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DECEMBER 2017 Issue 220

R SINCE 1998



Your best guide to what’s on in Greater Peterborough

Gwen Stefani

The Christmas lights go on across the city! Party Fashion Live Music Movies Food



19 years-old!





Editor Sharon McAllister

ADVERTISING Head of Sales & Marketing Sean McAllister Sales Manager Charlotte Lewis

DESIGN Tony Mayer       


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US! It’s not just Christmas we’re celebrating here at ESP, but also the magazine’s 19th birthday! Another year has passed with another 12 issues of your local magazine packed with all the good stuff that’s happening in and around greater Peterborough every month. We have lots of exciting things planned for 2018 and will be supporting and joining in with the fantastic Peterborough Celebrates campaign (see page 16), and we are the print media partner for the 20th Dragon Boat Race so will be taking to the water once again in June. There’s always so much to talk about so make sure you keep an eye on our website and our social media for all the very latest news.

Andy Vernum, Emma Bothamley,                  Mike Harris, Chris Brudenell,                          Andrew James, Tim Steele

COLuMNISTS Pep Cipriano   Darren Grigas Keith Dalton      Phil Adlam          Karen Devine  

REPORTERS Mikey Clarke    Sarah Tempest Sarah Slack

CONTRIBuTORS Gavin Miller        Marc Hernandez Rachael Church

ESP MAGAZINE LTD Directors Sharon McAllister Sean McAllister

SOCIAL MEDIA /espmagazine


T: 01733 381266 E:

ESP is a totally independent publication, not linked in any way to any other Peterborough publications. ESP is written, researched, designed and published by ESP Magazine Ltd. The views expressed in this magazine are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. All design and artwork is the copyright of its respective owner. Reproduction of any part of this publication is strictly prohibited unless prior written consent is given by the publishers.


NEW FOOD PUB NOW OPEN IN STAMFORD A new venue’s opened in Stamford called Paten & Co, in what was formerly The Periwig bar on All Saint’s Place. It’s had a complete transformation by owners KNEAD Pubs and looks fantastic serving craft beer, fine wines and spirits once again with the occasional cocktail thrown in for good measure. The name comes from Paten & Co a local wine and spirits merchant in the early 1900s. It has a delicious new menu and the kitchen offers open plan viewing with a state of the art charcoal oven cooking meat from KNEAD Farm, fish and game. It’s designed so you can share a number of small plates (or not!) or opt for a main dish and choose your own array of sides. In effect, you can create your own dish exactly to your liking.

FIRST EVER CATHEDRAL CHRISTMAS MARKET Don’t forget for the first time this year, Peterborough Cathedral is hosting a

Christmas market in the Nave, featuring some wonderful present ideas, charity stalls and seasonal musical entertainment. You can pop along to a preview evening on Friday December 1 when entry’s £5 with mulled wine from 6.30pm to 9.00pm. Then on Saturday December 2 between 10am and 4.30pm it’s £2 entry (accompanied children free).


energy tariff and supplier, access information on the national £140 Warm Home Discount and give you a free goodie bag. PECT aims to provide households with the information and resources needed to stay warm and healthy, whilst cutting costs and carbon. This project’s funded by the Scottish Power Energy People Trust and is supported by Cross Keys Homes. To book your FREE energy advice home visit, call 01733 866440 or email For more info visit

OUNDLE GETS FESTIVE Here’s your chance to make a child’s Christmas extra special and really get in the spirit of the season. The Queensgate Gift Tree, in partnership with Spurgeons Children’s Charity, is back so why not donate a present to a child who wouldn’t normally have a Christmas. Ross Hendry, CEO of Spurgeons Children’s Charity said – “Around a quarter of children in Peterborough are living in poverty. This Christmas, many of them won’t even have presents or even a warm winter coat. Your generous gifts will make a huge difference to thousands of families at this time of the year.” You’ll find it next to the Customer Information Desk (outside John Lewis) and all you need to do is choose a tag with a child’s name, age and gender and donate an unwrapped present. Donations will be accepted up to Wednesday December 20 so that Spurgeons and, with the help of local delivery company APC, and of course Santa himself, can ensure all gifts are beautifully wrapped and delivered to children in time for Christmas Day.

FREE ENERGY ADVICE If you live in Peterborough and want to cut costs and keep your home warm this winter for less (who doesn’t?) the environmental charity PECT can help with its free energy advice service: Warm Homes. Just book a free home energy advice visit from an impartial advisor and they’ll help you choose the best

The festive fun kicks off in Oundle town centre on Saturday December 2. You can pick up some gifts and tasty treats, enjoy mulled wine and mince pies at the Christmas market from 12 noon and then at 5.30pm the town’s lights are switched on with the fun continuing unitl 7pm. There are great independent shops and cafés too so an ideal place to find that perfect gift.


Like taking selfies and fancy bagging yourself some great gifts? Head down Westgate Arcade in Peterborough and keep your eyes peeled for Elfred the mischievous Christmas elf hiding in one of Westgate’s windows. He could win you a festive package worth over £300. Find him, take a selfie with the elfie and post it on social media with the hashtag #foundElfred to enter. Each day, for twelve days, Elfred will hide in a different shop window in Westgate Arcade. Find him and take a picture for the chance to win a hamper packed with gifts, goodies and treats from Westgate’s retailers. The Elfie Selfie competition closes on

Wednesday December 13 and the winner will be announced on Friday December 15. The winner must collect the prizes from each Westgate retailer. Find out more at

CHRISTMAS MARKET AND ICE SKATING @ PE1 The Peterborough One Retail Park (formerly Garden Park) at Eye had an amazing lights switch on so go take a look at their fabulous Christmas tree and illuminations and enjoy some more of their festive events. In addition to the stores at the shopping centre there will be a special Christmas Market from Saturday December 16 Sunday December 24, 10am 4pm, providing a variety of unique crafts and gorgeous gift ideas. You can also don your ice skates and Skate Van Hage from now until January 8. Their magical winter ice rink is made of real ice, and comes complete with atmospheric lighting and festive music. The rink is open from 12 noon to 8pm daily. The sessions are 45 minutes each, and tickets start at just £5, go online for details on

BOURNE LIGHTS SWITCH ON Bourne gets officially festive as the lights are turned on by Santa at the town’s magical Christmas Fayre on Saturday December 2. There’ll be lots of festive fun throughout the town centre between 10am and 6pm. All the family can get in the Christmas spirit with live stage entertainment, fairground rides, scalextric track, crafts and charity stalls and meet Santa and your favourite princesses. Father Christmas will be switching the lights on at 4.30pm and there’s the chance to win £100 cash!

ACCESSIBLE SHOPPING EVENT @ QUEENSGATE Everyone’s keen to get their festive shopping underway and Queensgate’s come up with a new event to make shopping accessible for everyone. On Thursday December 7, the centre hosts EnAbled when they’ll be working with disability groups and individuals to make shopping inclusive for everyone.

From 4pm until 8pm, Queensgate’s staff and retailers will be dedicated to welcoming disability groups, carers, and individuals with specific needs of all ages and abilities by creating a relaxed and comfortable environment. There’ll be greeting stations with refreshments, soothing music, dimmed lights and exclusive discounts. Staffed ‘quiet zones’ and sensory areas will give guests easy-to-access locations and there’ll even be a dog station for guide dogs. For groups, homes, carers or individuals interested in attending please contact Carol Wakelin on carol.wakelin@queensgatec or 01733 295035.

IT’S A WRAP FOR CHARITY If you’re all fingers and thumbs when it comes to wrapping don’t panic, the wrap station is back at Queensgate. This year the centre’s running the gift-wrapping service in partnership with volunteers from Anna’s Hope, Queensgate’s charity of the year. From Friday December 1 up to Christmas Eve you’ll find it at the bottom of the escalators (outside John Lewis). For a small donation, you’ll have the perfect gift to give to a loved one plus all money raised will go to the charity to help make a difference to children, young adults and their families supported by the charity.

LADIES LUNCH RAISES CASH FOR BREAST CARE UNIT Staff at Peterborough City Hospital have been presented with an £11,500 boost for the Breast Care Unit – raised by businesswomen attending a charity lunch. Now in its third year, the event attracted 330 women at the Holiday Inn West, where guest speaker was best selling international author, inspirational speaker, TV presenter and charity campaigner Katie Piper. Carol Collier, herself a former breast cancer patient, again organised the lunch as a way of saying thank you to the unit for the fantastic care she received. This latest donation brings the total raised so far to £30,000, with money used for clinical room makeovers and specialised theatre equipment not available within NHS budgets. A date’s already set for next year’s event – October 12 – with a waiting list already in place!


Sleeping Beauty The Key Theatre panto is always a great festive family night out and with its intimate auditorium we love the fact you always feel part of the action and have a great view. You’ll soon be booing and hissing and cheering so make sure you’re in good voice. This year it’s the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty with an all singing enchanting tale of true love, princesses and princes. Adventure and excitement are always a major part of panto at the Key together with an abundance of slapstick, humour, music and spectacle and this story has it all. There are 60 performances to ensure you don’t miss out so catch Sleeping Beauty from December 7 – right through to January 7. Tickets range from £10 to £18.50 on 01733 207239.

Snow White

This year we have a Corrie legend and handsome former Skins star joining the cast of the Cresset panto classic, Snow White. You’ll be giggling at Kevin Kennedy – Coronation Street’s Curly Watts – as Muddles while Mitch Hewer will be easy on the eye as the Prince. Mitch got his big break on Channel 4’s Skins, as fan favourite Maxxie and has since appeared as Mickey Ellisson in BBC’s Casualty and last visited the city when he

Aladdin in Spalding

starred in Aladdin at the Cresset in 2014. Ever popular panto dame Zach Vanderfelt dons his amazing frocks and wigs as the outrageous Madam Bonbon. This Premier Pantomimes production promises all the magic and spectacle we’ve come to expect and local youngsters get a chance to play a aprt too. It runs from December 9 to 30 so grab your tickets now on 01733 265705.

Take a magic carpet ride over to the South Holland Centre in Spalding for Polka Dot Pantomimes’ production of Aladdin. Cheer along as Aladdin finds a genie in a lamp who grants him three wishes to make his dreams come true. Full of high energy dance routines, glittering costumes, spectacular scenery, and a great big dollop of audience participation! See this great family panto from Saturday December 9 – Sunday December 31 at various times. Tickets are available on 01775 764777.

Beauty and the Beast At the end of December there’s another panto in Stamford to entertain all the family. The Stamford Pantomime Players bring us the hugely popular tale of Beauty and the Beast. It follows last year’s success with Snow White and promises another great

performance to get you in the festive mood. See it at Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre from Wednesday December 27 Monday January 1. Tickets are £9.50 adults, concessions £9 and £8 for children under 16 on 01780 766455.

For even more news and events, check out our website

A Very Christmassy Christmas Concert at Christmas!

Aladdin in Stamford Stamford audiences can also enjoy Aladdin as the Tomorrow’s Dream Performers bring you their take on the magical adventure. After the success of last year’s pantomime, Cinderella, they’re back at Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre with another great show on December 16 – 17 (various performance times). Tickets are £9 for adults, £8.50 concessions and £8 for children under 16 on 01780 766455.

Telling Tales are back for the fifth year to get Oundle into the Christmas mood. This fantastic variety show, aptly named – A Very Christmassy Christmas Concert at Christmas! is great family entertainment. Join Simon Aylin and a host of West End performers for a concert packed with cracking songs and plenty of laughter. It’s on Friday December 22 and Saturday December 23 at 3.30pm and 6.30pm at The Stahl Theatre. To book tickets (adults £16.50, children £14.50) please visit: ingtales or head to the Stahl Theatre in Oundle.

Screening of The Nutcracker

If you like to wait until after Christmas for your panto fun the Stamford Arts Centre has Rapunzel running from Thursday January 4 – Sunday January 7. Rapunzel A Tangled Tale by Polka Dot Pantomimes will be a fun pantomime adventure for all the family. Book your tickets on 01780 763203.

Choir Brings Christmas Magic

Peterborough Arts Cinema Step away from the Christmas movies and take a break from the TV adverts and have a night out at Peterborough Arts Cinema at the John Clare Theatre. The Peterborough Film Society rounds off this year’s films with a screening of Korean movie The Handmaiden on Thursday December 14. Set in 1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation, it’s the story of a plan to swindle a Japanese heiress out of her fortune. A new season of film screenings will start in January, find out more on

Now in its seventh successful year, the everpopular Christmas Magic concert is back to get us all in the festive spirit. For one night only this hugely popular night returns to The Broadway on Sunday December 17. Featuring all your festive favourites and more, including Walking in the Air, Driving Home for Christmas, Little St Nick, Silent Night, Carol of the Bells, White Christmas and many more – as well as some speciallycommissioned new arrangements – there’ll be something for everyone. Hosted by Jane Smith it features a full symphony orchestra with performances by the city’s award-winning choirs Peterborough Male Voice Choir, Peterborough Voices and Peterborough Youth Choir. Tickets from £16 are available from Peterborough Visitor Information Centre, by phone on 0333 666 3366 or at

Photo: Geoff Pugh Photography


For ballet fans The Nutcracker is a must-see at Christmas and so this delayed screening from the Royal Opera House will have you pirouetting down to the Key Theatre on Monday December 11. Peter Wright’s production for The Royal Ballet ranks as one of the very best versions of The Nutcracker. With its festive period setting, dancing snowflakes and enchanting stage magic it’s the perfect Christmas entertainment, with Tchaikovsky’s music the most recognisable of all ballet scores. Tickets are £16 full price and £13.50 concessions on 01733 207239.

The Military Wives Sing In The City There’s no better setting for this great concert by the famous Military Wives choir than Peterborough Cathedral. They’re bringing their Home for Christmas Tour to the city on Saturday December 9 and it’ll be a stunning show in a beautiful setting. Get your tickets quick (£27.50) online via Ticketmaster, or from Peterborough Information Centre, Bridge Street, Peterborough on 01733 452336.



