Much travelled and translated, his poetry has gained increasing popularity, especially from its widespread use in schools. A prolific writer, he is twice winner of the Signal Award for best children's poetry book and recipient of the Cholmondeley Award. McGough is an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University and an Honorary Professor at Thames Valley University. He has an MA from the University of Northampton.
'Funicular Railway' is a classic McGough poem, creating humour from an unusual experience and the peculiar ways people, including the poet, react to it; 'Nine to Five' takes an imagined office life that confuses itself as the poem continues. His reading style is chatty for these poems, but for 'Oxygen' he uses a threatening whisper as the element reminds us of the power it has over our lives. This reading is taken from McGough's live CD Lively, and his enjoyment, and that of his audience, makes clear why The Independent recently described him as "an extraordinary man. He may choose to depict himself as Mr Ordinary, but there is nothing at all ordinary about his energy or talent."
His recording (Lively, UK Touring 2003) was made on 5 April 2003 at Colwall Village Hall, Herefordshire and was produced by Adrian Mealing. Lively is available from www.rogermcgough.org.uk.