The man who broke the mould. Wilfred Pickles was the first man on the wireless with a regional accent. Brought to the BBC as 'The Common Man', 'Man Of The People', call it what you will, he was the biggest thing on the wireless. His regular audience was twenty million people. He would start each programme with a piano playing his signature tune (played by Violet Carson, Ena Sharples from 'Coronation Street') and the whole audience singing, "Have a go Joe, come and have a go". He would then open the show with, " 'Ow do, 'ow are yer". Then Wilfred would say " 'Ow much money on the table Mable", then, "Give him the money Mable". The Mable was his wife and the money 5/- for answering a question with a jackpot of £1/19/11d.
He would take his show to the people, going to the factories, docks or anywhere the people were. Such was the power of this man, he could get normal, ordinary people to come up on the stage and tell the world their most intimate secrets and answer a few questions for very little money. Once while doing a show in a hospital, he spoke to one of the patients who mentioned he was worried about his shop while he was in hospital. Wilfred announced to the people the address of the shop. Next day the police were called to control the crowds. The BBC was not pleased. Even though Wilfred was often at odds with the BBC, they put his picture on the front of the Radio Times. The picture taken in the Royal Mint with Wilfred on one side of a set of scales and on the other piles of gold. The caption read "Worth His Weight In Gold.