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Dirty Britain

Tue Jun 4, 9-10pm, ITV

From Wild Britain DIRTY BRITAIN 4th June 2013 on ITV Pictured: Pest Controller Jim England The dirty secrets about the way modern Brits live are revealed by the filthy work of the men and women who clean up after us. The series graphically shows th
You’ve got to admire the enthusiasm of someone who greets a day of cleaning Portaloos with a shout of ‘let’s get ready to rumble!’ ‘Sanitation service engineer’ Alex isn’t the only one who’s psyched about getting his hands dirty, either – just about everyone featured in this extremely familiar but oddly charming glimpse into the lives of Britain’s cleaning industry is as jolly as pigs in the proverbial. Only the sour-faced Gillian McKeith-alike who spends her days poking her swabs around public places does anything to stifle the upbeat tone; frankly, if she’s upset to find that you can get ill by licking the wall of a pub toilet, she’s probably beyond Prozac.

Nothing you won’t have seen before, but there are striking moments of warmth: take the heavy-duty cleaners sent in to take care of a neglected property left behind by a recently departed elderly couple. Before decaying curtains are torn down and bathroom fittings blasted with industrial-strength chemicals, boss Richard takes a moment to reflect on what the property must have been like in years gone by. It’s touching stuff – until he starts yanking the carpets up.