FOR 11 years he was one of the most recognisable voices on Radio One.

Millions of music fans would tune in every day to hear the jingle “Woo Gary Davies” knowing that the best music from the Eighties would be coming their way over the next three hours.

The Bolton News: Gary Davies

As well as the lunchtime show Gary was also a regular presenter on Top of the Pops, his career which ran from 1982 to 1993 effectively spanning one of the richest musical periods of them all.

He later joined commercial radio before returning to the BBC in 2017 hosting Sounds of the 80s.

Next Friday Gary will be leaving the studio behind to be part of the Blackpool Tower Live Weekender. He will be bringing his Sounds of the 80s show to life with a special guest performance from Then Jerico’s Mark Shaw.

The concept brings back memories of the old Radio One Roadshow.

“Thy really were part of the British summer,” said Gary. “People would book their holidays around where the roadshow was going to be. If you holidayed in the UK back then, the chances are you’d catch one of the roadshows.

“They were a lot of fun but also really hard work but I loved doing them. Because I started out as DJ in the clubs, I was used to having a crowd although with the Radio One Roadshow, that crowd was on a totally different scale - you’d get thousands of people there.

“But working in the nightclubs taught me how to work with a live audience. I used to adore it. When I was at Radio One I’d usually volunteer to do two weeks as opposed to everyone else would do one.”

Gary’s love of music began at an early age although his DJ career came about almost by accident.

“My cousins had run the Twisted Wheel club in Manchester which was a legendary all-night venue,” he said. “It didn’t have a licence but would attract all these amazing names such as Rod Stewart, Rufus Thomas and Junior Walker.

“When I was about five or six for my birthday rather than socks or hankies they’d buy me the top 10 singles. I wish I’d kept them all.

“After the Twisted Wheel close they opened the Placemate Club in the same venue and when I was about 17 they offered me a part-time job on the door collecting the money which I did. I’d also fill in if one of the bar staff was off and did this for a couple of years.

The Bolton News: Gary Davies

“One night one of the DJs was sick. The club had three rooms playing different types of music and he was in the soul room. I just said I’d stand in even though I’d never DJ’d before.

“But from that moment on I was hooked and I’d DJ quite regularly from then on.”

During the day when the club was closed Gary would go in and put together audition tapes to send off to radio stations and this led to him getting taken on by Piccadilly Radio in Manchester and ultimately Radio One.

It was a period which has left an indelible mark on so many music lovers.

“I don’t think there’s ever been decade which had the sheer variety you had in the 80s,” said Gary. “Also so many new genres broke through in that time from electronic music, the New Romantics, hip hop and rap, house music on which dance music today is based.

“Then there were the iconic rock groups like Bon Jovi And Def Leppard; so many super groups like Queen, Genesis, Duran Duran, many of whom are still going today plus there were the absolute megastars like Madonna, Whitney and Prince. In and among all this you also had some pop music from Stock Aitken and Waterman

“In terms of so many different genres all happening at the same time, many of which are still so relevant today, it really was a very special decade.”

It is these songs which Gary will be bringing to Blackpool next week,

“It’s my show so I can play what the heck I like which is great fun,” he said. “The show can go in all sorts of different directions but it’s all geared up to people having a great time.

“What I play all depends on how I’m feeling and what the crowd is like on the day. You can feel the crowd the second you walk on stage and know what they are going to like. I can promise you that you won’t stop dancing for three hours. I promise you iconic song after iconic song.”

The Weekender is a great chance for Gary to connect with his fans.

“It’s great to hear how you became part of their life which is very easy to take for granted when you are in the studio and not seeing anyone.

“So many times people come up and say they remember when I first played a certain record. It’s nice to be part of those memories.”

As well as his regular radio shows, Gary is also still involved in music publishing and discovering new artists.

The Bolton News: Gary Davies

“I’ve always been driven by music and I still am,” he confessed. “I still get really excited when I hear new songs today. There is always something new waiting for you to hear it.”

And yes, he still regularly hears the ‘Woo Gary Davies’ chants - originally taken from a single by the band the Kane Gang and adapted into his Radio One jingle.

“I find it the biggest compliment when people do that,” he said. “I’m very flattered when I get a ‘woo Gary Davies!”

Gary Davies presents Sounds of the 80s Live at Blackpool Tower Ballroom, Friday, May 24. The Tower Weekender also sees Jo Whiley’s 90s Anthems next Saturday and The Brand New Heavies next Sunday. Details from