BBC airs documentary on ‘Purple Aki’

Akinwale Ariobieke
Akinwale Ariobieke

For years many believed he was little more than an urban myth but a television documentary is set to expose the wider world to the bizarre world of Akinwale Arobieke, aka Purple Aki.

BBC Three will air The Man Who Squeezes Muscles: Searching For Purple Aki from this month.

It will tell many of the aspects of Aki’s story familiar to many people in the region.

Documentary-makers will also tell of his manslaughter conviction (later overturned) and the sexual offences prevention order given to him after he was convicted of harassing dozens of lads across St Helens.

The programme is bound to stir up plenty of controversy, not least because of its title.

Arobieke has repeatedly taken issue with the nickname ‘Purple Aki’ insisting it is a racial slur.

The 54-year-old, who stands at 6’6” and is believed to weigh over 17 stone, complained about the use of the name during one of his many court appearances of recent years.

Most of those court dates came after he breached a court order barring him from touching strangers muscles.

Arobieke first came to widespread infamy in the late 80s and is believed to have pestered rugby league players during the 1990s.

By the early years of the new millennium, he was serving a five year prison sentence for a series of offences against young lads across the North Wes, including Wigan.

Since then he has served numerous jail terms for muscle-related crimes.

His muscle banning order was overturned by a judge last year.

A BBC Three spokesman added: “What’s his story? Why has he been feared for nearly 30 years?

“Is he, in some senses, a victim himself?

“Local lad, Benjamin Zand, goes in search of the truth behind one of the UK’s strangest stories.”

The Man Who Squeezes Muscles: Seaching For Purple Aki is available to watch on BBC Three now.