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Beacon Magazine

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John Hannam Meets

  • John Hannam Meets Annette Badland

    Back in 1981 when Bergerac first came to BBC TV, it was no surprise when John Nettles received sack loads of fan mail. I, like millions of other men, rather fell for the more rubenesque charms of the Bureau receptionist Charlotte, played by the gorgeous Annette Badland.

  • When John Hannam Met Jane McDonald

    There are days in your life that you will never forget. One of mine was September 26th, 2006, when I met up again with Jane McDonald. Her welcoming hug and comforting words were just what I needed

  • John Hannam meets Bill Wyman

    Fifty one years after I first saw Bill Wyman appearing at a Rolling Stones concert at Ryde Pavilion, I finally managed to meet him.

  • When John Hannam Did the Corrie Tour

    Back in 2001 I took an exciting 21 hour day trip to Weatherfield. I was expecting to undertake a couple of interviews with two of Coronation Street’s lesser known characters. Thankfully, it didn’t go to plan. Once the two interviews were completed and the press office girls had left, I was told to sit tight for a few minutes and see who might come in. Over the next hour, six of the most famous faces in Britain came in and were all eager to chat.

  • A Day to Remember with Sheridan Smith

    Saturday June 30th, 2012, was rather special in my 47 year career as a showbiz writer and broadcaster. I still call it my Sheridan Smith day.

  • A Day to Remember with Barbara Windsor

    Back in 1988, John Hannam interviewed Barbara Windsor – and this was long before Albert Square.

  • John Hannam meets Shaun Williamson

    When Shaun Williamson was filling shelves in a Maidstone supermarket his ambition was to be like Richard Burton. Eventually, via Pontins in Wootton, 1986, he became Barry Evans, who for eight years was one of EastEnders’ most popular characters.

  • John Hannam meets Joe McFadden

    Life has been wonderfully unpredictable for Scottish actor Joe McFadden. Before winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2017, he’d been a rock star in Sex, Chips & Rock ‘n’ Roll, cast as maverick cop, Joe Mason in Heartbeat and surgeon Raf di Lucca in Holby City.

  • Gwen Taylor: An interview with Beacon's John Hannam

    Gwen Taylor is one of those actors known for a wide variety of names — Amy Pearce from Duty Free, Barbara Liversidge in Barbara, Heartbeat’s Peggy Armstrong, Rita Simcock from A Bit Of A Do or even murderer, Anne Foster, from Coronation Street.

  • David Calder tells John Hannam why he loves the Isle of Wight

    Over the years, top actors like Celia Imrie, Benedict Cumberbatch, Penelope Keith and Geoffrey Hughes have all fallen in love with the Island. The latest to join them is David Calder, whose credits include The World Is Not Enough, The Hatton Garden Job and The Lady In The Van.

  • Tessa Peake-Jones: An interview with John Hannam

    During the final ten days before the lockdown, I’d been lucky enough to have pre-arranged five interviews. It was in Guildford on a very wet and miserable March day. Would she be like Raquel in Only Fools And Horses or Mrs Maguire in Grantchester?

  • Celia Imrie: An Interview with John Hannam

    John caught up with the star of stage and screen, who talks of recent film projects and fond memories of when the Island was her home.

  • Fred Dinenage: An Interview with John Hannam

    Famous radio DJ Annie Nightingale has helped numerous popstars enhance their careers by playing their music.

  • Dame Judi Dench meets John Hannam

    On July 7th, completely out of the blue, I received an unexpected email from a guy called Neil Chandler, the venue and artistic director of the Fairfield Halls in Croydon, which was re-opening following a £42 million redevelopment.

  • Call the Midwife's Helen George meets John Hannam

    Helen George has millions of fans as Trixie Franklin in hit television series, Call The Midwife. She's just been seen in the show's Christmas Special and is all set to appear later this year in the ninth series.

  • Sir Ian McKellen: An Interview with John Hannam

    There are some years you just never want to end. In my case, it was 2019. I became the grandfather of twin boys, was privileged to attend a Buckingham Palace Garden Party and had interviewed Dame Judi Dench live on stage, in the presence of the Lord Mayor of London. That honour led me directly to my last major interview of the year — Sir Ian McKellen.

