By turns exasperated, incredulous and outraged, Stephen Nolan has persistently interrogated those flouting coronavirus regulations - even bringing a rare moment of levity to the crisis by hoicking up his jeans as he pursued non-mask wearers across a garage forecourt on his TV show.
At times the pandemic has seemed very personal for Nolan, and not only because he's had to forgo his 12-weeks-a-year Stateside and stay behind the mic, either working from his luxury home overlooking Strangford Lough or in the studio in Belfast.
He's also seen first-hand the impact it's had on the lives of pensioners like his mum, Big Audrey, who holds a unique place in his heart - as well as in the affections of thousands of fans who love watching the hilarious, touching videos of mother and son vignettes he shares online.
Has her predicament increased his frustration with rule-breakers? "Yes, that's informed my response massively," he admits.
"We all take a lot of leads from our experience of life and I have got a 79-year-old mum who I love dearly and I'm really grateful to her for supporting me throughout my life, and the friendship I have with her, and the love she has given me.
"Within the past year she's gone from being out every day of the week, either playing bowls, holding court in Marks & Spencer or being in the hairdresser's twice a week, to a position where she's not out that much.
"That means she's not seeing her friends as much, and that's such a pressure on my mum, as it is on all the other mums, grannies and grandads in this country.
"I'm trying to get her through this safely - and that brings us back to do we really need to be forced by the government to care about each other? I just don't think we should. I want Audrey to get back to having the life she had."
The forecourt footage of him confronting bare-faced shoppers prompted a typical Nolan-style controversy. Social media lit up in indignation, with critics including boxer Paddy Barnes and loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson. A PSNI investigation found Nolan had committed no offences.
Nolan remains defiant: "There's a situation in Northern Ireland that includes elderly people, cancer patients and other people in vulnerable categories.
"They're lonely, their network of activities isn't happening. If they're confident enough to leave the house now and go into an environment where everybody is wearing a face mask, then that elderly person is safer and feels safer.
"But the reality is that nobody is enforcing the legislation that protects that person, and a significant number of people are not abiding by that law.
"Do I feel that part of my job is to ask questions on behalf of those people? Absolutely. To challenge people about why they're behaving like that? Yes, every day of the week. A pensioner going out once a week to the post office or local garage, sees people aren't wearing masks and won't go out again because they feel intimidated, or worse get the virus and end up in hospital.
"Who thinks I shouldn't ask questions about that? I knew before I did it that I'd get flak, but I've no regrets about doing it."
In 2003, Nolan's father Raymond was admitted to Belfast City Hospital with what was diagnosed as a mild, treatable case of pancreatitis. Seven weeks later, aged 67, he died from blood poisoning. Nolan and his mother held his hands as he slipped away, and since then the broadcaster has made protecting Audrey - and spoiling her - his top priority.
He phones her constantly, helps with shopping and visits most days, posting online funny, endearing footage of their verbal sparring.
"The worrying thing," he says, chuckling, "is that of all the TV shows I've done over the last 20 years, when I take the little videos of mum they get hundreds of thousands of hits, and it's probably the most popular, watched television that I do. She's a bigger star than me.
"But I think that's because she is a wee Belfast woman of a certain era, she doesn't take any nonsense from me, and the public absolutely love her.
"It's because she's real, and maybe that's where I'm trying to take my steer from in my career.
"I might annoy people sometimes but it is the real me. People were talking about my jeans falling down when I ran after people at the garage but, like many people, because of my weight now, I sometimes need a belt and I didn't have one that day.
"Like many people, I'm not the most kempt person, I struggle with things like that. Audrey had already pointed out the problem with my jeans on a video I'd posted earlier and the next day she bought me two belts; they were ordered straight away."
If Big Audrey's world outside her front door has contracted due to Covid-19, her horizons elsewhere have expanded considerably. Nolan recently bought her an iPad and, to his surprise, "within a week she was a whizzkid on it".
She shares her son's passion for property. "My mother is on these property websites all the time and she could tell you about the insides of thousands of houses.
"She's comparing everybody's living rooms and bathrooms. If your house is for sale you're in danger of Big Audrey deciding if you've got the right colour on your walls.
"She's also got Netflix on there, which she'd never had before… och, I just love her to bits. Again, I'll see this criticism on social media - 'Oh, he's a mummy's boy'. Well, you know what? Yes I am, and I'm proud of it."
He has, however, deliberately not put Twitter or Facebook on her iPad "because mum is the person I'm trying to protect in this. I don't want her to read some of the stuff about me. She wouldn't have the filter to know it's a bunch of sad people who haven't a clue what they're talking about".
Aside from his love for his mum, there are two other big things that Nolan's detractors target - his salary and weight. The former he defends, the latter is "a failure and a disappointment".
