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How do? Allan Beswick signs off on almost five decades on the air

Allan Beswick, courtesy BBC

Mainstay of North West radio Allan Beswick announced his retirement from the airwaves on Saturday night after around five decades as a regular voice across Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

Most recently, Beswick had hosted the weekend late-night phone-in show for BBC Radio Manchester, which was also syndicated across the BBC’s Lancashire and Merseyside stations, although his radio career began on Liverpool’s Radio City in the late 70s when he was a regular guest and advisor on the Dave Lincoln and Friends show, in his capacity as a Citizen’s Advice Bureau worker and trained mental health nurse.

The intervening decades have seen Beswick host shows for Lancashire’s Red Rose Radio, Newcastle’s Metro Radio and Radio 5 Live, as well as a spot on TV as host of the Beswick’s Beat section of the BBC’s North West Tonight.

Beswick’s trademark “How Do?” greeting has been a fixture on BBC Radio Manchester (and its previous incarnations) since the late 80s.

Beswick is not the first much-loved local name to disappear from the airwaves across the North as part of the BBC’s ongoing cuts to local radio services – Radio Merseyside’s Linda McDermott, Radio Newcastle’s Nick Roberts and Radio Humberside’s David Burns are just three other high profile casualties of the cuts.

Beswick was uncharacteristically quiet about his departure, however, keeping the news secret until announcing on his final show on Saturday night that this would indeed be his final show, although he admitted he had known this for some time and “lied to those who had asked him about the programme’s future.

The un-Beswick-like shrinking violet approach could in part be because Beswick apparently isn’t looking for a new employer – he announced his retirement concurrently with bringing down the curtain on the show.

At 75 we can’t really blame him, although he did keep back a caveat for a “multi-millionaire producer from some commercial radio station” bringing him back to the mic.

Listen to Allan Beswick’s sign off here

It’s been quite some stint for Beswick – I called his show myself a couple of times as a youthful thing in the 90s, and was actually usually greeted with a surprisingly positive response to my still-forming outlook on the world from the master of withering put downs.

Perhaps that’s because the 2023 version of me sounds suspiciously like the 80/90s version of Beswick, who described the reason for his success to the Lancashire Telegraph in 2008:

“At the time the two big names in late night phone-ins were James Stannage and James Whale. My name is not James, but they tended to be right wing, crabby and not that funny. I was left wing, crabby and occasionally mildly humorous.”

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