REVIEW: Cool Rider Live Album

First off, I should declare that I didn’t get to see the show itself – brain tumour and all that – so I was thrilled to learn about the album.

Recently, a successful Kickstarter campaign was held to raise the funds for this project.

The existence of the album itself is a fantastic triumph! I do think that more shows that are hesitant/can’t justify the expense to produce a OLC Recording should use this method to allow fans to get the recording that they really want! Fans are always happy to pay in advance for a recording – it’s a great way of giving something back to fans through additional rewards – and it shifts the issue of risk away from the producers. Win/win!

I’m a MASSIVE fan of Grease 2, and it’s been amazing to see that I’ve not been the only one out there all these lonely years!

The sound and feel of the recording is very ‘musical theatre’ and different to the movie version. It’s taking some doing for me to set aside the movie version, which I’ve obsessed over for like 15 years, but on the whole, I liked a few of the changes in music that have been introduced, though some of the tempo changes did wrong-foot me a little. The movie version on stage wouldn’t have worked, so it’s still great to hear some innovation, which I’m told was very well received by the theatre-attending public.

I don’t think that you can compare this to the original movie soundtrack. Listening to the recording, I’d go along to see the show were it ever to tour – admittedly mainly for nostalgia reasons and as nobody else has been brave enough to produce another version.

I don’t regret my purchase one bit, as it’s great to support the theatre industry – something which I feel is very important that we all do.

You can pick up your copy of Cool Rider Live from


Had some awesome charity news…!

Hey everyone,

Do you remember that I posted about a Charity Event that I was part of – Worldpay vs Soap stars, all to aid The Brain Tumour Charity?

The event was the Sunday just passed and I’m proud to share that I’ve just received word that we have raised…



From me, it’s a massive thank you to my employers (Worldpay); my colleagues; the Worldpay team; those who came and donated and; of course, the celebrities themselves.

I’m very proud to have been able to be part of this event and I hope that it’s something that can become an annual event in the years to come.

Additionally, please keep an eye out for us in the Manchester Evening News!

If you have any last minute donations, they’d be fantastically appreciated at:

My nephew, Elliot, and I at the match.
My nephew, Elliot, and I at the match.

I’m doing a marathon too – with a “Gari-style” difference!

IMG_0460Welcome to my sleeping marathon!

It’s Sunday morning, I’m fat, lazy and sane, and my duvet is super-warm.

Oh, and I’m also pulling the Brain Cancer card – and putting my fatigue to good use ;)

Please add to my sponsorship page (every single penny helps – no amount too small) and help support the magnificent Brain Tumour Charity.

With love,



So, I’m pleased to ‘announce’ that I’m involved in another charity fundraising event to benefit my chosen charity, The Brain Tumour Charity.

Eagle eyed readers may recall that I got my office involved with ‘Bandana Day’ in order to benefit the same charity, which was a resounding success. The Company loved being able to give back, and so my employers, Worldpay, wanted to see if they could help out once again.

Now I’m back, and actually the subject of an official press release – how exciting!

The Press Release is as below, and I’d LOVE to see some familiar faces there, but if you’re unable to make it on the day, I do hope you’d consider sending a pound, or two, through our event’s fundraising page.

(UPDATE – some of the celebs playing are now listed on the fundraising page – photo opportunities after!)

Thanks for your interest in this latest ‘hurrah’ in my Cancer story x


Worldpay employees raise vital funds for research into brain tumours

On Sunday 10th May staff from Worldpay, Britain’s leading payment processing company, are holding a Celebrities vs. Employees football match at the Manchester Regional Arena, with all proceeds being donated to The Brain Tumour Charity.

Stars taking part include actors from the hit soaps Hollyoaks and Coronation Street.

Worldpay were inspired to donate this year’s proceeds to The Brain Tumour Charity by employee Gari Davies, who is currently living with a brain tumour.

Gari saw three different GPs in the days leading up to his diagnosis in April last year, who all said that his crippling headaches were migraines.

Having never had migraines before, Gari was prepared to try various medications. But all the time he suspected something was badly wrong. Gari said: “I just knew it wasn’t a migraine.”

When Gari went to a Boots NHS Walk In Centre a doctor told him that he should go to A&E immediately.

After having a CT and an MRI scan, he found himself in surgery the next morning having an emergency craniotomy.

