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TONY NEOPHYTOU

“LAIKES EPYTIXIES ”

ENTERTAINMENT

Are you dreaming of escaping the dreaded British Winter? With the awful summer, we’ve had so far, who could blame you?! Every year thousands of Britons flee for sunnier climes to avoid the dark, dreary days that descend upon us and with a particularly harsh winter predicted to hit the UK this year, it’s no surprise that number is set to grow.

Now, a new BBC One Series; Escape for the Winter is helping people make their dream winter getaway a reality. They want to hear from people who are thinking about or are already planning their trip.

The series will pair sun seekers up with a reputable property expert who will help them get to grips with the local area, as well as secure a property that fits their brief and budget.

If you would like to find out more, contact the casting team at Friel Kean Films on 0141 331 0318 or email: escapeforthewinter@frielkeanfilms.com.

BBC Series ‘Escape for the Winter’ are currently casting for Greeks & Cypriots for winter getaway format


Article written by London Greek Radio

Actress Zoe Laskari, best known for her stellar performances in Greek films of the late 1960s, has died at the age of 72.

According to reports, Laskari was found dead at her home in the coastal resort of Porto Rafti, east of Athens, on Friday 18th August.

The cause of her death has not been released.

Crowned a beauty queen in 1959 at the age of just 15, she made her debut appearance in Greek cinema two years later in Katiforo (Downhill), a film by the prolific Greek producer Filopimin Finos.

Some of her later movies were Stefania (1966) and Oi Thalassies Oi Hadres (The Blue Beads) (1967). Other Laskari film hits included Nomos 4000 (Law 4000), Merikoi To Protimoun Kryo (Some Like It Cold), Koritsia Gia Filima (Girls Made For Kissing), Dakrya Gia Tin Ilektra (Tears For Electra), Mia Kyria Sta Bouzoukia (A Lady At The Greek Bouzoukia) and Marijuana Stop.

Her stage work included famous plays like Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? the ancient Greek tragedy The Trojan Women by Euripides and Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park. Laskari’s first television appearance was her leading role in the TV series Romaios Kai Loulieta in 1976.

In 1985, at the age of 41, she became the first major movie star to take her clothes off for a legendary Playboy (Greek edition) shooting. She was reportedly paid an obscene amount of money for her appearance on the magazine’s cover.

Laskari, whose real name was Zoe Kouroukli, is survived by her two daughters, Martha Koutoumanou and Maria-Eleni Lykourezou, and her husband, the prominent lawyer Alexandros Lykourezos.

Here at London Greek Radio would like to extend our condolences to her friends and family.


Article written by London Greek Radio

One of the most popular and feel good films of this decade is marking its 10 year anniversary next July. Filled with songs, sun, sea and a whole lot of mystery, Mamma Mia stole our hearts back in 2008 with its sensitive storyline and glorious Greek coastline. We found ourselves singing and dancing to the legendary ABBA hits, while watching the characters run along the sandy beaches of Skopelos.  The ending definitely left the whole world shouting “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” a sequel, and although it has taken them ten years to do it, fans of the film are ecstatic that a follow up is its way.

But for the people of Skopelos however, it is a bitter sweet moment. For financial reasons, film makers have decided to shoot in Croatia, on the Dalmatian island of Vis, leaving the beautiful scenery of Skopelos behind. Islanders are devastated by the move as not only did the movie make £460 million, but there was an immediate increase in tourists to islands across the Aegean Sea; this simply wasn’t a coincidence. The film was definitely what captivated hearts worldwide and convinced holiday makers to discover these immaculate islands for themselves.

The reason behind the film’s upheaval is that production measures differ greatly in Greece as opposed to Croatia. For one, permits are not required in order to film in Croatia, and here, subsidies are offered to the film’s production team. Furthermore, due to legislation passed in 2011, foreign productions are excluded from tax return policies, so this upheaval is one to ensure film makers are not breaking the bank and it seems Croatia is to be the cheaper alternative.

Regardless of where the sequel is set, I have faith that it’ll recapture our love for this monumental  film, and the director, Ol Parker will not dare to disappoint. However, I guess time will tell, and come July 2018 we will all see if the sequel lives up to the original, and if not,  it’ll stand true that it really is the Greeks that do things best.


Article written by Steph Antoniou

DODONI

London Greek Radio are delighted to welcome their newest sponsor to the LGR airwaves.

