One of Bolton’s most famous sons has weighed into the ongoing debate about the town’s status as part of the historic county of Lancashire.

Bolton was re-designated as part of the new metropolitan county of Greater Manchester in 1974 but many of the borough’s people have held on to their Lancastrian identity since then.

One of them is none other than Farnworth born Phoenix Nights star Paddy McGuiness who nailed his colours to the mast in an Instagram post on Saturday April 20.

He said: “It was a real honour to take part in the Greater Mancunians project with the students at Manchester College.

“The exhibition is full of people from music, comedy, politics, poetry, television, medicine and beyond.

“It’s on at Manchester Central Library April 19 - June 30.

“Well worth popping in if you’re in town.

“PS I’m still saying Bolton falls under Lancashire.”

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Paddy had been taking part in the Greater Mancunians photography project, which showcases some of the most famous people from across the city region of Greater Manchester.

But he is far from alone in his view that Bolton belongs with Lancashire as opposed to its big city neighbour to the south.

Bolton first became part of Greater Manchester under the Local Government Act of 1972 but the change has never quite sat well with many people. Greater Manchester was created on 1 April 1974.

In March last year, more than 3,000 signed a petition calling for Bolton to return to the historic county, but this was dismissed after a debate at town hall.