‘How much is that doggie in the Window, the one with the waggly tail’ goes the old song, which is rarely played these days. In fact you will never see a doggie in any shop window in the UK nowadays, as we have thankfully tightened up the rules where window shopping and impulse buying of such a precious animal is concerned.

If you are preparing to buy or rescue a dog for the family for Christmas, how prepared are you? Have you thought it through, as it is a bit like making the changes to your home and lifestyle of having a new baby.

Firstly, depending on the size and breed of the dog, it is advisable to buy loose covers or throws for all of the furniture as you will want to wash them frequently if you are allowing the animal to sleep on the settee or even the bed. If not, then invest in a dog basket or sheep skin for the pet to sleep on.

If you are at work all day then you should think through how often your new pet needs to be taken for a walk, and it is possible to train dogs to stay in a crate for several hours, but this is not advisable until they know you will be coming back.   So arduous work with leaving them from ten minutes at a time over a week or so and then building up to the time you will be out of the house, which should not be more than two or three hours at a time. So it may be wise for you to employ a doggie walker who will come to your house a couple of times a day. This does not come cheap, anything from £7 to £10 a walk for an experienced person who you can trust.

There are also some excellent doggie day care centres now, and will almost certainly be one in your area where you can take your dog when out for long hours. Again these range between £10 and £20 per day, costing more for an overnight stay.

Owning a dog does not come cheap, with their vaccinations, food, day care, deworming and flea treatments it can add up to a hefty £3-£7k per year. Look around for the best health insurance and veterinary surgery. But take out full cover because vets are expensive and you will still need to pay to get your dog neutered and vaccinated.

It is still advisable to go into the animal’s background if you have kids to make sure he or she is safe to have in the home, but the good news is, they are the most therapeutic animals in the World, and have been known to be a healing companion to the elderly or a younger person with a disability.

You should decide the breed of dog you want or if you would like to acquire a dog from your local rescue home. Size is quite irrelevant in the grand scheme of things in terms of care, as all dogs need walking and attention and the same rules apply. Smaller dogs are just easier to carry around, but there are the same restrictions in most restaurants, supermarkets or retail outlets so check out your local dog friendly ones.

Going on holiday is another thing to consider, and you may decide to go to a log cabin in the country where they have fabulous walks or dog friendly hotels or even abroad – and then you will need a doggie passport.

If you are going further afield check out your best kennel, as some are better than others, and most will give you a guided tour, and you can decide for yourself. If you choose one where they receive one to one attention, they will also have a brilliant holiday and some love it so much they won’t want to come home at first. So don’t fret about leaving them in kennels for a couple of weeks if you go away.

If after all of this information you still have your heart set on a dog, then you are embarking on a wonderful adventure, and one that will change your life for the better.   But take heed, as they have been known to steal the hardiest of hearts, and they are also famous for never returning it to the owner.

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Quick, Easy & Tasty Miso Noodles with Egg

Quick, Easy & Tasty Miso Noodles with Egg

A perfect quick and tasty lunch, so simple and quick to prepare
These Miso Noodles with Boiled Egg will get your taste buds tingling.


Ingredients (For one person)

  • 1 medium sized egg
  • 1 tbsp t oil
  • 50g Mushrooms sliced
  • small piece ginger, finely grated
  • small piece garlic,  finely grated
  • chilli flakes (small pinch)
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • small handful beansproats
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 100g egg noodles (fresh or dried), (cook to packet instructions if dried)
  • salt & papper
BIG BROTHER’S Mr Showbiz is back with a Camptastic Charity Christmas single

BIG BROTHER’S Mr Showbiz is back with a Camptastic Charity Christmas single

BIG BROTHER’S Mr Showbiz is back with a Camptastic Charity Christmas single that is sure to knock the fairy off the top of the tree!!

Mr Showbiz

Showbiz Christmas

YES, Mr Showbiz is back to prove that Christmas is most definitely NOT cancelled and if you can’t go to the party, then he’s going to bring the party to you!

