FOR one Wigan Council employee, taking part in a BBC documentary was a chance for him to show off his hometown.
Call the Council regular, Barry Pilkington, 53, from Hindley is arguably one of the most recognised characters from the series after appearing in four of the fifteen episodes.
He is even in each opening sequence where he says “every time the phone rings, you never know what’s going to happen”.
Barry started his career with Wigan Council 30 years ago in the street lighting team as a driver and has worked in a variety of roles before becoming an environmental enforcement officer.
In the series, Barry can be seen getting on his hands and knees to inspect the borough’s drains, checking the cleanliness of businesses to ensure rats are kept at bay and helping an unhappy resident get rid of dog mess from their neighbour’s back yard.
Barry, whose dad worked in the coal mines and whose mum worked in a cotton factory describes himself as a true working class ‘Wiganer’.
“I love Wigan, I love the people and the place, I’m proud of where I’m from and I want others to be too. That’s why I love my job. I just want to do a good job and help people fix problems,” he said.
“I think it’s important that Wigan is seen in a positive light, which is why I agreed to take part in Call the Council.
“We have an awful lot of services at the council; we don’t just collect bins - the programme shows that well. It’s important to show residents what they’re getting for their money. There are a lot of good people at the council, working behind the scenes.”
Since appearing on the programme Barry has become a well-known in the borough.
He said: “I did not like seeing myself on the television. I know they say the camera adds 10 pounds, but I couldn’t believe how I looked. I’ve lost seven pounds so far. I’ve had nothing but positive comments from friends and family members.”
In tomorrow’s Wigan Evening Post meet public protection officer Arron Hanson.