Gerry Armstrong, My Story, My Journey

If you’re talking about the most gifted footballer to come out of Northern Ireland then I imagine that George Best would be the man that most people would pick. However if you’re looking for a footballer who has legendary status playing for Northern Ireland and the man that united a nation in 1982, then step forward Gerry Armstrong. 

I am very lucky to call Gerry and his lovely Wife Debbie friends. They lived here in Mallorca for a few years and their very talented daughter Mariana used to attend my Wife’s Theatre school. They moved back to Northern Ireland a few years ago but we still keep in touch. In last years lockdown we did a few video and podcasts together as Gerry’s football knowledge is second to none. 

I spoke to Gerry this week as he has an autobiography coming out in a couple of weeks. It’s called “Gerry Armstrong My Story, My Journey” and it is a real in depth look at his life. Before we talk about the book, Gerry tells me that next year is the 40th anniversary of the 1982 World Cup and that famous night in Valencia on June 25th when Northern Ireland beat Spain 1-0 and John Motson said one immortal word “ARMSTRONG!” In celebration of that triumph over the host nation, Gerry along with some local brewers has been preparing a whiskey called “The Spirit of 82”. It’s been in barrels for three years now and will be ready next year. He said he and Debbie went to a tasting and tasted 17 different whiskies. They settled on one that was close in taste to Jameson, Gerrys favourite Irish Whiskey. Suffice to say they had to get a cab home that night!

The idea for the book had come before the lockdown but when the stoppage did arrive he said it helped him concentrate more on the content. Believe me when I say Gerry packs a lot into the book. It’s 23 chapters and over 100,000 words. I don’t want to ruin it for you but there are a few things to highlight. Firstly that he actually wasn’t going to be a footballer at all. He was playing Gaelic Football at a high standard but whilst serving a ban he fell into it. He was that good, Tottenham Hotspur paid £25,000 for his services in 1975. As we were chatting I was trying to remember if I’d seen him play. I was an Arsenal fan but all my mates were Spurs, so I used to go with them to watch games. I’m sure that between 1975 and 1980 before he left I would have seen him play. Watford broke their transfer record and paid Spurs £250,000 to sign him in 1980. This move put him on the then Northern Ireland manager Billy Binghams radar. He had made his Northern Ireland debut way back in 1976 alongside George Best but playing regularly for Watford definitely helped. 

I ask him about that night in Valencia in 1982 and he can remember it like yesterday. He says it was the very warm and humid and there weren’t many Northern Ireland fans amongst the 49,562. So what about that goal? “I picked the ball up just outside our penalty area and drove forward. Billy Hamilton was over to my right and I managed to get the 

ball to him. I then just kept on running and as the cross came over I thought their keeper Arconada was going to claim it. But instead he flapped at it straight to me. I hit it first time and it nestled nicely into the net and the rest is history.”

That goal earned him a move to Real Mallorca, where his love for the island began. He was loved by the Mallorca fans for his no nonsense style and spent two successful years here. He said “I did get stick, particularly when we went to play Valencia, obviously the home fans remembered only too well what I had done to them the year previous, but I was pleased to say we drew 2–2 with Valencia and I scored a goal into the very same net that I’d scored for Northern Ireland.”

After his playing career finished, Gerry started working on TV and was part of Sky Sports La Liga coverage for many years. I said earlier, his football knowledge is second to none and without doubt he is one of the best interviewees I’ve spoken to on radio. 

This is a great autobiography and I’ve only touched the surface so as not to ruin it. But there’s some great stories about George Best, Elton John and Diego Maradona to name a few. It is released next month, it will make a great Christmas present for anyone who loves their football and I’m trying to get Gerry over before Christmas to do a book signing. 

Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

Family Counts For More Than Anything

If you had of told me that when I left the UK on December 28th 2019 it would be 650 days before I make it back to see my family, I would have said you were nuts. But extraordinarily it was true and last week I stepped back on a plane back to the UK for the first time since the pandemic. 

A few weeks before we had sat down to dinner as a family and discussed how we could get back to the UK. We agreed that my Wife would visit her family first, I would go the week after to visit mine and we would all go back together at Christmas. It was a little tough on the boys as they too were desperate to see our families but we thought as they had missed so much school in the past 18 months and they weren’t too keen on missing their football, this was the fairest way to do it. 

As the travel restrictions had changed on October 4th, as a double vaccinated person, I only had to fill out a locator form on the way out and on the way back, plus book a day two test. Arriving at Palma airport it was strange going back to something that I used to do quite regularly. But it all passed off really easy without any dramas and the only difference I remember from before was the wearing of face masks on the plane. 

