Jenny Kane: Coffee, cupcakes, chocolate and contemporary fiction / Jennifer Ash: Medieval crime with hints of Ellis Peters and Robin Hood

Tag: Jason Connery

The Hooded Man 3: A different angle

Unusually for me, when it came to writing this round up of the weekend just past, I have been puzzling over a blank page.

The reason for this is clear – I’m still in the ‘coming down from a high’ zone. I’m not alone in this. Facebook this week is full of my fellow Hooded Man Event attendees suffering from post-event blues.

If ever there was a mark of an event’s success, it’s that people feel slightly bereft when it’s over- a bereavement that is undercut with happy hope – and the reassurance that in 2 years time it will all happen again.

Anyone who follows this blog cannot have failed to notice that I am fond of anything and everything to do with Robin Hood. Again, I’m not alone- especially when it comes to folk who are devoted to the 1980’s television show, Robin of Sherwood.

The Hooded Man 3 (HM3), was held in Gloucester this weekend just past. It was a two day celebration of Robin of Sherwood. It doesn’t matter that the show hasn’t aired for over 30 years- the loyalty of the fans is absolute- the friendship between the cast members is clear to see- and the atmosphere that buzzed around the hotel venue was 100% positive and happy.A great deal was going on- autographs were being signed, photos were taken, Bowlore performed incredible shows within their tented medieval stronghold, and talks were held….I however, can’t really tell you about these things. I saw the HM3 from a different perspective.This was my second adventure as a stall holder at a HM event. Last time was fabulous- I only had one book to sell (Romancing Robin Hood), and so had lots of time to wander around, chat to the cast, and meet lots of people.

This time…wow!!

So, let me back track a little.

In 2016 I was lucky enough to be invited to sell Romancing Robin Hood at the HM2 event by the lovely Barnaby Eaton-Jones (organiser and all round hardworking guy). As I mentioned above it was just fantastic. (The blog I wrote after the event is still available here if you want to take a peep) A week after that event I had an even bigger stroke of luck- I was invited to attend the premiere of the very first Robin of Sherwood audio revival- The Knights of the Apocalypse- in London.

I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the moment when Barnaby and fellow audio write, Iain Meadows, began to consider putting together a short series of Robin of Sherwood audio stories, to be narrated by the original cast.  It was also that moment when- again unknown to me- I was being considered as a writer for one of these stories.To cut a long story short- 2 years later, here I am having written three different Robin of Sherwood audios. The Waterford Boy (narrated by Judi Trott a.k.a Maid Marion), Mathilda’s Legacy (narrated by Michael Craig a.k.a Earl of Huntingdon), and the forthcoming The Baron’s Daughter, which will be a full cast read story.

One of the highlights of HM3 was signing this script for a fan of the show, and chatting to Judi about the recording of the audio story. Judi did such a good job of reading my story, I was amazed to discover how nervous she’d been about doing it. As a writer for the show (still in shock about that to be honest) I was allowed to go into the green room with all the cast and crew, I took part in a panel, and had photographs taken with the cast. However, I was so busy on my stall that I never did get into the green room to chat to the cast between events. This is NOT a complaint. I had a ball talking to everyone as they came by my book stall to talk about Robin of Sherwood and the influence it had on my work- especially Romancing Robin Hood- and how that novel has now spun off into The Folville Chronicles series.I sold out of The Winter Outlaw on day one, and by the end of day two, my stall was more of a place to come and say hello, than a place from which to buy things! It was just wonderful.There were plenty of other things to see and buy, including the real Albion from series 2 and 3, Herne himself stood proudly over us, and RoS inspired gifts and DVD’s were available.  An auction of original Robin of Sherwood merchandise made a small fortune for charity- and the banquet and after event disco and bar chatter went onto 3am! On the Sunday- while the world was ever so slightly the worse for drink and lack of sleep- I was privileged enough to take part on a panel about the audio books. In the company of producer, Barnaby Eaton Jones, fellow writer, Tony Lees, the brilliant Alex and Verity who provided the ‘Clannad-ish’ music for the new series, and the amazing Nickolas Grace (a.k.a the Sheriff of Nottingham), we shared our thoughts and experiences of what it is like to write for a show that aired when we were children.

To sit there, in a packed room, looking at the people I was writing for- the very same people I have a horror of letting down with my words- I felt humbled to be part of something so special and so popular. When Nickolas Grace began to speak about how much the show means to the cast, and how he wanted to do as many audios as he could…the lumps in our throats grew as tears formed in the great man’s eyes. A moving moment indeed.The overriding theme for the weekend however, has to be the laughter and the smiles- of which there were many.

On a personal note I’d like to thank Lesley and Michael for being there for me- and to every single person who said kind things about my work.

Roll on HM4 – just give us all a chance to recover first- there are audio stories to make…

Happy reading- and listening!

Jennifer xxx

PS. I’d better crack on with Book 3!!!






Robin of Sherwood: Audio Order Time!

Quick reminder that the audio programme makers Spiteful Puppet are now taking pre-orders for 4 brand-new adventures of Robin of Sherwood on audio, with the return of the original cast and – even more excitedly – both Robins. Yes, Michael Praed is returning to the role of Robin of Loxley in two stories and Jason Connery comes back as Robert of Huntingdon in the other two stories.


As with last year’s audio production, work cannot go ahead with a large number of pre-orders to fund production. Spiteful Puppet are now approximately 100 orders away from doing that, with a deadline of the end of February. If we don’t manage to hit the target by then, then I’m afraid we have to halt production and refund all orders!!!

DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN!!! You’d make this author a very unhappy soul if it the episodes couldn’t be made. Yes, I am still obsessed with Robin Hood! Just one peep inside my novel, Romancing Robin Hood is enough to confirm that for you!

In case making me happy isn’t enough incentive for you to place your order this very moment- how about this…

…everyone who pre-orders their 4 episodes gets put into a draw to visit one of the recording sessions and there will also be signed scripts available to others!!! I had the sheer luck to be at the premier of last years episode- and it was AWESOME. Being at the actual recording would be even better!!

Sadly, at the current time, Spiteful Puppet can’t take orders for the CDs or the Download if you haven’t got a UK address, due to the complicated and expensive nature of the international rights issues. However, if you can find a fan friend in the UK who will buy it for you, then please do so!

So – here is that all important pre-order link:

If you have any questions re the pre-orders or Robin of Sherwood in general, I’ll be happy to pass them on, or try and answer the queries myself.

Happy listening,

Jenny xx

Review: Knights of the Apocalypse- Robin of Sherwood as you’ve never heard it before

For those of you who follow this blog, or who know me in what is laughingly called “real life,” you won’t be at all surprised to know that I loved the brand new Robin of Sherwood audio episode from the very start.

“But you were bound to love it!” I hear you cry – well no actually. Robin of Sherwood was a formative and important part of my life, and if this production had not done its predecessors justice, I would most certainly have said so.

RoS 2016 KOTA

The Knights of the Apocalypse stars the original cast of Robin of Sherwood, with Jason Connery as Robin, bar the late and much missed Robert Addie and Jon Abineri.

Addie was ably replaced as Guy of Gisborne by Freddie Fox, and the Lord of the Trees himself, Abineri, had his role taken on by his son. His voice is so spookily similar to Herne’s, that it was nigh on impossible to tell father and son apart.

The Knights of the Apocalypse was written after the end of the original series by the creator of Robin of Sherwood, Richard ‘Kip’ Carpenter, but it was never filmed. In tribute to Kip, who died in 2012, every penny in profit from the sales of #KOTA will go to his favourite charities


As I donned my headphones- chocolate and drink to my side- ready to indulge in this two part episode of nostalgic heaven, I will confess to a slight increase in heartbeat as the first few sounds hit my ears.

Hoof beats…fast…through shadows…and there were voices…and then…the theme music! (The original series theme music, provided by Clannad, introduced both episodes) A smile passed over my face that felt just as broad as it did every time I settled down on a Saturday evening at 5.35pm, 30 years ago.

Judi Trott and Nickolas Grace

Judi Trott and Nickolas Grace

Listening with closed eyes throughout, I could hear and see every image. The visuals in my head were conjured by the sounds I heard as crisply as it would have been if I’d been watching on television. It was as if time had stopped and, to quote Alfred Noyes, “…the dead where coming back again, the years had rolled away- in Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day….”

Yet, time hasn’t stopped. 30 years really has passed since we last left Robin and his men without Marion, who’d entered a nunnery in a turmoil at the end of the final televised episode. We have been left on a cliffhanger all that time…until now.

RH- RoS 2

Once Clannad’s theme of ‘Robin…the Hooded Man….’ had faded away, the audio tale begins with Robin giving a role call- yes, all the outlaws are there- even Marion.

I am keen to give no spoilers, and so will hold back from a detailed- or even vague- account of the story. I will say that every cast member was outstanding- that Nasir (played by the ever excellent Mark Ryan), spoke more in these 2 audio episodes than he did in the entire 3 televised shows, and that the show was very much stolen by Nickolas Grace as the Sheriff and Ray Winstone as Will Scarlett- partly because their lines were so clever, and partly because they delivered them with such humour.

Colin Baker and Barnaby

Colin Baker and Barnaby

There was humour, menace, tension, and a wonderful star studded support cast. Michael Craig returned as Robin’s father, the Earl of Huntingdon, and Philp Jackson reprised his role as the Sheriff’s brother, Abbot Hugo. Colin Baker and Anthony Head were superb guest stars. Head really has cornered the market in evil, almost pantomime, villains! It’s the laugh- he just has the evil laugh off to a tee!!

Directed by Robert Young, the original TV director, produced by Barnaby Eaton-Jones,  and put together by the executive producers, Spiteful Puppet Entertainment, who are an award-winning audio production company (BBC Drama Awards, New York Radio Festival); The Knights of the Apocalypse was excellent from start to finish.

There really is only one question left to ask…

When will there be another one?

Oh- and can I help write it/be in it/do something….? OK, so that’s a lot of questions…

If you don’t have your copy yet you can buy one here- and find out my details here –

Happy reading- or in this case- listening, everybody.

Jenny x



Nothing Forgotten: The Hooded Man Event

This weekend I found myself in a situation I never thought I’d be in. Okay- that’s a sentence I’ve said fairly often since I started this writing lark (especially when I’m being that Kay Jaybee person).

This weekend however, it is totally true.

As I type this I am reflecting on two days sat in a room of stall holders within the beautiful St Pierre Marriott Hotel, nr Chepstow. Why so far from home?  I was attending The Hooded Man event- a celebration of the immensely popular television series from the 1980’s- Robin of Sherwood.

You cannot have escaped noticing if you’re a follower of this blog, that I am something of a Robin Hood fan. I like everything about the legend- and that love was engendered by Robin of Sherwood. I don’t claim that it saved my life or anything, but it set my imagination racing off in a direction previously unexplored- and it hasn’t stopped racing since.

I never thought I’d be in a situation where I’d be able to thank some of the people that sparked that flame of interest in me a shy teenager. A spark that took me on a journey which has been both exciting and unexpected, and has taken me from archaeologist, to medieval historian, to novelist, literary festival organiser, writing tutor and, in the future, who knows what else.

So here I am now- a day after the event- in the corner of the cafe where I write my fiction; thinking about the experience of selling my books to the conference attendees. It is incredible how many people I met that feel their lives have been as influenced by the simple act of watching a television programme. And- if I’m honest- feeling oddly emotional that I did have the chance to say thank you- and that my words were appreciated, and not merely kindly tolerated.

