I’VE interviewed Tony Blair, Bill Bryson and Max Clifford. But none are as memorable as Gordon Roberts.

Gordon, known affectionately as Gordon the Tramp, is one of the best known faces in Bournemouth and an internet phenomenon.

He hit the national news in 2007 when students set up a Facebook tribute page, which now has 14,000 members.

The page celebrates his incredible ability to tell the time without wearing a watch.

The skill has made him a legendary figure amongst clubbers and students.

The Facebook page is decorated with hundreds of pictures of him posing with glamorous young girls or guys in fancy dress.

But he has been famous for decades – for pottering around with his dog Goldie, watching AFC Bournemouth or Poole Pirates, although ludicrous rumours persist that he is rich.

So when rumours swept the internet last week that he had died people were genuinely upset.

It turned out to be a hoax and Gordon was happy to put the record straight.

In fact he looked rather well after a recent spell in hospital, so it seemed like a good time to find out a bit more about the man behind the myth.

This interview would not be in a plush hotel but one of his favourite stomping grounds, Old Christchurch Road.

And there he was with his trademark bushy beard and tatty Manchester United Scarf, chatting away to the staff in a chip shop.

Some passers-by looked afraid of him.

But you could see other people’s eyes light up at the sight of a living legend.

Here's how it went:

  • How old are you?
  • Gordon: “I can’t remember.”
  • You can’t remember how old you are?
  • Gordon: “1928. Work it out.”
  • If you were born in 1928 that would make you at least 81.
  • Gordon:(Throwing hands in the air with shock)“Arrrgh!”

    He said he was born in Boscombe Hospital and had six brothers and six sisters – three of them had died and the rest had moved away.

He said he worked on a farm for more than 30 years until it was built over by the Hampshire Centre, the predecessor to Castlepoint.

Gordon has been an AFC Bournemouth fan for more than 60 years and usually manages to talk box office staff into

  • Who’s your favourite ever player?
  • Gordon: “The goalkeeper.”

  • Which one?
  • Gordon: “I don’t know. They’re all the same to me.”

    He also loves Manchester United and wears the team’s scarf rather than a Cherries one because he has grown used to it.

Many Bournemouth fans remember his dog Goldie the Labrador, sadly now passed away.

He has a new dog, Fruity, a black dog of indeterminate breed.

Gordon may appear indestructible but even he has felt the ravages of time.

Last year he spent seven weeks in hospital after waking up with a mysterious head injury.

And even legends watch TV – he likes the ITV show Dancing on Ice, or, as he puts it, Skating on Ice.

  • Your favourite contestant?
  • Gordon: “That moody one from Eastenders.”

    Presumably Daniella Westbrook.

Now it was time to hit him with the two key questions.

  • Gordon, everyone says you are really a millionaire. Is that true?
  • Gordon: “I wish I was.”

  • Now the big one. What time is it Gordon?
  • Gordon: “About 3.20pm.” It was 3.21pm. And my watch was set one minute fast.

  • But how do you do it?
  • “I don’t know,” he said, and laughed uproariously.