Brummie of the Year 2008 – Nominations open

Who will follow in the bootsteps of landlord extraordinaire John Tighe, blues hobo Charlie Mitton, dancer-under-the-stars Malik, cricketer Jason Furnell and red panda Babu? Only the people of Birmingham can decide — after the nominations have been assessed by a panel.
Brummie of the Year 2005 - Birmingham: It's Not Shit

But nominations are now open and you’re welcome to list any Brummie or Brum resident that has put Birmingham on the map this year. How about “world’s worst boxer” Peter Buckley (although I’m sure he’s better than me)? Or Brummies for Obama leader Adam Smith?

Maybe there’s an old dear who’ll be so excited by Kilroy in the Jungle that the orange man of British politics will triumph? Or is this the year that Metal will force it’s denim and leather clad way into the forefront? Wouldn’t it be great if concrete won out and we’ll recognise John Madin architectural genius behind the Central Library?

All that we know is that the nominations wil close at 9am Sunday 23rd November and the voting will open the next day. Leave your nominations, with a reason, in the comments — and feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.




66 comments for “Brummie of the Year 2008 – Nominations open

  1. 14 November 2008 at 10:45 am

    To kick things off I’m nominating TWMDriver – Brum’s best blogging bus driver, who has come from nowhere to become a fixture online and on Les Ross. All whilst staying anonymous, a bit.

  2. 14 November 2008 at 11:18 am

    Not very imaginative of me but well deserved I think, I’d also like to nominate The Driver.

    The stories on his blog are always interesting – and often quite shocking. He’s really opened my eyes to the life of a bus driver; I had absolutely no clue how much abuse they face on a daily basis. The Driver just stays calm though and deals with everything in a sensible and considered way.

    And the Ask the Driver idea is great too – write in questions (bus driver related, preferably!) and The Driver will endeavour to answer them for you. Love it!

    The other reason for the nomination is that he will go out of his way to help out his passengers – it’s kind and thoughtful and he doesn’t have to do it, he does it because he’s a good person. And I reckon that deserves recognition and not a little thanks. Perhaps that’ll encourage more people to be a bit more like The Driver?

    Oh dear, he’s going to be so mortified! But hopefully proud as well :)

  3. Brum Chum
    14 November 2008 at 11:30 am

    I’d definitely nominate Adam Smith a.k.a Steve Zacharanda. What the man has done for journalism and the Birmingham Post and Mail is undoubted – hell give the man a New Year’s Honour!

  4. 14 November 2008 at 2:33 pm

    I’ll third TWM Driver. He’s carved a niche for himself with his subject matter, and has provided a real eye opener from the perspective of the driver. The stories are often entertaining and he sets it all down with a tone that can only be captured by a Brummie. :)

  5. dp
    14 November 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Dave Heeley. So what if he’s based in West Brom? He’s still an inspiration and a local hero.

  6. 14 November 2008 at 6:16 pm

    I’d like to nominate Pogus Caesar. This year he has exhibited at the Wolverhampton Gallery and a gallery at the Mailbox. He is also involved with working with students and had a collection of his film work shown at Millenium Point. I have known Pogus for about a year and a half and he has offered me support and encouragement with my work throughout this time. I think that he does that for others too. I particularly like his work on the Handsworth Riots. Have a look at his stuff on and agree with me if you want to.

  7. 14 November 2008 at 6:20 pm

    I’d like to nominate John Mostyn:

    If you need a reason I’ll supply that at a later date. ;)

  8. Oona Flucker
    14 November 2008 at 9:29 pm

    I would like to nominate Mr Roshan Doug for services to Birmingham literature.
    He’s f***ing amazing.

  9. Bum Farto
    15 November 2008 at 6:06 pm

    I’d like to nominate the Birmingham bus tramp who rides around on various routes with his infectious laugh and his rather ‘saucy’ comments. He can be found on ‘you tube’ as the dirty Birmingham bus tramp. He’s worth voting for just for his comment about tena pads alone. Mind you, this bus driver may well have encountered this gentleman and could paint a rather different story.

