Paul Coia

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Paul Coia (born 19 June 1955 in Glasgow) is a Scottish television presenter and continuity announcer who was the first voice to be heard on Channel 4 on its launch in 1982.

Early life and career[edit]

Coia was educated at Merrylee Convent, John Ogilvie Hall and St Aloysius' College and then at the University of Glasgow before going into hospital radio and eventually getting a job as a disc jockey at Radio Clyde.[1][2] He and his twin Gerard were born in 1955, and had two younger siblings, Martin and Denise. His ambition was to become a dentist but it remained unrealised as his exam results were not to the level required.[3]

In the late 1970s a young Paul Coia DJ'd at Paisley Tech students union, now the university of West of Scotland. In the early 1980s Coia became a continuity announcer for Scottish Television. After dropping his script and continuing by ad libbing, Coia was given his own chat show, 'Meet Paul Coia'.[1]

In 1982 he joined Channel 4 on its launch, was the first voice heard on air.[2][4][5][5][6] Unusually for continuity of the time, Coia could also be seen in-vision, usually before closedown. Subsequently, he became a presenter of BBC One's daytime magazine programme, Pebble Mill at One.[1][4][6]

During 1987, Coia made his second chat show, this time for Grampian Television The Paul Coia Show which was broadcast as well on Scottish television, and he also made his first gameshow, Split Second.

In 1988 Coia became the host of the BBC gameshow Catchword.[1][7] He has since presented a number of other quizzes on various satellite and cable channels.

Coia took an acting role in an episode of the sitcom Rab C. Nesbitt called 'Holiday', first shown in 1990, in which the Nesbitt family and their neighbours the Cotters go to Fuengirola. He played a holiday rep called Andy.[citation needed]

He stood in once with his wife, former Miss Great Britain Debbie Greenwood, for Gloria Hunniford's afternoon chat show on Five. Coia and Greenwood also sat in for Derek and Ellen Jameson on the late-night show on BBC Radio 2, and Coia (broadcasting solo) also deputised for other presenters on that station. He is a former Scottish Radio Personality of the Year.

In 2002, Coia created a quiz show for the BBC, The Enemy Within.[8][9]

Coia can occasionally be seen on the shopping channel QVC in the UK, where he mainly sells mechanical and electronic/audio-visual products.[citation needed]

Coia was a continuity announcer and trail voiceover (all pre-recorded) for the now-defunct digital channel ABC1. He has also been heard on 102.2 Smooth Radio since February 2008.[1] Coia took over the Drivetime show from December 2008 until the end of 2010 after Martin Collins left the station.[10] From April 2013 he has been a Sunday morning presenter for BBC Radio Berkshire, [11]discussing religious issues of the day and locality.

In 2017, he started to present BBC Radio London cover shows.[12]

Coia also works as a voice coach and corporate speaker alongside presenting occasionally on Radio Jackie.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Coia lives in London with his wife, former QVC presenter Debbie Greenwood.[13][14] They have two daughters, Annalie and Luisa. He has a twin brother Gerard.[15]

TV shows[edit]

  • Meet Paul Coia (1980 Scottish TV)
  • Pebble Mill at One (1983–86)
  • Six Fifty-five (1983)
  • Zig Zag (BBC Schools programme) 1984-90
  • Domesday Detectives (1986)
  • The Paul Coia Show (Grampian TV. 1987)
  • Split Second (1988)
  • Catchword (1988–1995)
  • Telethon ‘88, 90 & '92 - Host for Scotland.
  • BBC Railwatch (1989) - Correspondent
  • Rab C Nesbitt: 'Holiday' (1990)
  • Garden Party (1990–1991, BBC)[16][4][9]
  • Press Your Luck (1991-1992 HTV)
  • Spellbound (1994–1996, Sky one)
  • Don't Drink the Water (1997)
  • Heaven Knows (1997–98)
  • Pull the Other One (1998)
  • Flash in the Pan (1999)[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e Plunkett, John (21 November 2008). "TV and radio presenter Paul Coia is to replace Martin Collins as the drivetime host of London's Smooth Radio". Archived from the original on 10 January 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2019 – via
  2. ^ a b "'I pushed him to ask girls out' best friends paul coia & paul mcilvenny A lifelong friendship was born from the playground banter and a shared love of music". HeraldScotland.
  3. ^ "Paulcoia". Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "Is the foreplay over?".
  5. ^ a b "Alex Dickson". 16 April 2018 – via
  6. ^ a b c "Phil Redmond: 'The lesbian kiss got C4 most attention'". The Independent. 28 October 2012.
  7. ^ "A QUESTION OF THOUGHT". The Independent. 19 February 1995.
  8. ^ "The Enemy Within - UKGameshows". Archived from the original on 19 March 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Fame & Fortune: Broadcaster airs views on inheritance". 27 October 2002 – via
  10. ^ "". Archived from the original on 26 September 2008.
  11. ^ "BBC Radio Berkshire - Paul Coia". BBC. Archived from the original on 23 December 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  12. ^ "BBC Radio London - Paul Coia". BBC. Archived from the original on 8 April 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  13. ^ "'I pushed him to ask girls out' best friends paul coia & paul mcilvenny A lifelong friendship was born from the playground banter and a shared love of music". HeraldScotland.
  14. ^ a b "Andrew Collins tunes in to the world of cable, satellite and digital - Screen - The Observer".
  15. ^ "TV host's twin put on sex offenders' register".
  16. ^ "The party goes on for BBC television". HeraldScotland.

External links[edit]