On arrival at Luton I picked up a car which by the way had cost me more than the return flight. I think the car hire companies were reacting to the so called fuel shortage. I made my way through the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside to a pub that is a favourite for our family, The Rusty Gun. Situated just outside Hitchin The Rusty Gun is so named after two 12 bore shot guns were found and placed over the fireplace. The guns belonged to the notorious ‘Twin Foxes’ – Albert Ebenezer and Ebenezer Albert Fox who were identical twins. They were infamous poachers who lived in the area in the 1800s. The full story of these guns and their owners can be found in the pub by the fireplace. It’s famous for its good food and great ales and I can vouch for both. My Sister and I had decided that this was to be a surprise for my Mother also known as “The Duchess”. At 91 she’ll still give anyone a run for their money but was it a good idea for a surprise? Well as you can imagine there were a lot of tears, even a little from me, I’m not ashamed to say but whatever we’ve all gone through over the last 18 months, family counts for more than anything. It was great catching up and of course a promise that the next time won’t be so long and with all of us at Christmas. I also managed to see my Mother in law Janet in Bedfordshire and my good friends(who I count as family) Ian and Lesley and their family and friends in Cambridgeshire. 

Having visited three different counties I didn’t see one queue or any petrol garages closed, so where were the fuel problems? Which leads me nicely on to the next so called shortage, toys for Christmas. I seriously believe this is the toy companies stoking the fire and trying to get us all to buy earlier. It’s a great marketing trick and we Brits fall for it every time. Next it will be turkeys, then Brussel Sprouts and probably Christmas trees. It’s a joke and I don’t know why we take it in. 

Talking of toys though, with 70 sleeps to Christmas, online retailer Amazon have this week funnily enough released their top 10 most popular toys for the festive period. See I told you it was a marketing ploy!

They are in no particular order;

• Luigi Starter Course 

• Pictionary Air Harry Potter 

• Polly Pocket Rainbow Funland Theme Park 

• L.O.L Surprise! Movie Making Studio 

• Linkimals Dance n Grove Penguin 

• Spidey and his Amazing Friends – Marvel Web-Quarters Playset 

• Little Live Pets Gotta Go Turtle 

• Batman 36 inch Transforming playset 

• The Balloon Dino 

• Paw Patroller 2.0

My two boys are past the toy stage so you’ll have to go and look these up. 

Lastly going back to travel, they’ve just released that fully vaccinated international passengers arriving in England from countries not on the red list can take a cheaper and quicker lateral flow test from the 24th of October instead of the PCR version.

Those who have been vaccinated, and most under-18s, can take a lateral flow test on or before day two of their arrival into the UK.

The change will come into effect for those returning from half-term breaks, with Covid-19 tests available to book through private providers listed on the government’s website.

The Department of Health and Social Care said that the tests can be booked from the 22nd of October and passengers must upload a photo of their test to verify their results as soon as possible. Anyone who tests positive will need to self-isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test.

Positive news going forward for the travel industry. 

Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

We’ve Been Expecting You Mr Bond

Almost 18 months since its supposed release date the Bond film No Time To Die has finally been released. We went to Mallorca outlets in Marratxi to see it last Sunday which is the first time we’ve been back to a cinema in a similar amount of time. There’s nothing better than watching a new film on the big screen and this certainly didn’t disappoint. We did comment beforehand that it was quite long at two hours and forty five minutes but the time passed quickly and we thoroughly enjoyed it. If you’ve not seen it yet I won’t spoil it for you but if you’re undecided about going, don’t be it’s a Bond film with all the bells and whistles.

One thing I will say which won’t spoil anything. The opening sequence is as spectacular as ever and the bit where he jumps off the bridge using a rope is done by a guy who used to work at Pirates. Dave Grant was Sir Francis Drake a few years ago and when he left us he trained to be a stunt man and he has built a very successful career.

At the Royal Premiere last week, there was a lot of talk about Daniel Craig’s jacket. So much so that we started talking about it on the radio. Now I’m the last person to talk about fashion but I actually liked it and when I asked our resident fashionista Amanda O’Riordan she did too. The  maker was Savile Row stalwarts Anderson & Sheppard, the tailor founded back in 1906.

I think what a lot of people missed was this was his last Bond movie and let’s remember he’s only a fictional character. It’s well documented that Craig found the role difficult, as in all the pressure that goes with it. So instead of going down the conventional black dinner jacket route, I think this was the release he needed. It certainly got everyone talking about it which let’s face it that is what the producers would have wanted. I’m tempted to say a marketing master stroke. 

Craig’s final outing as 007 has smashed UK box office records, grossing more on its opening weekend than any other film in the history of the James Bond franchise and has become the biggest movie of the year.

Quite apt that we celebrated Global James Bond Day this past week. The celebration of Ian Fleming’s fictional spy, James Bond, falls on October 5th each year. It’s the anniversary of the world premiere of the very first Bond movie Dr No in 1962 starring Sean Connery. 

The Top 10 grossing Bond films globally so far are;

  1. Skyfall ($1.111 billion)
  2. Spectre ($879.6 million)
  3. Casino Royale (2006) ($594.4 million)
  4. Quantum of Solace ($591.7 million)
  5. Die Another Day ($431.9 million)
  6. The World is Not Enough ($361.7 million)
  7. GoldenEye ($356.4 million)
  8. Tomorrow Never Dies ($339.5 million)
  9. Moonraker ($210.3 million)
  10. For Your Eyes Only ($195.3 million)

An interesting choice for the theme tune as Billie Eilish isn’t your conventional singer. She is also the youngest singer to sing an original James Bond song, which she wrote and recorded in her bedroom studio with her brother Finneas. It has already won a Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media and it could go to the Oscars next.

