These are some thoughts and ideas i have gained from from personal experiences, and things i have found to be useful when feeling low, down or negative.

When you feel down, finding joy in things is hard, but i think the trick is to start small, every small victory counts and is important to your overall happiness.

In no order.. take from this whatever may help you.

Make A Plan

Whether it be a plan for your day or a plan for the future, planning will remind you of your goals and aspirations, however small. Planning gives you something to work towards, to focus on. Make a list, a mind map, visualise where you want to be. Make time for things you enjoy and that will benefit you mentally, physically, spiritually.

Start Something

Start a project, start reading a book, start learning a skill, practice something you love, anything, whatever it is you want to do, just start. This can be the hardest part, but try thinking about the positive impact this will have on future you; starting something you want to do, now rather than the instant gratification of deciding to do it later. This ‘something’ doesn’t have to be life changing, but feeling like you are achieving something, and actively working towards something will make you feel more positive.

Positive Affirmations

Tell yourself positive things about yourself. When you constantly tell yourself something, you will begin to believe it. When you continually tell yourself ‘I am sad’ or ‘I am bad at -‘ you will continue to feel this way. If you start telling yourself ‘I am confident/happy/beautiful’, this is what you will become in your mind, and therefore what you will radiate.

Treat Yourself Better: Get Active

Get up (I know this can be the hardest part)

Go on a walk, run or bike ride, practice yoga, attend a class, start a sport; find something you enjoy. Moving your body, breathing fresh air, being around other people, or taking time for yourself, will give you an energy boost, and your body and mind will thank you.  Endorphins! – Scientifically proven to make you happy.

Treat Yourself Better: Eat Better

You really are what you eat. What you put in to your body will ultimately affect your physical and mental well-being. When you feel good internally you are able to feel good externally too, so treat your body well and you will feel mentally better and healthier.

A good idea would be to set up a routine of what you consume, drink water when you wake up, hot water with lemon, or green tea; take this time for yourself. Plan and prepare your meals, and think about this when you are purchasing food, this way you wont be tempted to just snack on anything. Again, make each meal an important part of your day, make time to prepare and enjoy your food. Eat with intention.

Mental health and physical health often go hand in hand.

Environment

Sometimes your environment can have a massive impact on your mental health and mind. If your environment is cluttered, often your mind can be too, if you are in an environment which is not benefiting you mentally, change it. It could be something as simple as changing, clearing out or tidying your personal space, this change in physical space can have a big impact on your mental space. Remove the clutter from your life. If it is an environment which is out of your control, either leave, because it is not making you happy, or try and change this space in your mind. You decide how you view a situation or environment, you decide your reaction. This links back to positive affirmations; if you are telling yourself you are unhappy, you will be. It is easy to dwell on negative emotions towards a place, person or situation. However, if you come in to an environment or situation with acceptance and openness, think about how it is benefiting you, think of this as a phase in your life, what are you learning? Then it is easier to accept and see the positive and beneficial aspects.

Another important tip is to realise where you find your energy, is it being around people? or being alone? Think about where you need to be to recharge, go there.

Gratitude

Personally i have found this to be one of the most important revelations for my own happiness. It seems obvious, but i think feeling gratitude for the simple things, the basis of life, is something which really helps you become a more positive person.

Firstly, gratitude for your body – look at all your body is capable of, your body is so strong and precious, it is what gives you freedom, how can you feel negatively towards something that gives you life? Secondly, gratitude for the earth and this life – watch a sunrise or sun set, experience the elements, be. I think when you stop and look at the beauty of this earth you will be overwhelmed.

To live gratefully is a skill you learn over time, but it is something which will change your life.

Let Yourself Feel

When you are feeling down or negative your instinct is usually to try and push it away and ignore it, but instead, try being in the present moment.

Your feelings are valid, they are part of what makes you human. Let yourself feel everything fully, do not try to push it away; acknowledge and experience it, accept it for what it is, then move on. Dwelling on feelings is useless to your personal growth, accept the emotion or situation for what it is and let go.

Take time to reflect, this might also help you find or pin point the root of the negative emotions, and therefore help you let go.

