WHEN it comes to North-East radio, few have as much local flavour as Paul Gough.
Goffy, as he is affectionately known, has been on our airwaves since the days of Century Radio when it was launched in the early 1990s.
Following a brief hiatus, he returned to BBC Tees for a Saturday lunchtime slot four years ago. It’s become so engrained in the region’s psyche he now has a second show the following day, filling the Sunday lunchtime slot (12/ 2pm), recently vacated by Ken Snowdon in March.
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Even though the experienced presenter has been involved in staging many high profile events at home and around the country, being live on air and broadcasting to the region of his birth still gives him the biggest of thrills.
“Nothing beats that adrenalin rush just ahead of going on air and taking control of the station,’’ said Goffy.
“I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to be on air across the weekend, BBC Tees is a fantastic local station and the bonus is that we are urged to talk local - all my links are relevant to this area.
“I love getting out to local clubs, football, events - and report back to my listeners. It could be seeing people struggle with the cobbles on Yarm High Street after a few drinks on a Saturday night, or scrambling for the bargains on 'Doggy Market'- it's the stuff that people can associate with.’’
Goffy was given his radio break on Century Radio when the station went on air in September 1994.
The novice presenter was quickly taking over the breakfast show from John Morgan – who also doubled up as station MD under his real name John Myers.
“Those were unforgettable days and a brilliant time to be on the radio,’’ recalled Gough. “All our football clubs were doing so well.
“Bryan Robson was on a roll at Boro, likewise Peter Reid at Sunderland , Sir Bobby at Newcastle, Chris Turner at Pools and David Hodgson at Darlington. We had the Three Legends on the radio later in the day.
“It was so vibrant that we were stacking up callers for their show almost as soon as the day would break following the weekend games - it was before social media took off, which then gave people instant access to air their views.
“The station was loaded with a 50 / 50 ratio of speech and music, so we had to ditch the music and talk for half of each day… listeners loved it!
“We were taught by two cracking broadcasters and gifted programmers in John Myers and John Simons to get close to the listeners.
“The two John's had been part of the commercial station Radio Tees in Stockton during its golden period in the 70s and 80s and knew exactly how to tackle the listening audience on this patch. they shook up the opposition with their off-beat marketing, and just told us to get on air, not to be afraid to make mistakes, and most importantly have fun, smile and enjoy!’’
He added: “BBC Tees has that great connection to this day with local presenters like John Foster, Gary Philipson, Bob Fischer, Neil Green and Amy Oakden all born around the doors here and connecting with their audience daily about the things that they do and see.
“That is why I enjoy being part of the team, and having the best fun ever on air, and the strong local connections are the reason people tune in.
“BBC Tees has a prominent location here and gets behind people, including those that need support in the area, events and backs our local sport and I really love that.''
The lifelong Hartlepool fan also runs a successful media company 'Goffy Media' and regularly takes to the stage to host 'An Evening With...' events.
Goffy, regularly hosts evenings with Bryan Robson and Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson, while recently adding England legend John Barnes and Stockton-born Stephen Tompkinson and TV star Denise Welch to his event list.
This month he is with Tomlinson at Belle Vue, Hartlepool April 13 and Coxlodge, Gosforth April, 27th.
'Goffy at the Weekend' is on BBC Tees Saturday and Sunday lunchtime 12/ 2 pm on 95FM and DAB digital radio.