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Greenlit: Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, Channel 4

Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners (6 x 60′) – The average British kitchen has twice as much faecal bacterium as the average toilet and half a million people change their bed linen just three times a year. Yet there is a group of Britons who wage a constant war on dirt and order. This brand new series follows Brits who – by their own admission – are so obsessed with cleaning they can’t relax if there is a spot on a tap or a rain mark on the windows.

Linda Dykes is an obsessive compulsive cleaner from North Wales who cleans around the clock, day and night. She loves cleaning so much she’s set up her own cleaning agency. Linda is not alone. 750,000 people in Britain suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder and many of them follow strict cleaning rituals in an attempt to control their stress and anxiety levels.

Linda, 47, believes that compulsive cleaners have a special set of skills and a gift for cleaning that could change the habits of the nation. So she’s recruiting her own army of obsessive compulsive cleaners to help clean Britain’s dirty homes and filthy public spaces. In each of the six episodes, these compulsive cleaners will be carefully matched with a contributor whose home is in dire need of a major ‘spring clean’.

Her first recruit is 31-year-old Richard Searle from Sandhurst. Richard runs his own audio-visual company and is obsessed with order, organisation and tidiness. He spends two entire months a year simply cleaning and tidying.

Richard is going to Bradford-Upon-Avon to meet Christopher Sylvester, a retired antiques dealer whose stone Victorian cottage has been overwhelmed by 15 years’ worth of collectibles and bric-a-brac. Christopher’s house is so bad he can barely get in the front door never mind cook in his kitchen or sleep on his bed.

Linda has also recruited 53-year-old germaphobe Michele Murray from Borehamwood, a single mum who cleans up to eight hours every day. Michele has a particular obsession with cleaning windows. She will clean her windows twice a day minimum and even more times if it rains.

Michele is heading to Milton Keynes to meet Richard Pugh, a 30-year-old telephone advisor – who hasn’t cleaned his flat since he moved in four years ago. It’s so filthy that his parents have refused to visit him and he’s desperate for help.

Linda is also concerned about Britain’s filthy public spaces. So she has headhunted two more obsessive compulsive cleaners to help her; Hayley Burford, 27, from East Grinstead, who was diagnosed with OCD in 2009, and construction worker Michael Devine, 44, from Newcastle who even vacuums his bed every day.

Linda and her cleaning gang are heading to Leatherhead to help The Pitstop, a drop-in centre for the vulnerable and the homeless, which serves 200 free hot meals a day. With scarce resources and short of manpower, The Pitstop staff desperately need help cleaning up their kitchen, their men’s toilets and their lounge area. And with a food inspector coming to visit in 24 hours Linda and her obsessive compulsive clean team have no time to lose. Armed with their well-honed skills, can the team of compulsive cleaners pull this off?

Channel: Channel 4

TX: February 2013

Source: Channel 4 press release

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