SPRING is here – welcome to the icy ides of March.

This morning I'm sure I saw a squirrel in Birkenhead Park wearing gloves.

Friday is the official start of 'The Great British Spring Clean'.

A new season and a time of positive change for Wirral, too.

After all the New Year resolutions have been placed in the recycle bin of life, it's time to dust ourselves off and literally spring into action.

One major social priority is that the borough must be environmentally friendly to attract investors, tourists and residents.

It must look good and feel good.

With Wirral Council announcing exciting housing proposals in Wallasey, let's hope they all come to fruition.

We want to see the impressive artists' impressions become reality and not end up in the UK Museum of Virtual Reality.

This welcome spring clean-up should also be a life-changer for our streets, parks and beaches.

Already Wirral's volunteers and community groups are ready with the bin bags – keeping Wirral tidy.

All power to all the country's dedicated local heroes I call them the 'litter-arty.' 

Happily the war on discarded plastic is well and truly on.

We are all ambassadors for the places where we live and work.

The council can build houses but we all need to build a brighter environment.

Pride in our appearance and in a spick and span Wirral is a phrase that aptly 'springs' to mind.


WHY are the creators of detective series clueless when it comes to devising names for their fictional characters?

We have had David Jason as Jack Frost in A Touch of Frost (maybe they should have given that role to John Thaw).

And then came the cringe-inducing Rosemary and Thyme (currently being screened on Freeview) about two female gardening crime-busters.

An idea which should have been nipped in the bud.

I am currently working on a TV series myself called Fish and Chips about two ex-coppers Fred Fish and Cindy Chips from Wirral who run a greasy spoon cafe while solving social misdemeanours.

They specialise in assault and battery cases.

But, forsooth, BBC bosses are having a laugh with their latest daytime offering Shakespeare and Hathaway which started this week – a daily series set in Stratford-upon-Avon featuring crime-solving pair Lou Shakespeare and Frank Hathaway – what a coincidence finding a couple of chalk and cheese detectives (now there's a thought) one with William's surname and one with that of his wife.

Methinks I may also have an idea for a sit-com about a Shakespearean bouncer who worked at the Globe Theatre – it's called You're Bard


TALKING of irritations.

Here's another Granty's gogglebox rant ... I want a commercial break.

Actually, a break from commercials will do.

The trouble with adverts is we are stuck with them – caught in a trap of incessant jingles and catchphrases forming a loop system in our brains.

I can cope with meerkats and even when that fat bloke sings in the Go Compare plugs but one latest advert has me screaming to the kitchen.

The Nationwide Building Society commercials featuring two sisters churning out banal ditties is getting to me.

At first their piano-led, hand-percussion duets seemed novel.

Now someone somewhere thinks we should have them adopted as national treasures.

If the duo had been discovered busking then I would support them yet they are seasoned performers.

My interest rate has plummeted – they are a great advert for supporting our commercial-free BBC.


I'VE been busy lighting candles for two people who lit up the cultural scene and left their mark on me Eddy Amoo was one of the great soul singers who made his name first with 60s stars of the Cavern – The Chants.

Eddy went on to be a part of '70s stars The Real Thing who were once described as The Black Beatles

I first saw them at the Empire when from the stage they threw out copies of their single You To Me Are Everything into the audience.

One smacked in the forehead.

Years later I told Eddy of my flying disc story.

"Ah, that would have been a greatest hit," he laughed.

I once described him as Liverpool’s very own Errol Brown.

He stopped me in the street and said Errol was the sexy thing and he was the 'REAL thing'.

And farewell to Jo Beddoe – the former executive director at the Playhouse.

Jolly but steely, Jo was a trailblazer for the arts and lot of her legacy lives on.

Jo used to end every press night with a breathless 'thank you' speech.

I gave her the nickname Speechy Gonzales and never knew she knew.

The day she left she sent me a card from 'Ms S. Gonzales.' 

I was speechless.


AND finally ...

One aspect of the NHS we should never take for granted is the sense of humour displayed by the staff and not just our tireless doctors and nurses.

This week I went on a visit to the Royal in Liverpool in search of what I was told was the 'fragile ward.' 

When I asked for directions the receptionist laughed out loud and said I think you mean the 'frailty unit'.

Red-faced she told me I wasn't the first to get it wrong.

Someone looking for their grannie wanted to know where the 'fertility' ward was.

Which leads me nicely to the cheering news that Sir Ken Dodd is out of hospital.

Eric Sykes once told me Doddy should be prescribed on the NHS.

The Squire has, I am informed, been keeping the staff in stitches.

Laugher really is the best medicine, by Jove!

Peter Grant