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Florida looks much better than Sunderland.

19th April 2012

So as I sit here at my desk I can see the rain hitting the window and the dull grey sky and hear Mark Thorburn on the radio telling me about winning a holiday to Florida. Obviously I can't win it but you can. Just take a look outside, where would you rather, in Sunderland or enjoying yourself in Florida? Thought so! All week I've been out promoting our Big Stick up compitition and with the weather we are having its not hard to get people to enter. If you do want to enter by the way you need a Sun Fm carsticker, click on this link to find out where to get one from The Big Stick Up.

I also went to the Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind this week. They provide a vast amount of services to help blind and visually impaired people and it is a vital service that they provide. I was impressed with the amount of things they did from craft days and cooking sessions to gardening and days out as well as a whole host of sports to get involved with. They particularly need a shop for a couple of weeks to sell nearly new items to raise vital funds to keep the charity going, so if you can help please get in touch by e-mailing

I'm hoping that the good weather will make a return as we are starting to look ahead to everything going on this summer from the Peterlee show and the Airshow to the big concerts at the Stadium of Light, it's going to be busy. It's just weird talking and planning these events when the rain is lashing at the windows!!

Posted by Mark Black at 4:36pm

Long Time No see!!

10th April 2012

I know, I know...its been a while since I've blogged, but I've been on holiday then I've been busy. May I say how lovely you are looking, and is that a new top you're wearing??!

So Easter!! How was yours? You'd think as you got older you would eat less chocolate over easter than you did when you were a kid, nope! I ate loads and I've still got a mountain to get through. It is one of the few times during the year when you can embrace your inner child, and there is something very satisfying about eating easter eggs, especially if you eat a whole one in one sitting!! I think they are so tempting because they are on show. Usually chocolate is hidden away in a cupboard, but easter eggs are displayed in our house in a  little pile which constantly wink at you, whispering "go on, eat me, you know you want to". To be honest the quicker I can get through them the better I will be, at leat that's what I'm telling myself.

This Friday I am hosting Miss 24 Carat at the Stadium of Light which should be fun. I'm looking forward to hosting as I've been used to judging which is a tough job. Honestly from the outside it looks like the perfect job spending your evening looking at these attractive girls, but you are judging them, its tough. You realise you are passing opinion on the way they look. So I'm glad I'm hosting and leaving the judging to others.

Just a short blog this week as I ease back into it, I imagine you are doing a similar thing at work after 4 days off. If you want to check out my Spotlight On Sunderland group by the way click on the link.Back On The Map.

Posted by Mark Black at 2:54pm

Entertainment is Murder in Sunderland

12th March 2012

Have you ever been on a murder mystery evening? I hadn't and to be honest did have a picture in my mind of getting dressed up and it being a glorified game of cluedo with a bunch of geeks! This was not that, and so much fun. It took place at Amore in Sunderland and was bang up to date and was one of the best nights out I've had. Me and my wife arrived and were given the run down of how the night worked and what we would be expected to do. Basically we would be in groups at our table and throughout the meal we would try and solve a murder, or two as it turned out. The cast were there from the start mingling and my eagle eyed wife was straight onto the fact that there was some affair happening with some of the characters (womans intuition I think). You could then question the characters and as the night went on different bits of evidence would appear.

To begin with everyone is very polite and the characters come and sit at your table,and you try not to offend. Once you get into it though you become more confident and all those years of watching Poirot and Inspector Morse and CSI Miami pay off. You find yourself really getting into it and cross examining all of the characters and accusing them of all sorts.  Just as you are getting into your stride there is a bit of commotion and one of the characters appears with a knife in their back and falls to the floor. Now this being all make believe and people feeling relaxed do the right thing...and get their mobile phone out and start taking pictures!!

Eventually we all sum up and have a go at working out who dunnit. Obviously my group didn't have a clue and was well off the mark, I definitely won't be giving up the day job.

