Comedian, writer and TV star Dave Spikey is an old friend of both the Evening Post and our sister paper, the Chorley Guardian, which covers his home village of Whittle-le-Woods.
The Bolton-born comic credits an LEP headline for inspiring him to write his new book, He Took My Kidney, Then Broke My Heart, a hilarious look at the crazy things you find in local papers.
A story of ours, headlined LLAMA DRAMA DING-DONG, when a llama ran loose and caused havoc, made the comic laugh so much, it spurred him to collect and dissect his favourites.
Details like our description of the unfortunate animal as a 'wild beast' still almost reduce him to tears. "That story is brilliant!
"A wild beast?! Hahahah! Some maths teacher got it in a headlock or summat, didn't he? It was just genius, I love it."
Our design editor, Phil Gorner, even gets a credit in the book after Dave called us and we tracked down who was responsible for the headline.
Dave's love of local newspapers' quirks led to his sitcom, Dead Man Weds, about a tiny rural weekly where new editor, Gordon Garden, still thinks he's on a national.
The name was lifted from a newspaper billboard he saw years ago as he was driving home from his old job, in the Haematology Unit at Bolton Hospital.
He recalls: "I remember it as clearly as if it was yesterday.
"I was driving out of the hospital and at the bottom of the road there was an old Co-op that sold newspapers – and the sign outside said that!
"Bolton Evening News, Dead Man Weds. And I remember nearly crashing, thinking: That is brilliant!"
It was about a man who had technically "died" but was revived by paramedics and had now married. But the lack of quotes round the word "dead" changed the whole meaning.
He laughs: "I remember actually thinking, well, it's Bolton, he could be dead!
"'Your Billy's not saying much?' 'No, he's dead…but we paid a deposit on the buffet so we'd lose that. Want a mini-quiche?' And that was it really. So I did it in the act."
To read the rest of this hilarious artcile see Thursday's Lancashire Evening Post.
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