Sunday, 17 December 2017

New Model Army at The Forum


I was extremely grateful to Justin Sullivan & New Model Army for organising me a photo pass for their gig at The Forum in London this week. It was a brilliant opportunity to photograph the band in action, and I was then able to enjoy what was a fantastic concert. The experience of being in the photo pit to do this was amazing, and one I won't forget, although one of security guards got a bit funny about camera light meters which threatened to ruin things at one point. I got some great photos - this one will not be in the book, and just to mention Justin's first record is a cracker!

I am hoping that The Record will be published towards the end of 2018, although there is no time limit, and I am not going to put myself under any unnecessary pressure. All proceeds from sales of this book will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and died after fighting with great courage and dignity for over four years in August 2016. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year. However, if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Much more needs to be done in raising awareness about this awful disease, and improving early diagnosis rates. The more we speak about it, and break down the awkwardness surrounding conversations about our bowels, the more chance we have of making people aware of the symptoms and getting themselves checked out.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The Levellers Get Involved With Bowel Cancer Charity Book


I am really pleased to reveal that The Levellers have got involved with, The Record, my forthcoming  charity book that will raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer. I can't say too much about it at the moment, except that it is going to be something very special for sure.

The new book is being done in memory of my mum who passed away from bowel cancer in August 2016, and it's the follow up to Lives & Times, which has so far raised over £3400 for the charity. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year. However, if detected early, it is one of the most treatable cancers, and can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Raising awareness and early detection are key to bringing down the number of deaths. 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Nicola Bryant "Peri" from Doctor Who Joins Bowel Cancer Charity Book


This week I met up with actress, Nicola Bryant, perhaps best remembered for playing "Peri Brown" in Doctor Who during the 1980s. She was ever so nice, and great fun as well. We probably spent more time talking about dogs than anything else. Nicola was sporting her "Harvey" scarf, and I had Prince along for the ride, and Nicola made a big fuss of him which made her a new friend. Of course we talked about her time on Doctor Who, but also in the chapter there will be a few interesting facts about Nicola that I did not know, and her first record is a cracker! Bowel cancer has also touched Nicola's family on her partner's side, so I was really grateful for her support. The book is now over half completed. I am hoping it might be ready by the end of 2018, but there is no deadline, so we shall see. Keep following the blog for updates.

Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK. Each year 41,000 people are diagnosed with it, and 16,000 lose their lives. However, if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases, so it is crucial to raise awareness about bowel cancer, and improve early detection rates. 

My mother passed away in August 2016 after over four years of bowel cancer. She had five major operations, but managed to lead a normal and very happy life right up until the last few months when the cancer spread to her brain. My current fundraising book, Lives & Times, has raised over £3400 for Beating Bowel Cancer, and all proceeds raised from sales of the forthcoming book will also be donated to the same charity.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

The Frank Turner Meeting at Reading Hexagon


I met and photographed Frank Turner in Reading one year ago on November 30th, 2016 for the new bowel cancer fundraising book I am currently putting together. All proceeds raised from sales of the forthcoming book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. It turned into being a pretty amazing experience which will be told in full in the chapter in the book, As you can see in the above photo Frank was great fun and happy to do a photo wearing the charity's tie to help raise awareness about this awful illness. The reason why Frank agreed to meet me was after hearing about my Mum's 4 year battle with bowel cancer before she sadly passed away in August 2016.


I met Frank in one of the rooms back stage at Reading Hexagon. I was told that I would have 5 minutes with him, so I knew I had to be ready with my camera and that every second would count with him. There was a itinerary sheet on the wall which showed just how busy a day he had. And I saw my name on it, which was a nice touch knowing that I was a very small part in his day.

Frank couldn't have been nicer. I made sure I got the name of his first record, which has an interesting story behind it. He was extremely nice and was happy to chat and do the photos. We crammed in quite a bit into the 5 minutes. When he found out that I didn't have a ticket for the sold out show he put me on the guest which was a very kind and generous gesture.


The gig was outstanding. I've got a few of his albums and, through other fans of my favourite band, The Alarm, I have been really getting into his music this year. However this was my first experience of seeing him live. I knew it was going to be good, but seriously it would not be an understatement to say that this was one of the best gigs that I have been to. Quite brilliant! I followed this up by going to one of the The Lost Weekends gigs in London earlier this year, which was outstanding too.


I don't want to write too much here as I want to save plenty for the chapter in the book. I know that this kind of magical experience will produce the kind of chapter in the book that I am aiming for. It simply would not have happened without Frank's help. A true legend..

The book is about half finished. Plenty more interesting people to still to meet and photograph, so it is still about a year away I reckon.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Biff Byford of Saxon On Board Bowel Cancer Charity Book


Saxon frontman Biff Byford is the latest person that I've hopefully got on board the forthcoming bowel cancer fundraising book, The Record. I am not sure where or when the meeting will happen yet, but hopefully sometime during 2018. During the early 1980s I bought quite a few records by Saxon, which I still have in my collection. My brother has always liked his heavy metal, so some of that was always going to rub off on me.