Merry Medieval Christmas

Head to the Tower to find out what Christmas was really like back in medieval times. Meet colourful characters as they deck the halls of Longthorpe Tower and help prepare a festive feast fit for Lords and Ladies, discover medieval traditions and craft your very own historic decoration to take home. Enjoy a Merry Medieval Christmas on Saturday December 9 and Sunday December 10, 10am-5pm (last entry 4pm) Admission’s £3 children, £4 adults, £12 families and there’s no need to book.

Lights of Love Concert The wonderful open air Lights of Love carol concert at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice is guaranteed to give you that Christmas feeling. It’s an annual event you shouldn’t miss on Sunday December 10 and is free to attend. Everybody’s welcome and it starts at 6pm featuring the City of Peterborough Concert Band. Due to popular demand, former BBC Radio Cambridgeshire presenter Jane Smith will once again host the event and everyone’s encouraged to join in with their favourite Christmas carols. It’s a lovely opportunity to remember, reflect and to celebrate the lives of people close to you. The centrepiece will, as usual, be Thorpe Hall’s Lights of Love trees, decked with handwritten messages of love, remembrance and inspiration. You’ll be able to add your own dedication on the night.

Business Workers’ And Shoppers’ Carols We’re all busy but you can’t beat some carols to get you in the festive spirit so here’s a chance to pop out of work on your lunch hour or take a breather from the Christmas shopping On Thursday December 21 at 1pm drop into Peterborough Cathedral for some traditional Christmas carols and readings. This popular event is a great opportunity to come together and sing some familiar Christmas carols in the Cathedral nave. Mulled wine and mince pies follow for those who have time to stay.

It’s the most iconic building in the city but have you ever taken the trouble to really look around and find out more about our beautiful cathedral? There’s a great opportunity to take a tour with a difference this month – by candlelight! If you have the extended family round, why not take them along and escape the house or just take a bit of time out from the shopathon and enjoy some peace and quiet! There are atmospheric after-hours tours with one of their trained guides on Wednesday December 20 and Saturday December 23 at 7pm, ending with a glass of wine or soft drink. Tickets are £12 (concessions £10). Book online on the cathedral website or call 01733 452336. 8

Photo: Matthew Roberts

Cathedral By Candlelight Tour

Carols And Concerts @ Burghley Whether you want to take a walk in the park or enjoy some festive music the stunning Burghley House in Stamford is perfect at Christmas. There’s the traditional Christmas Chapel Concert, performed in the intimate setting of the family Chapel including mince pies and mulled wine on Sunday December 10, (£25). That’s followed by Christmas Carols in the Great Hall in the magnificent oakpanelled hall, which has changed little since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert dined there in 1844. Take part in the carols on Wednesday December 13 ( £20 adults, £10 child, including pre-drink in the Orangery). And while the house may be closed for winter, Burghley’s parkland, with its resident herd of deer, remains open with free entry right through the year – perfect for winter walks or a chance to blow away the Christmas cobwebs.

Christmas Movies @ The Cathedral We all love a Christmas movie and feeling like a big kid again so gather up the family, switch off the TV and head to the cathedral to see some great movies over the holidays. It’s a great way to entertain the family over the Christmas break, enjoying much loved films in an unusual setting. Friday December 29 at 2.30pm it’s Arthur Christmas (U) and at 7pm It’s A Wonderful Life (U). Saturday December 30 at 2.30pm it’s one of our faves, Polar Express (U), then at 6.30pm the classic Home Alone (PG). Tickets, per evening: £6 adults, £4 children, £18 family for one film or £10 adults, £6 children, £30 family for both. Book online or at Oundle Box Office on 01832 274734 or Peterborough Information Centre on 01733 452336.

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Hosted throughout the day by Heart FM local performers took to the stage to entertain the crowds with the Peterborough Voices women’s choir, top local band Idolising Nova, Tom Korni and the stars of the Key Theatre panto Sleeping Beauty among the line up. Kev & Ros from Heart Breakfast told ESP – “It was another fantastic switch-on event in Peterborough, with fireworks and festive entertainment enjoyed by thousands of people. A big thanks to Peterborough City Council and all the acts who joined us on stage!” A burst of fireworks was followed by the lights going on illuminating Cathedral Square and surrounding streets marking the start of the festivities in the city. As part of a double celebration, straight afterwards the crowds poured into Queensgate for more fun and games ahead of the shopping centre’s lights being turned on as well. Everyone was loving it and one lucky family also won a dream trip to Lapland courtesy of Thomas Cook. Now the city’s officially festive you can look forward to a special Christmas Market in Cathedral Square featuring more than a dozen unique traders from December 8 to December 23. If you’re feeling generous you can buy a gift for a child through Queensgate’s Gift Tree which you’ll find by the centre’s Information Desk. You can get your gifts wrapped at the wrap station in aid of Anna’s Hope and you can take the kids to visit Santa in his grotto as well as enjoying late night shopping every night (except Sundays) from December 1 through until December 23. Find out more at

Photos: Emma Bothamley and Chris Brudenell

There wasn’t a gap to be seen as crowds packed into Cathedral Square for the spectacular Christmas lights switch-on event organised by Peterborough City Council.

Photos: Andrew James Photography


Festive Fun @ Serpentine Green The crowds gathered outside Serpentine Green to watch Heart FM and the stars of the Cresset panto switch on the centre’s lights. The big event saw a breakdancing Santa kick off the fun before Mitch Hewer – from Skins and Casualty – along with the Cresset’s panto Dame Zack Vanderfelt and Kev and Ros from Heart FM press the plunger to illuminate the centre. It’s now looking super festive and there’s plenty more fun lined up to keep the kids entertained while you shop for all your presents and party essentials this month. Celebrate the festive season at Serpentine Green face painting and meeting their cheeky elves on the following dates: Saturday December 9 – Festive Face Painting Saturday December 16 – Cheeky Elves will be causing mischief Saturday December 23 – Festive Face Painting To find full details of all the festive activities visit

New Calendar And Book Launched By City’s Street Photographer 12

He’s followed up his successful first book of photos – New England – with two new projects, both pretty handy as Christmas gifts! His fantastic calendar Peterborough Through a Lens features more captivating shots from around the city and is priced £8. This local paramedic who takes his photos in his spare time has expanded his collection, this time putting his street photography style to great effect on foreign shores. His new collection of images from places like Rome, Copenhagen and Budapest are featured in his latest book Streets of Europe (priced £20) packed with some incredible and unusual images in Chris’ unique style. We think both his calendar and book will be on our Christmas list and would make great prezzies so pick up a copy from Peterborough Tourist information Centre on Bridge Street and Art in the Heart in the Westgate Arcade. See more on

Photos: Chris Porsz

Here at ESP we’ve long supported talented street photographer Chris Porsz who’s been candidly capturing the people of Peterborough since the late 70s and has created a fine slice of social history.

ManTown about

ano Pep Cipri


Scientists say 66% of males are less prone to heart attacks if they’re married. It must be because we’re obviously immune to her racking up £4k on our credit card for herself and Christmas gifts in December.

Time to Stand Up for our City Needless to say I'm a passionate Peterbororian and I don't like seeing our city being overlooked or shortchanged, which is why I'm supporting the Stand Up For Peterborough campaign. Something had to be done and now is the time to lobby government who have financially suffocated us in recent years. The Stand Up For Peterborough campaign is all about having a voice that says we want our vital services protected. Since the government’s austerity programme began in 2010 the amount of funding that all councils receive has fallen at a rapid rate. It’s meant that our city council has had to make cuts to essential services and by 2019/20 the reduction of funding we’ve had from central government will be at 80%. Now it’s our turn to hit back. Stand Up For Peterborough is asking us residents to get behind it by writing to the leader of the council at the Town Hall and pledging our support for the campaign. We can also post a comment on the Stand Up For Peterborough page on the council's website. The letters, emails and social media posts will then be sent to government in 2018 to demonstrate our stance in Peterborough. If we don’t all get behind this now, our city will be a very different place within the next couple of years and nobody wants to see that…

About Last Night...

A survey by UK online printer, instantprint has revealed that nearly half of us in East Anglia experience romance at the office Christmas party. The annual shindig is supposed to be the perfect opportunity to bond with your colleagues and let your hair down. It’s not a platform for groping the girl in finance or trying to suck the face off the manager in marketing.

So, here are my top ten tips to survive your work Christmas party: 1. Don’t go. But if you insist then… 2. Don’t shower for a week beforehand 3. Get your mum to drop you off and pick you up 4. Take your girlfriend/boyfriend with you 5. Pick the dish that’s most caked in garlic 6. Announce that you haven’t washed your hands after going to the loo 7. Wear Old Spice and no-one will come near you 8. If a colleague’s coming onto you tell them you’re sleeping with the boss and will get them sacked 9. If your boss comes onto you tell them you’re gay 10. If your boss comes onto you and you’re of the same sexual orientation then ask for a pay rise first

Spreading the Love You’ve got to give it to Nutella fans. They’ve gone nuts because makers of the delicious hazelnut spread have adjusted its ingredients to make it even more fattening. Consumers on social media have reacted angrily to its makers Ferrero tweaking the recipe so that it now contains 8.7% powdered skimmed milk (previously 7.5%)


and 55.9% of sugar (was 56.3%). Surely, and God forbid if it ever happens, the creation of the opposite – a diet Nutella –is what lovers of the brown stuff should be saving their verbal venom for? Italy may not be able to produce winning football teams anymore, but it sure knows how to thicken your heart’s arteries with its most famous confectionary, when the rest of the world’s nations are spending millions to reduce sugar and fat content in their processed food. God bless Italia.

CAUGHT IN THE ACT! Is it me or do have really bigeshaAston nds?

John - welcome aboard! ‘Lettuce’ – Xmas in the Boro? Jules – need to talk flooring… Mandy – time for a catch up? Antimo – rent a Triumph Bonneville here? Steve – good luck and g’day!

For even more news and events, check out our website

Nice to see Mayor John Fox reads this column and took note of me likening him to Father Christmas a few issues back. He’ll be dressing up as the world’s most famous bearded man to launch the Santa Stroll on December 17 at Serpentine Green Shopping Centre. Proceeds go to the Mayor’s charities and you can sign up via the city council’s website.

Happy Birthday ESP Wow! We’re 19 and going stronger than ever! This means yours truly – ESP’s longest serving writer – has crafted over 220 columns and typed more than 330,000 words. I was 24 years old when I submitted my first column, which was then called ‘Been There, Done That’. Perhaps today it’s a more fitting name for my column, as I can tell you some stories… Congratulations to my editor Sharon for keeping this magazine as popular as it was from the very beginning and for creating a publication that’s woven into the fabric that is Peterborough. The city, and myself, wouldn’t be the same without it. Here’s to another 19 years!

Dear Santa…

….“I’ve been a good boy this year, so please may I have a Royal Enfield Continental GT? You don’t have to rush around on your sleigh to get me it in time for Christmas Day though, this special motorbike isn’t available locally for a few months yet, so you can focus on delivering everyone else’s presents first. “Have a few weeks off to chill and then maybe you could sleigh over to Balderston Motorcycles in Hampton, to see if they’ve refitted the upstairs showroom to make way for their Royal Enfield store. Here, bikers will be able to choose from a full range of Royal Enfield machines as well as clothing, helmets and accessories. Exciting news eh Santa?! “In the meantime, thanks for reading this. Oh, almost forgot, I’d like my GT in black please. Thanks again Santa and Merry Christmas!”

Photo: Emma Bothamley

Father Foxmas at Santa Stroll


You’ve watched them sitting under the tree for weeks, glistening from the sparkle of the lights and all wrapped up in the best quality paper. Then the big day finally arrives, it’s December 25. You rush to the tree, grab the gifts with your name on and one by one unwrap presents that you’ve been waiting for all year… Adidas deodorant and shower gel, a M&S handkerchief set, a car air freshener, a box of Quality Street, a pocket guide to NYC (because I’ve only been eight times), a fountain pen, a ‘Babes of 2018’ calendar, a pair of white socks and a Paisley tie (how innovative), a Filofax because I obviously don’t have a mobile phone and an olive tree because getting a jar of olives from Morrisons takes too much time, effort and patience. Thank you to all the creative gift shoppers I know for making me love Christmas even more.

The godfather of Italian cooking passed away last month and the local Italian community paid their respects to the great man on social media. Antonio Carluccio had been special guest at the Italian Festival on more than one occasion and most of us had the chance to meet him. He was approachable, knowledgeable and took everything in his stride. He was also, in typical Italian fashion, quite trendy for a man in his 70’s! I had the pleasure of interviewing Antonio on two occasions, one of which was in his restaurant in Cumbergate where we talked for hours about our addiction to Italian food porn. He had a genuine passion for preparing traditional Italian food and was a proper food historian too. As the generations dilute, his kind will never come along again. Proud to have met you Antonio.




Don Carluccio got my Respect

New Year’s Eve Lights Up For 900 For the first time in six years there’ll be a celebration on Cathedral Square to see in the New Year. But this will be a subtle affair with a firework display to mark the cathedral’s 900th anniversary year, which is 2018. Diners who will be celebrating the New Year in our city centre restaurants are encouraged to step outside with their glasses of bubbly and cha-ching a toast to the next 12 months. I’m looking forward to it – civilised and classy. Or perhaps I’m just getting old, as most of us remember what NYE in Cathedral Square used to be like back in the day. Glad to have experienced it but the world’s a different place now…

And the Winner is... Someone give this man an Oscar! Our Mikey looked and sounded every bit the part when he picked up a prestigious local accolade for his day job. Children’s charity Little Miracles won the Social Enterprise of the Year category at the Peterborough Telegraph Business Awards. It was a testament to the charities’ progress and of course, the fundraising efforts of a certain Mr Clarke. And before you ask, no, the guy standing behind Mikey isn’t a giant. It’s just that our Mikey is just 4ft 4”.


Over 100 events and activities are being run by local schools, community groups, charities and businesses.

