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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Jonathan Biggins: My Favourite Things

He’s come a long way since he played guitar in the Musical Flags – a retro surf bubble-gum pop band that was the precursor to the more famous Castanet Club back in the early 80s, but Jonathan Biggins still has a soft spot for his hometown of Newcastle.

When asked to become a Celebrity Ambassador for the Newcastle Fringe Festival, Jonathan was only too happy to oblige. “I like giving back to the community that I hailed from,” Jonathan says.

“Fringe represents artistic endeavour at its most grassroots level. I want to help people recognise its value, to support the artists that produce it, to acknowledge that the arts play a vital role in a healthy society and to help get that message across.”


Basically, it’s a pizza that you can delude yourself is better for health reasons, particularly if you choose a spinach hybrid.

There’s a stall at our local markets and three Turkish women churn them out like there’s no tomorrow – they’ll be able to retire soon.


At this point I will never be a civil engineer and I’m sure I have political objections to much of what they build – roads, coal loaders, that sort of thing – but I secretly have enormous admiration for the skill and ingenuity of large scale construction.

I think it’s because I enjoyed Lego as a child. Who am I kidding? I still do!


Not cool to admit it, I’m sure, but there’s nothing better. The great composers have a genius that transcends the cheapening of that word and I think it’s the one art form that can bring you to tears without manipulating you as, say, film does.

There is something elemental in music’s effect upon the brain.


My local beach when growing up and still the best beach I know that caters for everyone from babies to adults.

There’s the kid’s rock pools north of the breakwater, the slightly more mature bathing area bordered by the turnbuckles and then the surf beach. Perfect.


Something’s that been lacking from my life for most of the year but there’s nothing more satisfying than having an audience in the palm of your hand, that sweet moment when they’re laughing until it hurts but you know you’ve got a zinger coming up to finish them off completely.