The book is being put together in memory of my Mum who passed away in 2016 from bowel cancer. This awful illness is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year, and 41,000 people are diagnosed every year. If diagnosed early it is very treatable in over 90% of cases, but much more needs to be done to improve early detection rates. All proceeds raised from sales of the book will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. The book is the follow up to 2015's Lives & Times, which has so far raised over £3250 for the charity, and alongside other items, is available on my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website. 

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Meeting Colin Murray at a Record Shop


This week I met up with television and radio presenter, Colin Murray at the Sister Ray record shop in Soho. It was great fun, and I can reveal that a very bizarre conversation involving customers and the manager will be included in the chapter talking about first records. We got some great photos in the shop, and the whole experience of spending time browsing through vinyls brought back memories of buying records as a teenager. 

Football mad Colin was also excitingly preparing for Northern Ireland's World Cup play off matches against Switzerland, which they sadly lost on one of the worst refereeing decisions in years. 

The forthcoming book will be raising funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. My Mum passed away from Bowel cancer in August 2016, four years and five operations after her diagnosis in 2012. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK taking 16,000 lives each year. However, if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Raising awareness and helping to improve early diagnosis is key, and hopefully the book will help to play a small part in that too.



Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Steve Norman To Feature In The Record - A Charity Book For Beating Bowel Cancer


Steve Norman from Spandau Ballet is a another big name to come on board my forthcoming bowel cancer fundraising book. I am hopefully going to meet the saxophonist, who also plays the guitar and percussion, at the beginning of December. 

The new book, which will be called The Record, is my follow up to 2015's Lives & Times. I have been fundraising for Beating Bowel Cancer since my mother had her first operation back in 2012. Although the operation to remove the cancerous tumour from her bowel was a success, the cancer spread to her lungs, and then to her brain towards the end of 2015, which sadly proved to be the beginning of the end. She lived with stage 4 cancer for four years with great courage and dignity, and passed away in August 2016 just after her 80th birthday. 

All funds raised from the book will be donated to the charity. The book will hopefully help to raise awareness about this awful disease, which can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases if caught early. So improving early diagnosis is key.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Amy Macdonald at GLive Guildford


The latest person I have photographed for the new book is singer Amy Macdonald. She kindly agreed to me being given a photo pass for her concert in Guildford last night. It was an amazing experience, and I got use the new lens I had specifically bought for these concert photos that I am being fortunate enough to do. The concert was terrific with Amy playing a stripped back set of her songs with her three-piece band behind her. I haven't had time yet to go through all my photos last night. I love this one I have edited with using a low-key effect, but it won't appear in the book. I also have Amy's first record to reveal in the book when it comes out.

The Record is about halfway completed now, so hopefully I can crack on with the book into 2018, and hopefully publish it towards the end of next year. The book is the follow up to Lives & Times which has so far raised over £3400. All funds raised will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer in memory of my Mum who passed away last August after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. This awful disease is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, but if detected early it is treatable in over 90% of cases. So apart from raising funds, the book will help to raise awareness about bowel cancer, which is key to improving early detection rates.



Monday, 23 October 2017

Meeting James Stevenson From The Alarm in Oxford


Friday night in Oxford was quite amazing. Firstly I met with James Stevenson, the guitarist in The Alarm, at the band's final gig of 2017 in Oxford. I was allowed into the venue to photograph, and chat with James before the soundcheck. I then got a photo pass to photograph James and the band for the three songs of their set. This would have been more than enough in its own right. However it was a pretty special evening. The band was supporting the #wearitpink day for breast cancer awareness, so the venue became a sea of pink. James was very classy with his pink scarf tied to his waist, whereas myself and many others went completely over the top with it 😊 Jules Peters, keyboard player, and wife of Mike Peters, has been undergoing gruelling treatment for this awful disease, after being diagnosed during 2016. The gig was outstanding, and I had the added bonus of getting to chat with Jules and drummer Smiley after my meeting with James - both of whom will also feature in the new book. So plenty to write about for this chapter...

Ready to photograph James and The Alarm

The forthcoming book will raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK with 16,000 lives lost to it each year. My Mum was diagnosed in 2012, and passed away on August 29th 2016. Another aim of the book will be to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. This figure falls dramatically the later it is detected. 

All the items I am selling on my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website are raising funds for the charity. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

New Model Army On Board Bowel Cancer Charity Book


I have been after Justin Sullivan & New Model Army for the last year or so for the new bowel cancer charity book, and I've had to wait for a convenient gig to crop up. The band are playing in London in December, and although, understandably, they will be far too busy for me to meet them on the night, they have kindly given me a photo pass, and allowed me to ask Justin a few questions. I'm looking forward to this one, and wonder if they will play their debut single 'Bittersweet', which I bought way back in 1983, and still have in my collection.

