Reading Time: 3 minutes


The Silver Screen Ball was another huge success on Saturday night with stars from stage and screen in attendance along new emerging talent in film and television with successful businesses across the UK.

Celebrities like the lovely Hannah Waddingham from Game of Thrones, Bob Barrett from Holby City, television comedy royalty Barry Cryer, Mark Lester who stole our hearts in Oliver, the stunning soap star Debbie Arnold and glitterazzi adorned the room as we presented the Sylvia Anderson awards – with the fabulous Emma Lindars winning best vocalist and Jack Terroni for best Music Video. 

The evening was highlighted with a fund raising auction for GOSH and donations from sponsors and international artist Jenny Ann Morrison with a stunning painting of Lady Penelope, and ‘dead ringers’ star Lewis McLeod with his hilarious rendition of well know personalities and politicians.  We also have to thank Celebrity Cruises and Casio for their amazing contributions of two luxury cruises and a fabulous grand piano with a private concert from Dee Anderson.

Here is a selection of images from the spectacular evening













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Reading Time: 3 minutes


POSE is an extraordinary television series, that is not only ground breaking but in a category of its own.  It has been described as a Dance Musical, a revelation about LGBT culture and the explosion of the gender fluid Ball Rooms in New York City in the 80s.  But I wouldn’t categorise, as to me it stands on its own as one of the most staggering and enlightening programmes to hit the screens in years.

I was around in the Eighties, living life to the full as a youngster and full of hope for the future.   So how did murmurs of this extraordinary underworld escape us.  Madonna burst onto the scene with Vogue which apparently emulated the moves and mood particular to this Ball Room culture, but how come it stayed under wraps for more than thirty years.   Was the World not ready to listen, perhaps we can empathise with this generation who suffered the humiliation of HIV and Aids, which carried a huge stigma and still does to this day.

But if you can look beyond the camp and the glitter, there are stories crying out to be told of regular folk whose status is their only stigma, through no fault of their own, whether it be a gender issue or being tested HIV positive.

As survival was key in those forbidden days, a number of ‘houses’ sprung up with one mentor at the helm who would take in LGBTQ youth who had been rejected by their families, for being ‘different’.

Mj Rodriguez is magnificent as Blanca Evangelista, the selfless house ‘mother’, and we see her realm flourish as she takes in young homeless men and women who have lost their way.  Blanca helps them to reveal their unique talents and sets them on the road to recovery with successful careers in dance, business and modelling.

I would recommend this as a wonderful watch over Christmas, perhaps not family viewing, but pure escapism if you would like to time travel back to the eighties and feel the intensity of the time and the wonders of human survival.

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A Savory Treat to Kick-Start the Christmas Celebrations

A Savory Treat to Kick-Start the Christmas Celebrations

Reading Time: 2 minutes


There is nothing like starting the Christmas celebrations, ordering the Turkey & trimmings, inviting Friends and Family,
or wrapping the presents for your tribe.

Speaking of which why not try this recipe for Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Straws accompanied with a glass of bubbly to enjoy whilst carrying out any of the above tasks?

They are quick and easy to make and are also ideal to russtle up for your visitors over the festive season.
Try them warm along with your favorite sparkling tipple, they will go down a treat.

Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Straws

Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Straws


  • 50 grams grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons softened Butter
  • Ready Made Puff Pastry Sheets


  1. Preheat oven to 200 (180 Fan).
  2. Combine cheese, garlic powder and black pepper in small bowl; reserve 1 tablespoon of the mixture.
  3. Arrange pastry sheets on flat surface. Evenly spread 2 tablespoons Butter on each pastry sheet.
  4. Evenly sprinkle with cheese mixture, then cut each sheet into 10 strips.
  5. Twist strips, then arrange on baking sheets, pressing down ends.
  6. Melt remaining butter in the microwave then brush on pastry strips
  7. Evenly sprinkle with reserved mixture.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

These straws will keep well for 5 days in an airtight container, thats if you have any left to keep !
For an extra twist sprinkle with seasame seeds before baking.

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5 4 3 2 1 – Thunderbirds Hotel is GO!

5 4 3 2 1 – Thunderbirds Hotel is GO!

Reading Time: 8 minutes


Paul Thomas talks to Thunderbirds heroine Dee Anderson about Slough’s new Marriott-owned Moxy Hotel, which celebrates the legacy of the popular puppet-based programme.

Thunderbirds heroine Dee Anderson – the latest voice of TV puppet icon Lady Penelope – has welcomed a new hotel being built just a mile from where the series was produced, saying it is a “fitting tribute and legacy” to  her parents, Sylvia and Gerry Anderson, who created the show.

Dee – who has recently voiced Lady P for a range of Halifax Building Society commercials, taking over from her mum, Sylvia, the original vocal talent in the famous 1960s show – said she was “proud” of the new venture. The new 152-room hotel in Slough will be adorned with images of the characters, space-age transportation and slogans.

Jazz singer Dee, whose Silver Screen Ball in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital takes place on Saturday 7 December at Pinewood Studios, says: “It’s fab. Thunderbirds Hotel is go!

