution, one that takes them beyond the stars. But Torchwood’s Owen Harper believes they must do everything in their power to stop them. With the original Torchwood team back together in full-cast audio, fans have been eagerly awaiting this moment. Despite the actors recording their parts separately, the result is flawless. You won’t be able to tell the difference, and it’s a joyous reunion.

Set before the end of series 2, Guy Adams has perfectly captured the era, creating an episode that feels like it was plucked straight from 2008. The performances are outstanding, with John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori, and Gareth David-Lloyd all shining. Each character is given the opportunity to develop, but the Owen/Tosh relationship is a particular highlight. Owen pushes Tosh to do unspeakable things while attempting to prove himself as a capable leader.

John Barrowman’s performance in this audio is absolutely fantastic. Despite recording his parts separately from the rest of the team, his chemistry with his co-stars is still palpable. He effortlessly slips back into the role of Captain Jack Harkness and delivers a performance that is both charming and commanding. Barrowman’s energy and enthusiasm for the character and the series shine through in every line, making it a real treat for fans to hear him back in action as the iconic Torchwood leader.

Prequel stories can be challenging, but Guy Adams’ script and Gareth David-Lloyd’s performance are so compelling that there’s one moment in particular where you’ll be genuinely concerned for Ianto’s fate. With such high quality, 2018 is shaping up to be an excellent year for Torchwood on audio. This is a must-listen, earning a 10/10 rating.

Spoiler-free Review-Rogue One: A Star Wars story

Check out my initial reactions to watching Rogue One and what I thought overall! [NO SPOILERS]

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Suicide Squad-Stupid critics

Have you seen Suicide Squad? What do you think?!

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Vlog-MCM London, May 2017

Have a look at what happened at MCM in May 2017. Catherine Tate, Warwick Davis, The Original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and much much more… From Cosplay, to Comics… It is all in here! Enjoy!

Thanks to MCM for inviting me to experience this event, I had an absolute blast. For all information about future MCM Eventes, click here.

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Vlog-MCM London, May 2016

This weekend, I Attended the MCM Comic Con it was a fantastic experience. Each year is better than the last. Have a look at what I got up to and some of the wonderful people I met.

Thanks to MCM for inviting me to experience this event, I had an absolute blast. For all information about future MCM Eventes, click here.

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Vin Diesel confirms new fast and furious trilogy

Rumours hit the net last week that Vin Diesel was being difficult, when it came to the Fast and Furious Franchise. Apparently he and Universal Pictures couldn’t see eye-to-eye on who should be given directing duties on Furious 8.

Well, it seems the rumour was a little unfounded. Diesel took to his Facebook account this weekend to clear a few thing up. He also confirmed a new trilogy.

He said:

“The fans of the Fast & Furious SAGA are the best fans in the world. Since I became the Producer in 2008, you have been with me every step of the way. Literally giving me feedback that proved invaluable. Thank you.
My producing partner Neal would love for me to just sign off on a director, but this is too special a franchise, so these matters have to be very carefully handled. To be clear, NO ONE has been offered to helm Fast 8 yet, let alone seen a script. Universal has been so good to me and so trusting of the vision… they have been like family… I promised the studio I would deliver one last Trilogy to end the saga. I will announce the directors on my next post.”

Review- Big Finish:Terror of the Sontarans

Terror of the Sontarans concludes the trilogy of main range stories for the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Mel (Bonnie Langford).

The adventure takes place on a mining facility, which is now acting as a Sontaran research base. The Doctor and Mel are responding to a distress beacon and have arrived to find the base seemingly empty. Deep down in the depths of the facility, they stumble across the original crew, whom are being held prisoner.

Something is picking the crew off one-by-one and even the Sontarans are running scared.

I’ll admit, I am one of the Doctor Who fans that doesn’t like how the Sontarans have been handled on the TV series recently. But, with this the writers have found an intriguing balance between the seriousness of the classic Sontarans and the silliness of modern Sontarans and the end result is a perfect blend of the two ideologies.

Bonnie Langford and Sylvester McCoy are flawless here, they sound exactly the same as they did in the 80’s, at times it’s as if they’ve just finished recording an episode for the BBC and entered the recording booth for Big Finish.

Langford really suffered on the TV series, but Big Finish have given her some solid material, that really allows her to shine. She is fast becoming my favourite Big Finish companion.

The direction is also spot-on, by the ever-reliable Ken Bentley.

Big Finish have been consistently good this year, I  can’t wait for 2016.


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