  10. 15 November 2008 at 7:36 pm

    I think it would be hard for me to choose between Johnny Doom better known as being the late night dj for Kerrang! Radio and previous lead vocalist of the band Doom, Johnny has been an amazing advocate for our Home Of Metal project, his early support and first hand knowledge has been invaluable. But whats best is he isn’t a man afraid of hard work and got stuck in when he was co-ordinating the stage crew for us at this years Supersonic Festival, his crew are clearly the unsung heros of the festival, along with our volunteers and sound crew.
    My other nomination would go to Helga Henry at Fierce Earth, for the way she so generously shares her knowledge and contacts and the way she encourages so many of us working in the creative industries, and most importantly for her work in the tea room at Supersonic.

  11. sarah
    15 November 2008 at 9:43 pm

    id like to nominate chaz singh for hes the guy who wants st georges day to be celebrated and made a bank holiday
    he was also awarded the modern day st george award as well featured on midlands masala with satnam rana
    go get em chaz

  12. 16 November 2008 at 1:14 pm

    I nominate Eleanor Simmonds, 13 years old and won two gold medals at the Paralympics.

  13. carol baker
    16 November 2008 at 4:34 pm

    I nominate Bev Bevan for his contribution to music and putting Birminham on map also the band Brum Rocks who put on a great show taking us down memory lane of birmingham night spots

  14. John Middleton
    16 November 2008 at 10:35 pm

    I’ve got to throw my support behind Adam Smith aka Steve Zacharanda too. Made us swell with Brummie pride all the way down here in Adelaide. Incidentally, the Simon Cowell of Australia is a bloke called Dicko, who’s a Brummy!

  15. 16 November 2008 at 11:47 pm

    I’d like to nominate LolDeirdre. She brings a smile to my face every day, she’s so cutely eager to please.

  16. 17 November 2008 at 12:19 am

    I’d like to nominate Pete the Feet, legendary Moseley guru.

    Shoeless since the Vietnam war, dispensary of wisdom and finely tooled cigarette lighter holders.

  17. Paul
    18 November 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Little Chris of Brumcast ( has now produced 110 regular shows off his own back that showcase the good, bad and ugly of local music in a wholly original and engaging manner. Alongside Les Ross he may be the last local voice you can hear over the airwaves (albeit in this case, the digital, ersatz airwaves of podcasting).

  18. 18 November 2008 at 3:08 pm

    It’s about time Paul Murphy got some recognition. Currently most visible as the singer / caller / poet with The Destroyers the history of his work in Birmingham socially and artistically is beyond admirable.

    A teeny bit of history here:

  19. Hortense Cartwright
    18 November 2008 at 6:27 pm

    I would like to second Lisa’s nomination of helga henry. She is a fantastic, inspirational motivator for lots of people in the creative industries of the midlands. As well as being managing director of fierce earth she is chair of creative republic and business director of second sight Born and bred in Brum she flies the flag for her native city and now as a Clore Fellow she is bigging up Brum whenever she meets with arts & media bigwigs.
    AND she has always been a well behaved girl !
    Signed……………..her mum !

  20. Phil Clarkson
    19 November 2008 at 10:13 am

    I’d like to second the nomination for Helga Henry too – not only is she a very motivated & motivational force behind the Fierce organisation, but she is the perfect ambassador for the Second City. She never fails to big up the many attractions of Brum, is key in attracting creatives to the city & combines this with a sound knowledge of how to produce successful, profitable & artistic events in the city. And she can do a pitch-perfect impersonation of Prince doing the high bits – for this alone, she’s my Brummie of the Year.

  21. Lorraine Francis
    20 November 2008 at 6:22 pm

    I support the nomination for Helga Henry; for being one of the most active and enthusiastic ambassadors for Birmingham’s creative sector; for batting for Birmingham generally at every opportunity, with a sense of humour and welcome irreverance for all things pc. For all that and so much more, Helga never fails to brighten even the dullest of days. Helga’s a breath of fresh air and for that, she’s my Brummie of the Year.

  22. Sam
    20 November 2008 at 6:55 pm

    I’d like to nominate Roshan Doug who writes for The Birmingham Post. Although you might not agree with what he says, you’d love the way he engages with the paper’s readership. His topics range from the trivia concerning barbi dolls to the profound stuff like nuclear weapons and terrorism. Honestly check him out! The rest of the paper is crap though….

  23. Sarah
    21 November 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Definitely nominate Dame Ammo Talwar MBE for taking Bhangra to Buckingham Palace and generally shaking things up in the establishment.