All proceeds from sales of this book will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and died in August 2016 just a few days after 80th birthday. The cancer had spread from her bowel to her lungs, and then finally to her brain. Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year. However, if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. Much more needs to be done in raising awareness about this awful disease, and improving early diagnosis rates.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

A Legend Joins The Bowel Cancer Charity Book


Legends don't come much bigger than Basil Brush, and I am thrilled that he has agreed to be part of the forthcoming bowel cancer fundraising book. I'll be meeting up with Basil during panto season,  so lord knows what will happen! On a more poignant note there is a bowel cancer connection, as Ivan Owen who was the original creator, voice and operator of Basil sadly passed away from bowel cancer in 2000. 

My mother passed away in 2016. She was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and although the operation to remove the tumour in her bowel was successful, the cancer spread, and it was secondary bowel cancer that eventually took her. If detected early bowel cancer can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases, so raising awareness about this awful disease is so important.All proceeds raised from sales of the book will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Meeting Lauren Backler for bowel cancer fundraising book

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Lauren Backler has turned the devastation of losing her Mum to bowel cancer in 2015, into an amazing campaign to get the bowel cancer screening age in England, Wales and Northern Ireland reduced form 60 to 50. In Scotland the screening age is already at 50. She very kindly agreed to meet me in London back in August to take part in the new book. In this photo she happily posed with the bowel cancer tie to help raise awareness, and I had a specific idea in mind of the photo I wanted to take for the book with Lauren, as we were able to use Buckingham Palace as the backdrop. It's one of those photos that I can't wait for everyone to see, as it came out just as I hoped it would.

The chapter will go into detail about Lauren's story, and how her campaign and petition have taken off in such a massive way, leading her to be featured across the national media, and even speaking at Westminster. If the screening age was to be reduced from 60 to 50, over 4,000 people could have their bowel cancer detected at a much earlier stage, giving them a much greater chance of survival. Lauren's mother would have been screened a number of times if this had been the case, and most likely still be here today. Unfortunately by the time she was diagnosed her condition was terminal, and she lived for just a few months. Lauren's online petition has, to date, got over 340,000 signatures, and its about time the Government put this right! It's ever so easy to do, and takes just a minute or two of your time, so please support the petition here.

I've met so many amazing people on my book writing adventures, and Lauren was another one of those, a true inspiration. She is a very kind, giving and generous person, but also with a steely determination to achieve a successful outcome to her campaign. Although the reasons why I come into contact with so many people for the book are based on a common loss and sadness due to bowel cancer, the wonderful thing is how new friendships are being made with some very special people.

It's just over a year since my Mum lost her battle with with bowel cancer, after a 4 year brave and dignified journey. All proceeds raised from sales of this book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. 41,000 people are diagnosed each year with 16,000 losing their lives to it every year, making it the second highest cancer killer in the UK. If detected early is is very treatable in over 90% of cases, so raising awareness about it is so very important...

Please don't forget to sign Lauren's petiton! She is also running the London Marathon raising funds for Beating Bowel Cancer in 2018 and and you can sponsor her on her justgiving page.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Deborah James "Bowel Babe" Joins The Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


I spent a really nice evening with Deborah James in Richmond last night. She happily agreed to be in the new book, and it was a fascinating and enlightening experience listening to her story and talking at length about bowel cancer. Deborah, married with two young children, has an aggressive form of stage 4 bowel cancer. Since her diagnosis she has played a major role in raising awareness about bowel cancer as well as raising a considerable amount of money for the Bowel Cancer UK charity. She uses the "Bowel Babe" name on social media, and I would highly recommend following her.

Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year. However if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. It was exactly a year ago today that we had my mother's funeral. She was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and passed away peacefully last August. All funds raised from sales of this book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Please visit my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website, which has so far raised over £3250 for the charity.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Meeting Beating Bowel Cancer Ambassador & Television Presenter Sean Fletcher


I met television presenter Sean Fletcher, who is also an Ambassador for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, close to Holborn Station, so we walked to the picturesque Lincoln's Inn Field to take the photograph, and have a chat. Sean, like me, has lost his mother to bowel cancer, although as the chapter will describe our stories are very different. There was so much to ask Sean in a short period of time, and I found him to be a genuinely nice man, really interesting to talk to, and his support for the book is greatly appreciated. All proceeds raised will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer.

41,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year, and it claims 16,000 lives making it the second biggest cancer killer in the UK. However, if detected early it can be treated in over 90% of cases. Much more work needs to be done in raising awareness about this awful disease to help bring down the numbers of lives lost.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Classic FM's Bill Turnbull Photographed for Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


Today I met Bill Turnbull for the new fundraising book in Leicester Square. He is currently a DJ on Classic FM following a long career in journalism, including 16 years with BBC Breakfast News. So why is Bill holding my copy of 'The Stand' by The Alarm? I am sure all will become clear when you read the chapter in the book, but when he interviewed Mike Peters from the band on BBC Breakfast there was a bit of love for The Alarm going on. Bill was a great sport today, not just with stuff about The Alarm, but also with the bowel cancer tie. We then sat down and chatted about his life and career, so it's going to be yet another great chapter in the book.

The reason why Bill and everyone in the book is taking part is to help raise funds for Beating Bowel Cancer, and to help raise awareness about this awful disease. My Mum passed away in August 2016 having been first been diagnosed with cancer back in 2012. Bowel cancer claims 16,000 lives each year, making it the second highest cancer killer in the UK. Yet if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Meeting Steve Clark at The Herb Farm


I spent a fascinating hour and a half in the company of Steve Clark today. Steve is the latest addition to the new fundraising book. We both live in Reading, so arranging a meeting was easy, and Steve suggested The Herb Farm at Sonning Common. This was the first time I had been there, and as well as the plants it has a lovely cafe and shop, as well as the the Saxon Maze where we did the photography. Steve was diagnosed with  stage 4 bowel cancer in May 2013, and is doing some amazing work with his Strive For Five campaign, which as well as raising funds for Beating Bowel Cancer is also marking his 5-year survival from this awful disease. The chapter will not just talk about Steve's illness, but also of his life before bowel cancer, Strive For Five, and his bowel cancer diagnosis and journey. He was such a nice man, and yet another inspirational figure I have met on this journey. 

All proceeds raised from sales of the book will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. My Mum passed away in August 2016, four and half years after her diagnosis, and the new book is being done in her memory. Steve kindly bought a copy of my last fundraising book, Lives & Times, which has so far raised over £3250 for Beating Bowel Cancer.


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Jay Aston of Gene Loves Jezebel Comes On Board Bowel Cancer Charity Book


The latest musician to come on board, The Record, my forthcoming bowel cancer charity book, is Jay Aston from Gene Loves Jezebel. I have met him once before as we were both at Abbey Road in 2014 to participate in The Scriptures, the world's longest officially released song. That was where I photographed Mike Peters for, Lives & Times, the last fundraising book. The plan is hopefully to meet up with Jay in October, so that should be another great chapter for the book. A massive thanks to Donna Grant for making this happen 😊

Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year. However if detected early it is very treatable in over 90% of cases. The subject of bowels and poo etc. is still something we don't like to talk about, so a lot more needs to be done to help raise awareness about this awful disease. My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and passed away in 2016. All proceeds raised from sales will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Photographing Janet Ellis for Bowel Cancer Charity Book


I spent an amazing hour this morning in the company of Janet Ellis. I'd had to postpone our meeting on at least two occasions, but Janet was incredibly understanding and only too happy to rearrange. Naturally, we talked about her time on Blue Peter, but also her life as an actor, television presenter, author, newspaper columnist, and of course being a mother. As you can see Janet was a great sport with the bowel cancer tie, and she came up with an interesting first record she bought, which you will be able to find out about once the new book is published. I am looking forward to writing up the chapter, as she was fascinating to talk to, and was so kind and supportive of the book, just a really lovely lady.

The Record, which will follow on from Beating Bowel Cancer published in 2012 and Lives & Times published in 2015, will be in memory to my Mum. She was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, but sadly passed away in August 2016. All proceeds raised from sales of the new book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. As well as hopefully raising a decent amount of money, the other aim of the book will be to help raise awareness about bowel cancer. It is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year, and yet if detected early is one of most treatable with a 90% survival rate.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Dr Who Companion On Board Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


A year ago today my Mum lost her four and a half year fight with bowel cancer, so although it's been a poignant day, I have been determined not to let it be too sad, and focus on the happy memories. The new bowel cancer fundraising book is going well with around 20 people met and photographed so far, and about 30 more still to do. So on a day tinged with sadness, I am also very happy and delighted to be able to announce that actor Nicola Bryant has agreed to be in the book. She played Peri Brown, Dr Who's American companion, in the 1980s. This is exciting stuff for me, as I have watched the programme since the days of Jon Pertwee in the 1970s. This should be fascinating, as not only will there be Dr Who stuff to talk about, but also about her life and career since then. 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Deborah James 1979 - 2017


Today is the funeral of Deborah James, who passed away on July 27th aged just 37. My thoughts today are very much with her family and friends. I know an awful lot of effort has been put into making today a very special send off, and celebration of her life.

I came into contact with Debs on social media in 2015 around the time that I published my last book, Lives & Times, which she kindly bought, and we stayed in regular contact. She was one of the first people to agree to be in this new fundraising book I am putting together for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. We met at the beginning of May at the Sixfields Leisure Park in Northampton. At that time Debs was still very positive, and determined to do everything she could to stay healthy, and live as long as possible in spite of an awful prognosis. She told me that when she was younger, she said she would live to be 100, and with her lovely infectious laugh she then said that it was still possible. In fact Deb's laugh was constant throughout, even during the bits where we chatted about the most difficult subjects relating to her illness. Although I only got to meet her once, that experience definitely left a mark on me, and I'm sorry that I didn't get the opportunity to know her a little better and see her again. She wrote a wonderful blog, My Joyful Gut!, which is well worth a read. She had set up her own business, which was raising awareness about cancer at the workplace, supporting businesses, cancer patients and their families affected by cancer. She was a quite special person, who will be missed by so many people.

