ALLAN Beswick has been a radio broadcaster for more than 30 years, the past 20 of which he has presented a daily programme on BBC Radio Manchester.

His 'no nonsense - tell it like it is' style has won him a legion of fans, not least during his time at Red Rose Radio where he created a legendary late-night phone-in programme that is talked about to this day.

On North West Tonight he presented the eponymous 'Beswick's Beat' for about five years before, as he puts it, 'Getting sick and tired of all the nonsense that goes with telly'.

We put some questions to him ahead of his one-man show to Thwaites Empire Theatre on Thursday, March 6.

Do you consider yourself Lancastrian?

I do indeed consider myself Lancastrian and although it would be ludicrous to be proud of something in which I did not have a hand I am glad to be a person who feels 'at home' in the North West.

What do you think makes Lancashire special?

Lancashire is what it is because of the people; like post industrial communities everywhere they are living through challenging times but seem to have retained a sense of common identity, a sense of belonging rather than simply living.

When did you first start speaking your mind?

I cannot remember a time when I did not speak my mind; my mother tried to beat it out of me but with no noticeable success.

What other jobs have you had?

Apprentice electrician, soldier, psychiatric nurse, bus driver and Citizens Advice manager.

How have those jobs helped you be a success in what you do?

Without the experiences of our past none of us would be who we are, that applies to the Queen, the refuse collector and a little fat red broadcaster.

Are you a typical redhead?

If you mean am I bad tempered - p*$£ off and mind your own business.

Weren't you nominated for a Mr Manchester award once? What was that all about?

I was, and I have no idea what it was. I was also made something or other by the Lord Mayor but again I am not sure what it means although the cops were a bit miffed when I drove a flock of sheep across Albert Square. I'm not big with awards, I'm afraid I can't get out of my mind the thought that awards are like piles; sooner or later every bum gets one.

What was different about what you did on Red Rose?

At the time the two big names in late night phone-ins were James Stannage and James Whale. My name is not James but also they tended to be right wing, crabby and not that funny; I was left wing, crabby and occasionally mildly humorous. Phone-in presenters should be as pompous as is necessary, arrogant enough to think that anybody cares a stuff for what they have to say and sensible enough to remember that they are just another lucky dog getting paid for knowing nowt and saying plenty.

What are your most memorable broadcasting moments?

My favourite caller is hard to pick, there are so many to choose from but I did like the bloke who rang in to complain after I suggested that to reduce the number of unwanted pets, pet shop owners should take a deposit equal to one week's food costs on any pet a person wished to buy and then hold that pet for a week. When the purchaser returned in a week he took the pet and no one was harmed, if he did not return then the pet shop owner had lost nothing. The caller's complaint was that he had adopted this policy in his tadpole business but by the time the purchase came back a week later they were frogs and the bloke didn't want them. Brilliant! Lateral thinking at is best and its barmiest. The great thing about phone ins is that all human life is there but it is often surpassed by the not quite fully all there human life.

  • For tickets call the box office at the Thwaites Theatre on 01254 680137.