The resignation of Sleaford’s MP over the government’s handling of Brexit brought the national spotlight to the small Lincolnshire town.
Stephen Phillips, who’s been the area’s Conservative representative since 2010, stepped down with immediate effect in November 2016 because of ‘irreconcilable differences’ with the government. This was shortly after the Prime Minister had announced that she’d be challenging the High Court ruling that Parliament must get a vote on when to start the process of leaving the EU.
In Sleaford and North Hykeham 63% of voters were in favour of leaving the European Union, as was Stephen Phillips. So with his resignation, whether the constituency wanted it or not, Brexit became one of the main campaigning issues for the by-election.
A number of national politicians came to visit the area and I got to cover Nigel Farage’s visit. The former UKIP leader came to support his party’s candidate, as well as see the market place, and of course the pub.
It was very strange to see a crowd of people just suddenly follow the former UKIP leader around. There were a number of people who were huge fans of him, but likewise a number who didn’t like his politics. And this is where he did interviews with the media. So it wasn’t really a chance to challenge him or ask in-depth questions as he was also entertaining a huge crowd of people.
Bits of this interview went out on the Lincs FM’s bulletins in December 2016.
Football definitely becomes more exciting when you’re following teams that are performing well. So it was fantastic to cover Grimsby Town’s promotion which saw them get back into league football in 2016.
As part of the news bulletins for Lincs FM and Compass FM we followed the Mariners story – which ended with a trip to Wembley. It was also fantastic to follow the area’s celebrations which included an open top bus journey and a civic reception at the Town Hall.
As we had so many interviews and talked to so many local people about what had happened I wanted to use these to make a documentary. I also found archive audio from when Grimsby Town were relegated back in 2010.
This helped to tell the story and really capture the sheer delight and also the total disappointment that comes with following a football team. It was also a fun opportunity to work on something longer and be more creative.
This documentary The Mariners: Back where we belong went out on Compass FM just before the new football season kicked off in August 2016.
In the run up to May 7th Lincolnshire had it’s fair share of visits from major politicians to sway people’s opinions. Inevitably the Prime Minister came to the county to bolster support for his prospective parliamentary candidates.
He used Lincoln, the home of one of the few remaining copies of the Magna Carta, to launch his English manifesto. The electoral promise would be an answer to the problem of Scottish politicians being able to vote on the rules that govern English people, but English politicians not having a say on some Scottish laws.
I got the chance to meet David Cameron when he came to Lincoln’s Assembly Rooms for Lincs FM. It was interesting to see an important speech, the election campaign up close and how everyone interacted with the head of state. It was also great to get the chance to quiz the Prime Minister on issues that are important to our listeners.
Here’s the package that went out on the radio station about the visit.
British food has become more than just your meat and two veg as international flavours are influencing home cooking.
Research by Simply Beef and Lamb has found that British people, especially children, are more adventurous at mealtimes.
The Michelin starred chef Mark Sargeant has been working with Simply Beef and Lamb to create some easy lamb recipes and spoke to Siren FM about the changes in our tastes.
Tagines, curries and enchiladas are just some of the international dishes that have become popular in our kitchens. Research found that parents are also making these dishes for their children, admitting that their kids are eating more exotic foods than they did at their age.
Mark encourages children to try new foods and says: “I get very excited by the prospect of my daughters growing up with a really wide and varied palate. It’s very important for me to get in there at a young age and that wasn’t done so much certainly when I was younger.”
Being creative in the kitchen helps when it comes to being more adventurous with food. Mark says: “That’s where it’s so good to be relaxed in the kitchen. Understand that you’ve got a lovely piece of lamb and understand what goes with it and what you like and hopefully you’ll end up with some really good adventurous recipes.”
Mark’s top tips when it comes to cooking lamb this spring are:
- Quality — “Try and get really good, organic good quality lamb. That’s the most important thing. If you start with good lamb then you’re going to end up with a fantastic dish,” he says.
- Be adventurous — “If you want to keep it simple that’s completely fine… but try and be a bit more adventurous.” Mark mentions that the Simply Beef and Lamb website is filled with plenty of recipes and promises: “Your spring lamb will never taste as good as it has before.”
You can listen to the full interview with Mark Sargeant below. This interview was originally broadcast on Siren FM.
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Celebrity chef and Masterchef judge John Torode travels down under to showcase the best food available in his home country in the new series John Torode’s Australia.
The show gives John Torode a chance to revisit the places where he learnt to cook as well as explore the types of food that different cultures have brought to the country. He does think it is funny that Britain has a stereotype that Australians just cook everything on the barbecue. Although there is more to Australian cooking John Torode does defend cooking things on the barbecue saying that it is great for everyday dishes as well as fine steak.
John Torode gave some encouraging words to people who want to learn how to cook new and different dishes — saying they should focus on learning the culture surrounding a type of cuisine. However, he thinks people aren’t put off from trying new foods saying: “Are we a bit scared? Maybe. But a lot of people know what they like and I think that’s not a bad thing at all.”
But when it comes to himself, John Torode says: “If I went through any day and I didn’t learn anything about cooking I think it would be a sad day.”
John Torode’s Australia starts on Good Food on Monday 3rd March at 8pm.
You can listen to the full interview with John Torode where he talks to me and Sam Pidoux about why he doesn’t like cooking cheap food and why he enjoyed not having the responsibilities of Masterchef when filming his latest television show.
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“The one positive that’s come out of this, its highlighted the fact that we really need to understand what we’re eating and sadly nowadays we’re becoming a nation of convenience and convenience food and we don’t really care where stuff comes from.
“When stuff gets highlighted like this … now we’re worried about it.”
— Chef James Martin on UK Meat Scandal