HE has one of the most recognisable voices on radio – and it was shaped here in Warrington.

Former Padgate campus of the University of Chester student Dave Vitty, better known as ‘Comedy Dave’ from BBC Radio 1’s flagship breakfast programme The Chris Moyles Show, returned to his former place of study to play a gig for current students and catch up with some of his former lecturers.

He met up with radio production lecturer Dave Grimshaw in the Farmers’ Arms, on Fearnhead Lane, where he reminisced about his time at the Warrington campus.

The 37-year-old graduated with a degree in media and business studies in 1995.

He said: “I had a really good time studying here. I just remember that we had such a laugh. I don’t know if it was any different from any other year but we had a great crop of characters.

“Because it was a small campus on the outskirts of town, we had to make our own entertainment and as such you got to know people really well.

“When we did go into town we went to all the usual places The Barley Mow, Postern Gate, Tut ‘n’ Shive, Mr Smith’s.”

He added: “I knew that I wanted to do media studies but I didn’t really know what area I wanted to go into, so the course that I took was brilliant as you got a bit of a taste of everything whether it was TV, radio or print.

“The course gave me a great overview of the basics and it certainly helped launch me to where I am today.

“Growing up I never enjoyed doing exams and I was never the biggest fan of education but considering that I needed to go into higher education to get to where I wanted to be, I have always said if I had the chance again, I would come back and do it exactly the same way.”

While he spent his first and third year in halls on campus, he and his four best friends spent their second year living at 22 Leicester Street, Bewsey.

He said: “There were five of us who lived together.

“We rented a house off Lovely Lane just up from The Mad Hatter pub. It wasn’t traditional student territory but it was a great experience.

“We got on really well with everyone there; our neighbours were great and we had a brilliant time.

“Five of us who met at university still keep in touch and we meet up at least once a year. We’re now dotted all around the country but we always make a point of meeting up. We’ve all been to each other’s respective weddings and we’ve all got kids. I knew even after leaving here many, many years ago that we’d all keep in touch.”

His former lecturer, Dave Grimshaw said: “We spent a few hours chatting in the evening before he went on stage at the Students’ Union. I’d heard a bit of how student Dave Vitty met Chris Moyles and became ‘Comedy Dave’ on Radio 1 but it was great to get the full story directly from him.

“It’s good to know that his degree from here did help him on his way to media success.”

THE same weekend saw another reason to celebrate for students.

A team of student barrel rollers, from both the Chester and Warrington campuses, were welcomed back after a gruelling 13-hour day of pushing an empty Guinness barrel from the docks at Liverpool to Warrington.

The group had collected the barrel from the gates of the Guinness Brewery, James Street in Dublin the day before and rolled it to campus to raise money for Chester TWIN, a registered charity associated with the university which has been working with partners for two decades to improve the health of people across the world.

The idea came from Warrington campus bar manager Dominic McGowan, who discovered a plaque marking the original 1960 barrel roll by former students during a recent refurbishment of the bar.

The group rolled the barrel through Dublin and the next day across Liverpool with them taking it in turns in relays of two to push it all the way to Warrington.

SU Warrington vice-president Sam Wright said: “The event was a huge success with 28 different barrel rollers taking part along the route.

“The hardest part was definitely the last two to three miles as everyone was tired and our legs were worn out!

“The most enjoyable part was walking the route in the sunshine with everyone having a good laugh and chipping in.”