A video refuting claims by the English Defence League that Deepdale in Preston is a “no go area” for non-Muslims has gone viral.
Virgin Trains worker Umar Ayub, who is regularly pictured with celebrities on the platform of Preston Station, has taken to social media ahead of the EDL visit to the city.
Umar is filmed in Deepdale with his friend Robin Maudsley, and the pair discuss why Robin is in the area.
The video had been viewed almost 150,000 times on Saturday, after being uploaded on Friday afternoon.
Umar, 37, who lives in Deepdale, said: “I don’t know how it’s happened.
“I felt like doing a video and I thought at most my friends on Facebook would have seen it, but it’s gone viral.
“When I read that it’s a no go area for non-Muslims I thought which part of Deepdale are they talking about?
“I thought let’s get a video made for a bit of a laugh.”
Umar knocked on Robin’s door on his way home from the mosque, and said the pair made the film in one take.
Since then, he said he had almost 500 friend requests on Facebook.
Robin, who has lived in the area for 42 years, said: “I’ve had about 20 people stop me in the street and say ‘do you know it’s gone viral?’
“At the end of the day, we just did it as Deepdale people.”
Robin said Umar and his family were close friends, and said they offered him help and support when he suffered from septicemia five weeks ago.
He said: “That’s how the community works here, we don’t see colour.
“We have a laugh and I think the video more or less says that.
“It wasn’t written out, we didn’t have a script, we just said it how it was but that’s how we both work, you’ve got to have a laugh.
“The Asian community around here, we get on so well with them.
“You don’t need to go far and you’ve been around the world down Meadow Street.”