A cat lover is set to feature in a new television documentary about fanatical feline lovers.
Andy Richards, 54, who lives in Church and runs the East Lancashire Cats charity, has dedicated his life to looking after abandoned moggies, and has tattooed the names of all his beloved pets on his arms.
The programme makers contacted Andy, following an Observer article about him in June this year.
He said: “There was a programme on television a while ago about cat fanatics and it attracted millions of viewers and Channel 5 decided to make one of their own.
“There are three people featured in the programme including me who are real cat lunatics. Channel 5 heard about me from a piece that had been in the Observer and they asked me to be part of the programme and I thought, why not?”
Part of the programme sees him adding to his collection of dozens of cat-related tattoos.
He added: “I’ve got 44 now, when they were interviewing me for the programme, they asked me if my tattoos were up to date, I had a few that needed to be added so they filmed me having more tattoos added.”
Andy, who runs the East Lancashire Cats charity shop on Burnley Road in Accrington as well as the cat rescue and rehoming service, said he hoped by appearing on the programme, he can raise the profile of the charity.
He added: “We still need to raise the profile of the cat rescue so hopefully there will be an increase in people being more aware of us.
“We’re hoping more people will come in and adopt cats.”
A former civil servant, Andy has worked in animal welfare for over a decade and set up the charity East Lancashire Cats in 2012 when he moved to Accrington from Preston and was shocked at the number of strays he saw in the town.
Andy, who has 13 cats of his own as well as those he looks after for the charity, said he has dedicated his life to helping cats in the area and that his life revolves around looking after less fortunate moggies.
He said: “All my friends are cat people as well, anyone I’m close to loves cats.”
The programme also features an eccentric American woman with an astonishing 1,000 pet cats, and a ‘cat cafe’.
‘Pussies Galore: Love me Love my Cats’ airs tonight at 8pm on Channel 5.