There’s always a sense of excitement about a New Year but 2018 is set to be 900 times more exciting in Peterborough!


et ready for a whole year of celebrations and we want you to be a part of it. Next year Peterborough will be celebrating the 900th anniversary of the iconic cathedral and the city will be marking this very special birthday with a series of celebratory events and activities as part of the year long ‘Peterborough Celebrates’ campaign. The aim is to attract more visitors to the city, help to increase pride in the local area and showcase Peterborough on a regional and national level. ESP is right behind it – you know we love a party! We will be running the campaign logo on every issue, promoting and taking part in many of the events.

charities and businesses. The celebrations will kick off in January and will include a number of fundraising activities, art projects, festivals, competitions, concerts and much, much more. The Acting Dean of Peterborough, Canon Tim Alban Jones told ESP – “At Peterborough Cathedral we are really excited to be at the very heart of Peterborough Celebrates. Next year will be a real landmark for the cathedral as we mark our 900th anniversary. We hope to be able to share our special anniversary with as many people as possible – both in the city and beyond. We would like to attract visitors to our great city and wonderful cathedral so that they can see what is on offer and join in our celebrations.” Highlights will include the Katherine of Aragon Festival and Heritage Festival, the 40th anniversary of the official opening of the beautiful Ferry Meadows Country Park ‘Peterborough Celebrates Nene Park’ and the 30th Anniversary of Nene Park Trust.

Italian Festival

Nene Park

Heritage Festival In partnership with the Cathedral, Peterborough City Council is coordinating a full programme for 2018 bursting with activities for the whole family to enjoy. Over 100 events and activities are being run by local schools, community groups, 16

activities and we are partnering with the cathedral, so that we can utilise its beautiful surroundings even more throughout the year." The campaign is already being supported by a number of local organisations, including the POSH, Papa Luigi, Queensgate, Serpentine Green, Virgin Trains and Anna’s Hope. Local businesses and organisations are being encouraged to add to the programme and Hannah Thompson, Business Development Manager at Peterborough Greyhound Stadium is just one that’s pledged support. “This celebration is not just about the cathedral, but about the community and how we can come together for people to see what a great city we have. It has so much to offer both socially, and professionally. “The Peterborough Greyhounds is a family owned business for over 70 years, and we are proud to be a part of the campaign. The city has been kind to us for many years, and hopefully many more to come.” The Peterborough Celebrates campaign is open to everyone. It’s a chance to get behind the festivities, celebrate our city and support it in whatever way you’d like.

Peterborough City Council Chief Executive Gillian Beasley added – "The city council is proud to be supporting what promises to be a momentous year for Peterborough and our fantastic cathedral. Peterborough Celebrates encourages residents, community groups and businesses to embrace and promote our city in a positive way and to make the most of the jewel in our crown that is the cathedral. "Council employees have got behind the celebrations with various 900-themed

Examples of how you can get involved include: • Hosting your own 900-themed event or activity • Adding a Peterborough Celebrates element to your existing campaign, event or activity • Adding the logo to your marketing collateral • Volunteering at some of the planned celebrations • Attend an event • Spread the word! If you’d like to get involved in the celebrations or run an activity or event then please visit

Food Glori us Food

Photos: Emma Bothamley

Tuck in to a great night out at Vivacity’s Riverside Restaurant

We’ve always loved the idea of dinner and a show or enjoying lunch by the river during the summer so it’s great to see the Riverside Restaurant is now open once again within the Key Theatre. We popped down to find out more and think it has great potential with new head chef Craig Lemmon at the helm. After a period of change and temporary closure, Vivacity’s Riverside Restaurant is back and offering pre-theatre dining to start with but with the intention of opening more often for casual evening and lunchtime meals. Jag Singh, General Manager at Vivacity’s Key Theatre said about Riverside Restaurant – “We are currently offering a pre theatre dining experience prior to our shows, however we are excited to announce that we will enhance our offer to include lunch, afternoon tea and non-event evenings as well.” You can expect quality, freshly prepared food at affordable prices and a quality dining experience in a cosy, intimate and relaxed atmosphere overlooking the beautiful embankment and wildlife.

The menu covers all the British classics such as fish and chips, sausage and mash, and vegetable lasagna – all with a modern touch of quality. We’re pleased to see they’re using fresh and locally sourced, seasonal products, from reputable local suppliers such as Grasmere Farm and Moorfarm to name a few. “At Riverside Restaurant, our emphasis is on provenance, freshness & flavour, using only the finest ingredients and where possible locally sourced,” says Head Chef, Craig Lemmon So, next time you fancy a show you can make a night of it and enjoy a 2 or 3 course meal. For menus and more information of prices, visit urant or call the box office on 01733 207239.

Unwrap Italy this Christmas at Carluccio’s It’s time to get merry as Carluccio’s launch its festive menus alongside a unique ‘Pick and Collect’ shopping service. Purchase beautifully packaged gifts, stocking-fillers and all those entertaining essentials away from the madding crowds, over a glass of chilled Prosecco. Carluccio’s Christmas menu is packed full of delicious seasonal Italian dishes using impeccably sourced Italian ingredients. Highlights include Plin in Brodo, a traditional dish from Piemonte of pinched pasta stuffed with beef and pork in chicken broth or the indulgent Lobster & Crab Lasagne or 28-day aged ribeye with truffle butter. Carluccio’s drinks list has everything you need for a festive get together from a fantastic range of Italian wines and festive fizz, through to Italian craft beers and seasonal cocktails including the Disaronno Marmalade Sour with Disaronno amaretto, Carluccio's clementine marmalade, lemon juice and orange. Not only will Carluccio’s fill you with festive food and cheer, but they’ll do your shopping for you – it’s nothing short of a Christmas miracle! Simply select your presents from the table-top gift wish list, order with Santa’s helpers (your waiter) and Carluccio’s will have everything wrapped and ready for collection at the end of the meal. For the full Christmas range, please visit

Photos: Emma Bothamley

Lightbox Party Nights


The new Lightbox Café on Bridge Street has fast established itself as a great daytime tea and cake/lunch venue and a cosy place for an evening drink when the lights dim and the candles are lit. Owner Eve and her team have been working their socks off to get her licensed tearoom dream up and running so we’re sure they’re ready for a party – and want you to join them. They’re holding some great value

buffet party nights throughout December when you can join others for a festive tipple and nibbles or hire out the venue for your own private bash. Their buffet nights are just £15 per person and include a glass of Prosecco on arrival or wine on the table and various tasty festive sandwiches, nibbles and cakes. Sounds like a deal to us so give them a call on 01733 894444 and party on!

Food News

Authentic and traditional Turkish Cypriot food enjoyed by past generations. Prepared fresh daily using ingredients supplied locally

Farm Shop and Café Set to Open There’s a new venue for tasty fresh goodies opening next month. The Harvest Barn Farm Shop and Café is opening in January at Whitehall Farm on Ramsey Road, Farcett. It’ll be stocked with delicious fresh fruit and veg, a deli and butchery and will stock a gluten free range. The café will be serving up ‘proper tea’ and tasty cakes. Find out more on

Festive Carvery at Ramblewood Set in amongst the trees and with its country charm the Ramblewood next to Orton Hall Hotel is always a cosy venue and ideal for some festive food. This month they’re serving up a special festive lunchtime carvery available from December 1 - 24 from £12.95 for two courses. Alternatively you can dine form the Festive Fayre menu for 2 courses for £16.95 or 3 courses for £22.95.

The Mad Turk Reservations: 01780 238001 Takeaways: 01780 238282 8/9 St Paul’s Street, Stamford, PE9 2BE

If you don’t want to be a slave to the oven this Christmas Day you can have it all done for you with lunch priced at £54.50. Book now on 01733 391111.

All aboard for burgers on the Gourmet Bus If you fancy something a little different the new Gourmet Bus has pulled up at Serpentine Green. This converted double-decker bus with leather seating and LED lighting is a fresh idea for the city. It’s just the ticket if you like juicy freshly prepared burgers ranging from plain to the spicy Mexicano, which has tortilla chips, salsa, jalapenos and melted cheese, all washed down with a thick and creamy milkshake.


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New for Christmas and New Years! East Anglia’s Number 1 mobile dessert delivery service Desserts Delivered Peterborough. If you are looking for something extra special and unique for your guests this festive season book the dessert van. • Special Christmas dessert menu • Office parties, home parties, community events • Cash and card payments accepted

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Get the party started

Time to get the fizz out – it’s time to party! We all love the chance to dress up so whether you’re just getting your mates round for dinner or stepping out, do it in style over Christmas and New Year. Red has been a key colour of the season and really makes an impact, velvet adds sophisticated glam and well, if you can’t wear sequins at Christmas when can you?! Models: Gemma Royce, Chelsea Fitzpatrick, Darren Grigas and Richard Grigas (and Wilson the dog). Photos: Tim Steele, Studio One Photography Hair and Makeup: Andrea Connor 07801 987905 All clothes from Queensgate, Peterborough.

Blue shirt, Calvin Klein, John Lewis, £70 Blue dinner suit trousers, Kin, John Lewis, £60

Silver sparkly top, Monsoon, £45 Black faux leather pleated skirt, Monsoon, £59 Necklace, Accessorize, £17 Diamante silver bag, Accessorize, £40

Brown jumper, Hugo Boss, £159 Black jeans, Diesel, £120 Polo shirt, Lacoste, £79 All Maysons, Westgate Arcade, Queensgate

Dark blue jeans, Hugo Boss, £109 Wine jumper, Ralph Lauren, £119 White shirt, Paul Smith, £105 All Maysons, Westgate Arcade, Queensgate

Burgundy floral print shirt, Ted Baker, John Lewis, £65 Black dinner suit trousers, John Lewis, £80

Sequin dress, Monsoon, £109 Glitter shoulder bag, Accessorize, £17

Grey velvet dress, French Connection, John Lewis, £120 Rose gold shoulder bag, Ted Baker, John Lewis, £129 Pendant, John Lewis, £22

Black dinner jacket, John Lewis, £150 Black dinner suit trousers, John Lewis, £80 White dress shirt, John Lewis, £45 Silk scarf, John Lewis, £30 Velvet bow tie, John Lewis, £25


Blue dinner suit jacket, Kin, John Lewis, £109 Blue dinner suit trousers, Kin, John Lewis, £60 White dress shirt, John Lewis, £45

Red and black dress, Coast, John Lewis, £179 Black fur trim cape, Coast, John Lewis, £99 Silver bracelet, John Lewis, £12 Black glitter clutch bag, Carvella, John Lewis, £49

Blue velvet dress, Monsoon, £69 Embellished bag, Accessorize, £37 Flower pendant, Accessorize, £6

Photos: Emma Bothamley

From Motorpoint to Tokyo…

Peterborough gymnast Louis Smith is back in training for another Olympics and back in the driving seat thanks to Motorpoint.


he dealership’s equipped our local hero with a 17 reg BMW 320D M Sport Auto to get him to those all important training sessions in Huntingdon.

“...getting to and from training is the most important thing and the main end goal is the Olympic games” ESP went along for an exclusive catch up with Louis as he collected his lovely new set of wheels and set off on his first day back in the gym. 24

“The most important thing is it’s a reliable car – getting to and from training is the most important thing and the main end goal is the Olympic games,” Louis told ESP. Tom Stanton, General Manager at Motorpoint in Peterborough told ESP – “We’re delighted to play our part in helping Olympic artistic gymnast Louis Smith MBE get on the road to Tokyo in 2020. He’s a wonderful ambassador for the sport in our region and we hope the vehicle we’ve provided him with will make the journeys to and from the Huntingdon Gymnastics Club to train that bit more comfortable.” Louis drove off the forecourt after our chat and hit

the road for some hard graft at the gym. He’d just finished touring with the successful dance show Rip It Up alongside former Strictly pro Natalie Lowe and another former winner from the show, Jay McGuinness. “Today’s my first day back in the gym which is going to be different – I’ve been dancing for the past 2 or 3 months but getting back into gymnastics is going to be a painful one. “Rip it Up was absolutely insane – that dancing tour was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do it was so full on. I did 16 dances in it, and they’re about 35 minutes at a time. It was literally non-stop so it really did test me, but I’m so glad I did it because now I know I can do shows like that. I’m looking forward to what the future may hold but right now it’s gymnastics.” So it seems that while the Tokyo Olympics are front and centre for now, our Strictly champion would be keen to swap his leotard for his dance shoes again in future. “It was only after I’d finished the Strictly tour that I realised how much I really love dancing. I’ve done two dancing tours now, I’ve been asked to do more in future, I’ve been asked to do acting, panto appearances things like, that so it’s really

opened up a different world. And I would love to go into that – I obviously need to do first things first which is gymnastics.” Having trained for gymnastics since he was 4 years-old leaving the dancefloor for the pommel horse is a return home for our Olympian and although it’ll be tough it’s a regime that’s in his blood. Once again though, he’ll need to prove a point to the selectors if he’s to make a bid for that elusive gold medal he craves. “I certainly don’t want to overstay my welcome,” says Louis, “and be someone who’s done really well and then becomes a has-been. I certainly feel like I can still win medals – I wouldn’t be getting back into it if I didn’t really think I could win an Olympic gold medal. All the years and hours of hard work since I was 4 years-old – this is my last chance to do it. “When I’m fit and I’ve been training and I’ve got my routines down to a tee, I’m confident. I’m nervous but I’m confident – so I’m just going to use the motivation that this is my last chance. Work my backside off, work to a point where my routine is on autopilot and ride it out, absolutely go out there and smash it with the intent of being as successful as I can.”