After radiotherapy Gari had a number of other therapies including speech, occupational and physiotherapy. He still suffers from nausea and currently has an MRI every three months.

For Brain Tumour Awareness Month, Worldpay took part in The Brain Tumour Charity’s Bandanas for Brain Tumours Day on 6 March. After the success of that day, they decided to donate the funds from this year’s charity football match to The Brain Tumour Charity.

Lisa Crawley, Director of Business Support, Worldpay, said:

“Everyone at Worldpay was devastated to learn about Gari’s illness so it’s a cause close to our hearts. Supporting The Brain Tumour Charity is vitally important in helping combat this illness, and improving the quality of life and prognosis for those suffering from brain tumours. We are humbled to help such a fantastic organisation and we hope people will join us to raise money on the day,”

Over 9,300 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year, yet less than 2% of cancer research funding goes on brain tumours in the UK.

The Brain Tumour Charity is at the forefront of the fight to defeat brain tumours. They fund pioneering research to increase survival, raise awareness of the symptoms and effects of brain tumours and provide support for everyone affected to improve quality of life.

Louise Taylor, The Charity’s Director of Fundraising, said:

“We receive no government funding and rely 100% on voluntary donations, so it’s only through the efforts of people like Gari and companies like Worldpay that we are able to continue our work.

“Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and the under 40s and survival rates have not improved over the last 40 years. We are leading the way in changing this.”

Kick off is at 12.45pm and tickets are now on sale at £10 per Adult and £5 per child under 14, with under 5’s going free. To purchase your ticket to this exciting event or to find out more, please contact


Jeremy Clarkson sounds the wanker alarm…again!

This is going to sound harsh and uncaring to many people, I know, but I think that I have a right to this opinion having gone through what I have in the last 12 months.

All I have to say to this story, which I’ve copied from the BBC News website, is that I loathe Clarkson even more than I did previously.

To put this in context – I HAVE Brain Cancer and you don’t see me taking out a school or anything, so why should a suspected cancerous lump on his tongue be raised as a sympathy ‘excuse’ to try and get the public on his side again.

This is deplorable, and has angered me a lot – what an insult to the cancer community.

At least if it had been serious, they probably would have removed his tongue and we wouldn’t have to put up with his drivel any longer.

Clarkson, you punched a guy, there’s no defence in your case. Stop trying to stir the pot and take things as a man.

Jeremy Clarkson recalls cancer scare before Top Gear ‘fracacas’

Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson said he had considered not doing any more television work, but then told himself to “stop being silly”

Jeremy Clarkson has revealed that he thought he probably had cancer at the time he hit a Top Gear producer.

In his Sunday Times column, he said the incident came on his “most stressful day… in 27 years at the BBC” – but that other people facing stress “manage to cope better than I did”.

He told the paper he later got the all-clear over a lump on his tongue.

He was dropped from Top Gear in March over what the BBC called an “unprovoked physical attack” on Oisin Tymon.

In his column, Clarkson wrote: “Two days before the ‘fracas’ I’d been told, sternly, by my doctor that a lump on my tongue was probably cancer and that I must get it checked out immediately.

“But I couldn’t do that. We were in the middle of a Top Gear series. And Top Gear always came first.”

‘Many-tentacled monster’

The 55-year-old also described his obsession with the Top Gear job, especially after the break-up of his marriage and the death of his mother, and the “enormous” sense of loss he felt after his contract was not renewed.

“It was an all-consuming entity, a many-tentacled global monster that was dysfunctional and awkward and mad but I loved it with a passion. I loved it like my own child,” he wrote.

“I felt sick because after I’d lost my home and my mother, I’d thrown myself even more vigorously into my job and now, idiotically, I’d managed to lose that too.”

Top Gear 2003 promotional shot

Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond presented Top Gear together from 2003

He told the newspaper he had initially thought about not doing any more television, but that he was now planning to “pick up the pieces” and do another car show – although he did not know whether he would be working with his former Top Gear co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond.

Clarkson was suspended by the BBC on 10 March, following the altercation with Mr Tymon.

The decision caused an outpouring of support from Top Gear fans, with more than a million people signing an online petition to reinstate him.

The row, which took place in a North Yorkshire hotel, was said to have occurred because no hot food was provided following a day’s filming.

After an internal investigation, the BBC’s director general Tony Hall confirmed Clarkson’s contract would not be renewed.

UK based musical theatre geek with a brain tumour!


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