World War One trench experience for Surrey... Non-alcoholic beer for children... Community heroes...

But daddy... non-alcoholic beer doesn't count!

But daddy... non-alcoholic beer doesn't count! - Credit: Getty Images/amana images RF

In a new series, BBC Surrey Breakfast Show host James Cannon takes us behind the scenes of his busy life – at the station’s Guildford studios, out and about in our county and in his hometown of Woking

We have more than our fair share of ‘discussions’ in our house. Over the past few weeks, these have included me disputing with my 12-year-old son that ‘everybody’ is getting a PlayStation 4 for Christmas, peas not being the most disgusting vegetable in the world (I believe it to be sprouts) and that it’s the job of the person who puts the washing in the machine to make sure that school shirts are the right way round.

However, I was stumped for an answer when Matthew, aged nine, questioned why he wasn’t allowed a non-alcoholic beer. “Because it’s beer,” I responded. “But there’s no alcohol so it’s just like having a lemonade” was his comeback. I really didn’t have a follow-up and mentioned it to other parents, none of whom really had a suitable answer as to why it was not on.

Thankfully, I was rescued when I bought some of the said non-alcoholic lager and had to have my age confirmed by the assistant on the self-serve tills. “There you are,” I told him. “You can’t have it because the supermarket won’t let you.” Phew.

There is much excitement here in the Guildford studios of BBC Surrey at the moment, having ended the year on a couple of highs.

Firstly, our Community Hero Awards just keep on growing. Now in their third year we had more nominations than ever as we celebrated Surrey people who have made the difference in their community. It was my first time at the awards and everyone told me that it’s a really heart-warming evening. They were right – we heard stories of amazing kindness, charity and hope, and it was honestly an honour to be amongst such lovely people. It took place just before Christmas and got everyone at the station in the festive mood.

Then, in addition to that, we were also given an early present with a new digital radio transmitter, which was switched on in December. Apparently, Surrey has the highest ownership of DAB radios in the UK and now, at long last, you can find BBC Surrey on yours. If you were given a digital radio for Christmas do have a listen, and if you’ve already got one, do make sure to re-scan your radio to find us!

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The commemorations of the start of World War One will be marked across the UK over the next year, and here at BBC Surrey, we’ve had a reporter busy collecting stories of our county’s involvement, which you will hear over the coming months.

Elsewhere, I recently noticed a pop-up shop in the Peacocks Centre in Woking for a charity selling furniture and raising money for a ‘Trench Experience.’ Apparently, they are searching for land in Surrey and plan to transform it into trenches and open as an education and visitor centre. If all goes to plan, you’ll even be able to stay overnight!

Finally, my favourite interview of the past few weeks has to be with One Show regular Gyles Brandreth who was appearing locally in Epsom. Claiming not to be a name-dropper, he told this tale of being on a beach in Jamaica last year: “From a distance, a withered skinny old lady, chestnut brown and bent over, hobbled towards us. When she got close, my wife and I realised it was none other than... Mick Jagger…"




Catch James Cannon on the BBC Surrey Breakfast Show every weekday from 6am to 9am on 104-104.6 FM or on DAB digital radio


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