Laughter is best medicine for Merton

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 18th October 2014

I'm half expecting Paul Merton to be one of those angst-ridden comedians who's deadly serious off-stage, the comic genius only emerging when he steps into the spotlight.

Be inspired by autumn walks

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 18th October 2014

So it's official - a walk to take in the seasonal colours of autumn is good for our wellbeing, according to new research by the National Trust.

Playtime beckons for Johnny Marr

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 18th October 2014

You wait 26 years for a Johnny Marr solo album, and then two come along at once.

Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

6:00am Saturday 18th October 2014

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

Scodelario has found her way

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 18th October 2014

Kaya Scodelario's mother recently pleaded with her daughter over her choice of roles. "My Mum asked, 'Can you stop playing crazy characters? I can't handle it any more'," reveals the 22-year-old actress, laughing.

Cooking up a desert storm in Jordan

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 18th October 2014

As the sun disappears behind the cluttered skyline of Amman and the call to prayer echoes through the city, I'm sitting down to dinner.

Brain tumours 'poor cousin' of cancer resarch

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 18th October 2014

They're the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40, yet brain tumours currently receive just 1% of the national spend on cancer research.

Nothing beats a trip on the unforgettable Cambrian coastal line

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

5:19pm Thursday 9th October 2014

THE first time I took the train from Birmingham to North Wales was unforgettable, writes Steve Zacharanda.

'I've made the decision to die'

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 4th October 2014

Lynda Bellingham is hoping to make it to Christmas to celebrate her favourite part of the year for one last time, surrounded by her family.

Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

6:00am Saturday 4th October 2014

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

A good Ed on his shoulders

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 4th October 2014

Ed Sheeran is sitting in his dressing room in Melbourne Cricket Ground. In the background, Tom Jones can be heard soundchecking.

Pike's good girl image gone

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 4th October 2014

Rosamund Pike sits munching from a fruit plate. She's pregnant with her second child, and apparently has a craving for watermelon. "I'll gun down any questions that contain spoilers," she warns with her mouth full.

Schizophrenia in the spotlight

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 4th October 2014

As head of empowerment and social inclusion at the Mental Health Foundation, David Crepaz-Keay is in a good position to talk about 'living with schizophrenia', the focus of this year's World Mental Health Day on October 10.

Plan your perfect US getaway with My America Holiday

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

4:36pm Friday 3rd October 2014

SPECIALIST USA travel firm My America Holiday have announced a raft of discount deals for tourists wanting to sample state-side.

Find garden inspiration under the covers

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 27th September 2014

With autumn comes books, lots of them. Celebrity autobiographies, new novels from top-notch authors and, best of all, a plethora of gardening books.

"I'll keep going 'til my knees give up'

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 27th September 2014

When you meet Liam Neeson in person - all 6ft 4 of him - it's easy to see why he's still fielding action hero offers, while others his age dream of retirement.

'It's raucous up north''

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 27th September 2014

It's a curse of modern life that whenever you ask someone how they are, they say they're 'busy'.

Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

6:00am Saturday 27th September 2014

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

Beauty is more than skin deep in Cyprus

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 27th September 2014

Locking my gaze into the splintered grooves of a pine tree, I try to hold my balance as I totter on one leg with my hands in an Anjali Mudra pose. There's not a mirror in sight, but as I wobble from side to side, I imagine I look a bit like an unsteady Buddha.

Hang(over) a minute!

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 27th September 2014

How many times have you been hung-over? I have no idea - which probably implies, and rightly so, that the figure's pretty high.

An oasis of peace set in stunning surroundings!

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

11:21am Friday 26th September 2014

HIDDEN away down a quiet country lane in the stunningly beautiful west Pembrokeshire countryside, Ty Gwartheg is the kind of idyllic holiday retreat which, once discovered, you'll want to return to again and again.

Cycle-friendly Calvia rightly sends riders' weak at the knees

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

5:30pm Wednesday 24th September 2014

Mention Mallorca to a cyclist and they go misty-eyed and weak at the knees, writes Steve Zacharanda.

Beware the silent killer

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 13th September 2014

Autumn will soon be in full swing, and it won't be long before the central heating is cranked up in many British homes. But as well as warming people up, the big switch-on could also bring with it a silent killer.

Top tucker served Down Under

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 13th September 2014

"How about we cook a kangaroo tail for afternoon tea, Pete?" suggests my charismatic aboriginal host Neville, as I cast a fishing rod into the river and keep an eye out for crocodiles.

Palin's progress

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 13th September 2014

He has travelled pole to pole, been around the world in 80 days - well, in 79 days and seven hours to be precise - and most recently played to sell-out crowds at The O2 with his Monty Python pals.

Protect our Pollinators

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 13th September 2014

We know bees, hoverflies and other beneficial insects provide a welcome sight for gardeners in spring and summer, pollinating our flowers and helping us to reap rich harvests, but these valued species also need plenty of protection in the winter to ensure they return in years to come.

