Vulcan XH558

Posted by WebAdmin
November 25th, 2015

“The Vulcan is being parked up for good and I was asked to do a programme about the plane, its history and the final flight. The Vulcan first flew in 1952 and it’ll never fly again. The reason is, it needs a load of people from BAE systems, Marhsall Aerospace and Rolls-Royce to sign off the plane to be safe to fly, and all the folk with the right sort of 1950s skills to do that are either retiring or dying off.


“It would be so difficult to do again because the Vulcan is classified as a complex aircraft by the CAA – the Civil Aviation Authority. Spitfires and Lancasters and all that are classed as simple aircraft.


“Before the one the programme concentrates on was made air-worthy again, the CAA said that plane will never fly again, we don’t even have a category for it, but Dr Robert Pleming, the main man behind getting it back in the air, said ‘Well, what if I do this?’ And the authority said, ‘Well yes.’ And he did that for every problem. It cost £7 million, raised through the charity, Vulcan To The Sky Trust, to get the Vulcan back in the air and it’ll never fly again.


“It has 14 miles of wiring and 100,000 components. There are no mechanical links to anything. With a Lancaster or a Spitfire you can see that bit moves that bit, but the Vulcan is all run by mechanical computers: gears and cogs that flick this relay that energises that relay. It is massively complex.


“I was having a craic with the pilots, but as soon as it came to the pre-flight checks they turned into robots. They aren’t nervous going up in it because they spend an hour doing pre-flight checks, every button is checked.


“The majority of Vulcans were based in Coningsby, Scampton and Waddington, all Lincolnshire air bases, but that link to Lincolnshire doesn’t make me like it more, even though this county is the centre of the universe. It just made sense to base bombers here because of it’s strategic location during World War II and the Cold War. The attraction is just that the Vulcan is a fascinating plane with a lot of history.


“There was a week of celebration of the plane, just before it was parked up for good and during that week I went up in The Blades’ stunt plane and flew so close to the Vulcan that I felt I could have reached out and touched its wing. It was another money couldn’t buy it experience that i’ve had through the TV job.


“You can watch the programme on Channel 4 on Sunday 29th November at 19.30 hours.”

The bands I’m into and why being a mate of Ken Fox’s is handy.

Posted by WebAdmin
November 6th, 2015

I went to see Sleaford Mods ( on the first and last night of their tour. I love my bands, but I’ve never done that before.


They’re two normal blokes. Normal blokes you wouldn’t want to fall out with. They’re not mods. I don’t know how you’d describe their music. Jason Williamson is the front man and Andrew Fearn is the DJ, but he hardly does anything on stage, just presses a button on a computer every now and then and drinks beer. But they’re good.


They’re in their mid-40s, in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, no boy band hair-dos. There’s no stage show, just Jason screaming down a microphone. I wouldn’t say it was hip-hop or rap, but it might be a bit of both those things. It’s a bit ska too, but electronic. It’s angry, whatever it is.


What got me into them was listening to a right rare mix of music on my iPod on the way back from a mountain bike race in Austria. There was a van full of us: Jason, Sam, Lee and Tim all in the Trannie. We had to drive through the night to get the ferry. The new Prodigy album came on, and Lee said, ‘That’s the fella from Sleaford Mods doing the vocals on that. They’re doing a tour.’ So we went.


The lyrics aren’t taking the piss out of the working class, because he is working class, but he’s observing all the shit we do. He’s not looking at life through Orwell’s eyes, but what Sleaford Mods talk about proves Orwell was right. The working classes are getting shit on by the establishment. He doesn’t sing, he shouts about it. He also rips into Johnny Borrell from Razorlight and takes the piss out of Radio 6 DJ Lauren Laverne, even though Radio 6 play them more than any other radio station. And he talks about a bloke bowling down the street with a Maharishi shoulder bag, looking like he owns the path.


