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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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TV debut for the rookie builders

A FLY-ON THE-WALL documentary on a unique Whitehaven house-building project will be broadcast next week.

The first of the three-part series, Rookie Builders, airs on ITV4 on Tuesday, March 20 at 8pm. It continues on the following two Tuesdays.

The series, narrated by Two Pints of Lager star Will Mellor, tells how a group of young Cumbrians were recruited as apprentices by Story Homes or its sub-contractors and challenged to build a four-bed detached house at Magellan Park, Kells, on their own within a year.

Under supervision, the team of apprentices used their newly-acquired skills as bricklayers, joiners and plumbers to start building the entire property from the foundations to the rooftop and then fitting it out completely.

The apprentices, aged 16 to 25, come from Whitehaven, Workington, Maryport, Carlisle, Wetheral and Penrith in Cumbria and Canonbie in South West Scotland. They enjoyed a special preview screening of the show this week.

Luke Parkes, 20, from Kells, Whitehaven, is an apprentice bricklayer with Story Homes. He is known in Rookie Builders by his nickname of ‘Smithy’ because he looks like the character from the TV comedy series Gavin and Stacey.

Having watched the preview, Luke said: “It was brilliant and nice to see it, although there were some cringing moments for me!

“I thought it was really funny. It showed how hard we have worked as apprentices, which is good, and how much we have changed and grown up over that year.”

Brad Woodend, 18, from Whitehaven and also an apprentice bricklayer, added: “It wasn’t as embarrassing as I thought it would be.

“I couldn’t actually remember some of it because we have done so much. It was hard work. You couldn’t mess about.”

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