Let Go

This is again one of the most important things i have found for finding happiness within myself. Letting go of negative emotions, towards myself and others, honestly changed my life in such a positive way.

Sometimes you will revel in your negative emotions. You feel stuck in a rut, stuck on negative thoughts and feelings.

Try letting go of the emotions which are not serving you. When certain emotions become useless or even hindering to your growth, realise that you are only causing yourself harm by holding on to them. I realised this once i read these words – ‘Holding on to anger is like holding on to a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, you are the one who gets burned’ – This applies to all negativity, when you are holding on to something negative within yourself, you are only hurting yourself. When you let go, the weight will lift and you will be free.

Be Mindful.

Be in the present moment. Let your mind be still. Feel your breath, feel your heart beat, feel your eyes in your sockets, your skin on skin, feel your body existing right now, concentrate on what you are doing, be. When you focus on experiencing your present moment, your fears of the future and anxieties of the past will leave you, being in the present is where you will find your true happiness.

You Are In Control

Realise you are in control of your mind and emotions.

What you think; the emotions you feed; you become, you radiate, you receive.

Everything you need in order to find your happiness is inside of you.

Honestly, i still have to continually remind myself of these things, i am still learning and growing, as we all are. Hopefully these ideas and practices can help you on your journey in some way.


Bloody Hell, a zine all about menstruation, bleeding and general period anecdotes, was created by graphic designer Soofia Andry.  Last Saturday, she held a Period Party to mark its launch, attracting many feminists, bleeding-enthusiasts and period-curious folks.  The corresponding Facebook event was aptly named “It’s My Party and I’ll Menstruate If I Want To”; the wordplay on Drake lyrics alone proved inviting.  Armed with red velvet cakes and a pricey bottle of sour cherry and grape cordial, my friends and I headed towards The Feminist Library for some bloody action.

Tables were adorned with badges, necklaces, zines of sorts, and of course, copies of Bloody Hell.  You might have thought Tracey Emin came to decorate the place, but the artist was nowhere to be seen; she would have definitely approved of tampons drenched in food colour and glitter hanging around.

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The event operated using a safe space policy.  Name labels were used, which also indicated our preferred pronouns when being addressed and photography permissions.  As someone who do not frequent events where this level of consideration is the norm, it took me by surprise.  Pronouns and photography may be miniscule factors that shape our commitment to events and social gatherings, but they remain to be daily struggles for many.

Soofia Andry started the formalities with a few thanks, an introduction to the Bloody Hell zine project and her polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) journey.  Hannah Daisy, a PCOS and endometriosis sufferer, followed Andry with her tales of period woes.  Daisy beautifully highlighted the ill-treatment of some sufferers under the health system, which led to her 14-year battle to obtain a formal diagnosis and eventual treatment.  The Q and A portion had the health system and the questionable actions taken by many doctors under fire.  It was brilliantly eye-opening and inspiring to listen to these women talk about their bleeding experiences – and lack of thereof – so hauntingly honest and graphic.

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Shortly after, #periodpositive campaigner and STAINS™ founder Chella Quint delivered an enthusiastic and interactive talk where guests were encouraged to be more open about their menstrual cycles.  We were talked through the advertisement industry’s ridiculous marketing ploys for sanitary products, including ‘whisper’ pads and false promises of a rebirth if we use X tampon and Y pad.

Chella also touched on the topics of synchronisation – a subject which has never been allocated a dedicated and comprehensive scientific study – and anxiety felt by many young girls on the fear of leakage whilst on their period; Chella founded STAINS™ to help break the negative connotations surrounding the latter.  The #periodpositive campaign was brought to light shortly which emphasises the somewhat socially-accepted hushed notion towards menstruation.

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After a demonstration of the menstrual mambo dance – a choreography designed to teach people of all ages about the sanitary products available to modern bleeders – Chella Quint handed a STAINS™ removable stain to each guest as a parting gift.  A fashion accessory that is “leak chic,” used as an instrument to exploit the unnecessary visceral reaction towards bleeding.

My friends and I descended out of The Feminist Library brimming with radical zines about menstruation and female body hair, some new fun facts about sanitary products and their history within the advertisement industry, and, lastly, the newfound willingness to be honest and raw about periods.