Interestingly only two Bond theme tunes have ever made it to number one. Sam Smith’s Writing’s on the Wall from “Spectre” in 2015 and EIlish in 2020. 

The Top 10 earning Bond theme tunes are;

  1. Goldfinger – Shirley Bassey
  2. Live and Let Die – Paul McCartney & Wings
  3. Skyfall – Adele
  4. You Only Live Twice – Nancy Sinatra
  5. For Your Eyes Only – Sheena Easton
  6. Writing’s On The Wall – Sam Smith
  7. The World Is Not Enough – Garbage
  8. Diamonds Are Forever – Shirley Bassey
  9. Thunderball – Tom Jones
  10. Nobody Does It Better – Carly Simon

So who is going to be the new Bond?

Lots of rumours but I looked at the bookies as they can normally give you a good idea. Rege-Jean Page is the 6/4 favourite. The actor from Netflix drama “Bridgerton” set pulses raising when he first appeared as the Duke of Hastings in the period drama.

Tom Hardy is 9/4 and has been touted for a few years now. Well-known for his powerful performances in films like ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, ‘Inception’, and ‘The Revenant.’ In 2017 he said “There’s a saying amongst us in the fraternity of acting, that if you talk about it you’re automatically out of the race.” 

James Norton is 4/1. He is best known for playing the lead role of Sidney Chambers in Grantchester. However, he has told people not to bet on him as he doubts he would get the role and continued to deny rumours he was in the running.

It will be interesting to see who they choose and I for one will be looking forward to seeing the next film. 

Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

Liam Jones, Remember The Name!

If you’re a bit of a sports nut like me then last weekend couldn’t have been better. It just happened to coincide with my Wife going back to the UK to visit her family. Which was not planned by the way!

The Ryder Cup started on the Friday and although it looked over by the end of that day there was still the thought that Europe might make a comeback. Saturday lunchtime was Chelsea v Manchester City, a must watch game from two of the teams expected to be battling it out for the Premiership title. City playing really well and getting the win. We left the house at 4pm that afternoon for my eldest Sons game in Palma. He was Captain and they ran out 3-0 winners. Saturday night was the World Heavyweight Championship boxing between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk, whilst we were still getting gubbed in the Golf. Now talking of getting gubbed, what happened to Joshua? As soon a I saw his ring walk I was worried. He was smiling, fist pumping everyone and kissing grannies! And so it proved, he was well and truly outclassed by a better boxer. By that time there was a little hope for Europe as they had rallied but was it enough?  

Sunday was a busy day particularly on the football front. We left the house at 8am for my youngest sons game in Palma. They won 3-0 and the it was off to watch Atlético Baleares play Real Betis B at 12. They are going a little under the radar as Mallorca’s other Professional team as most people’s attention is on Real Mallorca in La Liga. They won 1-0 and are second in the league behind Villareal B. We left that game a little early to arrive on time for Real Mallorca to kick-off against Osasuna at 2pm. A game that Mallorca should have won they ended up losing 2-3 and their form is a little worrying having lost 3 out of the last 4 games. While this was on, the F1 was happening in Russia with Lewis Hamilton winning an exciting race in the rain in the final 2 laps. We arrived back home at 4.30 in the afternoon just in time for the big North London derby, Arsenal v Tottenham. As an Arsenal fan it couldn’t have gone much better, winning 3-1 and even going above them in the league. Unfortunately Europe couldn’t close that gap in the golf but at least it meant I could get to bed early after what was a hectic weekend.

The sporting theme ran onto my radio show this week. I’m not a huge boxing fan but if there is a big fight on TV I will always watch it. I’ve been lucky enough to meet and interview a couple of legendary boxers in Nigel Benn and Joe Calzaghe. Also I’ve been a ring announcer for a couple of boxing events on the island which was really enjoyable. 

My two boys have been doing some boxing conditioning work with Paul Hamilton at the Shambhala Gym in Santa Ponsa. It hadn’t escaped my notice that Paul had been training a young Welsh boxer by the name of Liam Jones. He looked very handy and I asked Paul if we could interview him on the radio. Paul said now would be a good time as he’s about to turn professional. Liam is from the Rhondda Valley in Wales and has been coming to Mallorca on and off all his life as his parents have a place here. He first entered a boxing gym at the age of 11 and his inspiration was watching the Rocky movie. Floyd Mayweather is the boxer he admires the most and he hopes one day to emulate him. He’s a softly spoken guy but don’t let that fool you. This boy can punch and Paul tells me there are a lot of people looking at him here in Mallorca, on the mainland and back in the UK. But he wants to stay with Paul here in Mallorca and learn his trade. Paul has trained many champions over the years and took young aspiring fighters from all over the world, some of Britain’s top Thai Boxers have been produced by, trained by or have benefited in some way from him. Liam has already accrued a list of sponsors including Cardiff Steel, Motor Connect UK, Watches of Wales, Sam Dry Lining and Custom House Wales and he becomes one of the first boxers here in Mallorca to be paid to train. His first fight is scheduled for November 6th in Calvia and if you like your boxing I suggest you go along and watch someone who in many people’s eyes already is a future World Champion. 

Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

We Are In Danger Of Being Left Behind!

Last week I was invited to a meeting of the Asociación Balear de Ocio Nocturno y Entretenimiento (A.B.O.N.E.) which in English is the Balearic Association of nightlife and entertainment. There were representatives from all over Mallorca and they were joined on Zoom by representatives from Ibiza and Menorca. The majority of the businesses within this Association haven’t been able to work since the Lockdown of March 14th 2020. The ones that have been able to open have done so with great difficulty and under strict restrictions. 

As of today there is still no set date as to when they can reopen and also when all restrictions will be lifted. The pandemic situation in the summer was far worse than it is now and yet the Government still won’t let them open. I think the Government have to come up with a plan to make sure these people can restart their businesses. It may well be too late now but if we want to safeguard the islands and it’s biggest industry then something needs to be done. I said this a couple of weeks ago the  Nightlife Sector generates a whopping 20 billion euros, according to the National Federation of Leisure & Entertainment Businesses, or FNEOE. That surely can’t be ignored for much longer. We are in danger of being left behind by other resorts like Turkey, Greece and Croatia and we need to be sure of the message. Do the red zones still exist in Magaluf, Playa de Palma and San Antonio? Remember this was a law brought in for the 2020 season to curb the excessive drinking tourism. I don’t know many that are against it but why make it certain zones only? Either have it for all or don’t have it at all. What I mean by that is how can you have certain measures in Magaluf but not have the same measures in the neighbouring resort of Palma Nova? Equally even in the same town of Magaluf, how can you have some places being told they can’t offer free drinks or all inclusive packages but some hotels that are on their doorstep can? It’s utterly ridiculous. What happened to “one for all and all for one!” I’m all for cleaning up the resort but that works both ways. Away from the promenade and beach, which are looking great by the way, the rest of the resort looks tired and rundown. If you don’t believe me look around, I do as I’m there most days. See how many for sale and for rent signs there are. Is it me or does the Graffiti seem to be getting worse?  There is an area by the football stadium that is dedicated to that art and it looks good. But it’s starting to crop up everywhere, it’s ugly and if we are looking to attract more tourists this needs to be dealt with. Have a look at the motorway between Palma Nova and Portals and see how much there is. They’ve even started on that central reservation wall that I’m still none the wiser on! It’s all right saying that you’d like a better class of tourist but if the resort they’re coming to isn’t up to it then they’re not going to return. Compare and contrast that to the resort next door of Palma Nova and things are very different. Now I know the resort differs from Magaluf as it mainly exists of the promenade road and that’s it. But you can notice there’s a marked difference between each resort. At the moment they’re seems to so much uncertainty that somebody has to have the cojones to say. We’re getting ready to make 2022 the best year the island has had in recent times and here’s how we’re going to do it. Surely we’re not going to tip toe along waiting for some good news, we need to make that good news ourselves. 

Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

Fairytale Of New York

Last weekend in New York I could hear Frank Sinatra singing those immortal words, “Start spreading the news” as possibly the biggest British sporting story ever was taking place. 

In fact this story had been brewing for over a month and the person involved had already made plans to return home before the story had even unfolded. I am of course talking about the new rising star of British tennis and the soon to be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Emma Raducanu. Just three months ago she was ranked outside the World’s top 300, after reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon she had moved up to 179. Since her win last Sunday she is now number 23. 

The question now, was this the biggest British sporting story ever? 

Well firstly this is all about opinions and possibly it’s to do with the sports that you or I watch more regularly. I also think you have to split these into two parts, team sports and individual sports and I’ve picked my top 5 in each. 

Firstly team sports and in the time honoured way, in reverse order.

Wimbledon beating Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup Final 

Liverpool had just been crowned once again as champions of Division One and were the all-conquering giants of English football throughout the 1980s. With a team full of international star players, they were strongly expected and favoured to win the FA Cup by all the experts. Step forward unfashionable Wimbledon, who had been playing in the semi-professional Southern League just eleven years earlier, were derided by many pundits as being technically limited and dismissed as relying only on their strength, and were expected to have almost no chance of beating their illustrious opponents. They won 1-0 with a goal from Laurie Sanchez and were helped along the way with a penalty save from their goalkeeper Dave Beasant. I can still remember the quote from BBC commentator John Motson, “The Crazy Gang have beaten the Culture Club”.

England winning the Cricket World Cup 2019

England don’t win many World Cups in any sport, but 2019 delivered one in very dramatic fashion. 

After struggling to chase down a pretty modest New Zealand total, two incredibly lucky late sixes from Ben Stokes tied the match and sent it to a Super Over. 

