Council documentary a major hit with viewers

Brian Aspinall
Brian Aspinall
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Call the Council’s latest series has proved to be a hit with viewers.

More than a million people tuned in to the BBC documentary, the latest 15-part series of which began on June 29 and finished on Friday, to see what happens behind the scenes at Wigan Council

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching Call the Council and I hope our residents have too

Donna Hall

An episode on July 13 achieved the highest audience, with 1.3 million viewers tuning in to watch characters like public protection officer Arran Hanson carrying out an inspection at a local dog kennel.

Narrated by 6 Music’s Mark Radcliffe, the observational documentary followed council staff as they went about their everyday business following a range of characters from departments rarely given access to.

Series producer Dan Gooding said: “Getting a glimpse behind the scenes at the council HQ and being on the frontline with officers gives us all a genuine insight into the sizeable task council’s face to keep our boroughs safe, clean and decent places to live.”

And the council has hailed the series as a success with viewers flooding their social media pages with positive feedback.

The council came under fire recently after it appeared in another documentary called Don’t Blame the Council which was aired on ITV and showed staff clocking off early in order to play darts and used subtitles for some of its interviews with the borough’s residents.

Donna Hall, chief executive of Wigan Council, said; “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching Call the Council and I hope our residents have too.

“The BBC did a wonderful job. I’d like to thank them for producing a series that truly reflects what we do here at Wigan Council and for showing how brilliant the borough is.

“I’d also like to thank staff who agreed to be filmed. I know some of them were wary at first, but their passion and commitment to making the borough a better place is clear to see – they’re all stars in my eyes.”

A second series of Call the Council is currently being filmed and will include weddings, pavement and pothole inspections and restaurant hygiene ratings.

If you missed the series, catch up on BBC iPlayer bbc.co.uk/iplayer.