Man of the moment Jon Gaunt gave a special talk in what was to be his first grilling from the future of media since is recent sacking from Talksport at Coventry University.
The controversial Coventrian, who was brought up in Radford, gave an emotional insight into his eventful life to students and the public, which included living in care, being declared bankrupt and maintaining a life-long friendship with Hollywood actor Clive Owen.
‘Gaunty’, as he is better known, seemed unfased and relaxed as he freely discussed his tough up-bringing as a child, something which will live with him for the rest of his life.
“The truth is my dad was a hard-drinking copper, my mum died at Christmas, we went to bed that night, got up in the morning and she had gone. He tried to keep us together. He couldn’t really take over the mothers role.
The thing about care and people don’t understand unless they have been there, is it doesn’t matter whether your in for one day, one month or fifteen years, the damage and the dehumanisation happens from day one.
“You were no longer anyone’s special kid. There was no one to wrap you up at night. There was nobody to ask what you were doing. That’s why I lost my rag with that councillor, he added.”
His recent comments regarding child care have landed himself in trouble and the media guru is also worried that the scandal with the BBC involving Jonathon Ross and Russell Brand, which was a major factor in his controversial dismissal, is having a knock on effect and he is worried it will effect commercial radio in particular.
“It had no comedic value. It should never have been broadcast. What’s happened as a result of that going out is there is a nervousness and its really there in the commercial sector.
There’s a danger. Where’s the new Kenney Everett going to come from? Where’s the next John Gaunt going to come from? Where’s the next person to challenge and push the boundaries? The atmosphere has changed and that’s worrying.”
One thing that is guaranteed not to change is Jon’s outspoken attitude on subjects which he himself has an experience with, an attitude which has cost the Sun columnist his job at Talksport this week.
“I don’t really want the conversation to be about me, I want the conversation to be about children in care, that’s why I lost my temper.
He thought it was wrong to let smokers foster and as far as I’m concerned its much better that children are looked after and given a stable childhood like most of us had, like I had up until the age of eleven or twelve and it doesn’t matter whether they smoke or not.”
The former BBC and Talksport presenters’ future remains unknown. His passion for radio still exists, but a future in TV is something which the larger than life character craves.
“When I was on the radio, you can say what you really thought and get other people to say what they really thought! “
“I’m considering my options, I want to do more TV, I love it and more writing. I think TV is different, it’s a much more collaborative process and it has to be more laid back.”