When I was 14 or 15 and should have been doing my homework I was always listening to the radio instead. When I heard Craig on what was then KFM, a pirate radio station in Stockport, it was the first time I had heard a radio show that was funny as well as playing good music.
The station became Signal Cheshire and I ended up working there doing traffic and travel reports, but I would still go home and listen to Craig. A lot of the muso shows would talk about what type of guitar strings the bands were using but Craig would have real conversations with them. He was great at spotting the minutiae of life and making them funny in a way that everyone can relate to.
When you first start you're told to conform to everything else that is going on and I think I would have been a cheesy local radio DJ had it not been for Craig. He was a really big influence on my style. He was also great for my self-confidence and he was always pleading my case at work, where I was on £20 a show because I was young while the other DJs were on £50.
We both got fired around Christmas 1994. Craig was writing for The Mrs Merton Show and that was just taking off. I was on the dole but he took pity on me and gave me a job. I was completely surplus to requirements, fetching Asti Spumante and Benson & Hedges.
Craig met Pete Mitchell in the pub, introduced us and we ended up working together on air as Pete & Geoff for 10 years. The show I've chosen to do now is because of how I felt when I used to listen to Craig's show - like you're in a little club listening to it.
He hasn't done any radio since Signal and it's such a shame. I would have loved people to have heard that show because Craig was very much my John Peel. I can't think of a radio station now that would let Craig do what he did so well: play a Sonic Youth record followed by Frank Sinatra followed by a local band and then Bob Dylan.
'The Geoff Show' is on Virgin Radio 105.8FM in London and 1215MW nationwide, Monday to Thursday, 8pmReuse content