Success of a documentary following frontline Fife Council workers has been tinged with sadness as it emerged one of its stars may have been too ill to watch it.
Motorhead fan Davey, a house-bound tenant who was “chuffed tae bits” as he was shown his new home in The Council, was admitted to hospital as the first episode aired.
It was unclear whether he saw his moment in the limelight on the BBC One documentary before he fell ill at his Methilhill home on Wednesday evening.
The 60-year-old, who suffers from osteoarthritis, deep vein thrombosis and emphysema, proved a colourful character in the first instalment of the three-part series about Fife Council employees and their day-to-day work.
As well as showing how occupational therapist Diane found a sheltered bungalow for Davey, the programme showed housing officer Karen wade through rubbish and cat faeces in an abandoned house in Glenrothes’ Collydean area.
It also featured community learning and development team leader JP as he helped residents of the town’s deprived Macedonia precinct decide how to spend a £10,000 grant.
There was a mixed reaction among viewers who took to social media in their droves to praise and slam the programme produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Stephen Bennett.
On the council’s Facebook page, Jillian Carroll said: “The show was absolutely shocking and it didn’t show a true reflection of either the council or the residents of Fife. The producers should hold their heads in shame.”
Myrna Venters posted: “Shocking, bad language and silly antics from paid Fife Council workers shouldn’t be allowed on national TV. The serious issues that people had in their lives also seemed to be mocked.”
However, Jennifer Knussen said: “This could have been a sickly sweet ‘everything is okay’ documentary. But it actually gave an insight into what some departments have to deal with…. And the issues many people are unaware of.”
Nicole Hutchison wrote: “Definitely good to see the issues the council are looking at and some of the (sometimes literal) crap they have to deal with.”
Nicola Graham tweeted: “Great TV tonight with #TheCouncil @FifeCouncil Highlights the excellent & dedicated work of council workers across Scotland. #ProudToBeOne.”
Also on Twitter, Sheila Harris wrote: “A jist want a lavvy pan! Davie is something else. Well done that OT officer for sticking with him.”
Neighbours of Davey told how he had been making the most of the small garden he had been so delighted with in his new home.
Murray Walkingshaw said: “We see him out in the garden sitting on his [bottom] pulling out all the weeds.”
Next Wednesday The Council will show housing officers Stacy and Catherine help a woman who has committed a crime as she can’t afford to heat her home, and feature a Dunfermline mum desperate for the council to provide care for her severely autistic son when he leaves college.
Fife was invited to appear in the documentary by Scottish production company IWC Media due to its size, geography and cross-section of Scottish society, to show how councils work with people in challenging financial times.