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Dennis McCarthy MBE

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  • Dennis McCarthy MBE

    Not many people would have heard of him, but Dennis was such a legend in the East Midlands, especially in Nottinghamshire. Washing machine salesman, painter and decorator, dog breeder, and yes, radio presenter, who could give David Frost a run for his money by interviewing Prime Ministers on air as well - clips were used in "Guess the Voice" competitions many years later.

    For 20 years he graced weekday afternoons with his Afternoon Special programme on BBC Radio Nottingham which was so popular that he was also heard in Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire as well. Cue Tony Osborne Sound's Sunspots, opening the programme at 2.05 pm on the dot.

    And he was probably also the main reason why people stayed away from church on Sunday mornings (cue an unidentified version of Birthday Cakewalk as its theme tune), and listened to his Nottinghamshire only show with daughter Tara with a record and some jokes - the Christmas cracker variety of course.

    As the Sunday lunch cooked in the oven, Dennis invited listeners to play Family Jackpot, or even participate in Wanted Column of the Air; Giveaway or (with a nod to Noel Edmonds), Swap Shop, by ringing Nottingham 415161.

    I remember someone from my school took part in Junior Jackpot or whatever that was called. The Head of Year at my school happened to be listening one Sunday morning, and in an assembly the following week, she was mentioned by him in front of the 350 others in the school hall.

    In January 1996 he came on air unwell and insisted that he completed his final programme, but he got worse and he died later on that day.

    A week later so many people lined the streets of Nottingham when his hearse went by on the way to the church - it was almost like a state funeral.

    I know that I mentioned him briefly in other threads, but does anyone remember Dennis, especially those in the East Midlands? He was a legend and a one off.
    I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
    There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
    I'm having so much fun
    My lucky number's one
    Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!