I’ve swopped swanky hair salons for a Turkish barber

Lionel Messi lifts the UEFA Champions League trophy
Lionel Messi lifts the UEFA Champions League trophy
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I’ve tried many a different hairdresser over the years – and, looking back, had some pretty shocking styles!

Blonde highlights, longer at the back. Was that a mullet? Blonde curtains, crew cut. You name it, I’ve had it.

Should a man spend more than £100 on hairstyling? I have. I’ve sat there for hours on end reading a showbiz magazine with bits of tin foil in my hair.

I’ve also been to see the £7 barber. Sat in a queue 10 deep, but only having to wait 10 minutes.

It’s cheap and cheerful, but at the end of the day all I need is a short back and sides.

I’m not fussed too much by fashion any more.

What goes around comes around. Look at footage from the Second World War and men’s haircuts are exactly the same as today.

I’m too old for highlights. If I did decide to go back down that route, I’d also need to buy a Porsche and commence my mid-life crisis.

No, I have found my hair equilibrium. I now go somewhere where I get more than just a £7 clip around the ear.

My barber doesn’t speak the best English, but I don’t care.

I can’t say I go to the hairdressers for compelling conversation.

My barber is Turkish and I love every minute of this dip into a man’s world in the back streets of Istanbul.

The whole cut from start to finish takes around 30 odd minutes – longer than most, but the experience is worth it.

When I first went, it was a revelation. I’ve never had hot towels before. It was fantastic.

I was slightly worried, though, when his cigarette lighter came out.

He lit a small piece of cotton wool on the end of a stick that was soaking in some sort of alcoholic solution. Once alight, he tapped it up close to both ears.

Not much heat, but enough for the smell of burning hair to waft around the salon.

As a happy customer next to me received a full wet shave, I knew my swanky hair salon days were well and truly over!


I’ve not watched a Champions League match since Sky and ITV lost the rights.

Now BT Sport has renewed its deal, I’m sure I won’t be seeing it again for quite a while.

But with the lack of exposure these games are now getting, I hope sponsors and advertisers will see that audience size is more important than money.

Both the Champions League and Europa League, formerly the UEFA Cup, are shown on channels with a limited audience, damaging their relevance in the UK.

I’m pleased to see the government has decreed that our national football team’s matches and other events such as Wimbledon and the international rugby have to be shown on terrestrial TV for the wider audience.


We have been spoilt with some exceptional sunrises recently.

Listeners lucky enough to be up in the small hours have been sending me their images.

It doesn’t matter if you are on the South Downs, on the motorway or outside the Co-op in Gosport, the sunrise is just as beautiful.

You see, it doesn’t discriminate!

We are coming to the time of year us early risers really do get to see the best time of the day.

Just imagine, the elegant cruise ship Oriana on a glass-like Solent, the sky red behind her, as her passengers sleep inside, unaware of the beauty outside.

The air is still as she slowly slips past Stokes Bay on her way to Southampton.