It's been a week for new experiences actually because as well as that I was involved with a bit of singing! Now before you say it, I already know that I was terrible, this still didn't stop me from belting out the songs and deluding myself that I could be the next big West End star. I went along to the Washington Theatre Group's rehearsal night for 'Little Shop of Horrors' and genuinely only thought I'd stay for a bit and then leave them to it, but found myself brought into the rehearsals. They started small doing warm up exercises which then progressed to full songs and before I knew what was happening I was singing with them all. I was a little embarrassed to start with but there is that little part of you that would like to be able to sing and on some level thinks you can, and that side of me seems to have been waiting to get out for some time and now was its chance. Thankfully it's now safely back in its box and won't be heard by anyone and I will only let it out now and again when I'm alone in the car.

If you want to check them out they are my featured group this week for Spotlight On Sunderland.

Washington Theatre Group

Posted by Mark Black at 4:23pm

We Scrub Up Well

27th February 2012

style awards us


As you can see we do indeed scrub up well!! This is us at the very first Sun Fm Style awards which was a very enjoyable night. This pic was taken at the start of the night (thankfully!!)

I've been to plenty of award events in my time and we have hosted plenty as well, but this is certainly the most glamorous event I've been apart of. Walking into the room it was stunning and just like something you'd see on the tv, and talking of tv we did have some of the Desperate Scousewives there. A couple of them were on my table and they were lovely girls, very chatty as you'd expect. Still a little odd to be eating your meal and glancing up to see someone you are used to seeing off the telly! I did have to swap seats with them though as they were next to the radiator and were a little hot. Being the gentleman that I am I of course moved. It did cross my mind that myself in a suit, with jacket meant I did have more layers on than the girls and maybe I would be hotter than them, but I didn't mind it's not everyday you meet a desperate scousewife!!

I did get an award on the night! Well, I accepted it on someones behalf, Best Smile (I could have won that, I'm sure). It is a little odd doing this especially if someone wasn't paying attention and missed the fact I wasn't the person who had won, especially as it was for a girl called Hannah. I imagine someone in the audience thinking..."that's an odd name for a bloke!!".

All in all it was a great night and most importantly I don't think I made a fool of myself  in front of the bosses, which is all you can ask for on a work night out like this. Nothing worse coming in on the Monday with everyone smiling at you then being called into the office to explain yourself.

Bring on the next one, it's in May at the Stadium of Light for our Business Awards. You can Nominate Now.

Posted by Mark Black at 3:51pm

Roses are Red Violets are...

17th February 2012

So it was Valentines day this week, how was yours? Most people's feeling on the day depend on their romantic situation. You either hate it because you are single, feel the pressure because you are a new couple and have to impress or have been together for so many years you are indifferent to it all. Personally it's not a big deal for me, but a nice excuse to go out for a meal. I've only been married a year but we've been together for 11!! (yes do the math and work out it took me a long time to pop the question) I'm lucky because as long as I get  a card and take her out it's fine. It is fun looking around the restaurant though and seeing people s situations and working out how long they have been together. Next to us was a couple who clearly hadn't been together very long. They held hands for most of the night, were very gooey eyed and of course shared a dessert!! It was very sweet really, ah to be young again!

This weeks conversations in the office have been dominated with talk of dresses (not by me I might add) It is our Style Awards next Friday so the girls are deciding on what to wear. It makes me glad that I'm a man, all I need is a suit, clean shirt and tie, and I'm done. Most of what was said went straight over my head, but it all sounds very complicated and apparently lots of different factors to consider. I'm sure the deliberations will continue throughout next week as well, and we as men are trying to dodge any question that may involve us giving an opinion.

Talking of questions, good luck to any men who might get proposed to on Wednesday, it is leap day so you girls can propose. We might have made it more likely to happen as well with your chance to Win a Wedding!! sorry about that, but it is a fantastic prize check it out. Maybe you know someone who would love it so let them know as well.

Speak to you next week, and roll on pay day!


Posted by Mark Black at 3:41pm

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