  24. Simon Pickthorne
    21 November 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I would like to add to Helga Henry’s nomination for Brummy of the Year. Helga is a joy to work with and brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise and dedication to Fierce Earth. The amount of time she spends supporting and developing people and projects not only within the company but across the creative industries is amazing to experience and be a part of. Helga has also been a great personal friend over the years to both me and Mark and is always there to help and sort our lives out i.e. giving up her weekends to sort my TAX, giving interview and presentation training to make sure you get the job and probably, and most importantly always coming back from the USA with a pack of Calvin’s. So, is there anyone else who should be Brummy of the Year? Not in our eyes!

  25. Pippa
    21 November 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I’d like to put my vote to Helga Henry. Since arriving in Birmingham 3 years ago and working in the arts and culture sector Helga has been welcoming, supportive and a continuous source of guidance and inspiration. Always the first person I turn to with a tricky question often about Birmingham itself, she is an endless stream of knowledge and ideas.

    She constantly strives to promote and improve Birmingham through her work at Fierce, Creative Republic, on various boards, but also in social and unusual ways – like WibWob (woman of Birmingham, Women in Birmingham) a simple meal between women that encourages women in the arts to get together, network, talk and have a straight forward good time!

    Always pro-active, always smiling, and Birmingham-proud – she’d make a brilliant Brummie of the year!

  26. Andy Bass
    21 November 2008 at 1:56 pm

    I support Helga Henry’s nomination (even without her Prince impersonation, which if it lives up to its billing must be the clinching factor). I agree with the earlier posts that she is an energetic and highly effective ambassador for Brum. As well as her work on behalf of the city as a whole, there are also many individual Brummies who have benefitted from her support and encouragement in making their own contributions to the life of the city.

  27. Chris Mills
    21 November 2008 at 2:58 pm

    I would like to vote for Jonny Doom. Brummie, through and through. Formerly of metal band Doom, and now West midlands Rock DJ at Kerrang Radio.

    The man is a legend, and always supportive of Birmingham based music and arts.

    After years in the darkness, he deserves the recognition

  28. Faye Simcox
    21 November 2008 at 3:04 pm

    I vote Johnny Doom for Brummie of the year as he has lovely hair and does alot to promote the come back of Monster Munch original packaging

  29. 21 November 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Lovely to get so much interest, but remember this is nominations not voting – which will start sometime next week – so it would be good to hear some more different names.

  30. Jim Harvey
    21 November 2008 at 3:13 pm

    I agree with the nominations for Johnny Doom. The guy has done so much for Birmingham music and is on Kerrang Radio across the UK plugging Birmingham. He’s also dead funny – he does the voiceovers on the radio station and makes me laugh. Met him once at a gig and he’s really modest and unassuming too – he took the time to talk to us. He’s not like all these other jumped up local djs.

  31. 21 November 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I would also like to show my support that Helga Henry should be Brummie of the Year.

    I met Helga when she delivered one of her Metapod courses and now I am on placement with her and Fierce Earth. What sets Helga apart is her approachability, generousity and her willingness to support in any way she can those who she knows. Helga is an inspiration be around and always oozes positivity about the creative sector, the creative sector in Birmingham or just Birmingham! I am not from Birmingham but from my time with the Fierce Team and Helga I would move to Birmingham in an instant.

    Helga is a true ambassador for all things brum and after meeting her you become not just a name on her contact list but she is a friend who you can call on at anytime!

  32. Neal Mitchell
    21 November 2008 at 3:39 pm

    I nominate the legend that is Johnny Doom. The man is an Icon to all things metal. In a city that bred some of the biggest rock and metal acts in the world. from his days in Doom to now pushing new bands on Kerrang! Radio.

    J Doom is even presenting Tony Iommi with his Star on broad street. why? because there is no other public voice of metal in Birmingham.

    and they should bring back Doom.

  33. 21 November 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Johnny Doom. Because his views on the state of the nation, as well as his love for proper music, would make him the outstanding nominee for Brummie Of The Year but also a candidate for Obama’s first cabinet in Washington DC.

    The man is a lover of rock and humanity. A combination that you find not with most other children of the Second City. Brummie Of The Year? Aye. Man of the Millennium? Go on then.

    I love Doom and I think Doom, in turn, loves us all.