50% OFF Traditional English Pub Open for meals and snacks - 12pm to 9pm daily

Real food, Real ales, Real pub Orton Hall Hotel & Spa, The Village, Orton Longueville, Peterborough, PE2 7DN Tel: 01733 391111

ALL FOOD PURCHASES IN THE RAMBLEWOOD INN WHEN YOU SPEND £30 OR MORE The ESP Reader Offer is only valid when you spend £ or more on food and is WBMJEGSPNUI/PWFNCFSUPUI%FDFNCFS FYDMVEJOH4VOEBZT/PPOQN. TheEJTDPVOU does not apply to spend on drinks or for group bookings of eight or more.To receive your coupon for 50% OFF food purchases, just text us the word ‘RAMBLEWOOD’ along with your NAME and EMAIL address on the number shown, or email to receive your coupon along with your NAME and PHONE NUMBER. "MUFSOBUJWFMZMPHPOUPXXXFTQNBHDPVLPGGFSTBOEDMJDLPOUIF 3BNCMFXPPEPGGFSBOEQSJOUPVUZPVSWPVDIFS

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The Nuggets 60 Tribute Band with Fancy Dress. Tickets £10 including Hot Buffet available now. Staniland Way, Werrington T: 01733 327696

paparazzi Caught in the act?

Let there be light!

The city’s new independent Lightbox Café has got off to a great start on Bridge Street. This licensed tea room that serves delicious food and afternoon tea and cake by day, turns into a great evening venue with candlelight and drinks later on with music from the Eclectic Ballroom guys on Saturdays. The team held a great launch party and ESP popped down to join the fun. Then of course it was time for the city’s Christmas lights to go on in a doubly good event which saw the big Cathedral Square switch-on followed by more festivities in Queensgate as the shopping centre’s lights were also turned on. ESP’s Emma Bothamley and Chris Brudenell captured the action. You can see all of our Paparazzi photos on our Facebook page.



Gavin Miller’s

Movie Previews

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI Cast: Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher Director: Rian Johnson

After the seventh movie in the most-famous movie franchise of all-time broke a whole host of records to become the biggest film ever Stateside – it’s no surprise the anticipation for Rian Johnson’s eighth helping is out of this world. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Rey (Daisy Ridley) takes her first steps into the Jedi world with her infamous mentor, Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker – shadowing what he did in original Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back (which is also coincidentally my favourite movie ever made) with Master Yoda. This plots them on an adventure with Luke’s sister Leia (the late Carrie Fisher), Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) – and of course Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), Maz Kanata

(Lupita Nyong’o), C3-PO (Anthony Daniels), R2-D2, BB-8 and co – as they unlock the mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past which leads them on a collision course with the Empire. That of course includes Leia’s son Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), and in an expanded role for Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke, as this builds on the foundations that JJ Abrams laid last time out. The early test screenings were supposedly extremely positive – and Disney execs have already tasked Johnson with devising a new Star Wars trilogy outside of this nine-part Skywalker saga which is a good sign – so there are high hopes that the force is strong with the Jedi this time round too…





All release dates are correct at the time of going to press.




This blockbuster sequel (and tribute) to the beloved Robin Williams 22-year-old original throws Central Intelligence co-stars Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart into the game’s zany jungle setting, alongside Jack Black, Guardian of the Galaxy’s Karen Gillan and pop star Nick Jonas. Set twenty years after the events of the first film, the infamous board game has evolved into a video game, and while cleaning out a school’s basement during detention, four teenagers find it and get sucked into the same adventure Alan Parrish did before – becoming the adult avatars they have chosen. Now they must finish the game – which must be played without a break – or they’ll be stuck in it forever. 28

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN Released After shining in Les Miserables (which garnered him an Oscar nod) five years ago, Hugh Jackman headlines another musical – based on the true story of how PT Barnum started the Barnum and Bailey Circus in the early 1800s. It chronicles showman Barnum (Jackman) and how the circus transformed the lives of its star acts, portrayed by the likes of Zac Efron (Bad Neighbours), Rebecca Ferguson (Life), Zendaya (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and multi-time Oscarnominee Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain), who plays Barnum’s wife, Charity. From first time director Michael Gracey – who’s previously specialised in visual effects – this could just be the uplifting tonic required after those post-Christmas blues.



WONDER This took a large chunk of Justice League’s opening weekend at the US box office – after garnering stellar reviews. Based on the New York Times best-seller, this tells the inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman (Room’s Jacob Tremblay), a boy with facial differences who’s attending a mainstream school for the first time. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson star as his parents.






THE DISASTER ARTIST James Franco’s first directorial effort – in which he stars alongside his brother Dave Franco – is also grabbing the limelight with some great early reviews. It depicts the friendship of Tommy Wiseau (James) and Greg Sestero (Dave), the actors behind the 2003 The Room, which was initially derided, and then became a surprising cult hit. Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Josh Hutcherson co-star.

After a two-year hiatus the Assassin’s Creed franchise gets its mojo back within the Ancient Egypt backdrop – eradicating the memory of the underwhelming Syndicate. This origin story of the Assassin’s Brotherhood is simply a breathtaking experience ##### – perching on top of a pyramid has never been so satisfying – with so much mission variety to keep you truly engaged. A few bugs rear their ugly head, but this is a glorious way to re-start the classic stealth-based series.




FERDINAND The latest animation from Blue Sky Studios – the makers of Ice Age and The Peanuts Movie – sees big-hearted bull Ferdinand determined to be reunited with his family after being mistaken for a dangerous beast and torn from his homestead. Former WWE champ John Cena (Trainwreck) is on voice duties as the title character, alongside Ghostbusters’ Kate McKinnon and ex-Doctor Who David Tennant.


This sequel builds on the solid grounds laid by the original to provide a truly impressive follow-up that’s one of the best firstperson shooters of the year. As hero BJ Blazkowicz you rally pockets of the resistance to try and overthrow a Nazi occupied ##### America – usually by dispensing with enemies in an ultra violent fashion. With a fantastically written script and oodles of personality – despite one or two level designs proving a tad annoying – this is a memorable experience.





This ambitious follow-up had to provide something really ‘precious’ to better the award-winning original – and that it does with aplomb. Shadowing the improvements made in Warner Bros’ fellow Batman Arkham series, the variety in single and ##### multiplayer modes is truly impressive – despite spells of sameyness through the monumental campaign. Never has conquering Sauron’s fortresses been so satisfying than with the honed Nemesis system that really ‘rings’ the impressive changes.


When you start to think they couldn’t possibly make another Lego iteration – they keep on evolving with a well-crafted storyline that can’t help but charm. With a massive roster of Marvel super heroes and villains – despite the repetitiveness of ##### some puzzling elements – it succeeds by sticking to a tried and tested formula. Great fun being played solo or with friends, this is a perfect family friendly game – particularly with the likes of Star-Lord involved – for the Christmas stocking.

PITCH PERFECT 3 After the box-office success of the first two entries there’s no surprise Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld and co are back for one (allegedly) final outing. Following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last tough singing competition assignment at an overseas tour – this time facing a group who combine both instruments and voices.

It’s role reversal in this superbly-rendered sequel to Battlefront – with a campaign that is like a Star Wars movie in its own right. But the addition this time round of a single player storyline comes slightly at the expense of multiplayer modes that are still ##### trying to find their balance. Fortunately this stunning-looking game plays so wonderfully to the source material that it provides a mouth-watering accompaniment to the forthcoming The Last Jedi – and bridges important gaps in the universe.





This dedicated Switch version of the established farming franchise is an impressive fit to the control mechanics of Nintendo’s console. It obviously helps if you’re a farming fanatic, but it builds on the solid foundations already laid down – with a hugely detailed ##### American environment loaded with rural activities. And if this is your bag it’s well worth making the switch.


It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas… Every Saturday (1-4pm), I present a radio show on PCRFM. Now that we’re getting closer to Christmas, the festive requests have increased. I wouldn’t mind, but it’s often the same ones being asked for over and over again – usually Merry Christmas Everyone and All I Want For Christmas Is You. Mikey Clarke If, like me, you’ve been thinking ‘It’s time for some new seasonal sounds’… we could be in luck. Artists such as Hanson, Tom Chaplin, Sia and Gwen Stefani have all released Christmas albums this year, with Gwen’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas being my favourite. It’s been out since October but I’ve waited till now to listen to it, as I didn’t want to be one of ‘those people’. It features a mixture of classic tunes, but also original compositions – which would appear to be inspired by her boyfriend, Blake Shelton, who appears on the title track. During an interview on the Today Show, Gwen was asked how she came about choosing the classic tracks for the album. “I tried to not overthink it,” she said. “I was really relaxed and just wrote a list of the songs I liked. I really wanted to sing Light of the Stable, by Emmylou Harris. It’s one of my all-time favourites, but I just couldn’t do it. There was too much pressure of getting that particular song wrong and ruining Christmas.” You Make Me Feel Like Christmas is a breath of fresh air. Maybe, just maybe, the festive song requests at the radio station can start being a little more varied now. That’s right, Mariah – you’re not all I want for Christmas. It’s time to step aside! Exclusive holiday bundles and merchandise including the CD, white vinyl, T-Shirt, Christmas cards, ornament, and more are currently available at

Track listing for Gwen Stefani’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Jingle Bells Let It Snow Silent Night My Gift Is You When I Was A Little Girl Last Christmas You Make It Feel Like Christmas feat. Blake Shelton 8 Under The Christmas Lights 9 Santa Baby 10 White Christmas 11 Never Kissed Anyone With Blue Eyes 12 Christmas Eve

Photos: Chris Brudenell

Mikey Clarke

John and Classical Reflection Springfields Outlet Shopping kicked off their festive celebrations with a spectacular Christmas Light’s switch on with Sarah Tempest special guest, actor and comedian John Thomson. ESP reporter Sarah Tempest caught up with the Cold Feet favourite to talk selfies and kangaroo balls… As I sit down next to John, I find him cringing whilst reviewing photos that he’d just had taken and we bond over a mutual hatred of having our picture taken. “I had to do a selfie on a train for make up,” he groans “to see how long my hair was. And I can’t do it, I don’t do selfies! I had to ask a stranger to take it!” Whilst John is best known for his roles in The Fast Show and Cold Feet, he’s also kept very busy narrating fly on the wall documentaries such as The People’s Vet, Bargain Loving Brits in Benidorm and its


spin off Bargain Loving Brits in Blackpool and, of course, Channel 5’s Police Interceptors. “It’s a good one that! Sometimes I’m meant to be reading the script and I’m transfixed and they’re going ‘John, John!’ and they’re flashing the light and I’m going ‘sorry, I was watching!’ Some mad stuff on there! I ad lib a lot, like if there was a bad accident I’d say ‘those of you who are squeamish, look away now’ but I’d carry on watching and you’d hear me go ‘URRRGH!’ and it’s real.” But having been on Masterchef, Adrenaline Junkie and, way back, Fame Academy, John is no stranger to reality TV – can we expect to see him popping up in the jungle anytime soon? “Funny you should say that!” he laughs, “I said ‘Go on I’m a Celeb? I’d rather eat my own b****cks’ and they said – ‘Well that’s lucky ‘cause that’s show 4!’” Whilst reality TV may not be on the agenda, it has been recently announced that Cold Feet is to return next year for a third series since it’s 2016 reboot and no-one is happier about that than John. “It’s such a great cast it’s a very enjoyable experience,” he says. “I look forward to doing it; it’s like going back to school after the holidays. I’ve worked on things where it’s not been a happy ship; it’s like walking into a haunted house!” Although we couldn’t quite match the 80,000 strong crowd that saw John turn on the Christmas Lights in Manchester last year, the Springfields crowd made enough noise to do us proud but, nonetheless, ESP set John a challenge to liven things up even more! As

he was dragged away to enjoy a quick vol au vent and curly sandwich before the big switch on, John promised to take us up on our bet that he couldn’t shoehorn the word ‘sticky’ somewhere into his on stage banter! Did he do it? Well, that would be telling… John’s visit kicked off the festive season at Springfields and the shops are now open late weekdays until 9pm too so you have plenty of time to visit the fab new Betty Barclay outlet and loads more until December 22! There’s free parking from 6pm. The Giving Tree has been launched and Santa’s Grotto is open so for all the details visit

Cold Feet star John Thomson

Free Bottle of Glass Cleaner when you quote ESP

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Home NEXT Metallic Flutes and Bucket (set of 6) - £28

Laura Ashley Leaping Stag Ornament – £20

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Wilko Rustic Glow Stag Head Wall Plaque – £4

M&S Reindeer Applique Cushion – £35 Laura Ashley Silver Stag Tealight Holder – £28

NEXT Penguin Mug (set of 2) – £7

The Real Wood Furniture Store Celebrates If the family piling round for the festivities has made you realise you need some extra beds or you’re just fed up with the same wobbly table, a Peterborough store has just what you need.


he Real Wood Furniture Store at Serpentine Green in Hampton is celebrating its seventh anniversary in business and as they like to say – “A table’s for life, not just for Christmas!” Peterborough couple Andre and Caroline Kendle set up the business when the furniture store Andre had been working at closed and he decided to go into business for himself. “We had made many friends as well as lots of loyal customers during this time,” says Andre. “When we were told that the store had to close and we were being made redundant, we were all shocked and many of our customers were devastated. “With no stores in Peterborough selling the same furniture and despite the market conditions, we decided to open our own store offering quality furniture made from real wood at affordable prices.”

Local actor Warwick Davis helped launched their first store in style back in 2010 and the following year they bought Floors R Us. This expanded the business so they could also offer real wood floors, practical durable laminate, plus a great choice of classic and modern carpets and rugs at great value prices. They moved into Serpentine Green a few years ago and have a showroom featuring some of their range made by independent suppliers and a range made from British pine. They’ll even deliver and set up the furniture for you. There’s a great range of quality real wood furniture available to revamp your home so pop in and take a look in store at Serpentine Green (near the food court) or check out their website on

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Christmas in the City ESP has teamed up with Peterborough City Council’s City Services and Communications department to bring you our guide to making the most of the festivities in the city from shopping to recycling…

Recycle your tree The Christmas tree is the centrepiece of your decorations but once it’s looking a bit tired and there are more needles in the carpet than on the branches it’s time to recycle! Christmas trees can be taken to the Householders Recycling Centre (HRC) in Dogsthorpe, PE1 3TD. It’s open seven days a week from 8am to 4pm, except on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. It will close at noon on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Alternatively, if you pay for you brown bin to be emptied you can chop your tree up and pop it in there. Brown bin collections resume during the week commencing January 15/22 alongside your scheduled recycling bin collection.

