Bill Green wasn’t planning to pursue a career in television. Back in the early 1970s, he was content working as a fry cook at McDonald’s.

That was, until he lost his job. “It was my first job out of high school. I was devastated. In my family, that was a horrible thing,” Green said.

Soon he scored a position at WLBZ Channel 2 in Bangor as a cameraman for a local game show called “Dialing for Dollars” hosted by Eddie Driscoll.

“I had no experience, but I was enthusiastic. They trained me during a commercial break. My boss said, ‘This is the zoom. Don’t touch that. This is the focus. Don’t touch that,” Green recalled. “I was supposed to pan the camera 6 inches to the left, but I got nervous. Eddie was a veteran and just leaned into the shot.”

These days, Green is the veteran. After initially working behind the scenes he became a sportscaster in Bangor in 1975 and has been a TV personality ever since.

“When I was 21 a sportscaster left, and I begged them to put me on …That year the Red Sox went to the World Series. I made $110 a week and got to go to the World Series. It doesn’t get much better than that. I bought Johnny Carson suits. I had five, a different one for every night. People sent me notes and flowers and chocolate. Maybe 10 people sent me things, but it was more than anyone sent me before,” he recalled.

Green has since transitioned to doing feature stories and works for WCSH 6 in Portland, where he is perhaps best known for his magazine show “Bill Green’s Maine,” which airs Saturdays at 7 p.m.

“We wanted licensed hunters and fishermen watching the show,” he said of his target audience. “We call them the hook and bullet crowd … I don’t think there’s another full-time TV reporter who wears an orange coat and carries a rifle during the news. I think having a hunter’s license at least gives you credibility with the crowd. I see it as my mission to get out of Portland and go into the corners of Maine to recreate.”

Green loves the outdoors and believes physical education classes should emphasize activities that can be enjoyed through adulthood. “I’d get rid of kickball for meaningful education. The biggest sports opportunities in Maine are outdoors. I wish the [school] system taught kids to swim, hike, read maps, hunt and fish. It should be about personal fitness,” he said.

Green has covered an array of Maine topics over the years, from the origin of L.L. Bean boots to the history of Maine lumberjacks — and he loves highlighting little-known facts about the state.

“I love it when people come up to me and say, ‘I didn’t know that.’ Like on John F. Kennedy’s grave site, the slate came from Monson. As soon as I learned that, I had to do that story. Good TV takes you there — wherever there is,” he said.

Over the years, Green has interviewed numerous Maine governors and fondly recalled John Baldacci as a young boy from the same Bangor neighborhood.

“I don’t remember meeting him. I’ve known him for so long. He’s worked really hard and it’s been neat to see a kid from the neighborhood make it so far,” he said.

Sometimes people mistake Green for another former governor. “Somehow people thought Angus King and I looked alike. People ask him if he’s Bill Green. A guy once asked for my autograph, and I’m sure he thought I was Angus. He said, ‘Governor, can I have your autograph?’ Angus gets a lot of mileage out of that,” Green said with a grin.

Green is also recognized in public as Bill Green and while he enjoys meeting viewers, on a few occasions, people didn’t return his goodwill.

“I was at the mall Christmas shopping one year with my sister, and this woman came up to me and said in front of my sister, ‘You’re terrible. You’re the worst person on television. I hate you.’ I was stunned. I should have said, ‘No, I’m not the worst. Pat Callahan is,’” Green said, joking about his WCSH6 colleague.

When asked what most viewers don’t know about him, Green said, “I think I’m more tenacious and earthy than people think. I try to put out a person who’s intelligent and classier than I am. I’m an eat-a-hamburger-in-the-car-on-the-way-to-work type of guy, and I think people think I stop for a glamorous dinner.”

Green has been married to his wife, Pam, since 1986. The couple, initially set up on a blind date, have two children, Emily and Sam. “Her uncle fixed us up. He asked me to call her up, and my horoscope said, ‘A good day for romance, but be frugal.’ I had just gotten complimentary tickets to the [Harlem] Globetrotters. That was the frugal part,” he said.

Green believes he’s known around the studio as a hard worker who goes the extra mile. He’s also been known to go decades without taking a single sick day.

“My career has been built on working New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve. I’ve always worked long hours and [always] had a good work ethic. I’m proud of that. I’m not a good guy in a meeting. I don’t know what they’re for, and I still don’t,” he said.

Green is happy with his career and views himself as a storyteller who adheres to a simple philosophy. “A good story has a beginning, a middle and an end, with a lot of surprises in between. A good story goes from surprise to surprise,” he said.

“I think a Maine person can talk to another Maine person in such a way that there is as much said in the tone of the voice as in the words used. That’s what I try to do when I craft stories.”

Green loves the history and culture of the Pine Tree state and sees each story as a chance to praise it. “I don’t have any big goals right now. I’m really happy with what I do. I just like being the guy who gets to brag about Maine.”

Dan Harrington is a freelance writer living in Augusta and author of “Who’s at the Door,” from Cedar Fort Inc.