Even that finished level and England won only because they had hit more boundaries over the course of the game. The rule which saw them won has since been changed.

London Olympics Super Saturday 2012

Team GB won three track-and-field golds in the space of 45 minutes at London 2012 on one famous Saturday evening. 

Jessica Ennis completed her heptathlon triumph, Mo Farah won the 10,000m, and there was shock long-jump success thanks to unlikely hero Greg Rutherford.  Three golds in 45 minutes were added to the three already won that day, making it six in total. 

England win the Rugby World Cup 2003 

England who were brilliantly coached by Clive Woodward and Captained by Martin Johnson overcame Australia in extra time on their home turf with a brilliant drop goal from Jonny Wilkinson. I remember Ian Robertson’s radio commentary “It’s coming back for Jonny Wilkinson, he drops for World Cup glory!” It still gives me goosebumps.

England win the Football World Cup in 1966

The year I was born and you’re going to be hard pushed to beat this one. Remember the song, “30 years of hurt”, well that was 1996 and to this day, 55 years later we still haven’t managed it. Best remembered for the hat-trick by Geoff Hurst and that “goal” that hit the underside of the bar and according to the goalscorer who I was lucky enough to interview once on the radio, it did cross the line! We also had that unforgettable commentary from Kenneth Wolstenholme “There’s some people on the pitch, they think it’s all over, it is now!”

Now moving onto individual Sporting achievements, once again in reverse order.

Andy Murray wins Wimbledon in 2013

Before 2013, no Brit had been crowned Wimbledon men’s singles champion in 76 years. 

But that summer, Murray conquered world number  one Novak Djokovic in the final on Centre Court and he did it in straight sets too. 

Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour de France in 2012

Great Britain had to wait 103 years for a Tour de France triumph, so when Wiggins wore the famous Yellow Jersey up the Champs-Elysee to win the race, it was quite a massive moment.  

Lennox Lewis the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World

Along with Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield before him, Lewis is one of three boxers in history to have won the heavyweight championship three times. Muhammad Ali famously said to Lewis, “You’re the greatest one there is, like me.” George Foreman has described Lewis as “beyond doubt, the greatest heavyweight of all time.” Lewis’ decision to retire as the reigning heavyweight champion of the world in 2004 and he continues to be the last Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion.

Lewis Hamilton wins seven F1 World Championships 

In Formula 1 Hamilton has won a joint-record seven World Drivers’ Championship titles (tied with Michael Schumacher), and holds the records for the most wins (99), pole positions (101), and podium finishes (175), amongst others. From humble beginnings in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, he will, once he retires be the most successful F1 driver ever. 

Emma Raducanu wins the 2021 US Open in Tennis

I think from an individual point of view this has to be the greatest British individual sporting achievement ever and the reason is because she came from absolutely nowhere. The 18-year-old Raducanu won 10 matches in a row at Flushing Meadows, three in qualifying, seven in the main draw and is the first woman to win the US Open title without dropping a set since Serena Williams in 2014.

This was the first major final between two teens since Williams, 17, beat Martina Hingis, 18, at the 1999 final and the first between two unseeded women in the professional era, which began in 1968.

Raducanu is the first British woman to win a Grand Slam trophy since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977 and Wade was in the Ashe stands on Saturday, applauding with everyone else. 

They say you shouldn’t mix politics with sport and I totally agree but some people including Gary Lineker were trolling out the fact she was a migrant once and that is a hot political subject right now. The facts are she arrived in the UK legally at the age of two from Canada with her Romanian Father and Chinese Mother. Why do people want to find faults in people immediately after they do something successful? Let’s enjoy and concentrate on the fact she’s an amazing tennis player and has an opportunity for an unbelievable career. 

And if I’m quoting songs then it has to be “Fairytale of New York”.

Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

Mallorca Never Stops Delivering

Forat de Mallorca

I’ve been lucky enough to live in Mallorca for just over 30 years now and even for such a small island I’m still discovering new things. When I take the boys for their football matches, it’s a great opportunity to get out and about and admire the island. Take this week, I was scrolling through Instagram and the photo above came up. I had to look twice at the picture as I couldn’t actually believe what I was seeing. 

A whole in the rocks that totally mirrors a map of the island of Mallorca! When I posted the same picture on social media, I discovered I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know this existed. 

Forat de Mallorca is situated in Pollensa in an area that can only be reached by sea. There’s a great story as to how it was created. Legend has it that the hole was created during a pirate attack in 1582, after a cannon shot sculpted the silhouette of Mallorca in the rock. I’m going with that as nobody has come up with anything better and as I work in Pirates let’s stick with it. 

Sometimes you tend not to appreciate where you live but that’s difficult to do that here. Take my drive to work. It takes me past the sea and the beautiful Port Adriano housing some of the best yachts and boats in the World. The well renowned golf courses of Santa Ponsa and T Golf and when I get to the radio studio I’m looking out over one of the best beaches on the island, Magaluf. You might snigger but believe me there aren’t many better on the island. Magaluf may have a bad name but the beach and it’s promenade are one of the best. Put it this way, Nikki Beach has 13 of its luxury beach clubs all over the World including Miami, St Tropez, Barbados and Dubai. They could probably have had their pick of anywhere on the island but they chose Magaluf beach for the one here in Mallorca. 

