United Utilities workers hit the small screen

Andy Bent

Vicky Thorpe and Babs McAuley

First published in News

NOT many people are brave enough to wage a war against Britain’s smelliest sewers or be happy to get their hands dirty in some of the country’s biggest water works.

But for two Warrington workers from United Utilities, it’s just another day in the office.

Vicky Thorpe, from Padgate, and Andy Bent, from Old Hall, aren’t scared of what lies beneath the roads’ surfaces but viewers might be when they watch a new six-part programme for BBC Two.

Watermen: A Dirty Business thrusts Britain’s sewers into the spotlight while documenting the ups and downs of life working at the north west's water company United Utilities.

Drainage engineer Vicky was filmed alongside her trusty sidekick Babs McAuley, from Runcorn, as they travelled around Cheshire tackling residents’ drainage problems.

The 29-year-old, who has worked at the company for two years, joked: “I’m excited but nervous to watch it as I’ve only seen clips. I’ll probably lock myself in my room so I don’t have to watch myself.”

Before working for United Utilities, Vicky ran pubs and clubs for five years, but eventually decided she needed a change and started a job in an accounts office.

She said: “I kept telling them I wanted to be outside with the lads getting my hands dirty. I became the first girl they’ve ever had working on the sewers. I absolutely love the job. Every day is different.”

Andy was also filmed for the show in his role as a business analyst at the United Utilities’ head office in Great Sankey.

The 29-year-old former St Gregory’s High School pupil said: “It was an experience. Never in a million years did I think I would be filmed for a programme like this.”

Although the show isn’t one to watch while eating fast-food, it promises to change the way you dispose of fat, oil and grease if you are prone to chucking them down the kitchen sink.

The first episode was broadcast on Tuesday, 15th April, at 9pm and will run until Tuesday, May 20.

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