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As I waited for my friend Georgia to board the half past four train to St. Alban’s, we exchanged period anecdotes in Waterloo Station.  Granted, there were a few uncomfortable faces around, but we did not care.  Because menstruation is not blush-worthy; it’s not shameful.  Talking about our monthly cycles may help shorten the ridiculous long diagnosis periods associated with conditions such as PCOS and endometriosis.

To highlight the importance of being period positive, Lena Dunham, a long-time sufferer of endometriosis, dedicated the one of the more recent issues of her newsletter, Lenny, to the subject.  Personal stories, diary entries, interviews and abstract art all feature, embodying many aspects of the Period Party in digital format for those who missed the action over at The Feminist Library a couple of weeks back.

 

Written by: julia Anduiza


It’s been roughly 2 weeks since the 8th edition of Just Jam Intl. took place in Newcastle, UK. One of the only events in the UK that can foster a family atmosphere while showcasing a high level of dancing.

The event itself is part of the Juice festival. Spanning over the course of one week, they held dance workshops for everybody to get involved with. Beginners workshops of many styles for those that are new to dancing; and a bootcamp for experienced B-Boys and B-Girls.

The main aspects of Just Jam Intl. is the Jam & Juice theatre shows and the 1vs1 international breaking battle. All of which takes place over a whole weekend.

Many people flew from different parts of Europe and America to be at the event. This made the 1vs1 battles extremely interesting! The judges line up was something to boast about in its own right. With Artis (Spain), Maurizio aka The Next One (Italy) and Ken Swift (USA) gracing the judges seats.

After all the battles were over, Den (Ukraine) won the event – beating Echo (UK) in the final. Unfortunately the event ran over schedule so the battle rounds had to be reduced to save time.

One of the most notable observations of the event was the music. DJs KhanFu and Timber made the dancers focus on their dancing ability. Instead of playing high tempo beats they opted for keeping the music slow and funky. Which payed off dividends as the dancing and the vibe was definitely one to be remembered!

To conclude, this is definitely one of the best Breaking events (if not the best) in the UK currently. Year after year the event has gained popularity and managed to maintain an atmosphere that keeps people coming back for more. If you haven’t been to the event yet, save up for next year. It’s one not to be missed!


With the recent release of Soup For Syria, a cookbook with humanitarian relief in mind, comfort food is taking centre stage in fund-raising efforts for refugees. 

A star-studded cookbook filled with more than 80 soup recipes, kindly donated by the likes of Yotam Ottolenghi and Anthony Bourdain, 100% of the profits from sales of Soup For Syria will be donated to The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to supply food relief to Syrians in need.

A book project set-up by a renowned Lebanese author, Barbara Massaad hopes to encourage many of us to welcome winter with warming soups for both the soul and humanity through the humanitarian mission.  Renowned foodies, chefs and creatives offered their best assets to create Soup For Syria, a stunning culinary and photographic compilation of refugees’ life in Syria in the eyes of Massaad.

In an interview with CNN, Massaad states that she believes raising awareness of the global refugee crisis can be successfully executed through efforts involving one’s passions, interests and strengths.  The London-based project, Syrian Supper Club, is no stranger to this concept.  A team of four dinner party enthusiasts have been cooking up monthly feasts for a cause close to their hearts, motivated by their appetite for Syrian culture.  Damascus was once home to founders Louisa and Rose, where they welcomed people through their door and kitchen table, sharing blood oranges and stories with strangers who later left as friends.  Many side projects have branched off from Syrian Supper Club, including soup evenings and Christmas dinners.

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Warm bowls of stews and soups are often popular menu choices for food-focused ventures with philanthropic assistance in mind.  In addition to the dishes’ evident simplicity and economic efficiency when feeding the masses – giving rise to the term ‘soup kitchen’ – they are found to be socially comforting, too.

Ottolenghi muses in his Guardian column, “comfort food is often the food that reminds us of home, of the country where we grew up.”  Whether it is a Middle Eastern stew or a traditional English bake, heart-warming food send many of us into a ball of nostalgia, relief and security – feelings of familiarity often lacking in causes we seek to adjust and improve, which, in this case, is the refugees’ situation.

