A RADIO producer from Bolton has helped transform a street busker into a dapper gent.
Christina Percival, who lives in Heaton, spotted Stephen Rimmer, aged 45, playing the accordion on the streets of Manchester.
She decided to invite him on to the national afternoon comedy show, The Wrong Show, which is aired from Key 103’s studios every Sunday, from 1pm to 4pm.
The former Rivington and Blackrod High School pupil, who has worked on the show for 18 months, said: “He plays the accordion in Manchester all over Manchester but I saw him outside Debenhams.”
The house band which usually appears on the show, hosted by controversial presenter Tim Shaw who has been sacked from 13 radio stations, was on tour so she decided to invite Mr Rimmer to appear.
The mother-of-one, who grew up in Horwich, said: “I thought it would be funny to invite him on. He asked me if I had a business card, he thought I was joking. Now he is a regular part of the show, Squatter Stevo.”
Mr Rimmer was given a makeover including a haircut, spray tan, kitted out in a suit from House of Fraser and given advice from celebrity life coaches Nik and Eva Speakman.
She said: “He feels amazing. For him, he has gone from just a guy living rough to having a job on the radio. He looks amazing.
“Now he wants a girlfriend and we’re going to try to find him one.
“He’s a lovely guy, he has just had a few bad things happen to him.”
Mr Rimmer, originally from Trafford, spent four years squatting in Manchester but now lives in an apartment thanks to his stint on the radio.
He said: “It’s hard to put into words, Christina is just brilliant.
“She’s made such a difference to my outlook on life, getting me involved in the show and everything. She can do no wrong in my eyes. It’s been a great experience, I’ll be on the show for as long as they will have me for.”