Chiswick the Toast of the Nation

BBC 6 Music DJ Shaun Keaveny features W4 in new book

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Shaun Keavney


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Chiswick is being celebrated in a new book by BBC 6 Music DJ Shaun Keaveny, Toast the Nation in which members of the public sing the praises of the area in which they live. When he started the Toast the Nation on his Breakfast show in 2007, Shaun wanted to celebrate the humbler achievements of the places we know and love, the top facts, the personalities who have called it home and the music connected to the area.

Each place celebrated in Toast the Nation is nominated by someone who lives there - and Chiswick is championed by Mary Sweeney. In the Chiswick chapter, we are told, for example, that the town's name is of Old English origin and means 'Cheese Farm', that in 2007 it was named the eighth most expensive place to live in the UK plus Chiswick's unsung role as the backdrop for music videos by the likes of The Beatles, Dizzee Rascal and The Streets. Local heroes include Ant and Dec, William Hogarth and Bill Bailey (Hammersmith surely?).

Other 'facts' that we learn in the book are that Clitheroe has the largest pigeons in the UK (although this is heavily disputed by several other towns), Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first agreed to form a band on the platform of Sidcup railway station and Derry entered Guinness Book of World Records in 2007 for the biggest gathering of Santas - 13,000 in the one place.

The book's promoter tell us, 'No matter where you live, there are always reasons to be gosh-darn proud of it. For Shaun Keaveny and the listeners of his BBC 6Music show sometimes these reasons are whimsical, musical, snack based and often factually incorrect. But never mind the latter as the end result is a huge big kiss on both cheeks of the nation and just what we all need to remind ourselves why it’s a good laugh to be British.'

The book, which is entitled 'R2D2 lived in Preston' is due to be published on 19th November and will be available in paperback at £9.99.

November 12, 2010