Liam McGough is a polite Tree Surgeon and Storyteller who grew up in Durham in the North-East of England. His mum's impression of a peacock was the only thing that would get him out of the local woods. Liam could climb all trees and most garage roofs which allowed him to reacquaint balls with their owners. Liam is a good friend to have.

A career with trees was a given, but his consummate ability to 'be himself' allowed him to experience something different when he landed himself a spot in Channel 4's Big Brother 8 where he spent 77 days with up to 22 other housemates. He earned £30 per day, podiumed, won £100k and met some people that are still good friends today.

Life in the 5 years that followed Big Brother was spent making personal appearances where his only rider was his own Instant Ready vodka and red wine cocktail. When Liam woke up he went back to his trees and now he's going to combine his experience of Trees and Documentaries and make documentaries about trees. It makes good sense to me.

I liked Liam. I just spoke to him whilst writing this. He's in Cornwall with his brother and his Dad. l like Liam's confidence and his consideration. I hope you do too.

Show Notes

Our conversation with Liam covered many topics. He talked openly about:
  • Growing up thinking he was the dumb one
  • Failing all his GCSE's 
  • Thinking he has undiagnosed dyslexia
  • Finding confidence in his quick-wittedness and his climbing ability 
  • Deciding to study climbing trees because he was already good at that
  • Feeling part stupid, part genius
  • His talent for doing dickish things, just to see a person's reaction
  • Telling himself "don't be nervous because your brain will cope when the time comes"
  • His preference for enduring the feeling of being afraid than being someone who couldn't do things
  • Telling people he can do things and then works out how to do it
  • Not celebrating early. He waits until the job is done and he's home.
  • Getting  into trouble on the first day of everything and puts it down to being over-excited
  • Being a bit of a show-off and his six months working on the stage at the Blaydon Races Bar in Tenerife
  • His spell working in customer services as a stepping stone to Big Brother
  • His confidence that he would be chosen to appear on Big Brother 6 in 2005
  • His Mum's Multiple Sclerosis as a reason for auditioning for Big Brother
  • Being turned down for Big Brother 6 and not knowing why
  • Why it's important to be the best version of yourself, you can be
  • His last-minute application for Big Brother 8, his invitation to take part and his last-minute rejection
  • What it's like to be chopping trees when you're meant to be live on Big Brother 
  • Two weeks into BB8, finding yourself in Chris Tarrant's dressing room waiting to go in
  • Enjoying Big Brother because he wasn't at work
  • What it's like, after 6 days in the house, to be voted by housemates as the person to receive £100k no strings attached
  • Being motivated by experiences, not money and why the £100k prize didn't cause the controversy it was designed to cause
  • His attitude of a no, only being a no today and feeling that something might happen tomorrow
  • Seeing his brother and Dad as he came out of the Big Brother house 
  • His Dad's ability to bring him back down to earth
  • The first of 600 personal appearances at a Glasgow student union and why red wine and vodka is essential
  • Why it's important to share the experience with friends
  • Why he didn't buy into the fake girlfriend's scene
  • Shutting down the Metro Centre
  • The low point where he feels numb and is pretending to be busy and okay
  • Moving to London and the relative obscurity 
  • Giving stand-up comedy a go and believing he can do anything if he's motivated enough
  • Auditioning for Billy Elliott when he can't dance    

Liam McGough - The Tree Guy
Big Brother 8 - Wikipedia
Liam in action on Big Brother 8 


Creators & Guests

Neil Witten
Entrepreneur, Business Advisor, Podcaster @lifedonediff, Co-Founded @StoryStreamAI now building & You only get 1 go, live consciously 🏂
Ray Richards
Converting small steps into the unknown, into the known
Home of the podcast. Inspiring interviews with people who go against the grain & live their lives differently. @nwitten & @rayrich

What is

Do you wonder whether there’s another way?
Another, more creative, more meaningful approach to living your life. Well there is and there’s a growing movement of people from all kinds of walks of life who are proving that the way we end up doing what we do in life is often a side effect of external forces. Rather than a deliberate, conscious and authentic set of choices that have come from you and your unique needs. What are you chasing? Success? Safety? Fame? Fortune? Recognition?
Have you stopped to think recently why you’re doing what your doing with your life? Are the stories that you're creating today the ones that you hope your grandchildren will be telling to their children? Are you creating your legacy?