Local Celebs Is Back!

Linda Regan March 2021 blog

To mark our latest ‘Local Celebs’ feature in the March issue, featuring the wonderful actress and author Linda Regan, we’re going with something a little bit different for this month’s blog feature – the full unabridged interview with the lady herself.

As we’re restricted by space in the magazine, we’ve got all the space we want on the blog, so here’s all that Linda had to say… Oh – and for all the mothers out there – Happy Mother’s Day!

How did you get into acting and writing?
My family were in show-business, on my father’s side, so I grew up surrounded by it. My first job was at about the age of five. My father performed a Punch and Judy show(among other jobs), at holiday camps in the summer. My job was inside the set passing up the puppets as they were needed. I was paid in donkey rides and ice-cream. I had always written, however as a child I could only write back to front. I would start at the bottom right-hand corner of the page, write to the left and then carry on zig-zagging from bottom to top. Understandably, it was hard to decipher what I had written. I hope I’ve improved since then!

What are some of the roles you have most enjoyed playing?
Ah, goodness. So many to choose from. I suppose playing Marilyn Monroe was a dream role. The play, The Legend, written by David Butler, told the story of the end of the screen goddesses’ life and her struggle with drug addiction, with flashbacks to her magical moments. I got to wear the long gold dress (well a replica of), and sing Happy Birthday to Bobby Kennedy, (the actor playing him). And also to wear the famous white dress that the wind blew around her making the iconic picture. I also loved playing Lady Macbeth. I think she is the best of all Shakespeare’s women and a gift of a role. TV wise, I did a series for Channel five called Harry and Cosh where I played Harry’s Mum. We did five years of that. Harry’s Mum was quirky and motherly and comical. Another gift of a role.

Who do you admire in the industry?
Mostly everyone. It is a hard career, and takes tenacity. But I have various favourite performers. I love Kathy Ryan, and I adore Judy Dench in everything she does. I am a big fan of Richard Curtis’ writing, and I strongly admire all soap actors, they work around the clock, learning lines and making their character changes work.

Any close calls?
Many. Here’s one I’ll never forget: When I played the lead in the West End in Dirty Linen, the Tom Stoppard play, one saturday evening performance with a full house, one of the actors I was playing a scene with dropped his top teeth. Instead of coughing, or turning away and removing them tactfully, he chose to carry on speaking with his top teeth slowly slipping, so they protruded from his lips. He would then suck them back into his mouth as the dialogue continued, only to have them slowly slide through his lips again. This carried on through the whole performance, and ashamedly, neither myself nor any of the other actors in the show could contain our giggling. I actually nearly wet myself. We all got a very strong telling off after the play had finished.

Where do you get your Inspiration from?
Oh, I have no idea. Just my own head. I must have a very strange mind. I do like to add a bit of comedy to my strong thrillers, and my comedy gene I inherited from my father.

What celebrity friends have you got on speed dial?
Ah, now that would be telling. I will let you into a secret though. I am the proud owner of a personalised, signed photo of Sooty. We once shared a dress room.

What are your favourite things to watch?
I love East Enders. I think the acting is superb, and the story lines well researched. I am an obsessive Strictly fan. I get withdrawal symptoms after Christmas when I know I have to wait a year. I love Would I lie to you, and I am always up to challenge myself in Pointless and The Chase.

What books do I read?
I read widely. I love police procedural thrillers, psychological thrillers too. I adore chic-lit, and I reread the classics. My favourite author is Jilly Cooper.

When you are not writing or learning lines, what do you do?
My favourite pastime is walking my much-loved Tibetan terrier in Farnborough Village. So much open space, and so peaceful behind that beautiful church. I also love yoga. I try to do three classes a week.

Do you have any other hobbies?
Only reading, and cooking for my husband (actor Brian Murphy) who never stops eating and never puts on weight.

What is your advice for anyone who wants to get into acting and writing?
Work hard. Don’t get disheartened. If you get rejected, don’t take it personally. It is only their opinion, not everyone’s. Keep trying until someone says yes.

What’s next for you?
I have a new book coming out this year. Acting wise, it is very quiet, and a lot is on hold, due to Covid. I have plenty in the pipeline, but nothing solid at this moment.

What do you like about Life in Orpington magazine?
I love all the adverts. If I am looking for someone to do a job, or a restaurant, I know I will find the information in there. I love the What’s On this month, page. The magazine is concise too, no waste in it and all about the borough.

What do you most like about living in the borough of Bromley?
It is my home. I went to school here, and lived in the borough since childhood. When I am away working, and have been in the past, for months on end, in seasons of repertory theatre or filming, I always look forward to coming home. There are great shopping centres here. You can get anything. The Glades. The Walnut Centre. A fabulous choice in restaurants. I particularly love having lunch or tea, or breakfast in The Drawing Room,café, in Locksbottom. We are also very lucky to have such a top-class hospital, The Princess Royal University Hospital, with top surgeons and doctors. There are country pubs a plenty nearby, and so many green spaces, all so near excellent transport links to London. Who could wish for more? I love Kent. I would never want to be anywhere else in the world!

