Name a more iconic duo than Alan Brazil and breakfast. We’ll wait.
One of the most recognisable voices on radio turns 60 on Saturday, and during two eventful careers, the big man has seen it all.
Such is his fame on the airwaves, it’s easy to forget he was once pretty good at football.
Ipswich fans will certainly remember the curly-haired forward of the early 80s, who bagged 80 goals for the club and helped them to UEFA Cup glory in 1981.
Tottenham and Manchester United fans are less likely to remember, as persistent back injuries plagued the latter stages of Brazil’s career and forced him to retire at 27.
But while he admits to paying a price for his playing career, he wouldn’t change it for the world.
“I had great times,” he said. “I finished when I was 27 with degenerative changes of the spine – which is basically wear and tear. My two discs went and it gave me a lot of trouble.
“I’m not too bad at the moment, but once you get to 60, the knees are gone!
“So I need to have two replacement knees because I don’t have any cartilage in them.
“I’m afraid football does catch up with you, but I wouldn’t swap it for anything. I loved my time playing.”
While retirement usually signals the end, it sparked the beginning of something quite special for Brazil.
He’s hosted the Sports Breakfast show since talkSPORT was launched in 2000 – and even did some bits for sister station, talkRADIO, beforehand.
“I’ve also loved this career in the media,” he added. “I remember the first Thursday night. I did talkRADIO on Oxford Street. It was a two-hour show, 7pm until 9pm.
“There was no way under the sun that I thought I’d have a career in radio.”
With a change of career came a change in appearance – and you won’t be surprised to learn that Brazil likes a drink.
What might surprise you, however, is that he’s somehow managed to balance his lively social life with 6am starts for nearly 20 years.
“Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I hit peaks and troughs,” he continued.
“You never know how your body’s going to react, you’ve got to be careful. I’m not exactly the best person at living, I get bored very easily on my own.
“I like people’s company and I like going out, sometimes straight after the show.”
His outgoing persona extends outside the studio – and often into the pub.
But, as he reaches the grand old age of 60, is he beginning to mellow out?
“No,” he said. “I should, my wife says I’m getting worse!”
However, the Scot is keen to clear certain things up around his boozy reputation.
“I’m not out all the time,” he added. “I can go back to Suffolk and watch movies or watch box sets. I mix my life up.
“The stories seem to be around boozing after football games or long lunches. I’m pretty good, to be honest. I know what I’m doing.
“Sometimes I overdo it, but I don’t think you could do this job if you were misbehaving all the time.”
It’s his combination of fun and commitment to radio which makes him such a popular figure.
As he looks back on his memories at talkSPORT, he recalls getting on a plane in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 to do the Breakfast Show live from New York.
“There was this BA flight that wouldn’t fly out of Heathrow. No one would get on it,” he said.
“I told Mike Parry, ‘This is ridiculous, let’s get on this plane and do a show from New York’. And we did.
“There have been so many memories. But I think the best bit is about who you meet, who you work with, the different characters.
“Sometimes you can leave here at 10 and you’re tired. Other times you leave on a high.
“Sometimes you walk out with a free day and say, ‘Let’s go and have an early lunch’, and you have some great fun.”
Looking forward, Brazil has no plans for life after talkSPORT.
“I don’t know how long I can keep going doing breakfast. Maybe I could cut down and do weekends. My body will tell me,” he added.
“Sixty is a rare old age and I just don’t know where the years have gone.
“Twenty years now doing the Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT and it’s just flown by.
“People always say that when you hit 30, time goes quicker. I thought that can’t be true – but it is. I look back and I think, ‘Where have 60 years gone?’”
But one thing’s for sure – he’s booked Monday off and knows exactly what he won’t be doing.
“I’ve got a long weekend to get over with first and I’ve got a feeling on Monday I won’t be getting out of bed too early!”
Alan Brazil hosts the Sports Breakfast show on talkSPORT every weekday from 6am-10am