Filled out over the festivities? Register for PGER 2018 So after all the festive indulgence you might be looking a little more like Santa in the tummy department than you’d like and feeling like you’ve become part of the armchair. Time to set your mind to getting a little healthier and you can’t beat a goal to give you some inspiration. If you were inspired by the thousands of fun runners and half marathon competitors who tackled the Perkins Great Eastern Run why not register your interest for the 2018 event? More than 1,500 pre-registrations have already been made and participants will be notified as soon as race entries open in the spring. Whether it’s to help shift the party pounds, get a little fitter or to challenge yourself, why not give it a go? To pre-register, visit

Gifts galore at Christmas Market You can’t beat the smell of mulled wine to get you in the festive spirit and log cabins packed with tasty treats and unique gifts. A fabulous Christmas Market will take over Cathedral Square from December 8 – 23 packed with gorgeous goodies on more than a dozen stalls. There’ll be a fabulous selection of unusual present options (or pick something out for your own wish list!) including beautiful ceramics, jewellery, accessories, bags and scarves, crafts and tasty cheese stall or cake stand for those with a sweet tooth, as well as food and drink to pep you up while you’re on your shopathon.

Save your energy… and your dosh! The TV will be blaring 24/7 over Christmas plus there’ll be all those new gadgets to charge, so your electricity bill will probably take a hammering. If your bills have proved as hefty as the turkey over the last few months maybe it’s time to switch to a better deal and give yourself a Christmas prezzie that keeps on giving! Over 10 per cent of city homes have now switched to Peterborough Energy that’s 8,500 now benefiting from the competitive fuel tariff – each saving an average of £122 per year. The benefits include one of the most valuefor-money gas and electricity tariffs for households with pre-payment meters (‘pay as you go’ customers) and great customer service from OVO Energy, which manages and services the tariff. OVO were named uSwitch Supplier of the Year for the third year in a row in 2017 so can’t be bad. See if you too can save by switching at Or call 0800 408 6706 for pay monthly customers or 0800 408 6710 for Pay As You Go (PAYG). Peterborough Energy has a dedicated home visits team so to arrange a free, 15-minute appointment call Green Energy Switch on 01733 642272.

Bin there done that… You’ve been piled high with presents and booze and in the aftermath you’ll be piled high again with wrapping paper, waste and empty bottles so make sure you don’t miss your bin days! Between Christmas and New Year the bin collections move on a day so for example if your bin day is usually Tuesday December 26 it’ll be Wednesday December 27 instead and so on up to Saturday December 30. Black and green bin collections get back to normal from Tuesday January 2 in the New Year. Just for the festive period the city council will be accepting additional recycling presented in clear plastic bags as well as cardboard stacked at the side of your bin on your recycling collection day.

Parking made easier It’s the part we all dread – Christmas traffic and parking traumas! Don’t forget there are 11 council car parks throughout the city centre plus the Wellington Street car park is offering a promotion of just £4 for all day parking from December 1. Why not try 'RingGo' cashless parking – just register online and then you can use your mobile phone to call, text or use an app. The best bit is you can top-up your parking time up to a maximum time without having to return to your vehicle! You can register for RingGo by calling 01733 808551 or visit 34

Fancy a free market stall? If you’ve been inspired by The Apprentice or want to try out a new business idea how about trying a market stall? Throughout December the city council’s offering free stalls to all new traders at the City Market. They’re especially interested to hear from people wanting to trade in retro clothing, home furnishings, upcycled products, vintage records and homemade arts and crafts, and businesses that are not in direct competition with existing stallholders. Fancy it? Get in touch with the City Market office on 01733 454454 or email Traders will be given their first four weeks on the market for free but don't delay as there’s limited availability. Even better, after the free trial you’d get a reduction of 20 per cent on your first eight weeks rent! For more info visit

Stay healthy and safe this festive season It may be the season to be jolly, but it’s also the season that’s most damaging to our health. Follow these tips to avoid your health slipping down the snow-covered slope: •

Try not to overdo yuletide spirit of the alcoholic kind - download the OneYou Drinks Tracker app or consider signing up to Dry January.

If you take prescription medicine, make sure you have enough to last as many pharmacies shut over the festive period.

If you don’t want to be able to ‘shake your belly like a bowl full of jelly’ it’s best to bypass the Quality Street and instead look for the healthier treats such as a juicy Clementine, veg sticks or unsalted nuts.

Keeping active will help to burn off some of the additional calories. Aim to do the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity each week.

When you socialise you may smoke more so just take a limited amount of cigarettes out with you. Consider giving up in the New Year with the help of smokefree advisors.

New Year, new you! If your new year's resolution is to lose weight and become healthier, Healthy Peterborough offers a free shape up for life nutrition and exercise programme for adults.

Join the Santa Stroll

Win a Christmas hamper! Not only is the Peterborough City Market a great place to pick up your Christmas dinner, fruit veggies and gift wrap – you can also win a hamper full of goodies in a special festive competition while you shop! Once you buy an item from one of the many stalls you’ll be given an entry form to fill in and pop in one of the prize draw boxes located throughout the market. You can enter as many times as you like until the closing date on Thursday December 21. Leading up to Christmas Day, the market will be open as normal – Tuesday to Saturday, from 8.30am to 4pm. The market will also be open on Monday December 18 and Christmas Eve, Sunday December 24, from 10am to 4pm. The market will be closed on Tuesday December 26 and Wednesday December 27. For more details visit

Using a condom is the best way to protect yourself from STIs and avoid unplanned pregnancy this festive season.

‘Tis the season to be jolly, not stressed. Try not to worry about things that you can’t control, take time out and away from others when you need it, try to plan ahead, make lists, take one day at a time.

Visit for more health tips and free local services to help you live healthier for longer.

New Year’s Eve fireworks to mark 900! New Year’s Eve will be a little extra special in the city centre this year as fireworks will celebrate 900 years of the Cathedral at midnight. It’s the first part of a year of events in 2018 marking the Cathedral’s anniversary and the launch of the Peterborough Celebrates campaign. Don’t expect a big party, but enjoy this brief display as the clock chimes midnight and if you’re in the centre pop outside the bar or restaurant and say cheers! There will also be a vintage carousel and mulled wine in Cathedral Square.

Photo: Emma Bothamley

The kids will be driving you crazy with excitement and all too soon you’ll be parked in front of the TV so why not take a break from the madness and get some fresh air in the Santa Stroll? You can enter online for this fun event on Sunday December 17 and you’ll be given Santa outfits including a beard and belt! You can walk, jog or run a 5km (3.1 mile) course setting off from Serpentine Green Shopping Centre at 10am. It’s a great opportunity to opt out of the madness and spend some quality time with the family or have fun with a group of mates – and it’s all for a good cause. Why not make this your club or work’s get together, have a laugh in your Santa suits and stroll along in a group raising cash for the Mayor’s charities? Entry for adults is £15, youths (9 to 14 years) £10, juniors (5 to 8 years) £7, families (2 adults and 2 children) £40. You’ll receive a Santa suit as part of your entry fee to wear on the stroll and a medal at the finish line. Enter the Santa Stroll online via or collect an entry form from Serpentine Green Shopping Centre and the Visitor Information Centre on Bridge Street, in the city centre.



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and beauty ESP’s Rachael Church has all the latest health and beauty news…

Celebrity hair and makeup artist

Peterborough Flu Vaccines The ultimate Christmas treat for family and friends Ragdale Hall is only an hour away from central Peterborough, and even closer for those living out near the A1. It’s the place many of us head to for the complete spa day experience with beauty, gym, pools and saunas, so I went along with my mum to see what makes it so impressive. On arrival at the gorgeous building, we were met by Penni and Joni who couldn’t be more welcoming. Penni has worked there for over 25 years, showing that Ragdale is a great place to be every day! The vast array of top class facilities is what makes Ragdale stand out from other spas. The pool area oozes relation, with numerous saunas and heat rooms (one with a Volcano theme – my personal favourite). You can literally spend all day just trying each one out. They have a huge number of beauty rooms and experienced therapists working there 7 days a week who all provide a wonderful experience. I had a back massage which got rid of all my knots and tension, followed by a hand massage which included a nail strengthening treatment. They use only the best products, including Clarins, Décleor and Elemis. The beauty gift shop also had loads of these products and more, often on good offers – it’s a beauty lover’s heaven. There’s also a range of gym equipment and exercises classes for

those of you who want to add a bit of action to your day. Personally, I chose to stay relaxed! And the final thing to mention is the food. Whether you want to indulge in healthy food or treat yourself, there’s something for everyone. The buffet lunch has hot and cold options, and everyone was helping themselves to two or three puddings to try! Most of the guests at Ragdale are aged 30-60, and 10% of guests are now men – so it makes for a good mum and daughter day, girls’ trip, or couples’ retreat. Plus, the exciting news is that in 2018 the new rooftop pool will be opening – a new space for everyone to enjoy relaxing in 35-degree heat until 10pm all year around, with views overlooking rolling countryside. It’s bound to be an iconic feature, so it’s worth going to check that out. This is a wonderful day out and the perfect way to relax from a hectic schedule only a short drive from Peterborough. So, why not turn this into a perfect Christmas gift for someone? Ragdale Hall gift vouchers start from just £25. With spa packages starting from just £60 there’s something to suit every taste and budget. Gift vouchers are beautifully presented in a special Christmas gift pack and wallet, and are valid for a whole year. For more information or to order your vouchers visit

A reminder from Healthy Peterborough – don’t forget to get your flu jab this December. For most healthy people the flu is just a horrible bug over a few days that leaves us feeling horrid. But some people with serious long term conditions or with a compromised immune system are at much greater risk if they get flu and can suffer serious complications. The flu vaccine is widely available at local GP practices and occupational health departments for those at risk, or even local supermarkets and pharmacies if you pay. If you think you could benefit from having the vaccine, or just want to avoid this nasty illness, the earlier you can have it the better so check out the Healthy Peterborough website for more details

Christmas lipsticks Red lipstick is the must have makeup item for your bag this Christmas. Whether it’s the killer extra for the office party show stopping look, or the perfect accessory to make your red Christmas jumper colours pop. Here are my top 3 choices locally to choose from:

The budget option Brand: NYX Cost: £7 Where to get it: Boots, Queensgate

Treat yourself Brand: MAC Cost: £16.50 Where to get it; MAC, Queensgate

Total luxury Brand: YSL Rouge PurCouture Cost: £28 Where to get it: John Lewis, Queensgate

Have a great Christmas everyone! See you in 2018 for some New Year health and beauty tips to get you started on the right foot.

Specialist in hair and makeup for all occasions, working with national press and TV.

Tel: 07801 987905


Photos: Chris Brudenell

Peter’s visit is a gold-en moment for fans! We’re not sure whether it’s his new perfume or Peter Andre himself that’s the main thing on his fans’ Christmas wishlist but they came out in force to meet him at The Perfume Shop in Queensgate. ESP’s Rachael Clarke was at the front of the queue… shook hands with us all. The sign of a true gentlemen. ESP were the first to welcome the singer and TV star to Peterborough, and we grabbed a quick chat with the man himself before the tons of adoring fans got their selfies.

Entering Queensgate on that last Saturday in November, you could immediately tell something was different. Amongst the hustle and bustle of Christmas shoppers were an orderly queue of hundreds of people (well, mostly ladies!) awaiting the imminent arrival of Peter Andre himself. Peter was coming to Peterborough to meet fans and promote his brand new ladies’ fragrance Gold. Waiting in The Perfume Shop for him, we suddenly heard a wave of excitement from the crowd, and camera phones at the ready, everyone was taking photos. He had arrived! He swept into the store, looking casual in jeans and a black leather jacket and immediately said hello to everyone and

So Peter, what made you decide to branch into the perfume market? “I used to work in a department store in Australia in the late 80s and my department was men’s aftershave. I used to say, one day I’m gonna have my own brand. As the years went on we released a men’s fragrance and a ladies and found that the ladies sold incredibly well and there was a high demand and so I continued with women’s fragrances.”

In the ESP office, we love the fragrance and already have a bottle… did you create it yourself and what attracted you to certain scents such as jasmine and vanilla? “I’m really glad you like it. It smells great! I’m always involved in developing the fragrances from the beginning. I always want to make sure we get it right.” And where did the name Gold originate from? “It seemed to be the right name for the bottle and I think it looks great. It’s a lovely gift that looks great and is thoughtful, but most importantly you walk away smelling lovely. I would go for men’s fragrances next, so watch this space!” What are your plans for 2018? “Absolutely loads… Thankfully I am very busy in 2018 including new TV programmes, touring in Europe and Australia and I have my first movie role to film which is super exciting.” We then let Peter loose on his Peterborough fans, some who had queued for hours to make sure they met their idol. From everyone at ESP, good luck Peter with your plans for 2018. Your perfume is certainly on our Christmas list! See more pictures on and our Facebook page.


Karen Devine’s

Well Being

Feeling frazzled by the festivities? Homosapiens (that’s you and me) have a highly advanced nervous system that gives and receives messages from cell to cell, as well as input from our environment, what we eat, drink and even think which will send messages to the tissues, cells and organs. This comes at a price as our nervous system is overstimulated causing what you’ve heard called ‘fight or flight’. Our ability to cope with stressors is a built in mechanism that our body has to help us get out of danger or cope at a time of need. However, ongoing stressors from the environment, worry, fear, loss etc constantly keeps us in that fight or flight mode which wreaks havoc with our body’s systems. This leads to many of the maladies that are called stress such as headaches, indigestion, muscle twitches, fatigue, recurrent infections, dizziness, sleep issues, depression, lack of libido… the list goes on. The lead up to Christmas can send our stress hormones soaring. Excess traffic, busy shops, adverts bombarding us, money worries, it all mounts up. Then of course we have the copious amounts of high fat, high sugar, highly refined grains that are in all shapes and guises in the office, parties… oh and of course the few extra tipples along the way! What makes symptoms worse is when we are nutritionally bankrupt, i.e. low nutrient reserves to deal with the ongoing stressors. ‘Tired but wired’ comes to mind for so many people! 38

So with the up and coming seasonal madness we need to take some pressure off our nervous systems if we want to come out of the season with some vitality and vigour left. Here are a few simple ways that can help...

