Drum and bass night in memory of Swanage teenager Gaia Pope

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Lee Dolbear – 9th May 2018 – 1911 BST

A Festival charity fundraiser in loving memory of Gaia Pope has been set for Saturday May 19th 2018 at The Old Fire Station in Bournemouth.

The Drum & Bass Warriors to host a day and night long celebration of Gaia’s life. All proceeds to go to charities chosen by her family and tickets are still available. Please help us get the word out!

The festival aims to bring the local community together in loving memory of Gaia. The fundraiser will be a two-part event: a family-oriented fun-filled day from 12-5pm, followed by an evening of music and celebration. All proceeds will be equally donated to four charities: Rape Crisis Dorset, Missing People, The Epilepsy Society and Sisters Uncut.

Clara Pope-Sutherland, Gaia’s sister, said:“Gaia would love this event: colour, music, fire, people coming together and dancing in aid of fantastic charities close to her hearts and ours. Our deepest thanks to the Drum & Bass Warriors for building a beautiful day for her.”

Marienna Pope-Weidemann, Gaia’s cousin, said: “Thanks to everyone who’s helped organise this fundraiser and spread the word. It feels like the beginning of something. It’s incredible to me how even now, amidst all the grief and loss, beautiful things keep springing up. People who were strangers to us before are sharing their stories, still showing such love and support, doing good in her name. I see Gaia in everyone one of them.”

The daytime will feature attractions such as dancers, face painting, various stalls, hairdressers offering haircuts for whatever you are happy to donate, an auction of Drum & Bass memorabilia and much more.

Following this will be an evening of Drum & Bass featuring a huge line-up of DJs and MCs including heavyweights such as Annix, Mollie Collins, Natty Dub Recordings:  T>I, Saxxon, Cabin Fever , Jaxx ft Regina & Mikey Blitz, Hannibal, Whitey, Judda, De-tox, Vital, Skydro, Fluid and Hustle. All performers have kindly offered their services free of charge in memory of a beautiful soul. Advance tickets for the evening event (18+, valid photo ID required) are available online via Eventbrite.

Event organiser Heidi Romero said: “We have a huge, amazing and close Drum and Bass scene.  What better way to show Gaia’s Family how much we care: than to come together as a community, to raise not just money but, also awareness. I really hope this event will help them through this terrible tragedy and unite people through their love and compassion. Gaia’s smile is our symbol of hope”.

The Drum & Bass Warriors are a cross-section of the community, united by their love for music, who are working closely with Gaia’s family to put together a worthy celebration of her life and to raise money and awareness for four deserving causes.

You can find the event on facebook and follow the family’s campaign on facebook & twitter.

Tickets are available via Eventbrite.

‘Gaia’s smile is our symbol of hope’

Missing Blandford Man Andrew Latcham – Body Found

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Pic Andrew Latcham – Pic Credit Dorset Police

Lee Dolbear Thursday 26-4-2018 at 1001 BST

Dorset Police received a report of a body found in the River Stour at Charlton Marshall on Thursday 19th April.

The body has now been identified as missing Blandford man Andrew Latcham.

His family has been informed and the coroner has been notified.

Mr Latcham, aged 70, had been reported missing on Saturday 30 December 2017.

His death is not being treated as suspicious.

Dorset Police added “Our thoughts are with Andrew’s family at this difficult time and they are continuing to be supported by specially-trained officers.”

Three-year-old boy dies after road collision in Wareham

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0040 BST Friday 30 March 2018

Dorset Police are appealing for witnesses after a three-year-old boy tragically died in Wareham on Thursday morning.

The incident happened at around 08:43 when an articulated lorry collided with a child, who was crossing the road with his family.

The boy sustained very serious injuries and was taken to Dorset County Hospital for treatment. Very tragically, he was pronounced dead a short time later. The coroner has been notified.

A 43-year-old man from Basingstoke was arrested on suspicion of driving offences but he has since been released under investigation as police enquiries continue.

Inspector Matt Butler, of the traffic unit, said: “Very sadly I can confirm that a three-year-old boy has died today following a collision. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very traumatic time. They have requested privacy.

“A full investigation is underway into the circumstances of the collision and I would ask anyone who witnessed the incident or saw the manner of driving of the lorry immediately before to please come forward.

“I am also keen to hear from any motorists who were travelling along North Street at the relevant time and have dashcam fitted in their vehicles.”

Flowers, notes and toys were left on a bench near the scene.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at, via email at or by calling 101, quoting incident number 29:65. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via

New Ice Warning For Monday Evening

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Friday 16th March at 2044

Final Update Monday 19th March 2106

A yellow warning for ice is now valid until 9am Tuesday morning.

For any local travel disruption follow Travel Dorset on twitter and all your LIVE TRAVEL INCIDENTS HERE via INRIX

Check to see if your school in Dorset is OPEN OR CLOSED HERE

The LATEST IRN RADIO NEWS (2 minutes audio)

Snow has been falling across Dorset overnight, however it will gradually keep moving away further towards Cornwall leaving everywhere clear behind it. Whatever has been thrown down with freezing temperatures it will turn to ice.