As of this Friday 19th May, iconic dairy brand DODONI will be sponsoring radio presenter Panagiotis Balalas during his Friday show, which airs every week between 6-8pm

DODONI S.A. was founded in 1963, counting 54 years of authentic tradition and history. The company based in Ioannina produces authentic, purely Greek dairy and cheese products, using 100% Greek cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk collected daily by an expanded network of 5,000 Greek producers, mainly active in the region of Epirus.

With more than 10,000 selling points in Greece and export activity in 43 countries, DODONI has 9 categories of dairy and cheese products and produces 80 distinct products. This truly authentic Greek brand is distinguished for its taste, quality and their 100% Greek identity.

Now DODONI will not only be known for their exceptional Feta cheese, but for their collaboration with our station to bring you the best Greek hits (as well as the best Greek cheeses).

We, Greeks, have many reasons to be proud of. One of them is our feta. A cheese so special and unique that has become famous all over the world.

If you are a fan of Feta (and frankly who isn’t) Dodoni explain why every cheese lover needs to give their brand of feta a try:

“DODONI feta, using exclusively 100% greek pasteurized goat’s and sheep’s milk, that arrives every day in our premises even from the most distant farms.

Dodoni Feta

DODONI feta, with its unique taste and nutrition value, has gained worldwide recognition for its high quality. That’s why it has won so many local and international awards, plus a place in tables around the world.”

For more information about DODONI and their products, visit their website dodoni.eu/en

If you love to cook with Feta, just as much as you love to eat it, then be sure to visit a special little corner of the DODONI website where they offer their unique cheese based recipes: Click here to visit their “brunch” section, which should be enough to whet the appetite and flare the creativity of any aspiring chefs.


Article written by London Greek Radio

Last night Cyprus and Greece celebrated qualifying through to this Saturday night’s Eurovision Song Contest final. This year’s Eurovision will be held in Kyiv, Ukraine, at the International Exhibition Centre IEC.

Demy (representing Greece) and Hovig (representing Cyprus) made it to the Top 10 qualifying songs after enduring a very competitive semi-final phase. The semi-final rankings will not be announced publicly until after this weekend’s Eurovision final, which maximises fans’ suspense.

It is a result which spelt the Greek’s return to the contest’s final after last year’s very early exit. It’s a solid come-back, for this country who’s always qualified except that minor-blip, which we can now begin to erase from our memories.

Demy looked absolutely stunning in her pale outfit as she performed her song ‘This is love’. It’s a progressively up-tempo track which is catchy and radio-friendly. The track was composed by Eurovision veteran Dimitris Kontopoulos, with creative staging by Fokas Evangelinos, the Greek’s dynamic Eurovision team.

Demy secures Greek’s place in the final…

The 25-year-old Greek pop singer seemed to enjoy her time on the stage, joined by her dancers Iasonas Mandilas and Paris Paraskevadis-Planets. She was also accompanied by off-stage backing-vocalists Erasmia Markidi, Evgenia Liakou, and Marcus Giakoumoglou. For those who missed it, we can confirm it was a very slick and well rehearsed performance.

Cypriot singer Hovig also celebrated a successful night. His performance involved an excellent staging concept which complimented his song greatly. He performed a modern radio-friendly track with electronic beats, written by Thomas G:Son, a well-known Swedish composer and producer in Eurovision circles.

Hovig pulls out all the stops for his gravity song…

28-years-old Hovig, a Cypriot artist of Armenian heritage, shows he was proud to have this chance to fly the Cypriot flag. The Cypriot broadcaster internally selected Hovig and G:son for this year’s Cypriot song.

Hovig was vocally very solid and interacted well with his dancers Marios Charalambous and Pavlos Lazarou Kertepene. The artist seemed relaxed and sung his cool song, mastering the stage’s full width to tell us his story, about gravity.

The Cypriot artistic director Charis Savva put much effort in to make sure he nailed the performance, and clearly it worked extremely well. The Cypriot’s have pulled out all the stops to be noticed and they were.

Greece and Cyprus confirmed they will be performing second-half draw for the final, with 26 countries competing. Demy and Hovig have to wait till Thursday to find out the other qualifiers. What we know for certain is that they have earned their place next to the big 5 automatic placers: the UK, Spain, France, Germany and Italy in the final this weekend.

The Eurovision Song Contest Final airs this Saturday at 8 pm UK time; you can follow it live on BBC 1.

For those who missed the first semi final, you can catch the Top 10 qualifiers being revealed, here:


Article written by Tony Neophytou

LGR Event

For the first time in London, on Friday 3rd March, London Greek Radio are hosting a spectacular evening.