SLEEP Get some early nights – easier said than done when you may be a night owl like me. But switching off all electronics (phones, tablets, TV etc), and heading up to bed with a good book and a cup of cocoa can really help take the stimulation off the nervous system. Ensure you are hydrated; the concentration of the foods and drinks we take in at this time of year is so dehydrating which interferes with sleep (and energy). Ensure you are not drinking coffee or tea past 12 noon – caffeine can take hours to be detoxified and leaves you tired but wired when you need to sleep.

FOOD Without being the bah humbug of your festive food season remember that in between some heavy meals you can take a food sabbatical and enjoy some juices, smoothies or simple pieces of fruit, light soup, roasted veggies with salads… just give your digestive system a rest which will calm the nervous system down too.

EXCERISE Mild to moderate exercise is extremely important to reduce those stress hormones. Excessive exercise though, causes the rise in stress hormones leading to inflammation, more burn out and ageing (have you noticed that those who do too much exercise too often look old far quicker?). Even a power walk, yoga/pilates/stretching can calm the nervous system down.

MEDITATION/ PRAYER/ MINDFULNESS/ SILENCE My ultimate favourite way to reduce stress is silence and meditaion. Many people say they can’t meditate or silence the mind as the chattering that goes on drives them insane (that used to be me) This is normal to begin with especially with an overactive nervous system. Finding soothing sounds such as an ocean or listening to nature sounds can really help.

GOSSIP OR OTHER EXTERNAL STIMULATION Pull back from stuff that we do not have space for in our heads. Other people’s business is just that… it’s theirs not yours. So often when you get caught up in the middle of other’s stories you find you’re drained of energy. So pull back and focus on what’s calming for you – walking in nature, drawing or even use the stress colouring books, listen to calming music, do something creative that takes your mind off your worries.

In between the fun and madness of Christmas, try switching off the TV/radio and spend an hour or so reading, or just pottering in the house. It’s amazing when you turn off the din of electronics how suddenly the nervous system calms… it’s the ‘aaahh’ feeling. It may not always be possible, especially if you have lots of family to entertain, or young children but where there is a will there is always a way as they say! In Health, Karen x

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We all knew our writer Darren Grigas had true grit when he completed the ‘toughest footrace on earth’, the Marathon des Sables for charity a few years back, but we’ve all been blown away by his latest achievement coming 2nd out of 600 competitors in the SAS style challenge – Intrepid.


ince running across the desert Darren’s taken on challenges large and small and regularly writes about his adventures in ESP from the super tough to the more family friendly – he’s just keen to get everyone to have a go, get out of their comfort zones to try things and generally be a bit more active. He wants us all to challenge ourselves a little, but as Darren’s already taken on several ‘ultra challenges’ that means he has to push himself even harder to reach a new goal.

I'm a sucker for a challenge, so this had me hooked...

The Intrepid Series was pitched as ‘the UK's toughest event series’ and there was a chance that nobody would actually complete it, (very few did) so we have to commend his amazing result. “I'm a sucker for a challenge, so this had me hooked,” Darren told ESP. “Knowing it was created and run by ExSpecial SAS and Royal Marine Commandos, it was clear this was going to be something especially nasty. I've always been intrigued as to how well I'd cope with the intense training they put recruits through, and as I never chose that path, this was an opportunity for a small painful taste of that life-choice.” Darren’s encouraged us all to do a bit more – even the editor had a go at Pretty Muddy at Burghley this year – but when he told us what this challenge involved everyone looked on in amazement that he’d even consider it! “It's hard to pin down one toughest part as there were so many awful parts and it was the compounded effect of everything combined that made it what it was; torturous

drills, sleep deprivation, load-bearing, being hosed and dunked with freezing water, hostage scenarios, interrogation and taking a fall-of faith into 140 feet of darkness below… so many delights to choose from. A big challenge was not knowing what was next, how far you had to go, how many more pushups, when would they let you stop squatting… you just have to keep going until someone tells you to stop. That’s when you must take your mind to a special place.” So it’s fair to say none of us (and most likely not many others either) will be swapping their entry for Race for Life or the Rat Race to take on this challenge any time soon – but like all his adventures, Darren hopes it will inspire people to at least have a go at something that pushes them a little in whatever way. “The Intrepid Series was initially just a new challenge for me, but having got to know the organisers and their goals, I see that they’re an amazing team with big dreams to make a difference. I see Intrepid as a community that bridges a gap between the forces and civilians, bringing together ‘Adventures that Inspire. People that Inspire’. The Series is the flagship event and is not for the faint-hearted, but there are many other, less intense events on offer that don’t require you to carry a five-stone pack or fall from a 140ft bridge as I did. These include, Snowdon weekends or one-day events, team-building exercises and much more. “As Intrepid has been created by ExSpecial Forces, they have all no-doubt experienced many things they’d rather not have. It’s their underlying aim to help veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is a very real and difficult condition. I’m hoping to continue to work with the teams and help promote these events and causes further as it’s a great thing even though it is pretty sadistic in the depths of the series!”

For even more news and events, check out our website 40

THE PETERBOROUGH BISCUIT IS BACK BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER 7th February 2018 | The East of England Arena & Events Centre

What is The Peterborough Biscuit? The Peterborough Biscuit is the ground breaking business event that has taken our area by storm, only starting in February of this year we experienced a phenomenal 130 exhibitors and over 1000 visitors attending the event, with impeccable reviews from both visitors and exhibitors.

The Biscuit is back with a bang and is shaping up to be a colossal event it is no longer a business event but a business festival, with up to 370 business in attendance and a forecast of 3000+ visitors, 2018 sees the introduction of a retail area, which you can buy an outfit or

your dinner for that night. Entertainment in the form of reaction tests, driving simulators and a new mystery game. Live singers will be at the event providing some soft music in order to conduct your business in style and elegance.

Our main focus for 2018 is to build the brand and be seen as THE professional staple in the Peterborough Business Calendar.

This isn’t just for Peterborough this is for the people of East Anglia as well, so come along and have an experience like none before.

Tel 01733 669405 Email

The ESP Comedy Guide Sarah Slack brings us the ESP guide to where the laughs are at this month…

Your 2018 Comedy Wish List!

Regardless of whether you've been naughty or nice this year, you'll be glad to know that the New Year will be bringing some big comedy names to the city, including established stand-ups, musical maestros and up-and-coming comedians. Make sure you don't miss out on tickets by adding these dates to your 2018 calendar:

where he'll be visiting the East of England Arena to debut a brand new stand-up show of relatable anecdotes and observational comedy.

The Best Comedy Books of 2017 Rushing last minute to find the perfect stocking filler? This year a number of incredibly funny comedians have picked up a pen/laptop/quill to produce a wide range of novels that appeal to both bookworms and comedy fans alike. Whether it's for a significant other or for a Secret Santa who needs a sense of humour, check out these best-sellers for some gift inspiration:

Sarah Millican

How to be Champion

14 February

Tim Vine Office one-liner merchants are in luck when Tim Vine comes to town next year, who has the world record for the most jokes told in one hour with 499! Expect puns, punchlines and plenty of mirth when he tours his new show Sunset Milk Idiot at the Cresset on Valentine's Day.

14 April

Iain Stirling Known for his quick wit and appearances on Drunk History, Iain Stirling rose to notoriety over the summer as the voiceover talent for ITV reality show Love Island. Proving he’s more than just a narrator, he’ll be visiting the Stamford Corn Exchange next year as part of a massive 50 date stand-up tour.

11 March

Rob Kemp: The Elvis Dead Horror film fans will definitely not want to miss this comedy cult hit of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe. Combining classic Elvis songs with the plot of Evil Dead 2 (trust me it works), this show promises plenty of sing-a-long moments and will be at the Key Theatre for one night only. 23 March

Jason Manford Seemingly not content with launching his own album, hosting his own Absolute Radio show and being super funny already, Manford's 2018 itinerary includes a nationwide tour of Muddle Class

9 June

Bill Bailey Bringing his musical masterpiece Larks in Transit to the East of England Arena next year will be none other than the brilliant Bill Bailey, who's best known for performing unique and outstanding shows around the world and in my opinion, being the best team captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks (sorry Phil...)

Since being crowned the Queen of Comedy back in 2011 Sarah Millican has secured herself as a household name thanks to her honest and outrageous brand of comedy. A combination of autobiography and self-help book, How to be Champion is an ideal gift for anyone who wants a funny, wise and authentic read from one of the country’s most loved comedians.

James Acaster Classic Scrapes

‘Three time’s a charm’ is a phrase Acaster will be very familiar with as he’s impressively had three well-deserved nominations for Best Comedy Show at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Originally from nearby Kettering, he released a collection of true stories earlier this year to critical acclaim thanks to his deadpan delivery and unbelievable anecdotes.

Adam Kay

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor A medical professional turned musical comedian, Adam Kay's book is certainly not for the squeamish as he recalls his previous life as a junior doctor on the NHS front line. Described by Stephen Fry as “painfully funny”, this book promises to be a hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking account about life on and off the hospital ward.

For even more news and events, check out our website 42

Photo: Emma Bothamley

Cracking Christmas Cracker Jokes Christmas cracker jokes can be fickle things – sometimes they’re great, but at other times they’re just naff. Luckily this year local Peterborough comic Darren Walsh has provided ESP with his top pick of jokes that’ll go down a treat at the dinner table: Forgot to buy my dog a Christmas present. I might have to post bone.

This advertising space to RENT

Went shopping in the Boxing Day sales for a Jack-in-the-box, but nothing jumped out at me. Q: How did Nigel Farage's mum know he didn't like Christmas dinner? A: Because he was always on about leaving Brussels. I gave the Addams Family a severed hand for Christmas, but they said it wasn't their Thing

Put your business in front of our readers HERE every month.

My girlfriend gave me a gnome on Boxing Day. I said "too little, too late"

Rent this 1/4 page of ESP for as long as you like!

Did you know Bing Crosby had connections with the mafia? That's pretty badda Bing.

1st month is £150, 2nd month is £125, then it’s...

They're showing a new horror movie featuring the teenage antics of Jesus and his disciples. It's called "I Know What You Did Last Supper"

Just £100 for every month after that for as long as you like

My mum gave me a small French bird for Christmas. Quail surprise. Ebenezer Scrooge went on holiday to Germany, but when he got there, he shouted "Bah, Hamburg".

All prices are + VAT @ 20% and some terms and conditions apply

Want to hear more? Darren Walsh’s bumper joke book Cheep Laughs is available by visiting


Aston’s ESP’s Peterborough Strictly Champion

Photos: Emma Bothamley

With your cathedral tattoo Aston, we had an ‘inkling’ you’d win – what went wrong?

Aston's gone? They'll need ‘councilling’ at the Town Hall


s the climax of Strictly Come Dancing draws near the BBC show’s lacking the person we all thought was a dead cert to reach the final – and the bookies thought so too – Peterborough contestant Aston Merrygold. ESP’s Sarah Tempest took to the streets to show that, as the late great Sir Brucie would’ve said… ‘Aston you’re our favourite!’ We’re HUGE Strictly fans here in the ESP office, especially since we Peterborians have a history of making a real impact in the competition. With Hayley Sanderson one of the resident singers and Olympic gymnast Louis Smith and Lance Corporal Cassidy Little being crowned 2012 and People’s Strictly for Comic Relief champions respectively, we had high hopes when former JLS singer Aston Merrygold donned his sequins and showed us moves worthy of yet another winner. But fast forward seven short 44

“ matter what, in our eyes he’s still Peterborough’s (and ESP’s) Strictly champion.” weeks and Aston was out, done for by (arguably) gross undermarking and a very surreal Viennese Waltz in an afro wig. There was uproar amongst Strictly fans everywhere but none more so than right here in Peterborough. Never ones to take a devastating injustice lying down, ESP hit the streets to show Aston all the support he has in his home city and how, no matter what, in our eyes he’s still Peterborough’s (and ESP’s) Strictly champion. We even created our own glitterball trophy just for him…

Four?! Shut your cake hole Craig... Staff at The Lightbox Cafe weren’t impressed

Oh no… Aston scone too soon!

Anton du Beke As a champion dancer, Saturday night staple (Strictly), quiz Sarah Tempest show host (“Bring on the Waaaallll!”) and now singer, Anton du Beke could easily be mistaken as the new Sir Brucie; so much so that when he greeted me with a cheery “Hello, my love!” I half expected him to add “Good game, good game!” which is quite apt really as Anton feels sure Sir Bruce would be proud of him with the release of his forthcoming album From The Top. “I think he’d love it,” says Anton, “because it’s all the music he loved and which he’ll have done before himself. And you’ve got Me And My Shadow on there which means a lot to me as we did it together on Strictly Come Dancing. That was lovely to be able to do.” Despite being best known as a dancer, Anton insists that releasing an album will not take many of his fans by surprise. “If you’ve been to see me on tour, then you’ll know I sing and of course I did a couple of things on Strictly like the opening to Musicals Week. It’s just been a wonderful opportunity. A swing and big band album has been a big change for my record company and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am [with it]. It’s just all my favourite songs, songs I’ve danced to over the years some songs you know, one brand new, one a bit different.” And the ‘one a bit different’ he refers to is a hotly anticipated cover of the Arctic Monkeys’ I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, which is not a number you’d automatically think of including on a swing album. “There you go!” laughs Anton. “I couldn’t not do that one because, you know, I do look good on the dance floor! It’s really good, you’ll enjoy it.”