A huge thank you to Linda for the interview – and you may be hearing more from her soon!

Meanwhile, we’re still appealing for ‘Friends’ of the magazine to come forward and offer a helping hand in distributing the issues. If you think you can help in delivering them in your neighbourhood, please call 07403-550068 or email us at hello@lifeinmagazines.co.uk

As usual, we’ll leave you with an inspiring quote, quite apt for spring…

“You must prune to bloom. If the dead weight is not pruned and removed, it compromises the quality, performance, and output of the vine. When you prune what’s not working in your life, you make the space and place for renewal to happen and for new growth to spring forth.”
— Susan C. Young

Until next month, take care!

March(ing) on!

Marching on blog post

What a month it has been – and how quickly things can change in just a matter of days! 

It seems like we’ve all been affected by the Coronavirus – and when we sent our April issue off to the printers at the beginning of last week, we didn’t envisage that less than two weeks later we’d have the kids off school and be isolating ourselves as much as possible!

We certainly never thought that we’d see something of this magnitude in our lifetime and we hope that as quickly as Coronavirus came, it disappears. Or at the very least that it doesn’t affect our daily lives for long.

On the plus point, we’ve a couple of reasons to celebrate this month – Mother’s Day (hence the picture with {some} of our children) – and this month’s International Women’s Day!

So what better place to celebrate than by announcing our involvement in the #BossWoman podcast!

Lauretta joined local business woman and brainchild of the #BossWoman podcast, Cheryl Huggins, to share her story of launching a new business while coming to terms with her cancer diagnosis.

You can have a listen to the recording here – with details including how the magazine was launched, the challenges Lauretta faced, building a business in the face of adversity and staying positive.

What we learned…

Coronavirus is affecting all of us. We’re now witnessing people panic buying (and shops running out of essentials), to the closing down of schools and self-isolation – crazy!

We’re lucky enough to be able to work from home, but some people aren’t quite so lucky. All we can say is that we hope the virus gets nipped in the bud as quickly as possible and that we can all go back to living our lives as normally as possible without feeling paranoid going about our daily lives.

We’re encouraging our readers – and all residents as much as we can – to help one another, particularly the elderly or vulnerable. This is especially important in times of need. Communities that help support one another are stronger together – and this includes supporting local businesses who are the backbone of the local community. We’ve just learned that Bromley Council is encouraging volunteers to come forward to offer their help if and when needed. If you think you can help, please fill in this form. 

As much as possible we will continue to publish Life In Orpington magazine (as long as we’re able to cover our print costs) – we realise that some readers depend on the magazine for local news and information. However, what we would encourage people to do is to check with organisers if their events are still running; many organised events and get-togethers have been cancelled, so it’s important to double check this.

A huge welcome

Thank you to the following businesses who have joined us for the first time for our March issue: The Bank Locksbottom; Lee Lam Business Consultant; LSEC; Grace Rose Pilates; The Cooking Shed; Philip Training Centre; Hair By Jo; Cannon Cars; Dolly’s Dog Walking; and Tech Assist London.

We hope to do our new advertisers proud, even in these unpredictable times! One of the ways we offer value is by promoting our advertisers for free on social media, as well as including their news, tips and expert advice in the magazine, which helps raise awareness of their brand.

Out and about

A new first for us was attending our printer’s annual conference, which was held at the Regent Street Cinema – a lovely venue in London.

We heard from a company called Two Sides UK, which had some interesting statistics to share with attendees. For example, did you know that you’re more likely to remember something if you read it on paper rather than on a screen? And, according to studies, print is also more trusted than digital channels, and it delivers more recall and response than its digital equivalent.

The event also provided us with networking opportunities and the chance to be inspired by some of the bigger publishers. We met one lady who had eight magazines in the Edinburgh area and had grown from one small magazine herself – a huge inspiration and very apt given that this month we celebrated International Women’s Day.

We celebrated this in our March magazine by contacting some of our female advertisers to provide their success stories – we really believe in celebrating the successes of others and acknowledging the support that we offer one another.

And talking of International Women’s Day, iVerbalize had organised ‘Her Story, Her Voice’ event in Bromley, which was due to take place on Monday 30th March. We’re thrilled to be media sponsors for the event – and we were equally thrilled to be invited to join a speaker’s panel to share our story – thank you Ronke! Alas, the event is moving online instead (what an innovative idea!), so at least all is not lost.

Earlier this month we were invited along to a supper night run by Regan at The Cooking Shed. It was a Middle Eastern menu (which was scrumptious!) and the setting – at The Homestead Cafe, Beckenham Place Park – was wonderful.