Debs and I agreed that the chapter on her in the book should be written as of that moment in time of our meeting. I wanted her to see the chapter as it would appear in the finished book. I wrote it up and sent it to Debs, who thankfully was very pleased with it. I will not change it, apart from a few lines of explanation that I've added to the start of it. 

Bowel cancer is the most terrible disease. The second highest cancer killer in the UK, claiming 16,000 lives each year, and yet if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. So much more needs to be done in raising awareness about bowel cancer to reduce the numbers losing their lives, and the sadness and devastation caused to the families left behind. My Mum lost her 4 year battle with bowel cancer in August 2016, and all proceeds from sales on the new book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Meeting Billy Ocean in Oxford


I met up with Billy Ocean at Oxford on his recent UK tour. He gave me a few minutes after the show to have a chat and photograph him for the new book. He was a lovely man, interested in what I was doing, and revealed a very interesting first song.


The concert was great, if not my usual kind of stuff 😆 However, to see him sing his classic hit 'Red Light Spells Danger' was worth the ticket price alone. I must have been the only person there wearing an Alarm t-shirt and a Frank Turner hoodie!

My Mum lost her four and half year battle with bowel cancer almost a year ago. All proceeds raised from sales of the forthcoming book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. As well as raising funds the book will hopefully help to raise awareness about this awful disease. Please check out my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website for all the items that I am selling to raise funds for the charity.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Photo Pass for Amy Macdonald


My heart sank when I saw that singer songwriter, Amy Macdonald, was playing my home town of Reading this November. Her date is on the fireworks weekend and I shall be looking after my dog, who comes first with all the loud noise that comes with it. However, she is also playing Guildford on the tour, which is not too far from home. I have bought a ticket for the show, and I've also been in touch with her management. Although a meeting with her is unlikely, they are going to try and organise a photo pass for the gig, and to find out about the first record that she bought. This will allow me to get a great shot of Amy performing, so it's another great addition to The Record, which is the fundraising book I am currently putting together to raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year. However it is also one of the most treatable cancers if caught early with a 90% success rate. My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012, and fought this awful illness hard for over 4 years before passing away in August, 2016, a week after her 80th birthday. As well as raising funds, the book will help raise awareness about bowel cancer, which is key to reducing the amount people who pass away each year.

Monday, 10 July 2017

South African Cricketing Broadcaster Natalie Germanos On Board The Record, A Fundraising Book For Bowel Cancer

Me and Natalie in Green Park

I am very happy to reveal that South African sports broadcaster, Natalie Germanos, will feature in The Record. Natalie has been in the UK this summer covering the Women's Cricket World Cup. When I saw that she would be working as part of the BBC Test Match Special team, I thought that she would be a great person to photograph for the new book, and she joins Mike Selvey, Daniel Norcross and George Dobell from the world of cricket already on board. We met up in London and Natalie was extremely kind with her time, and we chatted for about an hour in Green Park. It's going to be a great chapter in the forthcoming book.

My Mum passed way in August 2016 after fighting bowel cancer for over 4 years. All proceeds raised from sales of the book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. This book is the follow up to 2015's Lives & Times, which has raised over £3250 for the charity so far. As well as raising funds, the book will help to raise awareness about bowel cancer. It is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year, but if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Freya North To Feature In Forthcoming Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


For those who have read my last book, Lives & Times, you will know that I met and photographed author Freya North, before we both went to a Charlatans concert at The Roundhouse in 2015. Freya has sent me this great photo of her with Tim Burgess from The Charlatans at their recent gig at Rough Trade, to promote their new album in London. The very good news is that Freya has very kindly agreed to be in the new book, which I am calling The Record - in fact she has already revealed her first record to me, and it's a corker! Freya is an Ambassador of Beating Bowel Cancer and has been a great supporter of the charity and to me and my fundraising. So I will have to come up with a different photo idea for this book.

All proceeds raised from sales of The Record will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. My mother passed away in 2016 after fighting bowel cancer for over 4 years, and Freya lost a dear friend, Hannah Berry, to bowel cancer in 2013. The aim of the book is to also help raise awareness about this awful disease, which is the 2nd highest cancer killer in the UK - yet if detected early it is successfully treated in over 90% of cases.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Halfway There With Skinny Lister


I went to see Skinny Lister play their biggest London headline show to date at The Scala last week. I'd made contact with the band last year, and I was really happy, not to mentioned, excited that they agreed to support the new fundraising book. Singer Lorna sorted me out with a photo pit pass, which gave me the first three songs to photograph the band down at the front. This was pretty special I have to admit. The gig was an absolute belter! A sold out enthusiastic crowd responded to the band who were simply on fire. If you enjoy your life music and what to see a band who enjoy themselves every bit as much as the audience, if not more so, then go and see Skinny Lister...