Aston’s still our favourite attraction at the Tourist Information Centre

The album also includes a duet with Peterborough singer and Strictly band member, Hayley

The Cathedral stone masons thought an Aston win was set in concrete


Sanderson. “Well there you go!” he laughs. “That’s why she’s so good. People from Peterborough are very talented!” he says before going on to tell me that he and Hayley did something stupid together. As I raise a quizzical eyebrow and tell him that’s how rumours start, he bursts out laughing, “The song! The song Something Stupid! She’s an incredible singer, so talented, and it’s come out wonderfully.” And speaking of talented Peterborians, what did Anton think of our very own Aston Merrygold, who caused Strictly uproar when he was prematurely voted off in week 7. “Oh lovely! I mean, he’s absolutely super, really accomplished and he’s got a real flair for it. But, you know, that’s Strictly Come Dancing and you can’t turn your back for a second.” He wouldn’t be drawn, however, as to whether or not he agreed Aston was, as has been suggested, undermarked by the judges. “To be honest, I didn’t see the performance because we were on directly afterwards,” he says diplomatically. “I mean 4 does seem a bit low but I didn’t see it so I don’t know.” Although Anton and his partner Ruth Langsford were voted off the following week, he is being kept busy promoting the album and says he can’t wait for Christmas, especially as it’ll be the first one with his baby twins, who were born earlier this year. “I love Christmas, it’s going to be trees galore! I love a Christmas dec, I can’t deny it. It’s going to be brilliant.” And whilst he was a little coy about what will be on his Christmas list this year, we’re willing to bet that ‘A number one album’ will feature on there somewhere! Anton Du Beke’s From the Top is out now on Polydor records. Sarah Tempest

NIGHTlife PLATINUM RECORDS LONDON XMAS BASH The next SolGarden Terrace Sessions sees Platinum Radio London in the SolGarden on Saturday December 16. Alongside DJ Alessandro Vacca (PRL) there’ll be two great guest DJ’s from Platinum Radio London – DJ Marc Dicks and DJ Dodds from London. Expect a full on night of house and dance anthems from 9pm – 4am. Free entry before 10.30pm - £5/7 before 12.30am more after.

LOW STEPPA SolGarden Sessions presents the debut performance of Low Steppa on Saturday December 2 one of the most in-demand dance DJ’s on the circuit. He’ll be joined by resident DJ’s Phil Drummond, Alex Vacca and Steve Andrews for another unforgettable night with four rooms of music. House music’s new prodigy has received huge support from Radio 1 DJ’s MistaJam, Target, Cameo & B Traits as well as Pete Tong, Gorgon City & Shadow Child. Expect confetti bombs, CO2 cannons, extra sound and light plus loads more from 9pm – 4am.

Your guide to the night time scene

SHADES OF RHYTHM & RATPACK The guys from NI$H are back in the building for The Official Xmas Bash on Saturday December 9 from 10pm. Your hosts for the evening will be the amazing Jo G who’ll be joined by Rayan G with very special suest Shades of Rhythm and The Ratpack. These events are always a roadblock so make sure you get down nice and early. It’s on from 10pm – 4am. Free entry before 10.30pm, £5/7 before 12.30am more after.

ORIGIN 90’S RAVE Back in the early 90s SLAM at the Attic and SHOCK were two nights that caused a real stir – now’s your chance to revisit the rave! Get your glowsticks ready for Origin in the Tap Room at the Brewery Tap on Saturday December 9. DJs on the night are Mr Clubman, Steve Scallon and Julz. Entry’s just £4 on the door and it’s on from 10pm – 2am.

IN TOO DEEP Deep soulful house from the 90s to now is on the menu at this night at The Burghley Club. Head down there on Friday December 29 for great tunes from DJs Otis, Pat Unwin and Julz. It’s on from 9.30pm – 2am and entry’s £5 on the door.

PAUL WOOLFORD HEADLINES MIXOLOGY BOXING DAY ALL NIGHTER! It’s the season of giving and in typical festive Mixology fashion they’re giving you one of the most revered DJs in electronic music – the incredible Paul Woolford at Mixology at Edwards on December 26. When it comes to scintillating, go-to dance floor bangers, Paul Woolford has an insatiable ability to create and has a discography spanning 15 years. Tracks such as Erotic Discourse, Untitled, MDMA, Forevermore, have been some of the favourite tunes played out at Mixo and always gravitate everyone to the dance floor! Their second treat for you is the return of Purple Room. Last year Alisha had the room in raptures with her frenetic, rolling tech-house sound. She’ll be headlining the room this year with a host of other names too. With their trusty trio of residents Tom Skinner, Dan Clare and James Chan and Them Waves duo Joe Canty and John Marshall setting the pace, you know you’re going to be in for a night of exceptional electronic music.

URBAN CLASSICS XMAS BASH Urban Classics Night is back at The Solstice for the official Xmas Jam Party on Friday December 15 with a night of pure urban anthems! There’ll be a host of DJ’s from back in the day playing a mixed blend of urban classics including R&B, hip-hop, UK garage and much more. If you loved the nights at The Park and club nights like Suite Chocolate and Brown Sugar then this night is for you! The line-up includes Supa-T, T-Rex, DJ B.D.S, Firestarr and a special guest DJ T.B.C. It runs from 10pm until 4am and it’ free entry until 11pm with admission charges later.

BUBBLE REUNION Get ready for the very first Bubble Reunion in the SolGarden and Eden with special Guest DJ Jeremy Healy on Saturday December 23. He’ll be joined by Marc Jameson (Vinyl Set) plus Steve Andrews and Barry B. The Eden Room will also be rocking all night with nostalgia with DJ’s Alex Vacca, Eddie Nash and Simon Baker playing it funky Hed Kandi stylee. Tickets are priced at just £5 (limited numbers) via the website and links online too.

PARTY ON @ THE SOLSTICE The Solstice has your festive party sorted with four rooms of music on Christmas Eve from 9pm – 4am. Then on Boxing Day it’s time to do it all over again for their special Boxing Day party Tuesgay stylee from 9pm – 4am. Entry to both nights is free before 10.30pm, £5/7 before 12.30am more after. Then it’s the big one to see in 2018 big style. Keep an eye out for more details about their big New Year’s Eve Party and don’t miss it!

TABERNACLE If foot stompin’ soul is what you need to get your party started this December the Tabernacle boys have it sorted. The venue is the village club on Cross Street in Farcet and the music is Motown, Staxx, Atlantic, Decca and Atco. Ady Bull (TBC), Paul D, Julz and Ollie will be on the decks from 8pm – midnight on Saturday December 2. Entry’s £4 on the door.

PARTY ON @ BREWERY TAP If you need to get your party started the Brewery Tap has your December nights out sorted! The Party Nights disco and karaoke with DJ Rick Allen run on Thursday December 7 and 14 from 9pm – 1am, and for fans of funk don’t miss Thank Funk it’s Friday on Friday December 1, 8 and 15 from 9pm . Get your weekend groove on with the Saturday Night Groove sessions on Saturday December 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 9pm – late. Then on Saturday December 30 it’s The Get Down from 9pm – late.

100% RNB After the mega successful launch of 100% RnB they’re back with a Xmas Special on Friday December 22 at the Brewery Tap. There’ll be two rooms of music – in the main room it’s pure 90’s RnB, and in the function room it’s 80’s soul, jazz amd funk. DJ’s include Mr Nash, T-Rex, Steve Mase, Otis with more to come! £5 entry after 10pm.

KISS FM’S STEVE SMART Kiss FM's Steve Smart is back in the building on Friday December 8 for his last date of 2017 for his monthly residency at The Solstice. Steve is one of Kiss FM’s top DJ’s and showcases the hottest new dance music to the nation. He’ll be joined by their resident DJ Alex Vacca and the party carries on until the early hours. It’s FREE ENTRY until 11pm and more after. 46

Bring Someone in from the Cold this Christmas Smart shirt and tie – Rav may look like he’s settled in an office job now, but not long ago he was homeless and calling a broken down Ford KA home. After a winter in the back of a car he’s now back on his feet. Thanks to help from the YMCA he’s turned his life around with a roof over his head and in a full time job. You could help others like Rav by supporting the charity’s Christmas Appeal and a few quid could make a real difference. Rav was made homeless through no fault of his own and what was supposed to be a couple of emergency nights turned into three months in a cramped, cold and mouldy car. Rav explains how things soon went downhill for him and his partner – “We became ill due to

exposure to the harsh environment and our personal hygiene began to suffer. We struggled to find money for food and sometimes went days without eating anything or drinking clean water.” He added, “We were unable to apply for jobs as we had no fixed address and the situation left us both severely depressed. We tried to seek help but we were told we weren’t a priority or in a vulnerable enough situation to provide us with accommodation. A number of times the council and police tried to move us on but were still unable to help us with accommodation. We came into contact with YMCA who offered us an interview for supported accommodation. After a couple of days we received the good news that we had both been offered rooms at the YMCA facility in Peterborough.”


Large screen TV and BT/Sky Sports

Regular live Entertainment

Sunday Lunch with our new Chef from 12-4pm Adults £ 6.95 Children 4.95 Desserts from 2.95

Blue Bell Inn, Dogsthorpe, Welland Road, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough PE1 3SA Tel 01733 313700

The YMCA’s Christmas Appeal aims to raise £10,000 to help homeless people like Rav get off the streets for good. Rav says the charity has given him a real chance. “Since moving to YMCA we have both been provided with the individual support we needed in a stable and safe environment. I’ve received counselling to help me with my depression which has helped to boost my confidence. Employment advice from my key worker has put me in the position where I am now in full time employment.”

How You Can Help Christmas is a time for giving, why not give a few £’s that would be spent on secret Santa presents and instead donate it to the YMCA Christmas Appeal to bring a homeless person in from the cold this Christmas. There are 24 things you can do to support homeless young people this festive season on the YMCA website and social media. Support for this appeal will make a difference to a homeless young person this Christmas. To donate please visit

One of Peterborough oldest Pubs we offer a warm welcome in lovely surroundings.

December Entertainment 2nd Dec 9th Dec 16th Dec 23rd Dec

The Guards RPM The Expletives Caustic Lights

Keith Dalton has the ESP guide to the best news and views from the local live music scene…

Idolising Nova Light up the Switch-On

Keith says...

Photos: Paul England

As we near the end of 2017, I thought I’d highlight some of my favourite memories of the year, and it has proved a difficult task because I can’t mention everything.

Austin Gold

It’s been great to see that 2017 was a very successful year for a couple of local bands who’ve been featured in the national music press after outstanding performances and new album releases during the year. We recently featured a Peterborough based band with professional aspirations, Austin Gold. They perform original material and in the space of a few months, have built a very strong following in a very short space of time. They were featured a few months ago in ESP magazine and since then their two lead guitarists David Smith and Jack Cable have been reviewed in Guitarist and Guitar Techniques magazine, and there’s been praise in Rhythm and Blues magazine for drummer Chris Ogden and bassist Lee Churchill. I’ve listened to their debut album, Before Dark Clouds and I really like the sound that this talented band produce. A potentially massive year coming up for Austin Gold.

Another Peterborough band we’ve been keeping you updated on is Idolising Nova who’ve topped off a great year by performing at the city’s big Christmas lights switch-on. The band told me – “We feel very lucky and proud to have been asked to perform at such a big event in our hometown and we enjoyed every moment. It was great to see so many people singing and clapping along too and the feedback and reaction that we got from everyone after the performance was amazing!” The guys released lots of great original material this year and are really upbeat about the local scene – “The music scene in Peterborough is the best it

has been for a few years – we've got ourselves, Airways, Austin Gold and a few other bands getting national recognition, we've got touring bands playing at The Met Lounge and we've got big names playing at the Posh ground, as well as a few open mic nights and regular live music in pubs and restaurants around the city.” So what about 2018? “We've been playing some shows with This Feeling who put on shows for the best upcoming bands in the UK and has been described as 'the best club in the UK for future rock & roll stars' by Noel Gallagher,” the guys told me. “We're very excited to be playing their first show in the city on Saturday February 3 at The Met Lounge. Our previous two hometown shows have sold out, so it would be brilliant if we can pack The Met Lounge out too!” Tickets are £6 in advance, £7 on the door (if there are any still available!) and are available to buy on See Tickets. The link is on the Idolising Nova website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Great Gigs of the Year Flashback Photography

Likewise Flashback Photograph have enjoyed a very successful year and look to a growing reputation with their EP, Myths of Mexico and their single release, All the Wrong which was yet another commercially successful composition from the talented trio. No surprise that they once again proved very popular on the festival circuit with appearances at The Oundle Fringe and The Strawberry Fair in Cambridge locally, together with many more around the UK including Bestival! 48

It’s difficult to say specifically what my favourite gig of 2017 was featuring local bands, but I did really enjoy Ramshackle Serenade at The Beer Festival, Motor City Vipers at The Brewery Tap and the reformed Bobba Fett at The Ploughman. The latter consisted of a number of members of The Nuggets so that’s always a good recommendation, and I hope they may consider some more performances next year after this very successful gig. I’d also add that the list could be endless with some very strong performances coming from a huge variety of local talent. I’m sure we all have good memories of some great gigs during the year. I’ve been pleased to see even more city centre venues offering live nights including Puzzles? on Bridge Street, The Queens Head and the Pizza Parlour and Music Café. All are supporting the live music scene and providing important opportunities for budding local artists to show their talents. My most bizarre music experience was watching the brilliant Children of The Revolution trying to compete for sound with the fairground attractions that had been erected next to the music stage at The Deepings Beer Festival. I’m sure the organisers had their reasons for the positioning of the stage but the noise of a Wurlitzer did detract from the sound of all the bands appearing.

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Ones to Watch

It’s always good to see new bands emerge on the local scene and a couple that we covered here in ESP during the year have been impressing local pub goers. Firstly, Tumbling Dice a three piece rock covers band majoring in Stones, Kinks and Who covers are a good addition to the many talented bands in the Peterborough area. Likewise, the early part of 2017 saw the emergence of Dirty Rumour, (formed out of the remnants of the Stamford band Twenty4.) The five piece rock covers band have a had busy year gig wise and are worth checking out.

