An ex bare-knuckle boxer is letting his mouth do the talking as he sheds light on some of Dundee’s most controversial characters in a new podcast series.
Decca Heggie, a two time British bare-knuckle boxing champion, has never shied away from packing a punch during his career and doesn’t plan on changing his mindset with his new venture.
The former champion and actor is facing a whole new raft of opponents armed with a microphone conducting his “no holds barred interviews”.
An array of guests including Mike Tyson’s former sparring partner, underworld figures and film stars have already shared their stories.
The pair have shared experiences of time in prison, and conflict both home and abroad that has added to their notoriety within Tayside.
Decca said Gary’s time fighting Isis in Kurdistan and George’s shooting in the Cutty Sark had been two reasons to delve into their stories.
The muscle-bound Cumbrian admitted he has not left the boxing world behind entirely as he conducted interviews with the pair for his “The Official All Or Nothing Podcast” in the ring.
“I came up with the name of the podcast whilst scaling Ben Nevis last year. With me it is really all or nothing,” he said.
“The acting work had dried-up with the pandemic. I’d been in a film called ‘The Corrupted’ with Timothy Spall in 2019 amongst a few other projects.
“When I was up at the top of Ben Nevis, I don’t know the best way to describe it but it was like an epiphany that I should start my own podcast series to keep my mind active.”
The 37-year-old’s own back story, which involved battling his own demons with drug addiction and mental health problems, has made him relatable to many of those he interviewed.
He added: “With the podcast series I really wanted to give people a platform to open-up and help others.
“I know in sharing my own battles with mental health it had helped others to speak out and I knew there were many others with inspiring stories that people would be interested in listening to.
“We have spoken with people who have suffered sexual abuse, male bulimia and those who have lived a life of crime.
“There was three names I was given when I was looking into people in Tayside and that was Gary Carroll, George Kerr and George Ferrie.
“When I heard the background into Gary and George’s stories I was interested to get into their heads a little more about the events that had shaped their life.
“The underworld has always interested me and it’s been interesting to speak to people who have been there and done that.
“Living in Montrose I was amazed to hear that we had stories like these guys right on our doorstep.
“There might be some people who think folk who have lived these lives shouldn’t be given a platform.
“I believe these people are entitled to share their stories and the pitfalls, living a life like they have, may lead too.
“Both Gary and George spent time in prison and they both gave a lot of advice during their interviews.
“Gary talked about the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder after experiencing the conflict he’d seen whilst also talking about the suicide rate for those who had served in the forces.
“George’s one is currently being edited and will be released shortly but he spoke about his boxing career and the death of his brother.”
He added: “There is always going to be a small percentage of people who are going to disagree with that but you can’t please everyone.
“We have had a lot of positive feedback though about sharing these stories, Gary’s was released just on Sunday there.”
Given how quickly his series has developed, the former fighter has confirmed he has no plans to throw in the towel once the film industry remerges from the lockdown.
He added: “”I’m amazed just how much the podcast series has grown in such a short space of time.
“With the way this has grown I’m really looking to balancing both pursuits going forward.
“I’ve just been interviewing actor Josh Myers this week who starred in the Rise of the Footsoldier film series.
“Given the current situation with the pandemic we’ve had to change our approach with Zoom calls for some of the interviews.”
You can find Decca’s The Official All or Nothing podcast on YouTube.