Train information and journey checker – South Western Railway

Bus information – First Bus Wessex, Dorset and South Somerset

The A37 between Dorchester and Yeovil has now been reopened following recovery of an overturned lorry.

Dorset Police were dealing with two road traffic accidents into Monday. Purbeck traffic officer Roan Doyle urges caution if you need to travel.



Only a couple of weeks ago the south-west seen it’s worst snow for 10 years but although the weather warnings have been ever changing in the last few days, there won’t be anywhere near the snow levels of a fortnight ago.

Travel was majorly disrupted and even the local taxis and buses were not venturing to the public who needed to be somewhere in trying conditions.

The threat of ice is thrown into the mix on Monday and caution is required as the previous snowfall then combined with the relentless bitter easterly winds seen everywhere turned to clear sheet glass ice.

As we progress through Monday it’s supposed to change for the better certainly wind direction and temperature wise, but alas we will wait for the experts from the Met Office over in Exeter who by enlarge did a great job of trying to be as accurate as possible through updates seemingly by the hour.

The Weymouth Half Marathon was postponed until June 10th 2018.

THIS ARTICLE WAS HIT OVER 1500 TIMES. Many thanks to the public at large.


Dunkirk Flies Away With Three Oscars

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Monday 5th March 2018 0522 GMT by Lee Dolbear

It was a great night for Christopher Nolan as Dunkirk movie scooped three Oscars at the 90th Academy Awards. The war drama which was part filmed on location at Weymouth and Swanage, Dorset in the summer of 2016 was written, produced and directed by Nolan. It featured Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy and Harry Styles (to name a few) helping it to rake in over $500 million at the global box office.

Dunkirk won best film editing, sound editing and sound mixing of the eight it was nominated for.

Sound Editing


• Baby Driver

• Blade Runner 2049

• The Shape of Water

• Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Sound Mixing


• Baby Driver

• Blade Runner 2049

• The Shape of Water

• Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Film Editing


• Baby Driver

• I, Tonya

• The Shape of Water

• Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

It was also a great night for Gary Oldman who won the best actor Oscar for Darkest Hour.

Guillermo del Toro who won the best director Oscar for ‘The Shape of Water’ said on collecting the award, “I am an immigrant…The greatest thing our art does and our industry does is to erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper.”

The Shape of Water also won best picture.

Roger Deakins finally won his first Oscar for Best Cinematography sci-fi thriller Blade Runner 2049 after being nominated 14 times over 23 years.

A full list of winners can be found here via ABC News.

South West RED and Amber Snow And Ice Warnings In Force

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Wednesday 28th February – 1915 GMT – by Lee Dolbear


An AMBER weather warning for the south west has now been validated. It came into force at 2pm as the freezing winds from the east met Storm Emma from the south west.

This was the scene in Weymouth just before 6pm and the snow is still coming thick and fast.

This morning The Met Office issued it’s first RED warning for parts of the south west. This red warning is valid from 3pm Thursday and it means

Dangerous weather is expected and, if you have not done so already, you should take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the severe weather. It is very likely that there will be a risk to life, with substantial disruption to travel, energy supplies and possibly widespread damage to property and infrastructure.

Here in Weymouth the Esplanade is now looking like a scene from Christmas.

With most of the United Kingdom having snow this week from the now infamous ‘Beast from the east’, the Met Office issued an amber alert for Dorset and the rest of the south-west on Tuesday. This amber warning was upgraded from yellow which was initially issued the day before.

We do live in a bit of a health and safety gone mad nanny state in the last few years but with this relentless front of cold, I personally believe the weather organisation based in Exeter has quite rightly kept us well-informed.

The AMBER WARNING is currently valid NOW UNTIL 8am Friday.

All details can be found at the MET OFFICE WEBSITE

Travel Dorset say that no Dorset county council transport is running today, but that does not necessarily mean schools are closed. Check Online.

Earlier this week scarves and hats were spotted on Weymouth Esplanade sea front shelters. One tweet later and we discovered who was behind putting the items and love out there.

It was revealed the person behind attaching the items and scripting the loving note ‘I’m not lost, if you need me – use me – stay warm ❤️’ was Gemma Spearing and after seeing the tweet BBC Radio Solent breakfast show presenter Steve Harris caught up with Gemma on Wednesday mornings show. LISTEN HERE

Some advice if you see a homeless person on the streets and you’re not sure how you can help HERE

It’s a case of batten down the hatches, do not travel unless you seriously need to and take care.

This bitter eastern has been ongoing for nearly a week.

Make sure you check on your elderly neighbours and family.

Drive to the conditions that could change in seconds.

This isn’t Armageddon but it’s not good so TAKE CARE.

Links For Travel   

South Western Railway

First Dorset

All other links are in the article.

Good Luck!

This story will keep updating as the picture keeps changing by the hour.

Boycie’s back in Weymouth for one night only

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New Boycie Poster

Weymouth will provide a warm welcome back to Boycie next Saturday, where he will be appearing at the Riviera Hotel.

