A POPULAR Birkenhead pub is preparing for its radio debut after having a close shave with a well-known BBC comedian.

Radio and television presenter Mark Steel visited Gallaghers Pub and Barbers on January 7 as part of the latest series of his Radio 4 show, Mark Steel’s in Town.

Birkenhead will be the focus of the stand-up show later this month, exploring its history, inhabitants and unusual locations.

As part of the research and recording of the show, Sue and Franky Gallagher - owners of the Hamilton Square-based pub - were lucky enough to spend a few hours with the BBC star and offer him a glimpse into their pub with a twist.

The pub, which contains a fully functional barber shop as well as the more traditional watering hole features, will play an integral part in the show when it airs on February 5.

“Mark came into the pub a couple of weeks ago when he was doing research on Birkenhead for the show,” explained Sue.

“We were on holiday at the time so didn’t get to meet him but he loved it so much that he came back and said he wanted to include it in his programme.”

Mark spent several hours at the pub, trying out the establishment’s finest ales and grooming experience.

Sue said: “We had a lot of customers in at the time and they were telling him stories and little facts about Birkenhead.

“Franky gave him a shave and I cut his hair – he looked great going out.”

After quenching his thirst at Gallaghers, Mark invited the publicans to take part in the recording of his show at Birkenhead School.

“Myself and Franky had little parts in the show - Franky was asked questions about the pub and I read the shows credits at the end.

“He was speaking about Cammell Laird and how the town has been sort of on a bit of a downer but how he thinks it looks like it’s on its way back up.

“It was great to be a part of it and after the recording the producers and Mark all came back to the pub for a drink.

“We’ve got a little venue upstairs and they were really keen to see that and talked about coming back to do some comedy there.

“The recording at Birkenhead School was about an hour long. The show isn’t that long so hopefully we have survived it.”

The Birkenhead episode of Mark Steel’s in Town airs on BBC Radio 4 at 6.30pm on Wednesday, February 5.