  • Marti Pellow: An Interview with John Hannam

    Back on Sunday, February 17th 1991, I had the thrill of having the Beverley Sisters live on IW Radio's John Hannam Meets. At the end of their slot, I asked them to choose a record by their favourite current singer. In total harmony, they all said Marti Pellow and predicted a long and successful career for him. At that time he was the lead singer of Wet Wet Wet. How right they were.


Home and Gardens

  • Gardens: Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly

    The tradition of celebrating midwinter by decorating houses and gardens with greenery dates back thousands of years. Hanna Prince delves into the fascinating history of festive decorations.

  • Gardening: Trees for Small Gardens

    Small garden? Reckon you don’t have room for a tree? Think again, says Flo Whitaker. There are trees to suit every location – and now’s the best time to plant one.

  • Gardening: The Last Wild Orchid of the Year

    Towards the end of August, on the lawns of the Isle of Wight an inconspicuous species of wild orchid, the last British orchid of the season, appears for just a few weeks, heralding the end of the summer.

  • Ferntastic: Why You Should Consider Ferns For Your Garden

    Dinosaurs ate them, and the Victorians obsessed about them; ferns are astonishing survivors from the prehistoric world and still have the power to enchant us, writes Flo Whitaker.

  • Property Planning for Retirement

    Property, equity and retirement can be a complex topic, so we asked Peter d’Aguilar to shed a little light on some of the options currently available

  • What the Average UK House Price Could Get You on the Island (and Beyond)

    In the UK right now the average house price is estimated at just over £245,000 (as of February 2021). But that figure obviously varies from region to region. So if you're a first-time buyer or looking to move to pastures new, which areas should you be looking at to get the best value for your money?

  • Now's the Perfect Time to Plant Raspberries

    Nothing says ‘summer’ more than home-picked fruit. Raspberries are easy to grow — and now’s the perfect time to plant them, writes Flo Whitaker.

  • Plant Your Own Windowsill Garlic

    It’s all go on the veg patch this month. Sow hardy winter greens and plant garlic for a tasty crop later in the year.

  • Hanging Out With Holly

    There’s a lot more to holly than spiky green leaves and a few red berries. Peter Erridge explains all things historical and prickly.

  • Making Your Home Naturally Cosy

    January doesn’t have to be gloomy after the Christmas decorations come down, it can be the ideal time to revamp the home as Adele Trathan explains.

  • Spindles, Skewers and Toothpicks: The Euonymus genus

    The euonymus genus contains over 150 varieties in the form of shrubs and trees, so there should be one type available to brighten every garden throughout the year.

  • Wonderful Workspaces: Setting up a Home Office

    In today’s climate, home offices have never been more desirable. We've got this advice for designing your own stylish workspace

  • Blaze Away! A Look at Fiery Acers

    Versatile and long-lived, no plants give better fiery autumnal colours than acers.

  • GARDENING: Winter Greens

    It’s all go on the veg patch this month. Sow hardy winter greens and plant onions for a tasty crop next year.

  • Dressing Up: Create the perfect window display for your home

    The right window dressing can transform the look and feel of a room without the need for a complete interior revamp. Take inspiration from the latest trends to redesign your window space,

  • Queen of the Blues: Agapanthus in Late Summer

    Coming in every shade from darkest inky purple to purest white, no summer garden is complete without the extraordinary blooms of Agapanthus.

  • The Dirt on Hedges

    Hedging is an important feature in many domestic and agricultural settings, designating boundary, providing habitat for wildlife and privacy for humans, and actually being a thing of beauty. Peter Erridge tells us more

  • Bring the Outdoors In

    Add plenty of extra space to your home, with the addition of a light-filled garden room, conservatory or orangerie.

  • Caring for Houseplants

    Were you gifted a houseplant at Christmas? Wondering what to do with it now? Hippeastrum (amaryllis) are extraordinary plants. Their huge bulbs can develop flowering spikes 60cms tall within six weeks. They are often sold as a kit, complete with flowerpot and compost.

  • Your Guide to Maximising Your Sale

    Steaming coffee and the aroma of freshly baked bread does not guarantee a sale, considering that the majority of buyers will view several properties, every little bit counts to help your's fall top of the shortlist.


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