Channel 4’s Four Rooms – a modern take on antique dealing

March 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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When you think about antique shows Cash in the Attic and Antique Road Show instantly spring to mind. Although these programmes have served us well over the years it’s easy to see why some people think that they have become a little outdated.

Last year Channel 4 came up with a new idea that brings the art of antique buying back into fashion. The contemporary show titled, Four Rooms, showcases both selling and buying one-off items and gives at glimpse at how cut throating negotiating can be. 

Four Rooms Dealers

Four Rooms Dealers

Now in its second series Four Rooms has become a success with both a young and older audience who all anxiously await the value of the items featured. This series has included some incredible pieces like a signed dress which Amy Winehouse wore only months before her death, the Volkswagon Golf that Kate Middleton drove whilst studying at St. Andrews, a slice of cake from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip’s wedding cake. Not to mention the chair which JK Rowling sat on whilst writing the first two books in the Harry Potter series.

Four Rooms Amy Winehouse dress

Amy Winehouse dress

Along with these remarkable items the show also has a modern twist, which I think makes it all the more interesting. As sellers only get one chance to make a deal, if they decline an offer which a dealer puts forward it is gone for good. They simply have to move on to the next dealer and hope for the best. If they don’t agree on a price with any of the four dealers they leave without a sale which makes anxious but entertaining viewing.

Four Rooms is definitely a programme which I would recommend for the entire family to watch together because it includes something for everyone from modern day pieces which encompass today’s culture to vintage antiques which carry years of memories and everything in between.

Catch up with Four Rooms on 40D now or tune in to next week’s episode on Wednesday evening at 8pm-Channel 4.

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Large babies and big families – 15 Kids and Counting

February 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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For the average family 2 children and a dog is more than enough. However, it would seem that for some the classic mantra ‘the more the merrier’ is very much true.

Channel 4’s documentary series ‘15 Kids and Counting’ gives an insight into some of Britain’s largest families. Sighting the trials and tribulations of what such large broods bring from financial woes, accommodating everyone and other people’s perception of families who have 10 plus children. It’s most certainly interesting viewing.

Watching the Radford family from Lancashire take their 14 children (Mrs Radford was pregnant with number 15) on holiday to the Canary Islands was astonishing. Ran somewhat like a military operation, as I’m sure many tasks have to be, I was amazed by how smoothly everything seemed to go.

Radford family

The Radford Family

Reflecting back to my many years as a school teacher, a day out with a class full of children was incredibly tiring and hard work, never mind a two week holiday in a foreign country. So such smooth organisation is definitely a skill mastered by the Radford’s.

However, the series hasn’t been so smooth for everyone. The Bland family were suffering from unruly sibling rivalry, which highlighted the emotional heartache which having so many brothers and sisters has on children. Whilst last night’s episode exposed the cruelty which some families have to live with from the press. Jo Watson, who provides for her children with help of benefits, has received plentiful of negative media attention affecting not only her marriage but children’s lives.

Asher Stewardson

Kendall Stewardson with baby Asher

In contrast to large families I read an article today about a super large baby. Born in America last week, baby boy Asher Stewardson was delivered naturally by mum Kendall weighing a breath-taking (and ouch crying)  13Ibs and 13oz.

Astonished by how Kendall managed to give birth naturally to such a large baby boy I researched her a little more. Only to find that, Kendall who decided with her husband to op against surgery unless essential, gave birth without pain relief.

To my surprise Asher isn’t the largest baby to be born naturally; in fact he looks small in comparison. As in 1897, Canadian Anna Bates gave birth to a baby boy weighing a whopping 23Ibs and 12oz. With no medical advances at such a time the baby sadly died shortly after but still remains in the Guinness World Record Book.

Watch 15 Kids and Counting on Channel 4’s online demand service 4OD now.

SuperScrimpers Waste Not Want Not – New Series Channel 4

January 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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When I blogged about the Christmas Special of SuperScrimpers: Waste Not Want Not I was a little shocked by how many people showed an interest. Although I’m always open to suggestions on saving money and being a little more frugal I was surprised by how many others we’re too. Who knew frugality was so trendy?

Purse pound coinsLast night the new series of SuperScrimpers started on Channel 4. I didn’t get a chance to watch it myself but according to reviews online it was packed with even more handy tips and cost cutting alternatives from the ‘Scrimping Army’. I’ve heard rumbles that cost cutting nail art tips were on offer last night, perfect if you’ve got a special event coming up or want ideas for grand-daughters.