Keep it Live This Christmas Steps @ the Abax As we lead to up to the Christmas and New Year festivities I thought it worth mentioning a few December events for you to consider:


An undoubted highlight of 2017 was the appearance of Sir Elton John at Posh’s ABAX stadium on a sunny Sunday in July. His band was so tight and it is obvious that their sort of performance can only be achieved by working together through a long career, (nearly 50 years in some cases, like drummer Nigel Olsen who has been with Elton since 1969). The music was interspersed with Elton’s interaction with the audience who all seemed to be enjoying the show. There were poignant moments like the tribute to George Michael which brought a standing ovation for Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me and he finished with some real rock ‘n’ roll belters. Without exception, everyone I’ve spoken to agreed that it was a superb experience and you would not have known that this was the first event of this kind for the Posh. The whole day was an absolute treat. After the event, we were left speculating who could be the next appearance in 2018. Could it be Rod Stewart, Bryan Ferry or even someone mentioned Billy Joel. Now we know who it is – Steps on Saturday June 2 – not quite the same ring but I’m sure it will be another successful day which will delight pop fans.

On Friday December 22 Noasis will be performing in the SolGarden (The Solstice) for their second visit to Peterborough. Noasis is the definitive tribute band to Manchester's five piece super group Oasis. Since their formation in 2006 and with over 400 performances to date they’ve justly earned a great reputation. This is partly because the band have an almost obsessive attention to detail and they try to recreate the real Oasis experience with amazing energy playing all the classic songs as if they were their own. They claim to be more than a tribute band and are “Oasis from a parallel universe.”

A week later on Friday December 29 the SolGarden brings us local band The Guards in a late night gig. Tickets for both gigs are obtainable from The Solstice. If you’re looking for live music over the Christmas week, here are some suggestions: Christmas highlights are mainly on Saturday December 23 where Electric Warriors appear at The Crown on Lincoln Road, Caustic Lights are at The Bluebell in Dogsthorpe and Dirty Rumour appear at The London Inn in Stamford. Fat Chanz have a ticketed event at The Post Office Club and The Guards are at Ebeneezers in Woodston. You can also bring in the New Year with local bands. It’s a busy night. Children of The Revolution are playing at The Lime Tree in Walton, Ramshackle Serenade appear at The Palmerston Arms in Woodston and Groove Cartell are at The Brewery Tap. The Depps play a ticketed gig at The Fayre Spot in Bretton and Velocity bring in the New Year at The Ostrich in North Street. Ebeneezers feature The High Rollers, Dizzy Miss Lizzys play The Burghley Club and The Gangsters are at Charters. Check out our Gig Guide for more and keep an eye on our online version on for any last minute additions. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you and everyone involved in the local music scene, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


GUIDE If you want to get your gigs in ESP for free, e-mail:

WED NOV 29 NICOLE LAWRENCE The Fayre Spot, Bretton OPEN MIC WITH BON ROGERS-WHITE The Beehive, Bourges Boulevard

THU NOV 30 THE RAINMEN Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate

FRI DEC 1 ANNA & JACK The Beehive, Bourges Boulevard CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION The Cock Inn, Werrington HALO The Cross Keys, Oundle Road LIVE MUSIC The Queen's Head, Queen Street LUKE MAY Puzzles?, Bridge Street RETROLUX The Ploughman, Werrington ROCK OUT The Blue Bell, Werrington STORMBRINGER + BLACK HAWK DOWN + NUMB + LEWIS SPEIRS Mama Liz's, Stamford SUBWAY 77 The Crown, Lincoln Road THE GANGSTERS The Solstice, Northminster THE GUARDS The Black Horse, Elton THE HIGHROLLERS The Yard of Ale, Oundle Road THE PERSUADERS Charters, Town Bridge TOM WRIGHT BAND The Fayre Spot, Bretton

SAT DEC 2 ACOUSTIC ARTISTS (10AM) Library, Ramsey AGI JAROCKA Puzzles?, Bridge Street CANDLE THIEVES + ROBERT J BULL + MICHAEL KEITHSON Mama Liz's, Stamford CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION The Ploughman, Werrington DIRTY RUMOUR The Crown, Lincoln Road PARK LANE The Burghley Club, Burghley Road RAMSHACKLE SERENADE The Iron Horse Ranch, Deeping REVOLVER Town Centre, Bourne THE EXPLETIVES The Yard of Ale, Oundle Road THE GUARDS The Blue Bell, Dogsthorpe THE JUNK PUPPETS George & Angel, Crowland THE LAZOONS Charters, Town Bridge VARIOUS ARTISTS (4PM) Town Centre, Chatteris

SUN DEC 3 DIVISION DUO Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate


JAMES EDMONDS (3PM) The Frothblowers, Werrington LEE JOSHUA Puzzles?, Bridge Street PALMY UKE BAND (3PM) Charters, Town Bridge THE MALINGERERS (4PM) Mama Liz's, Stamford

MON DEC 4 NICOLE SAUNDERS Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate OPEN MIC NIGHT Charters, Town Bridge

TUE DEC 5 ACOUSTIC NIGHT WITH GRAHAM Millstone Inn, Barnack OPEN MIC Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate OPEN MIC WITH JAMES EDMONDS The Crown, Lincoln Road

WED DEC 6 OPEN MIC NIGHT The Beehive, Bourges Boulevard

THU DEC 7 HOLLY JEAN Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate OPEN MIC Brewery Tap, Westgate VOODOO ACOUSTIC WITH GRAHAM NUNN Mama Liz's, Stamford

FRI DEC 8 MORTI VIVENDI + KOMATYSED + VENDETTA Mama Liz's, Stamford BROTHERHOODS ROUNDABOUT The Crown, Lincoln Road CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION Charters, Town Bridge CUTTIN LOOSE The Mason's Arms, Bourne DIVISION The Beehive, Bourges Boulevard FILTHY CONTACT The Burghley Club, Burghley Road FOLK CLUB NIGHT The Falcon Hotel, Whittlesey HOOKER London Inn, Stamford IAN RICHARDSON The Iron Horse Ranch, Market Deeping LIVE MUSIC The Queen's Head, Queen Street PEMBROKE TENNESON The Fayre Spot, Bretton PORKY PIG The Yard of Ale, Oundle Road THE GENIE LAMPS The Dragon, Werrington THE GUARDS The Ploughman, Werrington VARIOUS ACOUSTIC ARTISTS St Marys Church, Whittlesey WALKWAY The Ostrich, North Street ZAKK ZOOT Puzzles?, Bridge Street


BON ROGERS Puzzles?, Bridge Street CAPTAIN BACKWASH & THE BARLEY BOY RAFT RAISERS The Angel Inn, Yarwell FILTHY CONTACT Prince of Wales Feathers, Castor FIRED UP The Yard of Ale, Oundle Road FRANKLY MY DEAR Burghley Club, Burghley Road ON THE CEILING The Ploughman, Werrington RPM The Blue Bell, Dogsthorpe SIMON LEE Ebeneezers , Woodston STINGRAY The Crown, Lincoln Road THE EARL JACKSON FOUR (TICKETED) Royal British Legion Club, Yaxley THE GUARDS The Talbot, Stilton THE MOLL GRIPS The Jolly Farmer, Moulton Chapel THE NUGGETS The London Inn, Stamford TRUE BRITISH MAYHEN The Elm Tree Tavern, Dogsthorpe VARIOUS ACOUSTIC ARTISTS (10AM) Library, Ramsey

SUN DEC 10 ACOUSTIC NIGHT WITH THE BOATMEN The Railway, Ramsey DARREN BETHEL (3PM) Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate DIVISION DUO (3PM) Charters, Town Bridge MATTY HAYNES Puzzles?, Bridge Street VARIOUS ARTISTS (10AM) Town Centre, Wisbech

MON DEC 11 BLUEGRASS ACOUSTIC SESSION The Ship Inn, Oundle GEORGIA EVANS Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate SONG WRITERS NIGHT The Boat Inn, Whittlesey

TUE DEC 12 OPEN MIC Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate OPEN MIC NIGHT WITH GRAHAM CLEAVER The Blue Boar, Eye

WED DEC 13 BACKROOM ACOUSTIC WITH THE BOATMEN The Railway, Ramsey MICHAEL CRAWFORD DUO Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate OPEN MIC NIGHT The Beehive, Bourges Boulevard

THU DEC 14 CABIN BOY JUMPED SHIP The Met Lounge, Bridge Street SUGAR & SPICE Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate THE LAZY OYSTER JAZZ BAND The Angel Inn, Yarwell



ALL SHOOK UP The Burghley Club, Burghley Road ANDY HUGHES Puzzles?, Bridge Street BLACKOUT UK The Beehive, Bourges Boulevard DIRTY RUMOUR The Ploughman, Werrington FRANKLY MY DEAR The Yard of Ale, Oundle Road JINX'D The Crown, Lincoln Road ROCKET '57 Charters, Town Bridge TALLAWAH The Blue Bell, Werrington THE JAM'D The Met Lounge, Bridge Street VELOCITY The Fayre Spot, Bretton

GEORGIA EVANS Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate

SAT DEC 16 BEN CALLANAN Puzzles?, Bridge Street BLACK ELVIS The Burghley Club, Burghley Road CAUSTIC LIGHTS The Elm Tree Tavern, Dogsthorpe CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION Prince of Wales Feathers, Castor GROOVE CARTELL Charters, Town Bridge HIGH ROLLERS The Ploughman, Werrington HOOKER Iron Horse Ranch, Market Deeping LEXIE GREEN The Angel Inn, Yarwell REVOLVER The Mason's Arms, Bourne STEALER The Black Bull, Whittlesey THE EXPLETIVES The Blue Bell, Dogsthorpe THE JUNK PUPPETS The Crown, Lincoln Road THE SOUND INJECTORS Ebeneezers, Woodston VARIOUS ACOUSTIC ARTISTS (10AM) Library, Ramsey WHISKY TWIST The Yard of Ale, Oundle Road

SUN DEC 17 ANNA & JIMMY (3PM) Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate JOE TWEEDIE (3PM) The Frothblowers, Werrington OAKLEAS RISE (4PM) Mama Liz's, Stamford THE TINDERBOX Puzzles?, Bridge Street TOM WRIGHT (3PM) Charters, Town Bridge

MON DEC 18 CJ HATT Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate

TUE DEC 19 ACOUSTIC FOLK The Kings Arms, Polebrook OPEN MIC Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate OPEN MIC NIGHT WITH THE BOATMEN The Boat Inn, Whittlesey

THU DEC 21 AUSTIN GOLD Brewery Tap, Westgate CARPARK RENDEZVOUS Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate

FRI DEC 22 ADAM LEON Puzzles?, Bridge Street HIGH ROLLERS Charters, Town Bridge HOOKER The Ploughman, Werrington LOOSE ROCKET The Mason's Arms, Bourne LOST AND SOUND The Crown, Lincoln Road NOASIS The Solstice, Northminster OUSE VALLEY SINGLES CLUB The Blue Bell, Werrington RETROLUX The Yard of Ale, Oundle Road THE EXPLETIVES Prince of Wales Feathers, Castor THE MAYFLOWERS The Beehive, Bourges Boulevard VARIOUS ACOUSTIC ARTISTS (10AM) Library, Ramsey

SAT DEC 23 ANOTHER GIRL ANOTHER PLANET The Yard of Ale, Oundle Road CAUSTIC LIGHTS The Blue Bell, Dogsthorpe DIRTY RUMOUR London Inn, Stamford ELECTRIC WARRIORS The Crown, Lincoln Road FAT CHANTZ (TICKETED) Post Office Club, Peterborough MEG MCPARTLIN Puzzles?, Bridge Street OUTLAW EAGLES Burghley Club, Burghley Road THE EXPLETIVES Charters, Town Bridge THE FEDZ The Ploughman, Werrington THE GUARDS Ebeneezers, Woodston THE MOLL GRIPS The Crown Hotel, Holbeach

SUN DEC 24 DAN POOLE Puzzles?, Bridge Street

TUE DEC 26 LEFTOVAS The Mason's Arms, Bourne OPEN MIC Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate RAMSHACKLE SERENADE The Yard of Ale, Oundle Road


THU DEC 28 THE RAINMEN Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate


MARK ROWLANDS Puzzles?, Bridge Street MOLLY'S CHAMBER The Yard of Ale, Oundle Road NICOLE LAWRENCE The Fayre Spot, Bretton ONE EYED CATS The Blue Bell, Werrington RETROLUX The Crown, Lincoln Road SECOND CHANCE The Ploughman, Werrington THE GUARDS The Solstice, Northminster THE MOLL GRIPS The Poacher, Spalding

SAT DEC 30 ANOTHER GIRL ANOTHER PLANET The Crown, Lincoln Road CARPARK RENDEZVOUS Ebeneezers, Woodston CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION London Inn, Stamford JIMMY DOHERTY Puzzles?, Bridge Street LIVE MUSIC The Yard of Ale, Oundle Road REVOLVER The Lincolnshire Poacher, Spalding STATE OF FEEEDOM The Met Lounge, Bridge Street THE CONTACTS The Ploughman, Werrington

SUN DEC 31 CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION (TICKETED) The Limetree, Walston DIZZY MISS LIZZYS (TICKETED) The Burghley Club, Burghley Road ELECTRIC WARRIORS (TICKETED) The Yard of Ale, Oundle Road GLAM SLAM GLITZ The Crown, Lincoln Road GOLDEN BANTIC Puzzles?, Bridge Street GROOVE CARTELL (TICKETED) Brewery Tap, Westgate HIGH ROLLERS Ebeneezers, Woodston RAMSHACKLE SERENADE - NEW YEARS EVE PARTY The Palmerston Arms, Woodston REVOLVER The Angel Hotel, Bourne THE DEPPS (TICKETED) The Fayre Spot, Bretton THE GANGSTERS (TICKETED) Charters, Town Bridge THE NUGGETS (TICKETED) The Ploughman, Werrington TOM BRYANS (3PM) Pizza Parlour and Music Cafe, Cowgate VELOCITY The Ostrich Inn, North Street ZEB ROOTZ (TICKETED) The Court Pool & Snooker Club, Bretton


ESP December 2017  

ESP Magazine December 2017