Parade with Pride

Parade with Pride

Images courtesy of Norwich Pride on Facebook

By any measure, Norwich Pride 2013 was a rip-roaring, runaway success. 5,000 people flooded into the city to paint the town red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Even the regal lions guarding the grand entrance to City Hall got into the act with rainbow garlands wrapped round their elegant necks and party hats propped on top of their fine heads. The BBC issued a weather warning but sheer exuberance blew the clouds away and bathed the crowds in warm sunshine. This was a Pride with a difference. Despite the large numbers, there was a touching intimacy and a genuine sense of inclusion sadly lacking in some of the mega Prides these days – no VIP areas for the cut above, no egos to massage, no fences to keep people out (or to keep them in), no faces that didn’t fit. We had a ball. Congratulations to the dedicated group of volunteers who made it all happen. You played a blinder.

I was chuffed to be asked to be the voice of Pride on Future Radio. Pity the poor people who had to listen to me witter on several times a day.

A picture paints a thousand words so check out the frocks and frolics on the Norwich Pride Facebook Page and the Norwich Evening News.

Norwich Pride 2013

Norwich Pride 2013

The marching season continues (no, I don’t mean the archaic and nose-rubbing Orange Day parades). Following a whole week of rather special events (including my very own display at the Pride Without Prejudice Art Exhibition), tomorrow is Norwich Pride day, a gift from the LGBT community to all and sundry. We missed it last year. Something else got in the way. Now, what was it? Oh, yes, watching the opening ceremony of the London Olympics from a balcony overlooking the stadium. We were torn, but the once-in-a-lifetime event won the day, I’m afraid. This year we are fully committed to the pink party. In fact, I’m going to be co-hosting the outside broadcast of Pride Live on Future Radio with the fabulous Di Cunningham from the epicentre of the knees-up on Millennium Plain, itself the epicentre of community life in the city. I’m not quite sure what to expect other than that it’ll be a scream and I’ll be the one doing the screaming. I think Di intends to wind me up and let me loose into the rainbow crowd to hunt down colourful victims to interview. Tune in on 107.8 FM (or online) and listen to me make a total prat of myself because I won’t know what’s coming up and I won’t have rehearsed my lines. Oh, sod it, who cares? It’s all in a worthy cause. Whoever you are, why not pop along and parade with pride?

Happy Birthday, Pride Live!

Future RadioSuddenly I find myself with a few radio gigs under my belt. What began as a couple of promotional guest spots to flog some books on the ‘Pride Live!’ Show on Future Radio, has somehow migrated into a regular turn as co-host. This radio caper isn’t as easy as it sounds. An awful lot goes into it – before and during. For my considerable sins, I just pitch up on the night with a few scribbled notes and witter on. My two favourite Norfolk broads, jivin’ Jules and delicious Di, do all the hard work assembling the show, twiddling the knobs, queuing the music and corralling the guests. The spontaneous multi-tasking is quite beyond me and best left to the dynamic duo. If I was left at the tiller, chaos would run amok and the ultimate radio faux pas – silence – would stalk the studio. Di Cunningham also presents the morning show. The worker bees of Norwich wake to a daily dose of fun and originality. I don’t know where she gets the energy and inspiration from. Di’s considerable talents have been recognised by no less than the BBC Academy’s College of Production. High praise, highly deserved.

It’s Pride Live’s 100th show this Monday (11th March) from 6.30pm (UK time). I’ll be at the mic with Jules, chipping in with my usual witless banter and we’ve got Brian Dowling and Michael Cashman on the bill to help us celebrate the milestone. If you fancy tuning in, click on the Future Radio logo above, bookmark the site and pop a reminder in your pocket book or fancy phone. If you miss the show live, you can catch the podcast.

In today’s stormy financial climate, community radio stations can operate on a wing and a prayer. This is a tenuous link to my video choice. Cue The Buggles:


Talking Raw Turkey on the Radio

radio2The fabulous people at Norwich’s Future Radio asked me to pop in and talk about Turkey, the Raw Guide on the Pride Live programme. I’m becoming quite a regular on the show and they very generously allow me to shamelessly plug my work.

A Face for Radio

The talented folk at Future Radio must have thought my debut gig on Pride Live wasn’t too embarrassing as they asked me back for a repeat performance. This time, I wasn’t plugging the book. As the Pride season draws to a close and rainbow flags across the realm are folded away for yet another year, I was invited to bang my drum about paying to be proud at Brighton Pride. Towards the end of the piece, my train of thought was fatally derailed by my new-fangled smart phone throbbing in my pants. It turned me into a rambling wreck. Despite my momentary bout of bumbling amnesia, I hope I came across as the voice of moderation. You can be the judge by clicking on the big poofy pink radio.

You can catch the entire podcast here.

My song choice (which I almost forgot) was the Marc Almond cover of Charles Aznavour’s ‘I Have Lived’. Because I have.

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