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McCarthy was a decorator, washing-machine salesman and dog-breeder before joining BBC Radio Nottingham shortly after it opened in 1968, following an interview about taking part in the Crufts dog show that caught the attention of station bosses.
The Sunday Show presented with his daughter Tara, now a barrister, attracted one-in-six of the Nottinghamshire population as listeners.
During almost three decades his interviewees included show business figures and politicians, including six Prime Ministers. For BBC Radio 4 he contributed features and interviews. He was a reporter for the BBC on East Midlands TV.
He was made an MBE for services to broadcasting in 1991. He created books linked to his programmes and his love of dogs.
Taken ill on air, McCarthy insisted on finishing the programme, dying the same day at his home in Bingham. As his funeral procession travelled towards Nottingham Cathedral, traffic in the city centre stopped with crowds six deep in places.
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