The Toby Gribben Show Highlights

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Laura Ford

Season 2021, Ep. 221

Hi, my name is Laura Ford and I am an author. My new YA novel Sounds Like Love has just come out.


Together with writing I love to travel and seek out new experiences and adventures to enrich my life and inspire my stories.


My journey in adult life started off with a scholarship to attend law school at 18. I had never studied law before but I thought that if I put my mind to it I could achieve anything. I was interested in society, people’s stories, justice - and from my point of view as a student - how the law may be able to help protect vulnerable people and the environment.


I specialised in environmental law and found that this was easy for me to study and put hours of time into as I love the natural world. I would write long essays and spend hours studying.


I graduated at 21 and worked in LA afterwards for a while. I then returned to London and studied at the London Film Academy and wrote a short film in a week called ‘Sounds Like Love’. My screenplay reached the top ten percent of the Blue Cat International Screenplay Competition and the story just would not leave my mind.


I later immigrated to the US where I performed stand-up comedy at the Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles and appeared in comedy sketches for the Jimmy Kimmel show. I enjoyed writing my comedy routines so much and using my imagination that I realised I had to write Sounds Like Love as a novel. I had always written short stories and even a book as a child.


Since this time, I have had short stories published in publications in the US, UK and Canada and recently had a piece translated into Japanese.

Writing is fulfilling for me on a soul level.


My novel Sounds Like Love was written from the heart and inspired by the different cats that I have shared my life with. One cat in particular - a kitten that I rescued from the street while on holiday in Greece - was an inspiration for one of the characters in my book.


When I wrote Sounds Like Love it was important for me to create a protagonist that was relatable. I wanted my protagonist to be a seemingly ordinary girl who is extraordinary on the inside. You don’t need to know Kung Fu or be a rocket scientist to be extraordinary!


People have immeasurable strength and resilience inside of them and this is something I wanted to focus upon in my story. The extraordinary hope, strength and resilience that lies within people - but cannot be seen to passers by.

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12/2/2022

Dave Raval

Season 2022, Ep. 338
We have always been particular about keeping our homes warm - how many can recall a parent sarcastically asking, "do we live in a barn?" when leaving a door wide open?Now, as energy bills continue to rise, and with the cold months rolling in, many will channel their frugal fathers and mindful mothers to keep their homes warm and bills low.In fact, 69% admit to being concerned about keeping their homes warm this winter, with 38% saying it's not worth putting the heating on, according to new research from LoftZone.The findings show that although 44% of Brits have resorted to keeping their heating off to minimise their bills, only 13% have bought draft excluders - a solution thought to be one of the most cost-effective ways of keeping homes warm.Other measures Brits have taken on to keep bills down include buying or using small cooking appliances (24%), heating only some rooms in the house (27%) and using hot water bottles (23%).Considering 41% race to get dressed in the morning, a third (33%) wear multiple layers when about the house, 33% say they struggle to leave the shower fearing the cold, and over a quarter (26%) have even seen their own breath at home due to the cold, it's clear there's a chill present in British homes.But even when the heating is turned on, the warmth doesn't appear to stay with nine in ten (89%) admitting to complaining about the cold in their home - interestingly rising to 92% for those in Edinburgh and Leeds, while dropping to 85% for those in Plymouth and 87% in Southampton.A quarter (25%) of homes have been rated by the residents as having "no" to a "low" level of heat retention, with hallways (45%), stairwells (40%), loft spaces (39%), and bathrooms (41%) being the worst culprits.Although 92% of Brits know that loft insulation is important for maintaining a warm home, less than half (43%) were aware compressing the insulation could affect its performance, meaning households across the country could be losing heat and increasing their energy bills by storing items in their loft.