Alfie is star of new BBC short documentary

A short documentary film showing the remarkable exploits of a Clitheroe odd-job boy has been released.
Alfie on his tandem bike.Alfie on his tandem bike.
Alfie on his tandem bike.

In the BBC Three short film 18-year-old Alfie Cookson explains, with some strong language included, how he found it hard to hold down a job, so he runs his own business – AJC Services – with a tandem bike and a trailer, and has become a bit of a hometown hero.

In the film he says: “People could look at me and think I’m daft, but at the end of the day, I’m making a living.”

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He adds: “I kept getting jobs but then losing them. I thought if I give myself a job then I can’t get sacked.”

On his way to the tip.On his way to the tip.
On his way to the tip.

Alfie’s also seen tackling Clitheroe’s pothole problem, spraying offending holes with green paint.

He explains in the film that the poor state of the roads affects his daily work.

The documentary, which was made by Blackburn film maker Aaron Dunleavy (24) was commissioned by BBC Three as part of its Real Life series.

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Several areas of Clitheroe are shown including Henthorn Road, Woone Lane and the view of Pendle Hill from Clitheroe Castle.

Alfie is also seen buying and eating a pie butty from Alpe’s the Butchers and reading a copy of the Clitheroe Advertiser outside Thorougoods newsagents.

Extremely proud of his home town, Alfie, who was diagnosed with ADHD and Tourettes when he was eight, and who has suffered with a stammer all his life, says in the film: “It’s an odd world and people understand it in different ways.”

Talking about his work, he adds “I’m not after the money, I do it to make my parents proud.”

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Alfie is the son of Joanne and Phillip Cookson, of Henthorn Road, and he has two sisters Chloe (26) and Poppy (25).

Joanne, who is a house manager at Castle Supported Living, said: “We’re so proud of him. There’s never a dull day in our house – we’re laughing all the time.”

A former pupil of St Augustine’s RC High School at Billington, from the age of 14 Alfie was home schooled.

Film maker Aaron met Alfie at the local festival Cloudspotting which is held at Gisburn Forest. Aaron, who has made several films prior to this documentary, is always on the look out for interesting characters to feature in his films and Alfie caught his eye.

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“I knew he was going to be a character before he even opened his mouth,” said Aaron, who added that the response to the documentary has been overwhelming.

“We’ve had some really positive feedback,” said Aaron. “It’s a story that a lot of people can relate to and it’s reached a lot more people than we expected it to.”

When asked if there are more plans in the pipeline to work with Alfie, the up-and-coming film producer added: “Watch this space.”

The full eight-minute film is available to watch on iPlayer or via YouTube:

Readers are warned that strong language features in the documentary.