The plan was to meet and photograph the band as well before the gig. The mayhem around the gig meant unfortunately this didn't happen, so we had another opportunity to do this a few days later when the band was supporting Frank Turner at The Roundhouse. Fate was against me again though and I didn't manage to meet up with them. So we are kind of halfway there with this chapter. I will have to wait for another opportunity, which hopefully happen over the next 12 months, whilst I continue putting the book together. Another great adventure in progress...


The biggest challenge I am going to have with the photos I took is, which ones to use in the book? These photos are in the shake-up, although I have some other great shots not included that are perhaps the favourites at the moment. I think I will have to include a few photos from the gig in the chapter as I am sure I won't be able to pick one favourite.


The book, now being done under the title of The Record, will raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, and is the follow up to Lives & Times, which I put out in 2015. Once again every penny raised will be donated to the charity. My Mum was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in 2012 and she bought it with with courage and dignity for 4 years before passing away in August, 2016. Bowel cancer remains the second highest cancer killer in the UK, claiming 16,000 lives each year, but is one of the most treatable ones if caught early in over 90% of cases. As well as raising funds this book will hopefully raise awareness about this awful disease.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

David Baddiel in fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer


Last night I went to see David Baddiel in his one man show, "My Family Not The Sitcom", at The Playhouse Theatre in London. It was one of the funniest nights out I have had in a very long time. It focuses mainly on David's relationship with his late mother, and his father who suffers from a form on dementia. I would highly recommend it as a fantastic night out. Here I am outside the venue with the Beating Bowel Cancer tie.


Back in March David had very kindly agreed to be in my new bowel cancer fundraising book at very short notice. I met him after his performance of his show at a warm up performance at Norden Farm in Maidenhead. Unfortunately I didn't have a ticket for the show, so I went along afterwards and we met on the stage in the now empty auditorium, which made for a fantastic photo opportunity. As well as doing the photo for the book, David also was happy to have his photo taken with the bowel cancer tie for the Follow The Bowel Cancer Tie Facebook raising awareness page. I can't thank David enough for his support and his generous invitation for me to go and see the show.

Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK taking 16,000 lives each year. If detected early it is one of the most treatable in over 90% of cases. All proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity and it's the follow up to 2015's Lives & Times, which has so far raised over £3000... My Mum lost her 4 year battle with this awful illness last August, and the new book is being done in her memory. 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

The Record


I can now reveal the title of the forthcoming bowel cancer fundraising book... The Record

Suggested by Graham Lampen - I think it is perfect. I wanted somthing short and to point and it emcompasses the first record aspect of the book as well as a record of the meeting with the person for each chapter. A big thanks to Graham and everyone else who put forward suggestions.

I'm not afraid to ask for help and next up might be a design for the book cover!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Book Title


I have been working on the new book for a few months now, and it's going really well. I am really enjoying meeting and photographing people in support of Beating Bowel Cancer, and it's proving to be very cathartic for my bereavement journey.

The working title of the book is A Moment In Time - The First Song I Bought. I am still undecided whether this really works as a title... So I am after some suggestions please, and if I use yours you will of course get acknowledged in the finished book 😊 I want the title to be short and catchy - reflect the fact I am asking everyone in the book what the first record they bought was, and possibly the snapshot element (moment in time) about the meetings... 

I look forward to getting some suggestions...

Friday, 14 April 2017

Meeting George Dobell at Edgbaston for Bowel Cancer Charity Book


It was rather chilly at Edgbaston in Birmingham at the start of the last English cricket season when I met George Dobell, the Senior Cricket Correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. I was there for the morning session of the Warwickshire vs Yorkshire match in the County Championship, and I think that after I left the heavens opened. You can't beat the English summer! George was fantastic, a really interesting man to talk to and he has a great sense of humour which was never too far away either. I actually was in for a surprise when I got there, as he took me up to the media centre to have our chat. What a fantastic place that is and the journalists have the most amazing view of the ground. We talked for about an hour, so I have plenty of material to include in the chapter in the book. I also discovered that George is a fan of my favourite band The Alarm, with 'Spirit Of 76' being his favourite song by them. I photographed the original members of that band in the last book, and George is actually a very keen music fan as you find out in the book when it comes out.


Those of you who have purchased the Lives & Times bowel cancer fundraising book will recognise Melinda Farrell. It was great seeing her again too today, as she had only just returned from covering cricket in Australia and India during our cold winter months. I couldn't pass up the opportunity of getting a photo of her and George with the bowel cancer tie.