During the year 2019-20, Nolan earned between £390,000 and £394,999, up by around £65,000 on the previous year. He works seven days a week but still… does he pocket too much from the licence fee?
"That's a fair question. I have always been upfront about this, I am trying to earn as much money as I possibly can, like any other working man or woman.
"I'm not worth, in terms of value, any more than anybody else as a human being. But the industry I'm in sets rates.
"I have got the biggest radio show in Northern Ireland. I have a TV show which last week did a 48% television share. I have been on 5Live for 15 years, that's a network radio show. My company made a series about a prison that went out on BBC3, and did very well.
"I'm working as hard as I can, to the highest level I can. Genuinely, it's fair I get that criticism, but what's the alternative? Do you want the highest earners in the BBC and other media all to be living in London? I can't stand the farcical notion that many of the sheep in my business follow that you have only made it if you leave Belfast to work in England. I turned down London because I want to work at the highest level from Northern Ireland.
"The Nations and Regions are the lifeblood of the BBC and the Nolan Show does just as much powerful, impactful journalism as any network show."
Insisting he wants to address "your question about my salary full-on", he continues: "I'm a Belfast boy from the Ballygomartin Road who didn't pass his 11-Plus. I don't look the part. Nor had I any connection with media luvvies. But I'm now one of the people in the top 10 earning range of the BBC.
"I'm bulldozing the lazy notion that top earners will always be in London.
"Why should that be the case? I'm a bit of a misfit in the BBC, and there should be more misfits in the place.
"I've a very clear message to any other working class kid who has been told all their life they might not be good enough. Target big organisations like the BBC, barge your way in and don't conform, shake the tree and be a disruptor.
"Remember this - the real-life knowledge you have built up from the working class community you grew up in is a huge asset."
Publicly Nolan's always been frank, even jocular, about his weight battles which could give the impression he's not that bothered by it. In fact, his lack of willpower greatly troubles him.
"I'm really disappointed, really angry with myself. I'm trying again. But I have failed. Lots of people are being incredibly nasty about my appearance online, they get off on that, but the reality is I can't beat it.
"I felt great within myself last year when I lost seven stone. I felt healthier, more energetic, better mentally. Now, it's beaten me again. That gets to me bigtime."
Currently, at 5.30am each day Nolan Show assistant editor David Thompson rings him so that he gets up and goes down to a small gym in his house.
When I offer words of encouragement, he interrupts: "But there is this wee voice in my head saying that I am always going to be fat, I am always going to fail at it. It's the biggest struggle of my life. Because I lost the weight short-term before, it makes me feel like an even greater failure.
"People have suggested a gastric band but I'd just keep eating. The only way I'll do it is by cracking it myself."
A self-confessed workaholic, the BBC used to have to force Nolan to take holidays. Now, for the sake of his mental health, he knows he has "to step back and give myself space".
For the past few years that's meant trips to America. He loves the cool vibe and hot weather of Santa Monica, Santa Barbara and Palm Springs, along with "a few days of the craziness of Vegas".
Instead, this year he took a break in the Republic and asked his friend and mentor Eamonn Holmes to sit in. As a young man, Nolan stalked Holmes around Belfast, asking him for broadcasting tips, so having him host his show felt like a validation.
"Eamonn's a real star, as decent behind the scenes as he is on camera. It was a huge honour to have him on the programme and he was incredibly popular. I'd love to do a joint project with him because we'd have some good banter."
And that's Nolan - always thinking of the venture, ruminating how hard journalism is vital to his morning show but he "wants to bring some of the fun and the characters back in".
Whatever the formula, his audience figures are huge and he describes as "farcical" Cool FM's claim that The Pete Snodden Show has more listeners. "They're saying they have more listeners than me from 6-9am when I'm literally asleep.
"If I showed you the graphs, you'd fall off your chair - when I'm on air and Pete is on air, I've four times the audience he has. Suffice to say Good Morning Ulster blows Cool FM/Downtown out of the water too."
He'd love to present another quiz show, but ultimately people matter more than prizes. His many awards are satisfying, but he takes greater delight in the number of listeners he's ratcheting up. "The new barometer is the amount of people listening on BBC Sounds - digitally, on mobile phones, computers, whatever.
"On BBC Sounds we're now the biggest news and current affairs show in the UK in Nations and Regions and the second highest show, the only one that beats us is a sports show with people listening to Rangers and Celtic stuff.
"There's a huge body of people supporting what we do.
"Yes, the Twitter abuse that crosses a line is unacceptable but Twitter is not the real world.
"If I were to take a barometer of what people are saying on there and Facebook, that's not typical of what people think of me."