Enjoy a traditional Bouat styled evening in a chilled and relaxed atmosphere.

Entertaining us on the night are the talented; Aggeliki Darra, Katerina Neocleous, Tony Panayi, Ploutarchos Manolessos & Nikos Ntintas.

Join us in the bar of the Cypriot Community Centre, Earlham Grove, Wood Green. Let’s have a drink and listen to the live music and have an amazing evening. You can even sing a long too and really let your hair down.

There will be drinks and nibbles available at the bar.

This will be an unforgettable night with our dearest London Greek Radio audience.

Doors will open at 7:30pm.

For more information and tickets please call LGR on 0208 349 6950

We look forward to seeing you all there.

This event is sponsored by: C. Michael & Co Accountants, Delphi Food Products, Nikos Transport, Anastasia Lodge & Autumn Gardens.


Article written by London Greek Radio

The Eurovision Semi-Final Allocation Draw carried out on 31st January, at the Column Hall of Kyiv City State Administration, in Ukraine, officially launched the start to Eurovision season.

The Cypriot and Greek entry performers have been drawn to sing in the First Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, airing on Tuesday 9th May live on BBC4 at 8 p.m. GMT.

We last visited Kyiv in 2005, that proved absolutely one of the best Eurovision song contests ever, with Elena Paparizou’s song ‘My Number One’ which won the Eurovision, bringing the only Greek victory in the competition.

The Semi-Finals will span Tuesday 9th May to Thursday 11th May concluding with the second semi-final, on that occasion. The Eurovision Final will go out live on Saturday 13th May at 8 p.m. GMT to be held at the Kyiv International Exhibition Centre (IEC).

Cyprus and Greece is amongst 18 countries, conclude the first semi-final. How it works really… The Top 10 qualifiers who pass the round in each allocated semi, with 50:50 Tele-voting, and professional jury points. The semi-heats producing our lucky 20 qualifiers on both Tuesday and Thursday will be entered in the live final.

The 37 Semi-Finalists have been allocated into six pots, based on historical voting patterns as calculated by the contest’s official tele-voting partner Digame. Drawing from different pots helps to reduce the chance of so-called neighbourly voting and increases suspense in the Semi-Finals.

The UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, and host’s Ukraine thanks to Jamala’s winning song last year are direct finalists. The Big 5 has that upgraded status, as Eurovision’s biggest financial contributory members to the European Broadcasting Union, organisers of the Eurovision.

Hovig Demirdjian (left), Demy aka Demetra Papadea (right)… compete in Eurovision Semi-Final 1…

Hovig aka Hovig Demirdjian will represent Cyprus in Kyiv, internally selected by the CyBc broadcaster. He is a Cypriot pop singer with over 10 year’s music career; he went all the way to the live shows of Greek X-Factor in 2009, and has never given up on his quest to represent the Cypriot flag at the song contest. He will sing our Cypriot tune called ‘Gravity‘, composed by Swedish producer Thomas G:Son. His song has a Eurovision feel and potentially radio-friendly hit song, suggests the song-writer.

The official video is due to be released in March and we can’t wait to get our hand on it to share it with our listeners on LGR and through lgr.co.uk.

Demy aka Demetra Papadea will be the Greek representative, with her tune due to be separately selected by the tele-voting public, on Monday 6th March 2017. She has three songs exclusively written for her by the Eurovision legend Dimitris Kontopoulos with creative staging director Fokas Evangelinos, our dynamic team.  So what happened, Dimitris and Fokas appointed Demy, suggesting she was the best choice to the powers that be that’s how we have Demy, to fly the Greek flag to make a strong come-back to Eurovision this year…

She is signed to the Panik Records family, with a substantial volume of pop hits.

This year’s Greek trio is dubbed the ‘dream team’ surely working very hard to come up with a competitive song. Dimitris and Fokas, have a long illustrious run in the song contest with many Top 10s including Sakis Rouvas, to Sergey Lazarev, Russian entrant in 2016’s Eurovision Song Contest, finished Top 3 on finale night.

The viewers in the United Kingdom are able to vote for their favourites in the first semi-final, airing on BBC 4, so too, Italy and Spain. Meanwhile, Germany, Ukraine and France are voting in the second semi-final of Eurovision on the Thursday evening.

This year’s ‘Celebrating Diversity’ theme will define Kyiv Eurovision welcoming 43 countries, to the annual music event. Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand said: ”The notion of celebrating diversity builds on last year’s theme of ‘Come Together’ and is at the heart of Eurovision values: it is all-inclusive and all about countries around Europe, and beyond, joining together to celebrate both our common ground and our unique differences, as well as the love of great music”.