Bowel cancer is the 2nd highest cancer killer in the UK with 16,000 lives lost each year to it. Yet if diagnosed early it is one of the most treatable ones with a survival rate of over 90%. Raising awareness about bowel cancer is one way to help bring down the amount of people losing their lives to it. My Mum passed away in August 2016 after a 4 year brave and dignified battle with this awful illness. All proceeds raised from sales of the new book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Television Presenter Sian Lloyd To Feature in Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


I am really happy to reveal that television presenter Sian Lloyd has agreed to be in the bowel cancer fundraising book. I saw the above photo on the Beating Bowel Cancer twitter feed supporting April Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, so I sent a request which Sian very quickly replied to with a positive answer. These days she travels a lot for her work on American TV, so we are possibly looking at a couple of windows to meet up in a few weeks time.

Raising awareness about bowel cancer is so so important. I remember when I published my first fundraising book, Beating Bowel Cancer, in 2012 and not fully appreciating this. After the initial sales surge dropped off I felt a little disappointed - that was until the charity pointed out the importance of raising awareness and the role the book was playing doing just that. The follow up book Lives & Times has also, not only raised funds for the charity, but helped raise awareness. It is now something that I just keep on going on about trying to get the message spread far and wide. It's still a subject that people don't like talking about, which is something that still needs to improve.

Bowel cancer is the 2nd biggest cancer killer in the UK with 16,000 lives lost each year to it. 41,000 people are diagnosed with it every year. If diagnosed early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases. It is predominantly an illness that affects the over 60s, but more and more young people are being diagnosed. This year there is a big focus on getting the screening age in England, Wales and Northern Ireland reduced from 60 to 50. Please sign the petition here.

My Mum passed away last year after a brave and dignified 4 year battle with this awful illness. Please take a look at my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website to see all the items that I am currently selling to raise funds for the charity.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Skinny Lister On Board Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


Last year I went to see the sold out Skinny Lister gig at The Garage in Islington. It was the first time I had seen the band play live and it was absolutely terrific. Crowd surfing, lots of drinking and messing around. And that was just the band's behaviour! It really was a lesson in how to put on a live show. The band have just released their 3rd album, The Devil, The Heart & The Fight, which further enhances the band's growing reputation. I am a relative new comer to them, but am probably playing their music more than any other band over the last 12 months or so.

And the good news is that Lorna from the band came back to me last Autumn with a yes from them to being in the new fundraising book I am writing for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Six members so that is a lot of first records to find out about! They were about to head off to America on tour and so we agreed to make contact again in the spring. Today contact was made and the band are still uop for being in the book, which is great news. It looks like we will meet up to do the photo before their gig at The Scala in London in May.

Lives & Times, the last fundraising book, had plenty of bands and artists in it. This new book is also already shaping up very nicely too and I am very much looking forward to meeting Skinny Lister as I think they will be a lot of fun.

Bowel cancer is the 2nd highest cancer killer in the UK, and yet is very treatable if detected early with a five year survival rate of over 90%. The new book is being done in memory of my Mum who passed away last August after losing her 4 year courageous battle with bowel cancer.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Victoria Derbyshire To Take Part in the Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


BBC presenter and journalist Victoria Derbyshire has very kindly agreed to be part of the new book. Victoria is no stranger to cancer having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. I will be meeting up with her one afternoon in May after her BBC Two daytime show finishes. This is another great coup for the book and I am very much looking forward to meeting Victoria.

My Mum passed away last August following a 4 year battle with bowel cancer. She fought it long and hard with great courage and dignity. This forthcoming book will dedicated to her memory with all proceeds raised from sales donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Bowel cancer claims 16,000 lives in the UK each year - the second highest cancer killer, but if detected early it can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases.

A big thanks to Dafydd Wyn Farr-Jones for helping to set up this photo. Dafydd, who has beaten bowel cancer, will also feature in the book.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

BBC Presenter & Journalist Dan Walker Will Feature in Forthcoming Bowel Cancer Charity Book


Another great coup for the forthcoming charity book, is BBC presenter and journalist, Dan Walker. As well as presenting BBC Breakfast three times a week, Dan presents Football Focus and covers a variety of sports events. It's looking like I will be meeting him towards the end of May, and more details about that will follow once it's confirmed.

The book is being done in memory of my mother, who lost her four and half year battle with bowel cancer on August 29th, 2016. Although she successfully had surgery in 2012 to remove a tumour from her bowel, she went to suffer from secondary bowel cancer on her left lung and then her brain. In spite of four lung operations, and CyberKnife treatment for her brain, it was the cancer on her brain that she was unable to beat. Bowel cancer claims 16,000 lives each year, the second highest cancer killer. If detected early it is one of the most treatable in 90% of cases with patient survival rates of over five years. As well as raising funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, the book will hopefully help raise awareness about this awful disease.

This book is the follow up to 2015's Lives & Times, which has raised over £3000 for Beating Bowel Cancer to date.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Bill Turnbull to Feature in Forthcoming Bowel Cancer Charity Book


I am really pleased to announce that journalist and broadcaster Bill Turnbull is going to feature in the forthcoming bowel cancer charity book. Bill spent 15 years hosting BBC Breakfast and now presents on Classic FM as well as still working for the BBC. I will hopefully get to speak to him about the interview he did a few years ago with Mike Peters of The Alarm, as there is a lot of love out there for Bill from fans of the band.

