BBC Surrey’s James Cannon on names to faces, a royal hospital campaign and dog walking pubs

James Cannon on the BBC Surrey Breakfast Show

James Cannon on the BBC Surrey Breakfast Show - Credit: Peter Stewart

BBC Surrey Breakfast host, James Cannon, discovers what people really think he looks and gets behind a right royal hospital campaign

A few months ago Surrey Life carried a feature entitled ‘Behind the scenes at BBC Surrey’. It gave an insight into how we put our show together, along with pictures of the team. Following its publication, I received a letter (yes people still do send them!) from Anne, in Horley, who informed me that it was nice to see the faces behind the voices that wake her up every day. She then went onto say that both my co-host Suzanne Bamborough and I look absolutely nothing like she’d expected. Anne had imagined Suzanne as blonde with blue eyes and me bald and about 5ft 5’! Susan has purple hair (don’t ask!) and dark eyes, I’m 6ft with a full head of (increasingly greying!) hair. However, Anne’s letter sparked a thought that it’s been one of the joys of my working life to meet and work with some of my radio heroes. I’ve met people I’ve listened to for years and then, like Anne, have been gobsmacked to discover what they look like! Of course I can’t name names, suffice to say that before meeting the late great Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman, I did know what he looked like, but I still couldn’t believe that his voice came out of his body when he uttered, “Hello doll, how are you doing?”


Royal connection

The Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford is to be the home of a new urology centre and we’ve all been invited to help make it happen. Tim Sharp, from Surrey charity. the Prostate Project, popped in to BBC Surrey just before Christmas with news of its Buy a Brick campaign, asking us to pay £10 for a brick to get the new world-class facility finished. Tim ‘borrowed’ an idea from 60 years ago when HM the Queen launched a brick appeal to help fund the building of Guildford Cathedral. Tim has managed to keep a royal connection by enlisting the help of actress Victoria Hamilton, who plays the part of The Queen Mother in the amazing Netflix series, The Crown. I asked Tim how he managed to get her on board. He replied: “Quite easily really, she’s my daughter!” At the time of writing the campaign still has a way to go to reach the £350,000 target, which will allow the centre to be completed. Tim is a force of nature and he will no doubt be on air again to deliver another dose of his infectious enthusiasm.


Pub talk

Lastly, a quick dog update. I discovered another great walk along the River Wey ending up as all good walks should, in a pub. After a good wander it’s a big thumbs up to The Anchor, in Pyrford, which I’d never been to before. It’s picture-postcard perfect on the banks of the river with swans and ducks on the water. Most importantly they love our four-legged friends; it could very easily become my new living room.

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