A FEW years ago I worked on a music project compiling songs for a producer making themed albums, you know the type – Father's Day, Summer Love anthems etc.

Songs from various artists all specifically featuring a central subject matter.

If I was working there now I would suggest an EU referendum album.

We all need some light relief from the endless, dreary, scare-mongering debates on television.

So I propose this album called Making Your Mind Up in honour of Eurovision winners Bucks Fizz to keep our attention ticking over till June 23.

The Clash summed it all up – Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

So here goes. (If you have any ideas drop the Inferno a line).

Disc One: Leave...

I Want To Break Free (Queen); Rip It Up and Start Again (Orange Juice); Say Hello – Wave Goodbye (Soft Cell); Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac); Won't Get Fooled Again (The Who) and We Gotta Get Out of This Place (The Animals).

Disc Two: Remain...

Stay With Me (Sam Smith); Let 'Em In (Wings); Please Don't Go (KC and the Sunshine Band); Let's Stick Together (Bryan Ferry); This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Us (Sparks) and Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me (Elton John).

There will be the obligatory bonus tracks.

They can be played on June 24. Winner Takes It All (Abba) and What A Way To End it All (Deaf School).

Oh, a special dedication to all of us – I'm Glad It's All Over by Captain Sensible and for all the don't knows... U2's With or Without You.


IT’S good to have a distraction from the EU debates such as the Euro football competition, the Queen's birthday bashes and the on-going 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

There have been splendid productions here on Wirral and, prithee, there’s more to come.

I am also looking forward to seeing Jonathan Pryce at the Liverpool Playhouse in Merchant of Venice in July (an early play about the Common Market).

But did you know there is one Shakespearean character who never gets his pound of flesh when it comes to the history books.

I refer to Stan Butler of On The Buses fame.

No, I haven't over-done the mead.

On the Buses was a classic. Its fan club still thrives and the series, which ran for four years from 1969, is now being re shown on ITV3.

I interviewed Reg Varney in 2006 when he was nearing the end of his life.

Reg was one of the most colourful characters I have been lucky to talk to.

He told me that he felt Stan was straight out of the Bard's cannon.

"He was stuck in a dingy house with his mum and grasping in-laws," revealed Reg.

"Stan hated his daily routine, his tyrannical boss – Inspector Blake – and the fact his route ended at the cemetery gates. Fate.

"He was trapped. I pitied poor Stan."

There's the rub. King Butler I.

The bard's forgotten hero.


AT the Playhouse until June 25 there is a powerful, stunning drama – Observe The Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme. A Wirral Globe 'must see' recommendation is in order.

It is a remarkable play and one that reminds us – 100 years on – of the horrors of the First World War.

It is a fine curtain-raiser for the forthcoming exhibition, opening on July 1 to mark Wirral's connection with the Somme.

I salute the people who run the Wilfred Owen Museum in Argyle Street for helping to keep his name and literary legacy alive.

A figure of whom Birkenhead can be rightly proud.

AND finally ... Paul Hollywood has a ratings-winning TV series here and across the Atlantic, best-selling books and he is a true local hero.

In a recent programme featuring Mr H is taste-testing his way around Europe (I wonder how he will vote?).

Paul, in a flash sports car, looked to camera and said modestly: "I am just a baker from Wirral."

How refreshing to hear someone who doesn't over-egg the celebrity pudding.

Peter Grant