Robert Hampton

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30th September 2013

Public Service Announcement
Posted by at 8.32pm | Meta | No responses

My friend Scott (aka the Mersey Tart) has been nominated for an award. Over 500 bloggers entered the Blog North Awards, and he made the shortlist.

For the uninitiated, Scott’s blog Round the north we go has been running since 2007. He set out to visit and write about every station on the Merseyrail map. When he’d done that, he just kept going. The end result is a love letter to the railways, borne of a level of dedication that goes above and beyond the call of duty. Every blog post is chock full of observations both whimsical and scathing. It’s a joy to read.

Also, if it weren’t for Scott’s station blogging, he and I would probably never have met, thus depriving the world of the greatest double act since PJ and Duncan. Now that has to be worth a vote, surely?

I don’t want to sound like those hectoring interstitials on dreadful programmes like Loose Women, shamelessly begging for votes in the TV Quick Awards or whatever they’re called. Yes, Scott’s a friend of mine, but in this case it really would be a deserved win. Voting closes tomorrow, so be quick!

If you like Scott’s blog, go to and vote for “Round The North We Go” in the Best Personal Blog category. Thank you.

1st July 2012

A Pointless Excursion

BBC Television CentreI’ve always liked game shows on TV. My obsession during my childhood led to my founding a short-lived Catchphrase fan web site (don’t ask) and the construction of an elaborate computer program, on my old Acorn A3010, to recreate the mise en scène of Family Fortunes, much to the chagrin of my relatives who had to endure a game at Christmas and other family occasions.

My favourite new show is Pointless, an amiable trivia-fest which fills the afternoon tea-time slot BBC1. I’m usually at the gym when it is on, watching the action play out without sound and with subtitles, and I’ve become quite hooked.

Therefore, when I noticed that tickets were available for the latest run of recordings, I jumped at the chance to apply.

View from the train windowThere were two motivations: since Pointless is regularly pre-empted by sport at the moment, it would no doubt aid my withdrawal symptoms. Secondly, and most importantly, it would be a chance to see inside the iconic BBC Television Centre before it is closed and sold off.

Of course, any experience is best shared, and I was fortunate my semi-regular intrepid band of friends with me: Scott and his partner Dave travelled down with me to London, where we would meet our mutual friend Ian.

On Thursday morning, we arrived at Lime Street and boarded a Virgin Pendolino, which got us to London with its usual speed, despite encountering a horrifying storm while passing through the Midlands.

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6th September 2011

Blowing away the cobwebs
Posted by at 1.50pm | Out and About | No responses

London Euston stationWell, it has been a while since I last blogged, hasn’t it? I’m not quite sure what explanation I can offer. Maybe nothing interesting has happened in my life; maybe I’ve been too lazy to write anything. I suspect it is some combination of the two.

Now, however, it’s time for me to account for my whereabouts since Friday. If you’ve been following my Tweets, you will have noticed that I was in London over the weekend. A trip to the Smoke was something I’ve been pondering for a while, I decided to go to celebrate my birthday (which was yesterday, in fact). It proved to be a great weekend, offering the chance to catch up with friends old and new.

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