Meet The Team
Danny Smith – Presenter
Danny is the founder and host of the St Albans Podcast. Originally from Plymouth, he has lived in St Albans from more than twenty years. Danny spent ten years working in local radio for St Albans including hosting the popular drive time show for the community radio station. In early 2019, he recognised an opportunity to reach the local community in a new way, by launching a podcast to cover news, views and reviews for the people of the city and surrounding area. He has built up a network of local experts who join him regularly to talk about topics from health to music, food to festivals. Danny is passionate about raising awareness for great causes and voluntary work in St Albans, as well as supporting the arts.
Before working in broadcasting, Danny spent more than a decade working with young people as a leader in the locally headquartered Boys Brigade. He also ran a mobile DJ business, and still enjoys the occasional gig.
Danny is an active member of the St Albans community. On Saturdays he can be heard as the voice of St Albans City Football Club, making the announcements at Clarence Park. He is a long term attendee and trustee of Dagnall Street Baptist Church. Danny is also a keen actor and has made a number of appearances in the local theatre. He also enjoys the occasional run.
Sam recently completed her PhD at the Open University, based in Milton Keynes, trying to discover whether the presence of life could be detected on the planet Mars. During her undergraduate degree she presented a show on the student radio for four years. Bringing science and radio together, she hopes to bring a little more detail to some of the science news stories you hear in brief, what to look for in the night sky, as well as some entertaining scientific discussion. She runs a science news and reviews blog at: http://www.jupitergirl.co.uk
Front Page Franki
Franki Berry was recently created in a lab and therefore has no memory of anything prior to 2015. However, she is a first-class local reporter and her audible mimicry skills are second-to-none! Franki also boasts the second largest thimble collection in the South East!
Ian Rogers – Hot Topics
Ian is a former club/mobile DJ from the 1970’s and a lover of music from 1950’s to date, particularly 1960’s. He is also a regular at Clarence Park following St Albans City, both home and away. When Ian’s not working for the St Albans Podcast he works in the local community at the Oxfam bookshop and for the Saints City Trust. His ambition is to get some of the tasks that Danny Smith gives him 100% right!
Becky Alexander – Food Critic
Becky is a food writer and book editor. She is in the Guild of Food Writers. She has lived in St Albans for over 15 years and often works in London for book publishers such as Bloomsbury, Penguin, Dorling Kindersley, Vermilion and Nourish Books. Her first food book Packed! co-written with nutritionist Michelle Lake was published in February 2017 by Nourish Books. Her Herts Advertiser column covers things about local farmers, producers, pubs, independent shops, cafes and restaurants. You can find Becky on twitter @thelocalfoodie and on instagram posting with my co-author Michelle @packedwithgoodthings.
Alan Bellinger – Health Matters
Alan is chair of the Maltings Surgery Patients Participation Group, and is also a member of the Executive Committee of the St Albans and Harpenden Patients Group. After retirement from a successful career in the private sector (working in both training and Information Technology), Alan wanted to get involved in supporting local health issues and has an excellent understanding of the patient’s view of health matters,
Alan has lived in St Albans for well over 60 years; he and his wife Wendy have two children and they especially enjoy the company of their four grandchildren – all of whom live in the local area.
David Widdowson – Theatre Correspondent
David is the Chair of the highly regarded Ovo Theatre Company, founded in St Albans and now based at the Maltings Theatre which it runs on behalf of St Albans District Council. David regularly appears in Ovo productions and took the part of Jaques (“All the world’s a stage…”) in its award-winning production of As You Like It which premiered at Verulamium in the summer of 2016 before transferring to the Minack Theatre in Cornwall where it was awarded best production of 2016. David is married with four children and works in the City as a management consultant.
Michael Labrum – Legal Advice Correspondent
Michael graduated from Birmingham University with an Honours Degree in Law in 1977. His training was with a long established regional firm and he qualified as a solicitor in 1980. After working for a period in London he was offered a partnership with a firm in his home territory of north Hertfordshire. His job was to establish new departments and branch offices which gave him a very rich and broad experience of dealing with different types of law in different environments.
As a result Michael has been lucky enough to practice in a wide range of disciplines including commercial property law, company and business acquisitions, tax and probate, domestic conveyancing, matrimonial law, civil litigation, criminal advocacy, personal injury and professional negligence work. That variety of experience enables him to consider cases from different angles which often helps him to find solutions or identify problems that others may miss.
Michael likes to spend his spare time with family and friends. When they get too noisy he enjoys reading and listening to music, preferably live. If he is feeling energetic he goes to the gym or if very energetic enjoys skiing and trekking. So far Michael has been lucky enough to walk extensively in Tasmania and Victoria in Australia, the Everest foothills in Nepal and the 1,000 year old pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain.