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Interview Highlights Vol. #1 | The Cyber Den

Since 2014, The Cyber Den has been interviewing countless iconic figures from the world of gaming. This is a collection of the funniest moments from previous radio interviews, feat. Jon St. John (Duke Nukem), Joe Kucan (Kane – Command & Conquer), David Bateson (47 – Hitman) and Paul Eiding (Colonel Campbell – Metal Gear Solid). […]


Paul Arnold & Andrew Barnabas Interview (MediEvil Series Composers) | The Cyber Den

While Siren takes a break from its live shows (for now), that leaves us with plenty of time to revisit some of The Cyber Den’s past interviews. Paul Arnold & Andrew Barnabas, AKA Bob & Barn, are the masterminds behind the soundtrack for the beloved hack ‘n’ slash MediEvil series. Back in February they hopped […]


Aubrey Hodges Interview (Console DOOM & Quake Composer) | The Cyber Den

Aubrey Hodges has composed for well over 250 games in this three decades in the industry, ranging from the Nascar series to the days of Sierra Online games. He’s most famously known for his ambient music and sound design for the console versions of the DOOM & Quake series. Aubrey has a lot of fascinating […]


David Doak Interview (TimeSplitters, Goldeneye 64 & Perfect Dark) – The Cyber Den

Dr. David Doak has worked on critically-acclaimed Nintendo games like Goldeneye 64 & Perfect Dark. He also co-created the beloved TimeSplitters series as part of Free Radical Design. The good doctor was able to pop on The Cyber Den earlier this year to talk about his fascinating career in game development. Special thanks to Connor […]


SquabbleBox: Michelle Franklin & Shantelle Svarc

Written by on 4th February 2016


When I read the story of the women we have on the upcoming episode of SquabbleBox (05.02.16), I really found it quite hard to believe.

When I came across Darkside Training Lincoln, and then the ‘ThisGrannyCan’ campaign, I seriously had to rub my eyes in disbelief that a Grandmother, who has her own dog walking business has taken up power-lifting over the past 12 months, and not only won the British Bench Competition but has also qualified for the Word Championships in May. But the most surprising thing of all is that she lives right on our doorstep here in Lincoln.

Yes that’s right, 50 year old local girl, Michelle Franklin, will be taking her ThisGrannyCan campaign to South Africa in May to compete in the World Championships, however Michelle states on her online blog, ‘Although it’s a competition my only competition has always been myself, me against that barbell.’

So what is Michelle’s secret to her success? Well it seems that this could not have happened without the support and dedication of everyone at Darkside Training Lincoln. As Michelle told us in the pre-show chat when we informed them that we would like to give a segment to each her campaign and Darkside, ‘They kind of go hand in hand!’

So who is our second guest of the week? Well that person is the woman behind Darkside Training, Shantelle Svarc. For those who have not heard of Darkside Training, it is a personal training company ran by Shantelle (based out of Pacific Gym) that aims to change perceptions of femininity, masculinity and health. They’ve had students go on to step up on the professional weight lifting platforms and even one student go on to lift with the RAF.

Shantelle and Michelle arrived to the studio with an air of nervousness. They may be used to stepping up to the platform and lifting heavy weights, but radio interviews are not something they had done before. You cannot tell that this was their first time.

When we read about Michelle’s story, and Shantelle’s ideology for what she wants from her business, inspiring women to get healthy and bring out the confidence she knows they have inside them, we knew instantly that we had to have both ladies on the show to tell their story and hopefully spread the amazing work they have done. The fact that post interview I posted a picture of the two of them in the studio up on Facebook and it instantly became my most liked photo on Facebook shows the huge support that Michelle and Shantelle both have through their work.

In the first segment we talk to Shantelle about Darkside, the background and history of the company, why she started it, and where she wants to take it in the future. Then in the second hour we will be talking to Michelle about her journey, her weight loss, her daily life and her second life as a Great British Powerlifting representative.

Both ladies were exactly what we look for in guests. Warm, kind and utterly inspiring therefore we hope you tune in on Friday and listen.

If you are interested in getting into Powerlifting, or want to try enhance your health, then you can get in touch with Shantelle on Facebook in the link below:

And after listening to the show, if you want to follow Michelle’s journey go to her Facebook blog:

And please donate if you can.

So there is your teaser! If you want to hear the rest of Michelle and Shantelle’s story, tune in to Siren FM at 11am-1pm on Friday for SquabbleBox. If you can’t join us live remember we will be uploading the show to our MixCloud page a few days later.







Blog Written by Kai Valentine
All artwork credits to Phyllis Mahon Illustration /

Reader's opinions
  1. Doreen Beattie   On   6th February 2016 at 1:42 pm

    So enjoyed this interview, and wish Michelle “Good Luck”for the World Championships in South Africa.

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