There is no doubt that people come back on holiday year after year as Mallorca does have everything but in the past 18 months that might have been forgotten. Those that know me, know I’m very passionate about the island and what it offers and I sometimes get exasperated by how we are marketed as a destination. I’ve written countless columns and blogs on the island and it’s advantages as a holiday destination. But there’s something that we need to be wary of as it has no doubt become more popular since the pandemic. I’m talking about the “Staycation”.

According to the Cambridge dictionary a staycation is a holiday that you take at home or near your home rather than travelling to another place.

In most people’s eyes though they don’t think about staying at home or near to their home, Depending on where they live they’re thinking of Devon, Cornwall, the Lake District or Scotland. So in reality that isn’t a staycation. 

There is something that Mallorca can guarantee that the UK can’t and that’s the weather. Lots of family and friends have told me that the weather in August was awful but strangely enough as a write this they’ve got great weather. No good now though considering the kids have gone back to school. A staycation doesn’t come cheap as lots of people have told me. I also think people want to try and be somewhere else in the World with different cultures, cuisine, scenery and nightlife. 

I think the only problem for us is the traffic light system and the different test rules there are. However I read a report in The Times this week that the Government are talking about changing the traffic light system to red list countries only and people who have been double vaccinated will not have to have any tests on their return to the UK. That is rumoured to be happening at the end of this month. 

Mallorca in my opinion is still one of the best holiday destinations anywhere in the World. An island with turquoise blue waters, secret coves, soft golden sands, lush green foliage, rugged mountains, picturesque villages, amazing cuisine, an up and coming wine industry, bustling nightlife and a vibrant capital city. We’re also an island in the Med only a couple of hours flight from most European cities. 

Let’s look forward to a bumper 2022.

Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

“It’s Been A Great Season?”

I don’t know if you’ve noticed like me this week the Governments push for positive tourism news? I’m all for it if it’s true but I’m sceptical. 

The Balearic President has told us it’s been a great season, there were reports that the number of tourists visiting Spain in July were up 78%, comparing to July 2020 (when there was hardly any).

Palma de Mallorca International Airport has apparently recovered this month of August 2021 up to 85% of the air traffic it supported in pre-pandemic times in August 2019, due to the progressive growth of national and international traffic to Mallorca.

Forecasts indicate that during this month about 3.9 million passengers have passed through the Mallorcan airport, a figure very close to 4.2 million in August 2019. Likewise, aircraft traffic will have been around 25,000, for the 28,790 of 2019, according to AENA data.

There’s been a “massive” drop in unemployment in the Balearics in the month of August.

Another thing that came out of a Governmental meeting this week was “maintaining flights is vital to extending Mallorca’s tourism season.” There’s quite a few things to pick through here, as although the headlines look good, I think it’s always good to go deeper into the detail. 

Firstly are they trying to get this good news out now because we are in September, it’s normally the beginning of a wind down to winter?

Whilst in Ibiza this week President Armengol stated, has been “much better than expected.” It has been a “very good” season, backed by a “very significant effort” to make it so.

With regard to nightlife, a sector which is of course closely associated with Ibiza, Armengol thanked the “huge effort” to understand the situation caused by the pandemic. By foregoing its business, “the collective” has been helped. So here’s the problem, the nightlife industry isn’t going to accept another season of closure. Whilst some have adapted and trialed daytime events, there is no doubt the clubs make their money from what they’re famous for, being nightclubs. Let’s remember that is two fold and in reality the Government needs them too. The Nightlife Sector generates a whopping 20 billion euros, according to the National Federation of Leisure & Entertainment Businesses, or FNEOE. That can’t be ignored for much longer.

I’m interested to know about the numbers at the airport and how they are reported. Firstly look at the wording and phrases, “forecast” “about” “passed through” “aircraft traffic will have been around 25,000” so it’s not an exact number. “Passed through” wouldn’t actually mean they are coming to Mallorca as a lot of people pass through on their way to another destination. Have they taken an average number of seats on a plane and multiplied by the number of planes that arrived? It seems that way. A lot of people in the travel industry and that were travelling particularly in July and August were telling me that the planes weren’t full and load factors weren’t as strong as predicted. I made a point of looking for flights in August and found quite a few for 9.99€ per person. In August? I’ve never seen it before. 

I said last week that for some businesses, especially the higher end of the market the season has been good but for the majority it’s about trying to survive until next season. I’ve been banging on about winter for years now and still nothing was done. That was in the good times, so what makes you think that after a pandemic where airlines & hotels who have lost millions are all of sudden going to keep flying and stay open in the winter months? As much as I would like it to happen, it’s not going to. So to come out of a Governmental meeting this week and tell us that “maintaining flights is vital to extending Mallorca’s tourism season.” I find that a staggering statement. If you went into most school classrooms and asked the same question you would probably get the same answer. 

