Ask William and Friends
Ask William and Friends
OX Magazine
‘Ask William and Friends’ is a series of conversations between Oxford Concierge William Thomson and a selection of colourful characters involved in hospitality and entertainment. Whether basking in the limelight, or working behind the scenes, every one of William’s guests has a fantastic story to tell.
The Optimistic Addict
New year, new outlook. Optimism. Rather than regurgitate the usual new year platitudes we are approaching this from a more personal perspective. A lot of people struggle with addiction and its fallouts. My guest this month, Ross Munro, has certainly seen the worst of it and is now helping others on their journey. Ross, is optimistic that he will successfully continue his 4-years of sobriety after 20 years of addiction. And, even more, that he continues his work in helping others.    Interestingly, it is hard to identify that you might have an addiction problem because it becomes the norm. Recently I had a bit of a change around my circle of friends because I realized that I had a lot in common with, well, liquid friends. So, you take the liquid out of the equation and then there was really no reason to meet with these people because we didn't have anything else in common. So now I surround myself with people that I can learn from. Positive energy, good aura, etc. I hope this episode can do the same for you.   And I've started listening to an awful lot of podcasts, which I absolutely love. Here is a link to one I love on Audible: The Unexpected Joys of Being Sober by Catherine Gray. Another I like is Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before by Dr. Julie Smith.    Links to other resources we mentioned: Turning point  Hospitality Action  Aspire I have also been inspired by the online journey of The Sober Runner. Watching recoveries like this makes me very optimistic, indeed. Sit back and enjoy the conversation, and here’s to a fabulous year!
Jan 24
40 min
The Glam-a-zon
William talks with two friends, the fabulous drag queen Rusty Kate and Jake Hall from Blues events on this episode.  We all think of glamour in different ways. For some it conjures up the Hollywood diva of bygone days , for others more recent examples but no glamour is equal to that of a true queen. Sit back and enjoy the laughter!
Nov 9, 2022
47 min
“Off the Record”
We all have that special something that makes us smile as we remember long hot summer days, beautiful sunsets, laughing at nothing in particular whilst being sipping long cool drinks and listening to music that has inspired us throughout our lives. Our next guest is someone that has provided that special something to thousands of people over the last 18 years by hosting Oxfordshire’s favourite summer bash Cornbury Music festival. His creditionals within the music business are unquestionable, his company Sound Advice have been the force behind the success of so many incredible events and we are just delighted to spend time with the quintessential British gentleman of the music business, the charming Mr Hugh Phillimore where along with my partner in crime today, jill Rayner from Oxfordshire’s own OX magazine  we discuss new ventures, old memories and saying a find farewell to Cornbury Music festival.
Jul 29, 2022
49 min
The Restaurateur
This episode is all about food and drink and I am honoured to have as my guest for this month’s podcast Ross Drummond, owner of No1 Ship Street, winner for the second time of Oxford’s annual ‘Best Restaurant’ award.    In this episode we touch on parties, politics and the perfect seafood platter....and, as Ross gears up to open his second star-studded venue, we talk about what it takes to stay on top in the demanding world of food and drink” Sit back and enjoy people!
Jun 7, 2022
26 min
The Botanist
Never has there been a more important time for people to appreciate the critical role of plants in our health and well-being.   They soothe and heal with their medicinal ingredients, their oils and scents.  Even the act of gardening can smooth our furrowed brows and calm anxieties.  On a global level, they are key to the health of our environment and planet.   Today’s guest is renowned botanist Dr Chris Thorogood, Deputy Director of the UK’s oldest botanic garden at Oxford.  Most usually found in the leafy borders of this brilliant English garden, he is also an intrepid explorer and adventurer – trekking through remote forests in search of new species and exotic flowers.   He is also an amazing artist and creates exquisite paintings of his finds and favourites – just like the original naturalists of old.  I hope you enjoy this fascinating conversation with a true expert and a character as colourful as the plants he so loves…
May 3, 2022
33 min
Best of British
Best of British, a conversation with top class gent, Mr. Jonathan Sayers and a peek into his fascinating world of Bentley's, top Brass and ancient societies. Jonathan was the history Master of one of England’s famous private schools, Stowe. He is a Magistrate in our legal system and he is the Sovereign Grand Commander of the ancient Order of the Fleur De Lys.  Many commanders of this historic society trace their roots back all the way to the Knight's Templar. You couldn’t meet a more impressive (or nicer) chap and he fully fills the brief of ‘Best of British’!
Apr 6, 2022
34 min
This episode celebrates the incredible power of women in business – our homage to International Woman’s Day 2022.  My guest Heather Mason created her California-based company, Caspian Agency, in 2005, and today she is an events industry rock star, Masters course lecturer and a global public speaking powerhouse.  She explains how success starts with belief in “abundance” and why this is the route to more power, respect and money .  One of her passions is “helping women who own businesses to succeed and thrive beyond their wildest dreams” and this conversation between flamboyant hotel concierge and world-leading events superstar, is packed with dynamite advice.   Listen and enjoy!
Mar 1, 2022
57 min
The End
Stuart Jarvis. Patron of the arts, theatre and showbiz, Oxford man Stuart Jarvis passed away after a short illness in December last year. His final wish was to record this interview with his old friend William Thomson, and have it played at his funeral for family and friends. In this moving and uplifting conversation, Stuart talks endearingly about how important love is, within a life well lived. He tells tales not just of his adoration of the theatre and the world of entertainment, but of the people he met in it. He speaks lovingly of those behind the scenes in hospitality and show business, the unsung heroes, who work tirelessly because ‘the show must go on’.
Jan 31, 2022
49 min