Happy birthday Fred Dinenage! How long? | Rick Jackson

On my breakfast show on Tuesday we celebrated the birthday of a true TV legend – Fred Dinenage.

By Rick Jackson
Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 1:54 pm
EVER-PRESENT:  Fred Dinenage, author, presenter and Meridian TV news anchor. Main image: Malcolm Wells (141209-0357)
EVER-PRESENT: Fred Dinenage, author, presenter and Meridian TV news anchor. Main image: Malcolm Wells (141209-0357)

Fred turned 79 and has spent more than 50 years on our screens. Surely there cannot be many who can boast such a long and successful career?

From How? Gambit and World of Sport, to Day by Day, Coast to Coast and Meridian Tonight, Fred has been a welcome visitor into all our homes. On top of that, he is a true gentleman and will always have time for a chat and give words of wisdom.

With many song suggestions for Fred from my listeners on the Headline Hit feature, we played the 1974 classic How Long (Has This Been Going On) by Ace to celebrate!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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I have informed my wife that she will become a football widow for the next three weeks as the delayed European Championships finally get under way tomorrow.

I can’t wait. I love this tournament and the World Cup, seeing some of the world’s best players together with their national teams.

There will always be a surprise package. Remember Denmark in 1992 and Greece in 2004? There’s always an underdog that does well. Will it be England this time?

Sadly I don’t think we can claim to be underdogs, the perennial ‘also-rans’ must be regarded as one of the favourites after an all-English Champions League final and having one of Europe’s best strikers in Harry Kane.

I still can’t see past France for the title though.

The World Champions look ominously strong with the likes of Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann up front. I think if we do beat them we’ll win the tournament.

One thing that will be sad will be the near-empty stadia. The colour and the noise has always been something to behold. Remember the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the annoying Vuvuzela horns? Sadly I will only remember that World Cup for the Frank Lampard goal against Germany that wasn’t given.

You see, there is always drama, there is always controversy and we will always overhype England’s chances. I wonder how long before the media utter the phrase ‘it’s coming home’?

Then again with our first three games at Wembley and the semi-finals and final being played at the national stadium, we may only play away from our shores once... if we make the last 16.

After making the World Cup semi-finals last time around, the expectation on England is greater than ever.

I feel for Portsmouth-born James Ward-Prowse. For me, I would have taken him. A very handy player to have, especially at free-kicks and corners.

At least Portsmouth will have another representative there in Champions League winner Mason Mount.

Time to dust off the St George’s flag and let if fly with pride.

Come on England!


We are all out of gas, literally. As summer finally arrives, it was time to fire the barbecue but the gas tank was empty.

Off I went to my usual haunts for propane only to come back with an empty tank. No one in Gosport seems to have any and some of the places I tried haven’t had deliveries for months.

I checked the Calor Gas website and there is a national shortage of bottles and demand has been huge. It’s down to the pandemic, meaning many more of us will either be barbecuing at home or in our caravans and campervans on holiday in the UK. Not wanting to miss out, I bought a cheap £30 charcoal barbecue and some briquettes. I’m happy to go traditional in 2021.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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