Thursday, 25 February 2016

Essex Book Festival kicks off with Grayson Perry

Plenty going on at the Essex Book Festival which runs from March 1-31. Grayson Perry launches the festival at the Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford on Monday, Feb 29, while Radio Essex is broadcasting live from the festival from 2.30pm on Tuesday March 1 in the lead-up to Vince Cable's event After the Storm. Highlights include Zoe Howe talking about her book Lee Brilleaux: Rock'n'Roll Gentleman, Lee Jackson's Dirty Old London session on Victorian London, Helen Dunmore's Exposure, Simon Callow's One Man Band, A N Wilson on Queen Victoria and former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis on her novel The Butcher's Hook. Plus lots of writing classes and a Golden Age of Crime weekend in Southend. Click on the link for the full programme.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Honest estate agent found in Leigh-on-Sea!

Leigh-on-Sea has made national headlines through having an honest estate agent (and that's not an oxymoron). Credit to Rob Kahl of Scott & Stapleton for describing the flat he was selling in strikingly frank terms, writing: "Wipe your feet on the way out! Not for the faint hearted this first floor flat is being sold as seen, rubbish and all! Having recently just had to evict some charming (not) tenants the vendors of this property have had enough and can’t even face setting foot in what used to be their sweet and charming home. I can’t flower this one up or use my normal estate agent jargon to make this sound any better. The property is full of rubbish, there is mould on the walls and I think there may even be some fleas there to keep me company when I carry out the viewings." His honesty was rewarded, as the flat sold for £22,000 more than the asking price of £125,000. Essex - where even the estate agents tell it like it is.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Essex gets a GQ makeover from Andy Coulson

There's a big feature on Essex in the February issue of GQ. It's penned by Wickford-born Andy Coulson, former Cameron spin doctor, News of the World editor and latterly prisoner. Now he's done his time following the phone hacking scandal Andy has perhaps made it as an authentic Essex geezer. His piece looks at the Towie stereotypes and discusses the Tories in Essex, mentioning the large number of rising MPs such as Robert Halfon in Harlow, Priti Patel in Witham and Mark Francois in Rayleigh and Wickford (forget the poncy spelling says Andy). There's also a nice line on Ed Miliband's Labour Party trying to use a spoof Life on Mars poster saying "Don't let the Tories take us back to the 1970s". Coulson quips, "in Basildon they'd elect Gene Hunt as Mayor."