“My mother had aspirations of Hollywood and she said she had brought Hollywood to Slough Trading Estate [where the show was filmed], her mini-Hollywood. Lady Penelope drove her pink Rolls-Royce, Mum drove a pink Sunbeam Alpine, and she took her pink nail varnish to the car sprayers so it would match.

“Mum was the creative part of the partnership, the best of which was Lady Penelope, and as she was so successful Mum took the shade to get the character’s Rolls done.

“Lady P’s face was based on Mum’s face, but her eyes, Mum told me, were taken from mine.”

When it opens in early 2021, Slough’s stylish new Marriott-owned Moxy Hotel is set to inspire guests with the town’s long-standing connections to Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s shows.

ITV Studios Global Entertainment, which airs Thunderbirds, agreed the deal with Marriott International franchise partner Cycas Hospitality for the use of Thunderbirds graphics throughout their new Moxy Slough property, so guests can relive the pop culture of the 1960s through the eyes of the original International Rescue team.

There will be themed floor- level signage according to the numbered Thunderbirds vehicles, pop art wall graphics of Lady Penelope and more motifs from the series in its public areas.

Thunderbirds ran on TV from 1964-1966 and used a technique of puppetry the Anderson’s called ‘Supermarionation’.

Its famous 5-4-3-2-1 intro and march music were household sounds to millions of children and parents, and the two series about the Tracy family and their International Rescue exploits were re-run time and again, with merchandise spin-offs lasting up until today, plus the shows were remade with modern techniques for new generations of youngsters.

The hotel, developed and owned by Slough Borough Council, is being built through Slough Urban Renewal (SUR),
a joint venture between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments, as part of a major redevelopment project to transform the former library site in the heart of Slough into a hotel, retail and residential hub. The site enjoys a landmark position in the town centre.

Planning consent was secured to deliver the Moxy Slough Hotel alongside a Residence Inn by Marriott Hotel, in addition to 64 apartments and 4,100 sq ft of restaurant and retail space.

Andy Howell, General Manager at SUR, said: “The Thunderbirds series is a treasured part of Slough’s history and we’re excited to see the new Moxy Slough Hotel bring this back to life through playful design references.”

John Wagner, co-founder of Cycas Hospitality, who will be managing the double-decker hotel, explained: “From Crossrail to regeneration schemes, there’s no doubt that Slough’s ongoing transformation is putting the town on the map. We’re therefore delighted to be incorporating subtle nods to this iconic TV classic into the design of our upcoming Moxy Hotel and look forward to paying homage to one of Slough’s most-loved contributions to popular culture.”

Dee, who will performing at The Pheasantry in London’s King’s Road early next year, says: “Mum would have loved to have been at the opening night and I am just so pleased that people, not just from England, but from around the world, will come to Slough and enjoy this hotel.” Sylvia, who lived in Bray, died in 2016 just shy of her 89th birthday. Gerry died in 2012 aged 83.

“So many fans, especially from Japan, come to Comic Cons and other events to celebrate Thunderbirds and with this hotel being so near to Windsor, I’m sure those who love the programme’s legacy will enjoy staying there. They came to see my mother, now they can come to the hotel with all its nods to her creations.”

Dee’s Silver Screen Ball will be enjoying its second year raising money for GOSH through ticket sales and an auction, plus it plays host to the Sylvia Anderson Awards for Emerging Talent in Film and TV for women.

The full guest list has yet to be announced, but Hannah Waddingham from Game of Thrones, Thomas Brodie-Sangster from Love Actually and Oliver! movie icon Mark Lester are confirmed as well as comedy legend Barry Crier OBE.

GOSH has cared for Dee’s granddaughter, Summer, eight, after she was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was just four. Dee said: “Without places like GOSH there would be nowhere else for children like Summer. It is ground-breaking in what it does, not only for the children who are suffering, but for the families who are trying to cope. Summer has been in remission for a year now.”

The ball also recognises her mother’s influence on TV and for Sylvia spearheading women’s talent in the business.
For availability of tickets for the Silver Screen Ball contact
For availability of ticets to see Dee performing at the Pheasantry see

Many thanks to Paul Thomas
Berkshire Life –
Archant –

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Christmas is Tops – Let’s Celebrate and Contribute

Christmas is Tops – Let’s Celebrate and Contribute

Reading Time: 3 minutes


The image of the Christmas jumper always conjures up the first Bridget Jones film when Colin Firth famously wore the unstylish sweater gifted to him by his Mum.   So forgive me if I take a breath before recommending you to do the same.

But this year Save the Children have on 13 December where you can sign up for just £2 or £1 if at school, and make a difference worldwide for children in need.

If you also want to get really involved in the Christmas spirit with a festive jumper, and want to retain some sort of style, you can still do this without becoming a complete laughing stock.

John Lewis Baby Dog jumper – £16

Next – Lipsy Christmas Santa Baby Bardot Jumper £30

Womens Pink Eyelash Knit Sequin Tree Christmas Jumper – £16 Asda

Monsoon Reign Unicorn Jumper Ivory – £25.00

Gucci Embroidered Intarsia Wool Sweater – Red Reindeer – £890 – for the extra minted Christmas minded.

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