Gretna in the National Spotlight Thanks to Moonshiners Spin-Off 'Tickle'
Gretna, VA - A new show has taken one Pittsylvania County town and many of its familiar faces to a whole new level.
Tickle, a Moonshiner's spin-off, was filmed in Gretna. The local stars of the show say it has brought them more attention than they could've expected.
Gun shop owner Bill Crawley had never dreamed of being a TV star, but all of that changed after a chance encounter with a Discovery Channel producer.
"He said by the way, we're looking for some old mean guy to play Grandpa Bill, and Marion, my wife - motor mouth - said, 'Yeah, that's him,'" said Crawley, a Tickle Cast Member.
Crawley signed a three-year contract to play Grandpa Bill, a bike-riding, gun-toting tough guy on Tickle. Since then, people from as far as California have stopped by his store to meet him.
"People coming in from every which way wanting pictures and autographs," Crawley said.
The show's star, Steven Tickle, says bringing this show to his community has been a dream come true.
"It's been great. It's bringing light here to the small town of Gretna which is a great town," said Tickle.
Tickle and his buddy Howard go back further than the show. The two were co-workers at a Danville factory before their Moonshiners days. They say they aren't letting all the attention go to their heads.
"I'm still the same person. I work every day, forty hours a week. I'm just enjoying the wave right now and I hope it gets bigger," said Howard Thompson, "Tickle" Cast Member.
Gretna Mayor Keith Motley says the publicity has been great, but some locals say the plotlines portray Gretna in a bad light.
Tickle says it's all meant in good fun.
"When you've worked hard all day long, had all this stress, who really couldn't enjoy the end of the night with a good laugh and something lighthearted," Tickle said.
The show now airs at a new time: Tuesdays at 9PM on the Discovery Channel.