Preston chocolate factory TV show could be springboard to stardom for William

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A WEEK on reality TV could turn lifelong joker William Oldfield into a comedy star.

The former cafe owner got so many laughs on a new BBC programme filmed in Preston that he has launched himself on the stand-up circuit.

William, 37, was one of three candidates for a sales executive job who took part in a recruitment experiment at Beech’s Chocolates, to be screened next month.

In “Who’s The Boss?” the trio were judged by the entire workforce after going through interviews and a gruelling series of tasks.

The winner will be revealed when the programme airs on BBC2 in around three weeks time - and William is staying uncharacteristically tight-lipped about how he did.

But the father-of-two from Bentley Drive, Kirkham, near Preston, admits he got so much encouragement to take to the stage during the week of filming that, on reflection, he decided to try his luck at stand-up during a “terrifying” night at Manchester’s Comedy Store.

“I haven’t seen how it’s been edited,” he said. “But it’s bound to show me as the joker of the three. The main producer told me I should be on the stage. And suddenly the penny dropped. Why shouldn’t I give it a go? Life’s too short to have regrets.”

William has some experience of entertaining, having been a DJ and a presenter on hospital radio. But picking up the microphone and trying to make an audience laugh is, he says, far more difficult than it looks.

“I threw myself into the lion’s den at the Comedy Store and afterwards a top bloke in TV said I’d got funny bones. The compere advised me not to give up, although he said I do need to slow down my delivery.

“I’ll take the advice on board and try again soon. Who knows? I could make a go of it. I’ll give it a year to find out. After all, there’s no bigger fool than the one who doesn’t try.”