In terms of networking events, we attended our regular monthly PIB meeting and the launch event for Athena Bromley at The Manor At Bickley.

Marching on blog post
At the Athena Bromley networking launch event

Other news

This month was supposed to be the debut ‘Meet The Buyer Bromley’ event, which we were delighted to be part of – both on the planning panel and as media sponsor. And this, like many events at the time of writing, have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

We’d love to hear what you’ve been up to this month, if you’ve got any recommendations or just fancy saying hi – email us at hello@lifeinmagazines.co.uk

Until next month, stay safe! 

March: Treating ourselves

March Treating Ourselves

March has come and gone in the blink of an eye and we’ve certainly been keeping busy this month.

First of all, we thought that as a small business we should try and go along to some networking events. Local businesses supporting each other is something that we’re very keen on – particularly if we’ve used someone ourselves and can vouch for them.

Network for business growth

So this month we went along to the Orpington 12.30 Women’s Networking event, held at Scala in Orpington High Street. It was a small group, which was actually quite nice as it made it more intimate and we could get to know each other a bit more.

We also went along to the Ladies That Latte Group in Bromley. It was an interesting event – not least for its location – and we also had the opportunity to meet at least 20 different businesses.

And finally, we attended the Networking Cupper event in the Glades, which ran over two days and allowed us to meet with local businesses.

Next month we’ve got our eye on another two different networking events and then we should have tried most of them locally (with the exception of the very early morning events which, as mothers of young children, we’d find it very difficult to attend).

Colour consultation

This month – it being Mother’s Day – we thought we’d treat ourselves to a couple of pampering sessions.

First up, we had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca from Rebecca Ffrancon, who specialises in colour and style consultations.

It wasn’t something that either of us had given much thought to if we’re honest, but it was really interesting what Rebecca told us about projecting our brand’s colours at every opportunity. So for us, that could mean wearing purple and blue co-ordinating tops or having a purple or blue pen/handbag/notebook.

We decided to book Rebecca in for a colour analysis, which would mean she’d be taking a closer look at our skin tone, hair colour and personalities and from that, working out which colours best suit us.

March Treating Ourselves

We discovered that we were both ‘warm’ tones and that Nicky should experiment a bit more with brighter colours and Lauretta should look at more autumnal colours.

At the end of the session Rebecca gave us each a mini swatch to keep in our purses so that when we go out shopping for new clothes, we know what to look out for.

It was a really enjoyable session and we think it would make a lovely gift for a special friend or family member. Rebecca also does wardrobe edits, so if you think you’re stuck in a rut, you know who to call!

Oh and keep a look out for Rebecca’s style tips in the May issue – we’ve certainly learned a few new things.

Beauty is skin deep

Finally, we had the pleasure of meeting Deb Horgan, who is a supplier and distributor of skincare and beauty brand, Tropic.

We had heard a few things about Tropic recently – mostly how good it was, so we felt the need to try it out and see for ourselves.

What we discovered was that all Tropic’s products are made with premium natural ingredients. It’s freshly made and cruelty-free and therefore guilt-free.

With so much talk about toxins and how bad they are for us – it’s refreshing to discover something that you don’t have to worry about being harmful. And with our skin being our largest organ, we believe it’s really important to be vigilant about what you’re feeding it with.

Deb gave us a mini pampering session, which started off with face masks which she customised to our skin, and while we were waiting for the masks to take effect, we enjoyed a wonderful hand massage that left our hands feeling silky soft. It was a wonderful experience and so lovely to get pampered for a change.

We have to admit, we did wonder if the products would smell nice, given the fact that all the ingredients are natural, but we were pleasantly surprised to discover that most of the products we sampled smelled divine.

March treating ourselves

In fact, having bought a selection of products from Deb there and then, we can definitely say we’re converted!

Yes, the products are pricier than what we’d typically pay, but we think they are worth the money – and apparently, you don’t need to use as much product as you would do with most others, meaning that you are getting the value for money.

That about sums up March for us – we’re looking forward to April as it’s the month that signifies the start of spring – with blooming daffodils, hopping bunnies and plenty of chocolate.

Friendly feedback

Finally we’d like to say a HUGE thank you for all your comments, messages and words of encouragement about Life In Orpington.

We’ve been overwhelmed with all the positivity and how readers have been enjoying reading the magazine.

We’ve got another epic issue just launched – and we’re now working on our May issue (it feels a bit strange working on May when we’re still in March!).

Please feel free to sign up to our monthly newsletter – we’re giving away a Bloo cleaning hamper to mark the start of spring cleaning month to one lucky subscriber.

Talking of winning, we’re also giving away a pair of Vue cinema tickets, a Chakra Aromatherapy Gift Set AND a huge bundle of chocolate Easter treats – enjoy the issue!