BBC Radio 5 Live podcast Gangster returns for new series

The latest series of the hit podcast Gangster is about the murder of a man dubbed ‘the North East’s hardest doorman’, 30 years on.

From BBC 5 Live, the podcast series tells the dramatic story of the rise and fall of an enforcer who ran a protection empire which dominated Tyneside’s pubs and clubs.

Host of the six-part series, investigative journalist Livvy Haydock, takes listeners on a journey across the North-East’s criminal underworld of violence, drugs and ultimately, murder.

Viv Graham was a 17-stone man with a reputation to match his imposing physique.  He used violence to control the doors of Newcastle’s pubs and clubs.

The dad of four was shot dead on New Years Eve of 1993, after leaving a pub in the Tyneside town of Wallsend. No one has ever been brought to justice for the murder and the killing remains one of the North East’s most notorious unsolved crimes.

Livvy Haydock describes Viv Graham’s life, from a sleepy village in the country, to the boxing ring and beyond. She talks to his family, friends and former associates, to build a picture of a man who was feared and revered in equal measure.

He had a number of enemies, but also friends in high places including former footballer Paul Gascoigne who was left devastated from his murder.

Speaking of the podcast, Livvy Haydock said: “In this series I’ve delved into the notorious life and brutal death of Viv Graham.

“I wanted to know how a charming young boy from a village in the sticks grew to become one of the most feared enforcers in the country – ruling over Tyneside’s nightlife with an iron fist.

“How did he do it? What made him stand out? And who was Viv Graham really?  What I uncovered was an incredible story of brutal violence, drugs, guns, love, loyalty, and betrayal.”

Episodes one and two of Gangster: The story of Viv Graham will be available to hear on BBC Sounds from Friday 24 May, with two episodes releasing weekly.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

You might also like