WHEN TV bosses wanted to see if Coronation Street butcher Ashley was a smash at making bangers they sent him to the most famous sausage maker in East Lancashire.

For one afternoon Cliff Cowburn -- of Cowman's Famous Sausage, in Castle Street, Clitheroe -- took young Ashley, actor Steven Arnold, under his wing and showed him just how he made the best bangers.

And although a recent storyline made him the sausage king of Weatherfield the reality -- which can be seen tonight on ITV's Soap Secrets -- was much different. Cliff was contacted by the show which puts TV characters in the real-life situation of the jobs they portray.

A previous episode has Emmerdale's chef Marlon getting hot under the collar with notorious restaurant-boss Gordon Ramsay.

Steven said: "The most difficult scene in Coronation Street was when Ashley had to work the sausage machine.

"When they came out the skin came off and the meat poured out everywhere. The sausage was thick at one end and really thin at the other."

Despite his admission, Cliff said Steven really got stuck in and showed no signs of any 'artistic temperament'.

Cliff said: "What you see is what you get with him and he was very down to earth. Customers were coming in while we did the filming and he took time out to speak to them.

"When they asked what he was doing here I told them he was my apprentice for the day." Fortunately for Steven -- who despite his character has only had one week's butcher experience, when he worked in a shop as a youngster -- Cliff was much more easy going.

Cliff said: "I started him off on the meat counter preparing the meat for the sausages before having him actually making and filling the sausages.

"I think he found it really interesting but he filmed the part where says what he thought of it away from the shop.

That will be as much as surprise for me as everybody else tonight."

With more than 60 different varieties of sausages, which range from the traditional beef banger to the more adventurous pork, apple and mint, Steven's day was far from dull.

Steven said: "Cliff helped me all day and I think that my technique will be better now."

And Cliff said Steven relished the opportunity to work with someone else besides his Uncle Fred.

Cliff said: "I think I would be easier to work with than Fred. I certainly wouldn't repeat myself all the time. I said I certainly wouldn't repeat myself all the time."

The show will be on tonight at 8.30pm.