Soup For Syria and the Syrian Supper Club should not be solely regarded as fund-raising initiatives.  They encourage us to make a positive impact to families and individuals heading to wintry Western Europe for safety; they represent the food relief to be received by thousands; they are actively raising awareness of the political unrest in Syria; and lastly, but most importantly, they share and promote the beauty of Syrian culture, often overlooked during bouts of hard times and shortcomings.

 

Written by: Julia Anduiza


Into its fifth week of the new season, the Tuesday Club is back in full swing after Bondax excited the packed out crowd last week. This Tuesday, it was the turn of the critically acclaimed producer and DJ, Four Tet, to carry on the legacy of this club night at the Foundry.

With it being my first visit to The Tuesday Club, yes I’m a first year; I was excited to see what the widely renowned club night could offer.

Supporting Four Tet, real name Kieran Hebden, were DJ’s Stoaty and Barely Legal. Stoaty couldn’t have warmed up the crowd any better, playing the Jamie xx hit ‘Gosh’ set the bar high early on and gave club goers a sense of what’s to come. Barely Legal’s eclectic genre spanning set was a delight on the dance floor. Tracks ranging from Gorillaz ‘Clint Eastwood’ remix to JME’s ‘Man Don’t Care’ to DJ XTC’s ‘Functions On The Low’ made sure that every member of the audience was not disappointed.

After being designated a two-hour set, it was clear that fans would get an exclusive look into Four Tet’s record collection. Opening with ‘Digital Arpeggios’, recorded on his Percussions project, Hebden wasn’t waiting around. The staccato and repetitive chords build up to a series of bass thuds, which pulsate around the room. Rightly so, the crowd go wild and Four Tet can only go higher from this point.

With the crowd on his side, Hebden continued to please by playing the co-produced Jamie xx track ‘SeeSaw’ and the C2 remix of Caribou’s ‘Your Love Will Set You Free’. Then came the moment that most had been waiting for, his unique remix of Eric Prydz’s ‘Opus’. Having first heard this at Warehouse Project a month ago, hearing this live is a definite must for all fans. As the song transcendentally builds up to its inevitable euphoric drop, it immediately changes direction to a darker and heavier place. As a result, the crowd go wild bouncing up and down in delight.

From this point, Four Tet continued to showcase his genre-spanning musical knowledge. Mixing his unique collaboration of Cheryl Cole and Ellie Goulding on ‘Back 2 The Start’ adds a flawless piece of UK Garage to his set. The most unexpected moment of the night came towards then end as Hebden ambitiously mixed Jack Ü’s ‘Where are Ü now’ and it worked. As the set began to draw to a close the spin of Joe’s ‘Thinkin About’ was a huge hit with the crowd and a perfect end to a stunning set.

As another successful Tuesday Club night comes to an end. The legacy Four Tet has left is sure to tempt me to visit again.

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Written by: Bill Edgar

Photography: Elouisa Georgiou

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[TICKETS] Blonde @ TTC: 27/10/15


The Tuesday Club 13th October: Bondax & Friends

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Bondax and their uncomplicated style of easy-going piano house were the perfect pair of young northern DJs for providing a night of bouncy, funky and simple tunes to get hundreds of students moving. With their ‘Friends’ in tow, the continuously ascendant duo managed to pull off an accessible yet solidly danceable night.

Jax Jones, the first support, gave a good, tight set of mellow house bangers. A slightly less commercial prospect than the headline act, he exploited his relative unfamiliarity to big effect. The beats were light and funky with a chill West coast influence, made obvious by the sampling of Kendrick Lamaar’s great ‘King Kunta’.

However, Bondax showed to be truly deserving of the praise frequently given to them. Often cited as heirs to Disclosure’s house throne, what they lack in the latter’s all-around mastery they make up with an incredible sense of fun. Tunes like ‘Gold’ pop with an immaculate sheen that make them irresistibly dancey, and hits like ‘All I See’ are perfectly calculated attempts to make the crowd go wild. To their credit, it all worked—there’s an irresistible pull to the light, breezy and catchy house beats they peddle, and I would deny anyone to not have fun at one of their nights.

