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BBC Radio Sheffield tracks down iconic Threads traffic warden for new doc about Barry Hines classic

Sleuths at BBC Radio Sheffield have successfully tracked down the extra who played the iconic traffic warden in the BBC’s adaptation of Barry Hines’ terrifying Sheffield-set nuclear apocalypse drama Threads following a plea from the makers of a new documentary to mark the film’s 40th anniversary.

Doc maker Craig Ian Mann and his team had put out a call to try and find the actor after seeing someone dressed as him at this yer’s Sheffield Horror Con earlier this month, but despite interviewing around 30 people for the film so far no one knew the identity of the man, whose image became synonymous with the film.

Radio Sheffield successfully tracked down 84-year-old Barnsley native Michael Beecroft, who met with Mann and his co-writer Robert Nevitt on the channel’s breakfast show last week.

Beecroft, it transpired, was an actual traffic warden at the time, and also dabbled in a bit of extra work.

He said: “My agent rang me up and said there’s this job available so I went down and was picked out and made up as a traffic warden.

“I didn’t do anything other than the 30 second shot of me with the rifle shouting some swear words.

“Afterwards, they took some pictures of me and I went home and didn’t think anything else of it. It was just a day’s work as far as I was concerned.”

Mann, who is working on the doc Threads to accompany Threads’ US Blu-ray release, said the picture had “become the iconic image of the film”

Beecroft said he was unaware people were trying to find him and was “gobsmacked” by the interest in his role. He added that, over the years, he had not spoken much about the part he played, other than to a few of his friends who had known about it.

Asked by Mann whether he had any idea how iconic his character had become and the fact he had been made into an action figure, he replied: “Wow, I didn’t know that. I’m totally amazed at the reaction people have had over it.”

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