It’s definitely worth a watch especially if you’re trying to save money and keep on top of your bills. And some of the tips are brilliantly creative- the crafty features are my favourites. I’ll be catching up on Channel 4 OD sometime this week. Until then the new series continues on Monday nights at 8pm, Channel 4.

TV Phenomenon – One Born Every Minute

January 19, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Channel 4’s documentary series One Born Every Minute has become a television sensation. Now in its third series, the fly on the wall documentary is considered a ‘must watch’. As avid fans take to Twitter, Facebook and online forums to discuss the programme and their own experiences of child birth I’m questioning why the bare-all series is such a hit.

One Born Every Minute

The truth is we are all so fascinated by other people’s lives that a glimpse into a special moment, even if it isn’t our own, is too good to resist. Not forgetting that child birth is an area of such intrigue and interest it’s difficult to not be drawn in.

I watched the programme last night and it immediately brought back to my own experiences, which is clearly part of the programme’s charm. As I watched a young mum give birth naturally and another lady deliver by caesarean section the message is clear that all births are very different. Hence why so many are eager to discuss their experiences online- Netmums has a dedicated section to One Born Every Minute which has received a brilliant response.

Mum and baby

For many however the clincher has to be the uncensored notion which One Born Every Minute maintains. Love it or hate it there is no hiding from the blood and guts of child birth here. Recorded on a real working labour ward with expectant mothers and terrified fathers- to- be we get to share a moment of their life, which is so rare and precious, but reveals absolutely everything. Although this may make some people squirm, especially men, it’s an honest and frank look at the reality of labour.

As the show explores modern day midwifery it’ easy to compare how much things have changed over time. New BBC drama ‘Call the Midwife’ documents midwifery in the fifties and recalls the somewhat bleak environment which mothers were expect to deliver in- a far cry from the specialised suites used today. But also the small matter than men weren’t allowed in delivery rooms year ago.

one born evey minute

This has changed dramatically as now not only are partners encouraged and expected to be presented for births, but camera crews are welcomed in some cases too. Capturing the entire process of labour in all of its glory, I often wonder how anyone could be talked into take part in the show.

Nevertheless One Born Every Minute is another brilliant documentary series for Channel 4. Packed with drama, genuine charm and emotions that could only be caught on a real life documentary it’s easy to understand why the show has become such a worthy success. Fantastic viewing.

Catch up with One Born Every Minute on Channel 4 OD now- click here.

Richard Wilson On Hold

January 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As a businesswoman I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve, build and strengthen customer relations. This usually means keeping up with modern technology and employing them appropriately within my business. Whether it be updating our website or joining social networking sites.

However, the technology which I’ve always opted out of is automated telephone systems. Mainly because I believe that customer don’t want to talk to a machine; instead they desire human contact with someone who can help them solve a problem quickly and efficiently.

Richard Wilson On Hold

Last night Richard Wilson, better known as grumpy Victor Meldrew fronted, ‘Richard Wilson On Hold’ a documentary which investigated so called convenience services, such as automated telephone services, self-service checkouts and pay by phone parking meters.

Unsurprisingly the result of his investigation displayed how these supposedly ‘convenient’ services are in fact the complete opposite. Instead of helping consumers they infuriate them making them wait for long periods of time, charging them more money and generally driving the customer to feel utterly stressed.

As the documentary filmed Richard struggling with a cinema’s automated phone system, which failed to recognise his Scottish accent, I couldn’t help but feel his frustration. Then watching him make five attempts to simply pay for parking via an automated telephone service was even more annoying. I won’t even begin to mention the problems presented by supermarket self-service tills…

Richard WIlson on Hold

The most unforgiving convenience service was undoubtedly automated telephone service. In his quest to analyse how inconvenient these services actually are Richard set up his own call-centre. With the help of Age UK volunteers and students they discovered the extent to which consumers are blighted by queue waiting and machine messages. It took one volunteer over 58 minutes to speak to a human being whilst on the telephone to energy provider Eon, which is utterly unacceptable for any business.

So as we sit and wait for these corporations to answer our calls (and make money from us whilst we’re doing so) what do these services do to our wellbeing? It would appear more harm than good in most cases. Test on the show revealed that for the majority of people the frustration caused by automated telephone system raises the blood pressure significant causing stress and anxiety.