I’ve listened to the album 20 times, but every time I play it I pick out the odd phrase that I think, Ah, I see what you’re saying now. He’s got summat to say, but you’d have to listen to it yourself to get the gist.


I went to the first night of the tour, at the Ritz in Manchester, with Sharon, Jason and his missus, and Lee. I couldn’t get in the mosh-pit at the first gig. I tried, but it wasn’t long after the Ulster accident, so I thought twice about it. I felt a bit out of place stood on the edge.


Lee said the last show was at Nottingham, the band’s hometown, so we went to that too.


I was stood right at the front and one of the bouncers, who was a Hell’s Angel, nodded to me and said, ‘Alright? You know Ken Fox, don’t you?’ I said, Yeah, and he let me stand in the photographer’s bit between the stage and the moshpit. Then I was in the moshpit for 20 minutes. It was a good night.


I went to see another band, last month, The Picturebooks, a German band in Grimsby too. It was at a little club called Yardbirds, a place I’ve wanted to go to for a long time. It’s run by the local bike club, The Warlocks.


The Picturebooks ( are another band of just two blokes, but they’re very different to Sleaford Mods. The have big beards, long hair, dress all in black. One is a singer and guitarist, the other is on the drums. They play heavy blues. And the drummer really means it.


It was on a Sunday night and there weren’t more than 50 people there, but it didn’t stop the band going for it. They were bloody good.


Give them both a listen.

Guy talks about his new book: ‘When You Dead, You Dead.’

Posted by WebAdmin
October 21st, 2015


Picture 1 of 2

“My new book comes out tomorrow and you might be wondering, Why do another book? I don’t know, is the honest answer. I’ve never approached anyone to do a book, they’ve always come to me. The money’s alright, but it wasn’t about the money. I enjoyed the process of writing the first one. It brought back a lot of memories. This one was different, because everything was a lot fresher in the memory. The book company were dead keen, and they gave me the freedom to come up with an idea. I knew I had an interesting year coming up so I wrote it as I went a long. That means I was writing a chapter not long after it had happened, so people get to read what I was thinking there and then, almost as soon as something happened, but it isn’t a diary.


“The name of the book is where the first one, the Autobiography, finishes. It’s what my granddad Kidals used to say. I wanted to call the first book When You Dead, You Dead, but they wouldn’t let me, because they wanted the cover to be as obvious and clear as possible so people might pick it up. And plenty did, so they let me have more of a free hand this time.


“The book includes a chapter on the best race of my life, Pikes Peak; the greatest shit of my life; the biggest crash; new missus; new dog; mountain bike racing; India; New Zealand…


And there are things I talk about that that haven’t changed, like my boss, Mick Moody; my friends, the Maws; my dad… They’re all like GMT, Greenwich Mean Time, they never change, you know where you are with them.


The publishers wanted a photo of me on the cover of the book, but I also got chance to have a special cover made too. It’s just something a bit different. It’s like the calendars we do. It looks good, but if you know what it means it’s even better. I think it’s a good cover, but people can interpret it however they want. The regular book will be available from books shops, supermarkets and all that, but the special cover is only available from the Proper webshop.


“Ryan Quickfall is the artist who did the book cover, and he’s done other stuff for us too, including some of the calendar artwork from previous years, the whole of the 2016 calendar, that’s coming out soon, and the tea mug too. He’s a real nice, polite lad, from Newcastle. He comes to Dirt Quake with his missus and is a cool-looking lad, but if there was a line-up of ten folk and I had to pick the person who could put my thoughts into pictures, I wouldn’t pick him, but he can. He’s on the same wavelength. I can’t believe how well he can do it.


“The select few who have read this book: my sister Sally, my girlfriend, Sharon, my mum and dad, are brutally honest and they reckon it’s better than the first one, but it’s hard for me to say.


“This book isn’t even out yet, and I haven’t got any plans to do another one, but never say never. I can see this year being even busier than last year. It looks like I’m off to Latvia and China, building a bike for the Wall of Death, and then I’ve got the biggest race of my life…..”