With the dark and gloomy months ahead, this song will put a smile on the faces of children and adults alike – SHOWBIZ!!!

Covid-19 took the UK by storm in 2020 and it has been the elderly that have suffered more than most, with many not even being able to celebrate with their loved ones this Christmas. Therefore, Mr Showbiz has decided to bring his own unique blend of fun, laughter and SHOWBIZ direct to their doors as he prepares to debut the brand-new Charity single ‘Showbiz Christmas’ at care homes across the UK this December.

‘Showbiz Christmas’ is released in aid of Age UK.

“The elderly have suffered so much throughout this pandemic and that doesn’t look like changing soon. I worked as a care assistant from the age of 13 and spent a lot of my childhood with my grandparents. I couldn’t think of a more suitable charity than Age UK to support and bring fun and happiness to our older generation this Christmas.” – Mr Showbiz

The Showbiz Christmas (Socially Distanced) Care Home Tour 2020

3rd Dec                      Fircroft Care Home, Redhill, Surrey

                                    Red Court, Croydon, Surrey

5th Dec                      Copperfields, Rochester, Kent

                                    Chimnies Care Home, Rochester, Kent

                                    Hawksley Hall Community Group, London

9th Dec                      The Arkely, Barnet, London

                                    Green Trees Care Home, Barnet, London

15th Dec                    Charlton Park Care Home, London

                                    Derby House – St Ebbas, Epsom, Surrey

16th Dec                    Thornbury House, Uckfield, Kent

                                    Redstone House, Redhill, Surrey

17th Dec                    Copperfields, Rochester, Kent

                                    Hatfield Lodge, Folkstone, Kent

                                    Bethany Lodge, Dymchurch, Kent

18th Dec                    Holywell Park, Sevenoaks, Kent

                                    St Pauls Church Centre, Swanscombe, Kent

Mr Showbiz (aka Simon Gross) came to national attention in 2015 after his participation in that year’s Big Brother TV series, where he made BB history after being the first person EVER

to be evicted on opening night, lasting just 2-hours! However, that was not the end of Simon as he was invited back in to the house 2-weeks later and lasted a further 30-days, becoming a BB legend along with his catchphrase ‘SHOWBIZ’ (which incidentally he said over 400 times on opening night)!

Simon has had a versatile career, not only as an actor, but also as a presenter, producer, and entertainer. From spending six months as a Butlins Redcoat for the Grand Hotel, Scarborough where he learnt all the tricks of the trade, to playing in children’s shows for the Rank organisation, to playing Benny in the West End production of “Singalongabba” which consisted of wearing a false beard, putting on a silly Swedish accent and miming playing the piano – an achievement Simon felt was a big plus to his CV!

Simon is no stranger to  the world of pantomime and  with over twenty years’ experience behind him some of his  favourite  experiences  to date  include playing  Dame opposite Gladiator Wolf for two years in ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, and Smee in ‘Peter Pan’ opposite his great pal the late avenger Gareth Hunt.

His many television credits include: – ‘On the Road with Maureen Rees’ for the BBC in 1997. In 1998, Simon had the privilege to set up Laurence Llewyn Bowen on a ‘Gotcha!’ for Noel’s House Party for the BBC.

In 2004, Simon was asked to be the Second Butler in Channel 4’s ‘What the Butler Saw’ – a six-part documentary on aristocracy. This saw Simon not only being part of a secret panel, but also the start of his unique, off-the-cuff personality bring the screen to life.

Following this was an invitation that Simon couldn’t refuse the opportunity to become Britain’s best cook – which actually turned out to be Britain’s worst cook – on ITV1’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen’. In those two weeks, Simon learnt what the difference was between an egg yolk and an egg white. Another great achievement was learning to distinguish between a spatula and a whisk.

In 2013 Simon produced the touring UK production of adult pantomime Sinderfella with Miss Devine in the lead playing in London, AXM Manchester and Birmingham

Since leaving the Big Brother house Simon is now working constantly in theatre and television as well as light entertainment and personal appearances, his most recent being on Channel 4’s The Big Narstie Show.


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