David Bowie, the genius chameleon of the music world, Jack Nicholson who is memorable in every film he makes. Terry Wogan for crossing the broadcasting spectrum and age bracket in terms of audience.


For a weekend > Because I have a very early start weekdays, on a Friday it often means I can be on a train to London at 10.25. I love to go and visit my son and his family in Sunbury. But it would also involve going to see Chelsea play.

A long holiday > I was lucky enough to spend three weeks in Australia a few years back visiting Perth, Melbourne and Sydney taking in all the sights. But there is so much more to see. I have been to The
Gold Coast also, broadcasting live when the Olympics were on I and was lucky enough to visit the Pallazzo Versace which is the hotel that they use on “I’m a celebrity”. It might be nice to have one night there, but as it’s a long holiday, that’s all.

Luxe relax >>

Best food > I love trying food from all over the world whether it’s Italian, Asian, seafood or meat, be it local or from a far flung place. I have enjoyed eating in the restaurants of New Orleans and back street Chinese food in Beijing.

Best wine > I was lucky to have spent some time at Bin 21 in Hexham where I learnt so much about wine. There is a South African named Wolf Trap, Argentinian malbec or a French Vacqueras which is the appellation next to Chateauneuf du Pape. I’d take a great Macon Villages from Bourgogne and a Rosé from Bandol.

Favourite restaurant > I would probably choose the restaurant at Hotel du Vin in Newcastle for an enjoyable night of food. I am looking forward to spending a birthday celebration at the ultra posh Chiltern Firehouse in London where Michael McIntyre had his 40th celebrations.

Perfect weekend > It’s a bit of a dream weekend with Friday night in Dubai enjoying warmth, glitz and so many wonderful restaurants. A succulent Kobe beef steak which we can only name Wagyu beef in this country. The luxury of Dubai’s fabulous Le Royal Meridien hotel for Friday night and then onto Saturday strolling round Rome enjoying some simple pasta dishes at any of the gorgeous restaurants along the piazzas and obviously a little shopping along the way. I’d love to wake up on Sunday in the Camargue area of the South West of France for breakfast listening to a thousand croaking frogs and watching white horses and flamingoes before a long leisurely bouillabaisse lunch in Marseille. It would be nice to top off the weekend at The Blackbird in Ponteland; the ancestral home of my 8th Great Grandad, Lord Mark Errington.

Downtime means > Obviously with my early starts on Smooth Radio I try and enjoy a little lie-in at the weekends, but I actually run the line for Holly’s Saturday morning football. We spend a lot of time eating with friends. Time in the garden. We enjoy visits to the coast when our weather helps show how beautiful things are in the North East.

Best telly > I love things like Broadchurch and have enjoyed the recent Undercover and Marcella series. But I like to laugh and enjoy Gogglebox and was hooked on Frasier in its time. So sad James Martin has retired after his 10 years of Saturday Kitchen.

Best book > I’m a prolific reader on holiday and it tends to be autobiographies and crime thrillers like Ian Rankin’s Rebus series. I have a signed copy of Keith Floyd’s autobiography which is special.

Best sounds > If you are looking at music then David Bowie has been my musical hero. The morning we heard he had died, I had read at 6.40am on his official Facebook page that he had passed away and had to re-read in order to believe what I was seeing. It was so hard at 6.55am to announce his death, and that morning’s show was tough to get through. The best sound to me is waking to birdsong which means it’s summer and I’m able to get out of bed easier than in winter months – bliss.

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Best shopping city > I’m going to take a different line on this. I ran Wood Green Shopping City Radio in London with Paul McKenna who went on to be the hypnotist and author of self help books – that experience gave me invaluable insight to all aspects of radio. I’ll say Leeds too for a weekend stopover.

Favourite shop > John Lewis and Fenwick have everything – TKMaxx comes a close second.

Luxe retail treat > I spotted a Hugo Boss £400 coat online at a huge reduction, I subsequently went into our local store and they price matched. I celebrated at the new Fenwick Food Hall restaurant, Fuego!

Best buy > I went online the morning Stevie Wonder Hyde Park concert tickets went on sale and couldn’t believe that seven minutes past nine I’d been able to buy a pair.

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A memorable night out > After going out with my wife for a while, in order to be introduced to her friends, she arranged a meal at The Blackbird in Ponteland. Having the unnerving thing of moving to a different seat after starter, main course and sweet all actually went well and subsequently we married four years ago this June.

Perfect party > I have a significant Birthday on 24 May. Old friends and colleagues reminiscing will be the order of the evening and a special champagne.

Best dress/favourite item of clothing > I bought a casual little jacket in Zara in Nice last Summer. It’s the grey one which has hardly ever been off my back since then.

Dinner date > Sandra Bullock, Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams – fun and laughter!

Your Luxe things in life >>

Travel is a must. Finding food, different culture and scenery.