Richard Wilson on hold

Although some may argue that these gadgets are money savers- salary and training costs are said to reduce dramatically- I will most certainly be sticking with the traditional method of manned telephones by human beings who’ve I’ve trained. Working in an industry which often works with older people I understand that for many of our customers a telephone conversation is greatly importantly. Not only for customer service purposes but also for social interaction- I believe that this is something which should never be under estimated.

I’m a great believer of free phone numbers call Bath-Knight on 0800 1 690 690

Nick Hewer- Countdown’s New Host

January 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Countdown has become a television institute having entertained the nation with conundrums and teatime teasers for the last 30 years. Although I’m not a frequent viewer, it’s a show which I love to get stuck into when I do get the chance, and I know that it is a firm favourite with our customers.

In the past, notably during Richard Whiteley’s reign, the Bath-Knight television advertising campaign saw record breaking responses with customers calling with enquiries having seen our adverts in between their favourite day time TV show Countdown.

Nick hewer Countdown

On the first show of 2012- the year which Countdown celebrates its 30th birthday- I tuned in to see how new recruit, and my favourite sidekick of Lord Sugar, Nick Hewer got on during his first day as Countdown host- notebooks and thinking caps at the ready!

The role which was originally held by the late Richard Whitely has become somewhat of an honour to behold. Since Richard’s death a number of different people have taken the reigns including Des O’Connor and more recently Jeff Steeling. All of whom have offering something unique to the show.

Richard Whiteley and Carol Voderman

Now is the turn of 67 year old Nick Hewer, a onetime PR guru who is one of Lord Alan Sugar’s most treasured business aids and close friend. A television favourite of mine (I’m a big fan of The Apprentice) I thought that Nick did an exceptional job and will become a very welcomed member of the Countdown team.

A true gentleman he paid a respectable tribute to Richard Whiteley and the hosts who have gone before him, before settling into the chair to host his first ever presenting job. Enthusiastic, witty and above all extremely likable, Nick fits the bill perfectly.

Nick Hewer Countdown 2

True to his persona on The Apprentice Nick was, as always, armed with his animated facial expressions. Calm and extremely distinctive he was also complementary and kind. Congratulating the breath-taking speed at which young contestant Jack Worsley worked to win his victory on the show. Cracking the conundrum in only a second we barely heard the iconic tick-tock of the Countdown clock.

A very wise man indeed Nick is a real joy to watch. Having struck an immediate rapport with his Countdown colleagues, Suzie Dent and Rachel Riley, Nick seems very much at home on Countdown, which means there is only one thing left to say… Nick, you’re hired!

Catch up with Countdown on Channel 4OD now – click here for link.

Christmas Day Cookalong Live with Gordon Ramsay

December 22, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Gordon Ramsay Cookalong live

At the end of November I blogged about Gordon Ramsay hosting a Christmas Day Cookalong live on Channel 4. I was a little bewildered by the concept myself but I’m sure that many of you will be tuning in to seek Gordon’s help.

I promised that I’d keep you updated on any further information but up until now I’ve been unable to find too many details. However, this morning I sourced the official ingredients list and further information about the show including times, preparation lists and equipment which you might need.

Hopefully this will be handy for anyone planning on making Christmas dinner live with Gordon.

SuperScrimpers waste not want not- Christmas Special

December 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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superscrimpersI think it’s fair to say that we are all guilty of over indulging during Christmas time whether it’s buying too many presents or over spending on Christmas food shopping. However, with the current climate making an effort to cut costs should be a priority this year. 

Scrimping and saving may seem a little ‘Bah Humbug’ but in reality it’s a sensible move. I watched SuperScrimpers: Waste not Want not earlier this week (Channel 4 Wed 8pm) to see how the experts save money but still have a very merry Christmas and was pleasantly surprised with their suggestions.

The show is worth watching if you’re looking for some handy frugal tips which are really easy to employ over the next couple of weeks. Including classic ways to save pennies like homemade Christmas cards and reusing gift wrapping. The show also explores more adventurous ways to enjoy Christmas on a budge. For example how to making homemade flavoured liquor and Irish cream at a nip of the price, plus scrumptious leftover recipes that will see you through to the New Year in delicious style.

