As long suffering Birmingham City supporters we have often used the Tilton Talk show as the perfect vehicle every Monday night to either air our frustrations, sing our beloved blues praises or a mixture of both!
Whatever we chose to discuss on the show we did it with the usual mix. The unique blues fans humour, passion and devotion to the cause. It has been the perfect tonic for blues fans who have watched and listened over the past 11 seasons….(the brainchild of Chris ‘Mrs’ Browne).
What Lockdown brought!
With the abrupt halt to football in March 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, it became apparent that life was going to change for many people. The world was about to become very problematic but at TTS were determined to meet this challenge head. We did this in the hope of raising people’s spirits by offering a shred of normality amongst the uncertain gloom!
What did TTS Do to help?
As one we ‘kept right on’ throughout the weeks and months, we ensured that we were not going to let down an audience who are an integral part of the big blues family. A total of over 50 guests joined us from all over the globe (and more locally). Our magnificent backroom staff (Craig ‘Mr Fixer’ Courtney, Adam ‘Mr Proofer’ Wilkes and Dennis Bohemia) worked tirelessly to involve ex blues favourites to join in the fun.
From Marcelo in his car in Portugal to Kevin Francis in Canada. Radhi Jaidi in Belgium to Paul Tait in Redditch. The laughs continued week by week. Viewers and listeners on all of the social media platforms were treated to anecdotes and little known stories. The blend of football chat in the 90 minute show presented by Nick ‘Mr Floor’ Spall, Paul ‘Mr Sheen’ Hipkiss, Mark ‘Mr Robe’ Adams (so called due to presenting each week in his favourite blues dressing gown) and produced by Chris Browne.
The standard of guests was somewhat surpassed by the commitment to the cause shown by all involved. The show saw the introduction of the ‘Leighton Webster’ fan cam. This was named in honour of blues fan Leighton who left everyone in sheer awe as he recovered from the grip of COVID-19 and staring death in the face to return from hospital to his family.
What guests and fans have said
“I have been a guest on the Tilton Talk Show a few times and am also an avid on-line listener. The show is unashamedly biased towards its club Birmingham City FC but is also fair and inclusive.
It engages with the club’s fans in a warm friendly entertaining way. It also has fans favourite ex-players as guests giving the supporters a great opportunity to engage with their heroes.
However, most importantly, it gives the supporters a platform to be heard.”Tom Ross – Guest and radio commentator in May 2021
“A fantastic show with a growing reputation! Always enjoy going on to talk the guys. The connection with the fans is very important for players and ex-players to share. The show is an opportunity to share great memories but to also chat honestly about football. The show also allowed support of the fantastic charities we all try to support.
Keep up the good work fellas!”Paul “Robbo” Robinson – Defender and Caption 2012 – 2018
“Just wanted to say a big shout out to the Tilton Talk Show. They reached out to me when I was new to this whole Instagram thing lol. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I agreed to participate. But it was a warm, honest and funny conversation which felt like a bunch of pals having a chat. Well done guys and keep representing the KRO crew”🏾KROMarlon King – Striker 2011 – 2013
“Got to say I’m not sure us Bluenoses could have got through lockdown (and not being able to go to the hallowed ground of St Andrews) without having Tilton Talk to look forward to every week.Carol Sandland – Key Worker and BCFC Season ticket holder
The TT team, the guests, the fan cam and the interaction between us all throughout each show was an absolute joy. Keep Right On doing everything you do for the Bluenose community. oh and don’t forget to remind us every week that it’s Nick D J Spall’s birthday on Christmas Day!!! KRO”
“As a proud alumni guest on TTS it has been wonderful to be able to tune in to the guys each week. Especially during the pandemic. The season may have been disrupted but TTS kept right on. Providing us with great interviews and lots of laughs, always making the best of a bad situation! Here’s wishing the lads from The Tilton a fantastic 21/22 season! Can’t wait for the show to return! #KRO”Richard Haylor – Actor and guest from America
“Living in Australia TTS has been a major source of enjoyment with their shows during UK lockdown. Interviews with ex-players, personalities and fans was a great idea. It certainly filled a gap and was something I enjoyed. Tom Ross was superb and Robbie Savage along with Ian Bennett were very close. Everyone really had an effect and was enjoyed in the early morning hours in Queensland.Leonard Edgington – Fan from Australia
KRO from Down Under”
I had the pleasure of appearing on the TTS as a guest towards the end of last season. I was made very welcome and thoroughly enjoyed it. The team are incredibly knowledgeable and provide wonderful entertainment to the die hard blues fans. They work tirelessly to bring us the show and for that we (the fans) are incredibly grateful. The guests are always brilliant and may this wonderful show long continue. KRO ladsTim Faraday – Actor
There were a plethora of raffles, football cards and a host of fundraising events supporting multiple groups. Our relationship was strengthened with our friends at Accessiblues as TTS lent support to great causes such as inviting Linda from the group to have a ‘live’ headshave raising £600 in the process. Young Jake Foster’s family were struggling to find the funds for young Jake’s headstone after he sadly succumbed to mitochondrial disease. The generosity of the TTS audience meant the figure was surpassed quickly. The heartache was brought to attention on the show and touched everyone.
Any Charity drives were met head on by the team. The Christmas raffle attracted an enormous response. The star prize was a signed framed shirt of former defender Wes Harding (match worn). The lads spoke to ex striker Marlon King in March from his home in Zambia and Marlon was humbled enough by the dedication and tenacity to raise funds for PTSD, that he sent over a squad signed shirt from his private collection! This helped to raise over £150.
It’s testament to the power of the show that feedback from viewers and ex players has been nothing but positive. Even during the COVID pandemic the team have remained unbelievably upbeat. The fundraising helped to raise over £2000 for many great causes. The well being and mental health of listeners was at the forefront of our agenda throughout the whole of lockdown.
On the pitch was turmoil at times with yet another annual relegation battle although it was navigated successfully. Lets not forget Nick asked Lee Bowyer during the TTS ‘League cup 10 year celebration’ if ever he fancied returning. “Never say never” Lee responded and look what happened a couple of months later. Lee appeared with other team mates Roger Johnson and Cameron Jerome during that anniversary special. The stories, reflections and comments in this episode from our guests and viewers will live long in the memory. Infact, just thinking of winners medals makes me want to place one around the neck of everyone involved with TTS!
Our hopes for season 11 are to make a long awaited return to our beloved St Andrews. We have also set a target to raise over £2500 and to raise a smile and healthy conversation every week. As with previous seasons we want to build on the previous one. Under the umbrella of the TTS and in the name of the magnificent club we all love.
Let’s keep right on to a brighter future. More great guests, cascades of information into the wider community, maybe more new friends to help us on our journey as we strive to reach our ‘happy abode’ !
See you at the end of the road