The running order will be determined by the producers of the show and approved by EBU’s Reference Group in mid-March.


Article written by Tony Neophytou

George Mazonakis, one of the biggest stars in Greece, is coming to London for the first time for a special show on February 28th.

The multi-platinum singer has experienced profound success throughout more than 20 years of his discography and live performances. He put himself in a continuously changing and evolving process concerning his personal style and his repertoire choices. He has always been known for his crystal clear opinion about his aesthetic directions, his sheer professionalism and the simplicity of his beliefs. It seems that is all about a singer which is hard to compromise in the stereotypical categories that already exist in the Greek music industry.

George’s temperament, unique interpretation and innovative views have changed the way of nightlife, with very successful appearances at famous nightclubs in Athens.

London-based Microtone Productions is happy to welcome George and his 10-piece band to London, for the first time in his career, for a special show at KOKO on February 28th. Tickets are available via the Ticket Web website, click here to purchase yours. Advance online tickets are £35 or you can purchase yours on the door for £40 per person.


Article written by London Greek Radio

Cyprus has confirmed that Hovig Demirdjian will be the Cypriot representative for the up-coming Eurovision Song Contest 2017 which takes place in Kiev, in Ukraine.

The Cypriot broadcasters internally selected their choice announced through a press release on Friday 21st October; He will fly the Cypriot flag at next May’s annual music event.

Hovig, 27 years-old, was born in Nicosia, a Cypriot artist of Armenian origin. He will sing a song composed by Thomas G:Son, a Swedish song-writer. He produced 2016’s Cypriot entry, co-writing the Minus One ‘Shine’ track, and qualifying well enough to the final, did pretty much alright in fact. His involvement shows ambition to impress at the competition, with his notable many credits including, Sweden’s victory of 2012 in the song contest.

The date for the release of the song has not yet been specified for listeners, which leaves Cypriot fans in eager anticipation. The LGR website will have the song on its release date in the months leading up to the competition.

Hovig is a professional singer and song-writer with 10 years under his belt. This versatile performer is handling pop to Laika and emotive ballads. Excitingly enough, for this reviewer London Greek Radio Dj, his Laiko tune ‘Ego Gia Sena’ goes in to his favourites list, on the LGR air-waves. Well, this is somehow adding a more pleasant touch, because we know the artist a little bit, from his work.

He is very well liked by the Cypriot public, his evolving fan-base, largely beginning with his long-run on live shows of the Greek X Factor. The same year Miss Ivi Adamou was in the series, herself flying the Cypriot flag at 2012’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Hovig finally realises his long time goal pursuing his shot at Eurovision and he’s certainly had a try at it a couple of times before at the local finals. He had a song ‘Stone In A River’ finishing 4th, at 2015’s Cypriot heat stages, likewise, his ‘Goodbye’ tune rated 3rd during 2010’s pre-selection.

This is looking very likely that third time is the charm now he’s attained his goal proper.

He feels absolutely honoured to sing for his native Cypriot land, and is very much looking forward to it.

On his Facebook page, Hovig posted, ”Nai! (Greek word for yes), that’s all I said to CyBC when they popped the Eurovision question.

”This year, I intend to work very hard, day and night, to deliver the best possible performance in Kiev.

Cyprus is a diverse, and a hot island. Diversity runs in our ideas, our people and our music.

Our small island is an oasis of awesome talented people with amazing Mediterranean temperament.”

He concluded, ”Eurovision is happening guys and it’s going to be fun. Let’s do this!”

The press conference held at the Nicosia’s RED, where Hovig performs a lot, was made up of the Cypriot delegation’s Evi Papamichael and Kleitos Kleitou both expressed their hopes and confidence about our Cypriot chances in the song contest.

Hovig thanked them for selecting him as the artist and promised he will do his absolute best at the sing-off event. He thinks Cypriot talent is immense, he puts it, it’s a small nation but it’s really huge talent-wise, if you take in to account the extent of so many talented individuals.

Hovig will be certainly looking to equal the island’s solid qualifying record lately, following Minus One and John Karayiannis the year before, acts which made it to the final outright.

He will do whatever it takes to get to the final, Hovig, emphatically put it. This task is very likely to be very tough for sure, and will need lots of hard-work to make sure he passes to the last round, he’s very focused to knuckle down to achieve this, he points out.