Mirren's a real madame

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 13th September 2014

Whenever Helen Mirren's in need of a little pick-me-up, she searches out a slice or two of eggy bread. "My mother used to make it. Oh, it's amazing," she says, a wistful look in her eye as she pictures the naughty treat.

Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

6:00am Saturday 13th September 2014

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

'It's time for us to turn things on their head'

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 13th September 2014

Faris Badwan is more than half an hour late to our meeting.

Uncle Tone returns with a familiar touch of old school class

Bromsgrove Advertiser: TONY BENNETT: AN AMERICAN CLASSIC -- NBC Photo; Paul Drinkwater (9976902)

4:50pm Friday 12th September 2014

Tony Bennett, approaching the end of a joyful performance, again pronounces Birmingham's Symphony Hall as 'the best concert hall in the world', writes Phil Barnett.

The drugs do work

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 6th September 2014

After The Pierces released You & I in 2011, it turned into a word-of-mouth hit.

The pain of migraine

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 6th September 2014

As one of the symptoms is a throbbing pain in the head, migraine is often dismissed as a headache.

Strictly at sea

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 6th September 2014

Peering over a balcony, I admire the dancers below. I'm not sure what dance they're performing, but it looks like they know what they're doing. A cute teenage couple are perfectly in step, the girl's pretty dress swinging elegantly as she moves. On the other side of the room, an elderly lady is with a very handsome young gentleman, who looks especially suave in a tuxedo. They're gliding over the dance floor, and from above, it looks like they could almost be floating.

'I'm the bolted-on Buchan'

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 6th September 2014

Elizabeth Buchan, a former winner of Romantic Novel of the Year, is often approached by readers at book festivals who ask whether she's related to the late, great John Buchan, novelist, politician and author of The Thirty-Nine Steps.

Boost your spring garden with new bulbs

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 6th September 2014

There's a nip in the air which, to me, signals the end of summer and provides a wake-up call to start planting some spring bulbs to brighten up borders and patios next year.

'Acting is such a weird profession'

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 6th September 2014

In an industry where people crave fame and recognition, Jesse Eisenberg is quite an anomaly.

Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

6:00am Saturday 6th September 2014

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

Roland really is the Gift that keeps on giving

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

2:47pm Friday 5th September 2014

You can have too much of a Good Thing, writes Steve Zacharanda

World renowned pianist preparing for free Brum concert

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

5:36pm Wednesday 3rd September 2014

WORLD renowned pianist Peter Donohoe CBE is tinkling the ivories in Birmingham on Saturday.

Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

6:00am Saturday 30th August 2014

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

God's gift to MTV returns home for gig in Birmingham

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

1:50pm Friday 29th August 2014

HE was God’s gift to MTV in the 1980s and now Roland Gift is returning to Birmingham for a intimate homecoming gig, writes Steve Zacharanda.

Have you done your health homework?

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 16th August 2014

The new school year is on the horizon, and soon children up and down the country will be back in the classroom - those breeding grounds of knowledge and creativity. But, steel yourself parents, they're also prime breeding ground for the lurgy.

Tuning into the Channel Islands

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 16th August 2014

I imagine children who have grown up by the sea have a natural ability to scramble over rocks like sure-footed crabs and leap across gullies with lightening ease. Unfortunately, I spent my formative years inland, and so I lag woefully behind the rest of our group on a coasteering expedition exploring Guernsey's coastline.

To be Frank

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 16th August 2014

The phrase 'hardest-working man in show business' is overused. And more than that, it's an impossible thing to measure.

Sly's not Expendable yet

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 16th August 2014

He may be a go-to action hero, but Sylvester Stallone is feeling a little fragile today.

Feel the heat

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 9th August 2014

With British summers so unreliable, it's no wonder many of us are keen to make the most of the sunshine when it shows up, and a leisurely walk - or a strenuous hike - is a great way of getting outdoors into the fresh air.

Preserving Africa's mane attraction

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 9th August 2014

As the lioness wearily raises her head from a parched acacia thicket, safari guide Daniel seizes the opportunity to count the number of whiskers tapering beneath her fleshy-pink nose.

Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

6:00am Saturday 9th August 2014

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

Where art you now, Romeo?

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 9th August 2014

The Magic Numbers' fourth album has been finished for about a year now. Understandably, Romeo Stodart, the man who wrote and produced most of it, is anxious for other people to finally hear it.

The boys are down(under) and out

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

6:00am Saturday 9th August 2014

Three years ago, shortly before the first big screen version of their successful TV comedy The Inbetweeners was released, Simon Bird, Blake Harrison, Joe Thomas and James Buckley insisted that the movie marked a final goodbye to the socially inept teenagers we'd all come to love since their debut in 2008.






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