  34. Henry Evans
    21 November 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Johnny Doom is without doubt Brummie of the year. Enough said…

  35. Gordon Davidson
    21 November 2008 at 5:04 pm


  36. 21 November 2008 at 5:27 pm

    If Helga Henry doesnt win i am leaving the country!

  37. 21 November 2008 at 5:33 pm

    @Dean, brave stance to take – the voters round here are notriously in favour of people on the very fringes of society, pub landlords and , er, pandas.

    Keep you powers dry people. This thread ain’t for voting.

    Who _else_ should be up for the award?

  38. Andy Westcott
    21 November 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Johnny Doom is to Birmingham what Mr Chips was to Catchphrase. A giant among broadcasters and yet exceptionally unassuming. The man most likely to answer the phone if you call Kerrang! out of hours. Especially if it goes to voicemail.

  39. Anne
    21 November 2008 at 5:44 pm

    I would like to nominate Helga Henry as Brummie of the year for her passion, joy, creativity and love. Helga creates opportunities at every turn and encourges people to enjoy all that is Birmigham. She is a fabulous coach, catalyst and challenger of the mundane. Helga sees the creative potential in people especially when it is hidden from their view. She also introduced me to fabulous The Lord Clifton pub in Hockley, the Red Lion pub in the JQ and is an essential quiz member.

  40. Anne
    21 November 2008 at 6:25 pm

    I’d also like to nominate Conrad Newbold for his inspirational and tireless commitment to creating innovative opportunites for employment among young people and people who are unemployed in the West Midlands. He is a joy to work with and makes me laugh every day.

    Watching him influence and guide people to think differently and find a way around potential barriers is really inspiring.

    Conrad is committed to his family and West Brom footbal team – he seems to go to every match and goes abroad to support England too. He supports his son who plays for the young West Brom team (or whatever it’s called). He is a school governor and works tirelessly with schools and colleges across the West Midlands promoting ingenious ways to attract people to careers in the NHS. Great guy. Thanks Conrad

  41. Helga
    21 November 2008 at 10:03 pm

    I’d like to nominate Kings Heath housewife and superstar Barbara Nice.

    “Barbara as in Streisand, Nice as in the biscuit”, has put Kings Heath and In Shops on the map. Anyone who can extract 30 minutes of comedy from 2 musical snowmen she bought from a pound shop must be up for some type of award. And if any of you saw “Hiya and Hiya” this year, you will know that she truly is a woman to be reckoned with. Her shows make you glad to be alive.

    From crowd surfing to crap raffles… Barbara is the queen of comedy and is a worthy nominee in my book. While she is Kings Heath’s most famous inhabitant I don’t know if she was born here, but at any rate, a brummie by adoption, and we’re very glad to have her.

    (And I am the Helga mentioned above, so if I don’t get another chance I’d just like to thank all the people who have been so generous in their comments!).

  42. Simon Williams
    22 November 2008 at 10:59 am

    Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom, Johnny Doom.

  43. 22 November 2008 at 11:16 am

    Thank you Simon, although your email address is a bit of a give away.

  44. Anna
    22 November 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Sorry Jon, I know you’re looking for other nominations but I’m afraid I’m going to have to throw all of my support behind the fabulous, inspirational and unique Helga Henry. An hilarious, supportive, all-knowing, intuitive, supremely generous and kind ambassador of the creative sector (and everyone in it), the city of Birmingham and life itself!

    Helga is a living legend and although I have only been in Birmingham for 3 years, she has, without doubt, been the main cause of making it feel like my home. She’s my own super-hero and surrogate mum and I will right behind Dean if she doesn’t win. As far as I’m concerned, she’s been my Brummie of the Year for three years and if I can help in making that official, all the better. Bring on the voting!!

  45. lindsay
    22 November 2008 at 7:44 pm

    I agree with Sam. If you want someone who is controversial and not afraid to appear non-pc, then Roshan Doug is your man. As a columnist he is something else and has certainly made me take notice. And… I read his poetry collection about 9/11. I was impressed how lyrical and moving it was… nothing like his columns!

  46. Topher W
    22 November 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Gavin, of Autoglass Windscreen repair advert fame. What a man.

  47. James
    23 November 2008 at 5:51 am

    Joohnnnyyyyy Dooooom.

    What a legend.


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