Who would have known? Tony Nyland, frequently on our screens in programmes such as Emmerdale and Shameless, and most recently as the postman in Coronation Street, has an alter ego of folk singer of some years’ standing. While Charles Hanson, real-life auctioneer and TV antiques expert from Bargain Hunt and Antique Road Trip, has a yearning for Strictly Come Dancing and has apparently attracted the nickname of ‘Twinkletoes’!
We were dancing with joy at the thought of entertaining both Tony and Charles on the Girls Do Coffee show on Ex-Pat Radio, and what a charming pair they were.
Listening to Tony Nyland’s new album, ‘Slowly to the Moon’, was like opening a picture-book of stories, taking us straight back into Tony’s Lancashire life, as youngsters picnicking by the river on sugar butties and ‘corporation pop’ (tap-water to the uninitiated!) or teenagers queuing up to get into the Buxton Pop Festival with their Party Sevens. Those stories, so ordinary and yet so extraordinary in their way, draw us all in as we identify with those iconic scenes which could be from our very own lives.
Brought up by his older brother after losing his parents at an early age could be deemed by some to be ‘a difficult childhood’. But Tony insists that this is not the case and his songs stand as witness. Tony writes and speaks with huge warmth and affection for his life past and present, and his songs resound with the same love of life.
Meanwhile, Charles Hanson took time from his busy life as auctioneer at Hanson’s Auction House to talk to Ex-Pat Radio by Skype. If you imagined that Charles spends every day touring the country in a vintage car and a snazzy blazer, then think again. His schedule keeps him very much on his twinkling toes but happily he enjoys every minute. His love of all things old comes across loud and clear, and has been in place for many years.
A childhood hobby of metal detecting in his parents’ fields turned up a silver coin from the reign of Charles I and turned our Charles into a life-long antiques enthusiast.
Describing himself as having been a rather a ‘lonely boy’ back then, this solitary figure has now found a permanent place in the hearts of us all. Who can resist the stories he weaves around the items that fall into his hands? It’s not just Charles’ toes that twinkle. His warmth and sparkling humour could persuade a recalcitrant Geordie with electric heating to buy a ton of totally unnecessary coal. We had so much fun chatting to Charles. I, for one, feel that some sequinned lycra from the Strictly set would fit him like a glove.
If you would like to hear Tony singing from his new album, ‘Slowly to the Moon’, he will be appearing at the White Lion in Swinton on Monday 4th June.
Charles is currently in talks with Ex-Pat Radio for an upcoming programme ‘Treasure Hunt’….watch this space!
Deborah Alexander – www.reflective-writing-group.org