I managed to catch up with the evergreen John Challis for a chat about what to expect from his hugely popular show ‘Only fools and Boycie’, and of course we talk Only fools and his role in the hit ITV comedy show Benidorm.

I’ll leave the rest to Boycie….

– Without giving too much away, what are your Only fools and Boycie shows about?

“My one man show Only Fools and Boycie has been going for over four years now and it began on P&O cruises where it was very well received. I thought it might go well on the mainland and with a local journalist Andy Richardson we organised a tour of small venues around the UK. I have published two volumes of autobiography called Being Boycie and Boycie and Beyond and people seem to enjoy the stories from my long and varied career, so that’s what I do on stage-tell stories! The show is just me talking about myself which is what actors like to do, but I do have some great stories from backstage and behind the camera”

“There’s lots of name dropping and recognition stories, but mostly people want to hear about my time in Only Fools and Horses. The show is in two halves of 45 minutes with a twenty minute interval. There is a Q&A at the end of the second half for anyone to ask anything they’ve been dying to know! Afterwards I meet and greet the audience in the theatre foyer, there are copies of my books on sale and I will sign those and write any special message. I’m happy to do selfies!”


Have you ever performed at the Riviera Hotel before and when were you last present in Dorset?

“I’m looking forward very much to playing the Riviera Hotel at Bowleaze Cove. I’ve never been there before but my wife Carol is a Dorset girl and remembers it fondly from her childhood when it was a Pontin’s Holiday Camp! What a fantastic building on such a beautiful piece of coastline and what a relief that the place is still standing. Carol’s brother lives near Dorchester and we always stay with him when we’re down in Dorset. This year was my first time at the Dorset Food and Art Festival in Poundbury and the Dorset County Show where I had a chance to showcase my books under the name of my own publishing company Wigmore Books. I also spent a few days selling books over the August Bank Holiday at the Great Dorset Steam Fair which was phenomenal!”

What about Benidorm, you’re part of the fabric there now?!

“I’ve been very lucky to have been part of such an iconic show as Only Fools and Horses but a couple of years ago I was asked to create a new character in ITV’s hit comedy Benidorm. The writer Derren Litten was always a great fan of John Sullivan and Sullivan rated his work highly as he asked Derren to write for the Green Green Grass. I think that Derren is a great talent and a worthy successor to Sullivan. I was thrilled when I was asked to appear in Benidorm as Monty Staines, a love interest for Joyce Temple Savage. He’s had to fight off a few of her suitors but he’s finally got his girl. I started off in Series 8 I think as a real estate wheeler dealer and then came back in Series 9 as a contender for Joyce’s affections, but she’s a tricky lady and not really sure what she wants! See what happens in Series 10 which we filmed on location in Benidorm over five months when it comes out on ITV in January. I had the time of my life and was well and truly welcomed into the Benidorm family. It’s a great friendly company, cast and crew alike and they like to party! There were lots of guest artistes, all of them legends and you’ll just have to watch to see what happens. The first episode of the new series is fantastic – the most fun you could wish for!”

An OFAH revival?

“I’m often asked if there will be another one off special episode of Only Fools and Horses. The answer is probably not, as our brilliant writer John Sullivan passed away some years ago. Nobody could do it better than Sullivan and his family is keen to protect that legacy. Both David and Nicholas have said that if a script came along that lived up to the standard of John Sullivan, then they would be up for it, as would Sue Holderness and I, but to be fair with you it’s not very likely – sadly”.

Last few weeks of 2017…?

“I spent the first half of this year in Spain so this last part of the year is galloping away, I’ve got four more dates on this tour including Brighton, Bournemouth, Weymouth and Bath then it’s home to the Midlands for an evening in conversation with Nick Owen at the Brierley Hill Civic near Birmingham. Most people will know Nick from TV’s Good Morning With Anne (Diamond) and Nick. He’s a great sports fan and loves the same blues music as me; he’s an old friend so we should have a good evening asking each other about our long careers-over 100 years clocked up between us!”

Future panto….

“I’ve got lots of book signing opportunities coming up, mostly local at the Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fair and Shrewsbury Christmas Fair, then two days in Wrexham at Wales Comic Con which has grown and grown into this mega event! I usually do panto over the Christmas period but this will be the first time in 26 consecutive years that I won’t be either Captain Hook or Abanazar . I just decided to have a break but I’ll probably miss frightening the children, so I might go back to it in 2018”.

What you got for 2018?

“As for 2018, like most actors I haven’t a clue what’s in store. No filming next year for Benidorm as we’re taking a year out, so who knows what will turn up. Our business is notoriously fickle but when it’s good it’s very, very good. Watch this space”.

2015-06-30 14.17.40

John Challis will be back in Dorset with his one man show ‘Only fools and Boycie’ on Saturday 11th November at the Riviera Hotel, Bowleaze Cove, Weymouth


Tickets are still available by calling 01305 836600 Option 1 or email Reception

John Challis on twitter @BeingBoycie

Riviera Hotel, Weymouth on twitter @RivieraHotel3

By Lee Dolbear – Dorset Newsdesk – @leedolbear7 twitter