RED tape has stalled the return of a popular sporting phone-in show on community radio.
The Legends show – hosted by Toon supremo Malcolm “Supermac” Macdonald, former Sunderland star Micky Horswill and one-time Boro forward Bernie Slaven – was taken off air by Real Radio last week after 14 years of exchanging sporting opinions and news with fans.
But the trio were snapped up days later by Koast Radio, a community station based in Morpeth, Northumberland.
Station manager Vicky Oakley said they were more than happy to offer their services free of charge, such is their depth of passion for football and devotion to their listeners.
It was hoped the Legends would be on air from the middle of the month to coincide with the start of the new football season, broadcasting every week night at 6pm.
However, the first broadcast of The Legends on Koast Radio cannot go ahead until October – three months after Real Radio pulled the plug – due to watertight severance contracts issued to Malcolm MacDonald and Micky Horswill.
Bernie Slaven was the lone voice of The Legends speaking at a press conference called yesterday to officially announce the move.
He has lost his severance pay from Real Radio, who claimed he breached his contract by discussing the axing of The Legends in a newspaper column.
Bernie told of his shock at learning the station had ended the show and how important he feels a football phone-in show is to people around the North East.
He said: “I’d been to Australia and when I returned I was told my contract had been terminated and it was a big shock.
“I had a feeling it would happen but in a few months’ time.
“After being involved in the biggest talk show, I thought it was important to keep it going for the local community, so I’m grateful to Vicky for giving me a platform to try and continue.
“The show is a lifeline for people who are housebound, for those who are blind.”