Gson said he felt privileged, and honoured, to be writing his second Cypriot song in two years.

Meanwhile, CyBc CEO Thanasis Tsokos gives us a little quote by saying, ”Eurovision surely exists in the Cypriot nation’s DNA…” He’s of the opinion Cyprus’ participation is vitally relevant to encouraging, and promoting young Cypriot talent. It pays off economically and other ways, to being part of such a big thing. To which, he added, for a small state, like we have with the Cypriot state it is very important to be physically present, at these events.

He believed in Hovig’s talents and abilities and predicted he will qualify okay, adding, he forecasted rightly the same thing about Minus One, Tsokas told us.

We at London Greek Radio will be following all of the developments in the weeks to come and looking forward to have the song in our hands, where you will hear it first, and as always to happily support #teamcy and #eurovisioncy in the run-up to the contest.

The Semi-Finals will span from 9th May 2017 to the 11th May 2017, with the Final to take place on 13th May 2017, where he will be hoping to stamp his authority on the rest of the Eurovision nations.


Article written by Tony Neophytou

London Greek Radio is celebrating 27 years since it went on air on November 13th 1989, transmitting to the huge community of Greek and Cypriot listeners, and not only. To put it this way, using our geeky style ‘Greek-y’ statistics to break this down

This is the equivalent to 324 months, 1,408 weeks and 9,862 days to be exact

We at London Greek Radio are celebrating our second anniversary in as many weeks after our last October 8th birthday in which LGR was first launched on-air in 1983, marking the beginning of a long epic phase of the UK’s only 24-7 Greek hits radio station.

The sometimes turbulent history is absolutely fascinating; during the 1980’s LGR survived a number of police raids in attempts to close the station down, forcing it to relocate premises regularly, from above a Greek delicatessen in Muswell Hill to the up-stairs of a Dj’s house in Highbury.

LGR was not like other ‘illegal’ entities it was itself a pioneer for ethnic radio for listeners, serving the Greek speakers of London. LGR’s very being was definitely innovative and persisted despite the obvious drawbacks. LGR faced may problems and hard times but persisted and look at us today!

Ms Soulla Violaris is one of our longest serving Dj’s who started in the early days gave us her personal account. During one of her live shows she was interrupted by the authorities resulting in her arrest. She was taken to magistrate’s court and ordered to pay a fine. She felt it was right to continue at whatever cost or risk and her dedication and loyalty lead her to occasionally put in 9 hour shifts. The staff and Dj’s certainly braved much adversity and went to great lengths during the 1980’s to keep London Greek Radio being heard on air.

In a very interesting book ‘London’s Pirate Pioneers‘ this explains how a year before LGR was awarded its legal licence, authorities made their largest ever raid on them.

The biggest action ever taken by the authorities against LGR came in 1988 when the police raided LGR’s offices, yet again, only this time they confiscated all paperwork related to the station. In a case at Highgate Magistrates Court in July, companies and staff associated with London Greek Radio were fined £13,900 plus £10,550 in costs and expenses.

After losing several hundred transmitters over the years, LGR was awarded the North London Community License, returning to the air on 13th November 1989. For the first three years they had to share the frequency with an African speaking station WNK who unfortunately went out of business soon after.

The licence was granted with the essential help of tens of thousands of people who signed petitions demanding the legitimacy of LGR. The public’s voice made it clear that there was a void and vital space to fulfil for the Greek Cypriot’s long, robust community in the UK.

The station’s iconic status is truly still relevant and very popular today, and the LGR family continues to grow and expand with talented radio hosts and DJ’s entertaining our community with Greek songs for every genre, that the Greeks are known to have in absolute abundance.

Given the huge advances in technology, LGR is live on 103.3 FM and can be found on DAB in Birmingham and Manchester adding many thousands of extra listeners every month. It can be downloaded from the App store and the Play store. Our vast audience is not only Greek speaking listeners but also English, Jewish, Albanian, Arab, Bulgarian, Turkish and Russian and so many more who are constantly tuned in.

It’s very exhilarating to know, LGR has by far the biggest downloads to on Tune In with listener statistics via our LGR App outweighing the other Cypriot radio stations based in Cyprus on the basis of the numbers. According to the current statistics, LGR is officially No.1 downloads on #TuneIn when comparing to the equivalent Cypriot stations…

This fact about London Greek Radio is a fact to be proud of.

Happy Birthday LGR! May you live to be 100 and continue your hard-work; delivering informative and entertaining formats to your listeners.


Article written by Tony Neophytou