Finishing off the night was Moon Boots, who played some incredibly mellow deep house at pretty much the exact tempo required to bring me down from the fizzing energy of Bondax. While they can verge on over-sugary at times, Bondax’s set tonight was an example of their settling place in British house music—never missing a beat, these two producers were able to put out beats that belied their age and experience.

 

Written by: Freddie Mitchell

Photography: Elouisa Georgiou

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Last weekend people from all over the world tuned in to watch, what has been called by many as, “the best Breaking event of the year”.

To keep this post short, the level of dancing definitely surpassed all my expectations. So many surprising moments that made me jump out my chair.

This year was different in a number of ways. The qualifiers were efficient; with 3 different qualifying cyphers that managed to run on schedule (so I hear). A sum of $100 was given to the top 100 dancers from the 1vs1 qualifier. Even if someone missed out on qualifying for the top 32 battles, they’d still be awarded $100 if they placed 33rd-100th.

At the end of the 2-day event, Victor (MF Kidz, USA) won the 1vs1 battle and 7Commandoz (Hong 10, Wing, Skim) won the 3vs3. That means 7Commandoz will be competing in the 3vs3 at Freestyle Session World Finals 2015. While Victor will be competing in the 1vs1 at both Freestyle Session and Undisputed in December!

A lot of memorable battles took place. Here’s a few videos that Stance took from our time there:

Or, you can watch the livestream footage from both days and witness just how epic the event was!

 


 

Memories. That psychological way in which our brains stores and retrieves aspects of our lives and the general movement of the human race. Memory makes us. It creates and defines our personality and characteristics through what we remember subconsciously and what we choose to remember. As a person with a chaotic, hectic schedule, I can choose to remember important dates and deadlines and appointments. Alongside this I migh12087232_10206830119344783_4601373229488027015_ot not think I’m going to remember that morning that seemed average at the time, waking up, breakfast, university, and work. But it can turn into something my head can’t quite let go of. We remember faces, every face you see in a dream is a face you’ve seen before, memory is fleeting and memory is in the background. There’s no escaping memories, only ways of submerging them under the strains of day to day life.

Rachel Clarke & Hayley Graham present Memory Box as a part of Bish, Bash, Bosh at Yorkshire Dance for Light Night 2015. Featuring a performance installation made from childhood memories, this piece allowed spectators to drop in as they wish and explore at their own free will.

As you enter the back room of the second floor at Yorkshire Dance, having been there many times before, it can be said honestly that there was no able preparation for what I would see as I entered Memory Box. You are instantly bombarded with elements of colour, light, and of youthfulness. The piece is displayed like an exhibition, were audience members can wander around the space, taking in the detailed displays of the walls and the cluster of objects filling the room. I was instantly drawn to the childhood photos that were placed on the corner of the wall almost immediately after you enter. Here are photographs of the dancers from when they were young, all living very different lives in different areas of the country with different upbringings, but besides this there is one reoccurring element, joy.

It was refreshing to see a physical dance performance based around moments of happiness. Too often choreographers get caught in the negativity and troubled world that we12132436_10206830115904697_916111927141611818_o live in, but in this case these two graduates focused on a universal point of contentment. The dancers: Hayley Graham, Edenamiuki Aiguobasinmwin, Beth Ellis and Alexandra Mettam all demonstrated eternal smiles and movement which practically bounced from phrase to phrase.

There was one aspect of the piece that really struck me as point of creativity and imagination that begins in all young children. Against one side of the room there stood two tall fabric displays of a pirate and a princess. You were able to put your head through their head hole and it would appear as if you had their body. As a child this is an extremely important aspect of the pinnacle of imagination. You take your own life and let your mind wander into the wonder of fairytale. Of fighting bad guys and being rescued, of glitter and of excitement. It is those points of creativity that channel thoughts into creating such work as what I viewed tonight.

