LOVEABLE rogue Lewis O’Boyle and his work pals at Metro Salvage have won the hearts of the nation.
They are the stars of Scrappers, which charts the trials, tribulations — and fun — of working at the Bolton scrapyard.
There are just two episodes remaining of the six-part BBC documentary, which has transformed the lads (and lasses) at the Waterloo Street business into household names.
And one of the most endearing tales has been that of 19-year-old Lewis, who left Little Lever School aged just 14 and was taken under the wing of the yard’s owner Terry Walker.
Since the programme first aired earlier this month, fans have been calling in to have their photographs taken with its stars and visit the on-site cafe.
Lewis, who works in car sales with Terry’s son, Jon, said: “I’ve had people in from Devon, some from New Zealand came to have their pictures taken with me.
“The top yard phoned down and said, you’ve got 15 fans in the cafe.
“I didn’t come out at first.”
Viewers have already seen the former Bowness Primary School pupil’s ups and downs, including passing his crane test to operate Gloria the Grab followed by a brush with the law after being arrested for driving offences.
Asked where he would be if Terry had not given him a number of chances, he said: “I don’t know, I’d probably be in jail or something.
“He’s all right. He’s been like a dad to me.”
Every Friday, Lewis and his pals gather round to watch the episodes unfold, which also feature yard workers including Mark Cox, Lee Tuff, David Lockett and Chris Fletcher.
Lewis, who lives in Little Lever, said: “It’s funny. We have a laugh. When we watch it, we have a drink and laugh at each other.
“It’s strange, when you’re watching yourself, you don’t think that you do stuff like that.
“You’re like, I didn’t do that.”
Speaking of being involved in the show and people’s reactions, Lewis chuckles: “It’s been all right, I’ve enjoyed it. Famous now aren’t I?
“I’ve got loads of likes on Facebook and stuff like that, loads of friend requests. I’m still getting a lot now.
“I knew I’d get some but I didn’t think it would be as much as it was.
“People think it’s good. Everyone is inboxing me saying I love the show and all that. It’s not even my programme.”
Looking to the future and Lewis would like to appear on a certain reality show, as the latest celebrity version features White Dee, real name Deirdre Kelly, from Channel 4’s Benefits Street.
He said: “I want to go on Big Brother. Everybody wants me in it, they’ve all been saying, why’s she in it? Put Boyle in off Scrappers.
“I’d be the naughty one, wouldn’t I?”
But for now, Lewis is happy earning a living at the scrap yard and car breakers after first landing a job there five years ago.
He said: “I just never went to school, I didn’t like it. I would rather do this.
“Just everything, doing all different things really. I’ll do anything.
“All my mates are here aren’t they and stuff like that.”
Over in the cafe and there is always a chip butty and sympathetic ear on offer from Debs Guffogg, from Bolton who now lives in Wigan.
The 54-year-old, who runs the eaterie and works there with sister Michelle Humphreys, has seen an increase in visitors to the cafe, which is open to the public, since Scrappers began.
She said: “People are coming in asking for photos, it feels good.
“I feel really proud.
“They do come in to see us because they have seen us on the television, they’re coming from all over.
“I think the show’s quite good because that’s how it is, there’s nothing false about it.”
Terry and his team at Metro Salvage are no strangers to cameras.
Before the BBC filmed the documentary series the team regularly posted videos to YouTube, which is where Terry’s wife, Lyndsay, believes it “all started from”.
Tonight’s episode see boss Terry Walker face up to some tough decisions regarding Boyle and Chris, the two employees who were sacked while he was on holiday in Tenerife with his wife Lyndsay.
Little Dave and Lyndsay both agree that the pair have been given enough chances, and when Boyle informs Terry that he does not need his support in court for his driving offences trial, the scrapyard owner begins to accept that it is time his former protege waved goodbye to the business for good.
- Scrappers is on BBC One tonight at 8.30pm.