This particular event is especially important for RoS fan’s. For the first time in 30 years, all the surviving cast members have reunited to record an audio follow up the final televised episode, which was first televised in 1986. This new episode, The Knights of the Apocalypse, stars Jason Connery as Robin, and has been produced by the lovely Barnaby Eaton-Jones.

With Barnaby Eaton-Jones

With Barnaby Eaton-Jones

It is thanks to Barnaby that I was at the event, surrounded by those men and women who set my life on its roller coaster course. Jason Connery, Michael Praed, Judy Trott, Mark Ryan, Peter Llewellyn Williams, Clive Mantle, Jeremy Bulloch, Claire Toeman, Michael Craig, James Coombes, Rula Lenska and Marcus Gilbert were all present, and correct, and on fine form. As was the incredible force of nature that is Esta Charkham, the programmes casting director and then producer. The woman has a magic eye for casting- thank goodness!

The cast are all so kind, friendly- and very funny. Mark Ryan (Nasir) has had us all in stitches many times with his- shall we say ‘puckish’ sense of humour! This was particularly the case when the cast performed a ‘cut scene’ from the audio show live on the event stage- I can’t tell you what it was about- but the humour was adult, and it was very very funny. I will not mention Mark’s disco dancing, as that would be cruel…. I will tell you however, that we were all treated- all be it 30 years late to witness the wedding of Little John and Meg of Wickham- thanks to vicar Barnaby!

Wedding of Little John and Meg – (Official event photo)

There were many interview sessions held throughout the day, and although I was unable to attend many as I was busy selling my words to unwitting passersby, those I did see were so much fun. Held together by “The last word in RoS himself”- Andrew Orton- (if you are a fan, and you haven’t purchased his two volume set The Hooded Man– then pop them on your Christmas list the very minute), the cast chats were informative and light hearted, and it was clear that every actor, whether they have gone on to be household names, or whether it was their only acting job, have as much affection for the show as those that came to see them.


My book, Romancing Robin Hood, contains the line ‘It’s all Jason Connery’s fault.’ So when Jason came to my stand, those were the first words I (unintentionally), found myself speaking- which luckily, he found funny. Somehow I managed to intrigue him enough for him to buy a copy. It is a weird feeling when a renowned actor and director asks for my autograph. A situation which repeated itself later, when Peter (Much) also bought a copy. I am – of course- now terrified neither of them will like it!! If I had been thinking straight, I would have asked them for a photograph of them holding my book, but I wasn’t thinking straight. In fact I was thinking, these are two extremely kind men, who have a word-ish creatively that I understand totally, and in different circumstances I would have loved to have talked words with them for much longer. (Yes that is what I was thinking!! Honestly- you doubters you!!!)

As well as having the chance to acquire autographs and photos with the stars; there was plenty of opportunity to eat way too much medieval fayre (with the odd drop of alcohol). There were excellent displays of archery and sword play from Bowlore, Andrew Orton was busy selling his much respected books on the background to the series, and there was the chance to buy fabulous event t-shirts. You could also buy these gorgeous little figures inspired by the show; the event had lots to offer.

The days past have been truly wonderful. They have added greatly to my store of memories and- without a doubt- will form the basis for a new story. Trust me- the people watching alone could fuel a trilogy!

I made some lovely new friends, put faces to the names of Facebook friends, and finally caught up with the lovely Jonathan Greene, who is writing the novel version of The Knights of the Apocalypse. Actually- he was sat next to me writing it for most of Sunday- it was soooo hard not too peep!


A final thank you to Barnaby and his delicious wife, Kim.

When Richard ‘Kip’ Carpenter first penned the catchphrase, ‘Nothing’s Forgotten’ for Robin of Sherwood over thirty years ago, I wonder if he had any idea how pertinent those words would become.

Nothings Forgotten. Nothing is ever forgotten.

Jenny x

RH- RoS 2


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