You’re probably saying ok smart arse what would you do? Well firstly I’d get my facts in order and secondly I’ve commented countless times on summer and winter tourism. I wrote about winter tourism on the 15th of May last year giving a whole list of ideas that can be used. If you missed it, let me repeat. 

So what can we offer? We’re an island in the Med only a couple of hours flight from most European cities. We have to change the chip from sun, sea and sand although we do have days that are still suited to that. Also I’m not saying a week or two weeks as some of these ideas can be done in a long weekend.

Hiking: Mallorcas natural beauty and terrain make it a hikers paradise.

Cycling: The majority of professional cycling teams use Mallorca as a training base. 

Horse Riding: Natura Cavall offer some amazing riding experiences with the Sunday Times travel section doing a full feature on them this summer.

Football: Real Mallorca currently play in La Liga and Atlético Baleares play in Primera RFEF. 

Shopping: There are a number of shopping centres including Porto Pi, Mallorca Fan and Mallorca Fashion outlet. Palma the capital offers the ardent shopper an unbelievable array of shops including El Corte Inglés, Zara, H&M and lots of designer boutiques. 

Sights: Palma has some truly beautiful sight-seeing opportunities including the Cathedral, Bellver Castle and the Es Baluard museum of Modern & Contemporary Art to name just three. 

Restaurants: I challenge you to find a better City than Palma for its diversity of restaurants in beautiful surroundings. 

Local Fiestas: famed across the island, every month there’s something happening. 

Wine: has become a big industry with wine tours and fairs all over the island.

Excursions, winter excursions are all about sightseeing including the Soller train, Caves of Drach and the Palma City sightseeing buses. 

Putting the above into a monthly plan. 

November, there’s fiestas celebrated all over the island. Just after Halloween Muro hosts the Pumpkin Fair, Caimari has its Olive fair, Mancor de la Vall entertains the Mushroom Fair. There’s also Sa Pobla’s Agricultural Fair of farming exhibitions, arts & crafts markets and a horse show. There’s a new wine fair in Santa Maria del Cami which is a fabulous event to sample some the island’s local wines.

December, Christmas fairs pop up all over the island including Pueblo Espanyol, Port Adriano and Puerto Portals. The capital Palma is a wonderful place to shop but also to dine in some of the best restaurants in Europe. 

January, sees the fabulous Three Kings celebrations with the one in Palma being the most spectacular. In the middle of the month there’s the San Sebastián Fiestas the patron saint of the capital with big bonfires and concerts occupying the main squares of the city, followed by the legendary fire runs.

February, sees the landscape transformed by almond blossoms with an almond blossom fair in Son Servera. Palma is a perfect City to celebrate Valentines. 

March, Carnival arrives on the island with a huge procession in Palma and other celebrations across the island. 

April, Easter falls in the middle of the month meaning an early start to the Summer.

Do I think this will happen? No, because they’re too blinkered and can’t see beyond the summer. 

All that I said in May 2020. It’s alright saying something for the headlines, how about doing something about it instead?

Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

A Gift That Should Keep On Giving

We are nearly at the end of August and with children in the UK returning to school next week the major part of the summer is over. September is normally a good month for couples and students so let’s hope that is the case. I’m writing this before the UK announces any changes to its travel restrictions but most experts are predicting that the Spain and the Balearics will remain on the amber list. Covid numbers here are starting to fall again which is good news and our double vaccination rate is at 70% of the population. 

Thoughts must now turn to Summer 2022. It would be nice to keep the summer going for as long as possible that was talked about early in the season but I personally can’t see it happening. For me too much thought has gone on the short term and not enough thought has gone into the long term planning of tourism on the island. 

Most of our lives revolve around social media especially in the younger market. Let’s remember we should still be encouraging the younger market to come to the island, I’m not talking about drunken tourism here but the youngsters will be the lifeblood of our island for years to come. They’ll end up bringing their own families here and it becomes a cycle that keeps on turning. 

The Tourism Minister Iago Negueruela said on Monday that while the tourism season has not been a typical one, it has still been good – “much better than we had anticipated”. I don’t quite know what he anticipated but I imagine the percentage of businesses that would rate the season as “good” would not be a high one. It is true that the higher end of the market has been good but for the rest of the market it has been a struggle and some businesses haven’t opened at all. In most cases those businesses haven’t opened since the end of October 2019. There now has to be a clear plan and path to 2022. 

A few things have happened over the last couple of weeks that the authorities should be grabbing with both arms, as they are presents that don’t come around too often. And even better than that, they haven’t had to spend a Euro to get them.

Shawn Mendes might not be a name that is instantly recognisable to all of you out there but believe me his popularity is Worldwide. 

He is a 23 year old Canadian singer and songwriter who is known for hit songs like “Stitches”, “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” and his collaboration with Camilla Cabello “Señorita.”