Towards the back section of the room, in a slightly more darkened corner there is a table set with party food, paper plates and party hats. Looking at this table in the context of a child’s party, you think of the frantic scrabble of children fighting for their place, fighting for their favourite colour party hat and then eating so much until the point of nausea.  But when looking at this beautifully set table surrounded by dancers who are well on their way to professional careers, you see the nostalgia of when things were this easy for them. When food was free, when plates were unbreakable and a simple coloured party hat could compliment any outfit. You see the wistfulness, longing and flicker of loved memories in their eyes. As I watch on, like a parent from the distance I think of the parties I went to as a child, and suddenly realizing the effect this piece of work has had upon me. Looking around this room I see my own childhood flicking over my eyes like a cinematic lens.

As a conclusion to my time in the Memory Box, I am left with scattered memories and thoughts of things that were seemingly evident in most childhoods across our Western Culture. It made me think about the wonderful things that I did have growing up, and even ponder the very idea of photographs, allowing us to glance back over the frozen smiles and fleeting moments. The instruments, the sound of children, the lights and how they flicker as bright as a young child’s future, are all something that resonate somewhere deep inside of ourselves.

Writing credits

Emily snow 

Young minds matter


The Night Kitchen 9th October: Flava D

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The Night Kitchen has undoubtedly become a sacred haven for underground music in Sheffield. Recently featured in “The Guardian” as one of the UK’s top ten clubs, the renovated cutlery factory has gradually matured into arguably Sheffield’s finest party location.

With the ever-expanding popularity of the Night Kitchen, the line-ups have inevitably become more substantial. On Friday, the sold out venue welcomed an artist who must feel she is yet to reach the precipice of a career that has already reached dizzy heights- her name “Flava D”.

The page 3 model equivalent of bass music, it is important to note that Flava D is not just a pretty face. She has been an indispensable component in the garage/grime scene for years. Consistently releasing tracks on record label “Butterz”, she has seamlessly crafted her own signature sound in a heavily condensed industry. She has avoided being pigeonholed through nomenclature, refusing to be tied specifically to one genre, shown in her multi-faceted album “More Love” and her most recent hip-hop reboot of “How Deep Is Your Love”.

In her “Rhythm & Gash” remix she not only has a track that consistently gets “reloaded” across every DJ set in the country, it appears that she has now made solid inroads into the mainstream. With further releases such as “Bump & Grind” and the continuing success of early release “In the Dance”, it is a certainty that she will be a bass music mainstay in the coming years. The past year has borne the fruits of her efforts and she is now playing the biggest gigs of her career so far, and selling her very own snap-backs!

With the dark sounds of “Distro” and Sheffield’s very own bassline junkie “Dr Cryptic” also on the bill, the night was gun-finger frenzy from the minute it started to the eventual 6:30am climax. With the minimalistic lighting in Night Kitchen, the music firmly takes the fore and the sound system has notoriety across the Steel City.

Unbeknown to many inside the venue however, Flava D was to play the “graveyard” set of 4:00am until 6:30am as she had an earlier arrangement in Oxford to finish before making her way North. This news was greeted with considerable disappointment in the bustling smokers’ pens outside. To Sheffield’s credit, the late set time changed very little as what only seemed like a handful of “party go-ers” had bailed to beat the sunrise home before her set.

Within the hour of Flava D beginning though, some fatigued onlookers made their way to the exit or the seated areas outside and in. This was no insult to the music on offer, more the fact that 5:00am is rather late for the headliner to start ravaging a dancefloor with hefty basslines after five previous hours of unrelenting beats. Some have the stamina, some don’t.

As expected though, the South London producer tore the dance floor apart with a set that featured an abundance of her own savage productions and tracks from other UK bass varieties. The mixing of bassline bangers from figurehead “DJ Q” and new big hitters in “Conducta”, “Notion” and “Holy Goof” seemed fitting considering the bassline history that continues to pump through the city’s musical veins.

With the near perfect blend of classic garage, grime and bassline, the set passed in a flash with a constant “screw-face” plastered upon every person in the room.

It was high-octane business throughout and at full-time the leggy ravers exited the intimate venue alongside a weary looking Flava D who swiftly entered a taxi.

After Friday night she will always be welcome back in Sheffield- hopefully back at Night Kitchen, in a prime time slot.

 

Written by: Tom Hargreaves