Bowel cancer is the second highest cancer killer in the UK claiming 16,000 lives each year. Yet if detected early it is very treatable in over 90% of cases. My mother passed away in 2016 following a four year battle with this awful illness. All proceeds raised from sales of the book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Leeds United Legend Eddie Gray Photographed At Elland Road


I travelled up to Elland Road on Friday, the home of Leeds Utd, to meet and photograph Eddie Gray who was part of Don Revie's legendary team of the 1960/70s. These days Eddie is an Ambassador for the club, and is also part of the commentary team on LUTV covering every Leeds game. The weather was pretty grim, but Eddie was full of enthusiasm and we spent about half an hour chatting about his life in football before he had to set off to cover the Leeds game away at Birmingham that evening. He is a fascinating man, full of interesting anecdotes, and not surprisingly has a deep knowledge of the game. We were allowed to take the photos by the pitch which was brilliant.

My mother passed away from bowel cancer last August aged 80. Eddie told me that his mother is 96 and still lives at her home. He comes from a family that obviously has good genes with most of them living to a very good age. So at 69 he is still a spring chicken!

All proceeds from sales of the forthcoming book will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Meeting Laura Boyd for Bowel Cancer Charity Book at Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow


Out of all the photos that I have done in the two previously published fundraising book, and now the new third book, photographing Scottish Television presenter Laura Boyd is the furthest that I have travelled to take a picture. I had originally approached Laura to be in the Lives & Times book, but unfortunately we weren't able to make that happen, so I was really happy to get the opportunity this time around.

Laura has her own ongoing battle with leukemia since she was diagnosed in 2009. She epitomizes positivity and living life to the full that I have seen in so many people with cancer. This will be reflected in the photo that I have chosen to use in the forthcoming book, which is not the photo that I had planned to use... All will become clear in the book.

We met at Kelvingrove Park in the centre of Glasgow, which was somewhere where I could safely park with the dogs. Our midday meeting also allowed me to make a brief visit to Balloch Castle on Loch Lomond in the morning, which was a great location suggested by Laura. She was lovely to talk to and was very relaxed for the photos, which made my job, both enjoyable, and very straight forward.

This will be a great chapter to write up, and Laura's first record is an absolute belter! 😉

The book is being done in memory of my Mum, who passed away in August 2016, after a 4 year battle with bowel cancer. All funds raised from sales will be donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The book will also help raise awareness about this awful illness, which is the 2nd highest cancer killer in the UK. Yet if detected early it is very treatable in 90% of cases.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Hazel O'Connor To Be In Bowel Cancer Charity Book


The latest person to come on board the forthcoming fundraising book, which I am writing for the Beating Bowel Cancer, is Hazel O'Connor. The singer and actress is on tour during March and I will be meeting and photographing her before the Milton Keynes show. Perhaps best remembered for her role in, and the songs from Breaking Glass, her career has spanned over four decades. 

My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. She had a successful operation to remove the tumour from her bowel, but the cancer had already to spread to her left lung. She had four more operations over the following four years to remove cancerous nodules from her lungs, but then the cancer spread to her brain. In spite of receiving CyberKnife treatment, this was a battle that Mum couldn't win, and sadly she passed away last August. All funds raised from sales of this book will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer, and a massive thanks to Hazel for agreeing to be part of it.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Matt Allwright On Board Bowel Cancer Charity Book


Matt Allwright has agreed to be part of my forthcoming fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The television presenter and journalist is known for hosting programmes such as Watchdog and The Saturday Show. Matt went to the same school as me, and we share some mutual friends, so it will be really interesting reminiscing as well as finding out a little more about his successful media career.

The aim of the book, as well as its fundraising, is to raise awareness about bowel cancer. It is the second highest cancer killer in the UK, but is treatable in over 90% of cases if detected early. Talking about our bowels and bowel movements etc is still a subject that many of us don't want to do, but if we can break down these barriers many more lives could be saved. We all need to be more aware of the symptoms...

My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and fought it for over 4 years before sadly passing away in August 2016. Please look at my fundraising website for the items I am currently selling to raise funds.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

John Wetton Loses Bowel Cancer Battle


It was with great sadness today that I learned that musician John Wetton had lost his long battle with bowel cancer. Perhaps best remembered for his time in King Crimson and Asia, John's career spanned 50 years. 

I had hoped that I would be able to get John to take part in the new fundraising book, but I knew his health wasn't good. Although I had no direct contact with John, we followed each other on Twitter and he occasionally supported my efforts especially when Mum was poorly.

Bowel cancer does not discriminate and remains the second highest cancer killer in the UK. Yet if detected early it is one of the most treatable. Much more needs to be done in raising awareness about this awful illness. There are growing calls for the age of bowel cancer screening in England, Wales & N.Ireland to be reduced from 60 to 50, to bring it into line with Scotland.

RIP John Wetton.