Most interestingly the show documented how much we over spend on food shopping in particular.  They challenged one family who spend £1400 on their festive groceries to cut their budget, doing Christmas lunch with a frugal £50. Using a little organisation and forward planning it was possible and looked delicious. A lesson to all of us I think you’ll agree.

Christmasbudget

Organise a budget for a cost effective Christmas

I was most delighted to see that Mrs Moneypenny, the money saving expert who explained how to get money back from energy companies during the show, suggested that workplaces swap recycled gifts at Christmas time to save money.

Great to see as here at Bath-knight we celebrate the festive period with a Recycled Secret Santa. Whereby every member of staff gets a gift which was kindly brought in by another colleague. It’s a great gesture and nice time for the company to come together and exchange gifts at the end of the year.

Overall SuperScrimpers has plenty to offer. Whether you’re looking for ways to save lots of money or simply want to find handy alternatives which will help you cut costs there is plenty of ideas on the show.

SuperScrimpers: Waste not Want not is available to watch on Channel 4 OD now.

Gordon Ramsay- Gordon’s Christmas Cook along Live

November 28, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Christmas-With-GordonWith Christmas at the helm of everyone’s agenda it has been revealed that top celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay will be cooking live on Christmas day in a festive TV special titled ‘Gordon’s Christmas Cook along Live’.

The live show, which will be aired on Channel 4, will see Gordon cook a three course traditional turkey dinner and all the trimmings. Designed so that viewers can ‘cook along’ with the Michelin star chef, Gordon will cook the meal step by step, hopefully taking the stress out of Christmas cooking.

Upon first hearing about the show I was quite surprised. Firstly because a live show on Christmas Day making the ultimate Christmas lunch is quite the challenge. And secondly because I found myself questioning whether or not people will tune in.

However, having read a little more about the show it sounds like good Christmassy fun. Gordon, who has become well known for getting his family involved in the kitchen, will be getting a helping hand from both his wife and four children making it very much a family Christmas.

Even better the live show is apparently set to feature celebrity chef bloopers and some of those classic TV cooking moments. Offering a great sense of nostalgia and not forgetting giving both Gordon and any home cooks time clear up any mishaps which have arisen along with way.

christmas pud gordon ramsay

Classic Christmas Pud could be on the menu

Although I’m not 100% sure I’ll cook with Gordon – I’ve got a tried and tested Christmas routine which goes down a treat- I think it’s a great opportunity for others who might not feel confident enough to face the challenge of cooking Christmas lunch alone.

Having said that, as a keen foodie I’m hoping to see what Gordon whips up. I’m always looking for new ideas and I’m sure that Gordon has something rather special in mind for Christmas time. Maybe a clever twist on Christmas veggies and something extra special for desert, who knows, but I’m sure it will be delicious and definitely worth the hard work.

Currently information on the programme is rather sparse. However, I’m sure that closer to the big day more information will be released. I’d recommend visiting Channel 4 for updates alternatively I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Kirstie’s Handmade Britain – Craft show

November 3, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As an avid patchwork quilter I was delighted to see that TV presenter and craft lover Kirstie Allsopp has a new television series on Channel 4.

‘Kirstie’s Handmade Britain’ explores the world of crafts from sewing, quilting, flowers arranging, paper crafts and even willow weaving. The series watches Kirstie immerge herself into a whole host of new and exciting craft techniques before entering fiercely competitive craft shows and fairs.

In each episode Kirstie faces new craft challenges ranging from making show worthy scones to prize winning needlework. Cleverly avoiding the classic ‘here’s the one we made earlier’ cliché the episodes document Kirstie’s creation from start to finish, capturing the ups and downs which Kirstie encounters along the way.

In the latest episode, which saw Kirstie create a cushion from scratch, premier quilter Jo Colwill was on hand to give Kirstie a few hints and tips in the right direction, which I definitely made note of.

cushion

Kirstie is undeniably passionate about crafting and incredibly creative. She won the Great Yorkshire Show’s winning cushion and the ultimate triumph of ‘Best in Show’ for her Yorkshire inspired creation. Utilising needlework techniques such as machine embroidery, quilting, patchwork and applique Kirstie showed that there is room for lots of techniques- offering inspiration to learn something new.

The show wonderfully demonstrates the many ways which we can become more creative. Whilst still highlighting the great amount of time and effort which goes into making a quality piece of craftwork- a pleasure to watch, one which I would definitely recommend.

Watch the series on Channel 4 OD here.

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