He released his new single “Summer of Love” on the 20th of August and where did he decide to film the video for the new single? Here in Mallorca. If you’re not sure about the reach he can generate, let me fill you in. He has just over 62 million followers on Instagram, 26.5 million on Twitter, 16.5 million on Facebook, 7.6 million on TikTok and since he shared the video on You Tube 6 days ago it has been watched 10 million times. 

There are some beautiful shots of Mallorca both inland and by the coast. He even did a pop up event marketing the single to his fans in Manhattan New York by saying, “Mallorca vibes in NYC for the #summeroflove” 

Love island may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it made its way into on average 3 million homes in the Uk every evening. Giving the island a perfect platform. It has 3.4 million on Instagram, 1.2 million on Twitter, 1.3 million on Facebook and it has 1.5 million subscribers on you tube. ITV boss Kevin Lygo insists Love Island has “many more years” despite a ratings fall. 

Although 2.8 million people tuned in to watch Liam Reardon and Millie Court be crowned winners this week, that was down 22% on the last summer series, in 2019.

Asked if the best days of the show were behind it, ITV director of television Lygo said: “I think this is a pattern that you see when new programmes come along and they are huge phenomenons. On catch-up it’s… the best performing series ever. I’m sure it will return to the island next year. 

In an interview this week, actor Michael Douglas said “Mallorca is the place I love most in the World.” Yes that’s right, Michael Kirk Douglas the American actor and producer. Who has received numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and the AFI Life Achievement Award. 

He along with his Wife Catherine Zeta Jones have a holiday home here on the island on the West coast. They have been posting pictures and videos on the Instagram accounts all summer which together total 5 million people. 

There are three different examples of how popular Mallorca is and more so now than ever, we are looking at a Worldwide audience. 

It’s time for our Government to act as soon as possible.

Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

What Happened To The War On Terror?

Think what you like about our politicians and their handling of the pandemic but surely they couldn’t have got their handling of the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan more spectacularly wrong? 

I really don’t know where to start, it’s a total mess. 

The Afghanistan story goes back to firstly to 1919. Although Afghanistan was never part of the British Empire, it gained its independence from Britain after the signing of the Anglo-Afghan Treaty in 1919, a treaty that granted complete neutral relations between Afghanistan and Britain. 

This ushered in a new era of friendly British-Afghan relations.

Fast forward to December 24th 1979, which I remember from school was when the Soviet Union(as it was known then) invaded under the pretext of upholding the Soviet-Afghan Friendship Treaty.

The treaty was signed in 1978 and the two countries agreed to provide economic and military assistance. Afghanistan borders Russia and was always considered important to its national security and a gateway to Asia. Russia had long tried to establish strong ties, holding interests there for centuries.

A 1978 communist revolution in Afghanistan and its subsequent one-party state, run by head of the communist party Nur Mohammed Taraki, was extremely unpopular with the Afghan people and the Soviets attempted to bolster it with the treaty.

However, in September 1979 Taraki was overthrown and killed by members of the Afghan Communist Party who were unhappy with him.

So, in December Russia entered Afghanistan to re-establish a government closer to its desires.

The subsequent 10 year war has been described as ‘Russia’s Vietnam’, with the country sending in thousands of troops, spending millions, and ultimately retreating. The militants who they were fighting were known as the Mujahideen and ironically were backed by the United States, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, and the United Kingdom.

The war created a breeding ground for terrorism and the rise of Osama Bin Laden. So the West were ultimately to blame for what followed.

Which we all know by now became known as President George W Bush’s “War on Terror” and the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was a direct response to the attacks of 9/11 on America. The US and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) allies prepared to invade when the Taliban refused to hand over Osama bin Laden. 

Twenty years later from May 1st the US began to pull out followed closely by NATO and basically that should have been that and they all lived happily ever after. Well not quite because this is Afghanistan and as soon as they started to leave the Taliban moved in to take over with hardly any resistance from Afghan forces. So much so that by this week they pretty much had control back of the whole country including the capital Kabul. 

Recent figures put out by the British government put the total cost of major operations in Afghanistan in the low twenty billions.

But independent analysts think the true operational cost could be around double that figure. And this is without trying to count the additional costs to the health service of caring for wounded veterans over their lifetimes.

The major cost though isn’t money, it’s the human cost.  Over the last 20 years of deployment in Afghanistan there have been 457 deaths of UK armed forces personnel. The question needs to be asked, has their sacrifice been for nothing? Well it would seem so as the position of the country seems to be exactly as it was when they began. Not only are there the deaths of soldiers but of the ones who survived many are suffering Post Traumatic Stress Order(PTSD). Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia and find concentrating difficult.

These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.

If that isn’t bad enough what about the abandoned people of Afghanistan? Anybody who helped the coalition forces or was part of the Afghan Army must be fearing for their lives. It isn’t a great outlook for Women and children too. The Taliban say they are willing to change but I think the jury will be out on that one. Let’s see if we return to the terror attacks that started all this 20 years ago and in the meantime Governments around the World should be hanging their heads in shame. 

Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com