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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Comedian John Bishop in Ulverston

IT was lights, camera, action in Ulverston as top TV talent came to town to film a new Christmas comedy.

Comedian John Bishop was among the big names to walk the town’s cobbles and pose for photos with the iconic Laurel and Hardy statue yesterday.

Film crews set up outside the Coronation Hall to shoot scenes for the upcoming ITV comedy drama film Panto!

The show follows the cast of a pantomime production of Dick Whittington as they prepare for the opening night.

Although the action is set in the Lancaster Grand Theatre, the Coronation Hall fills in as the building’s exterior – and local shops even had their windows adorned with tinsel courtesy of ITV.

Bishop, who has previously appeared in Barrow, said it was his first time visiting Ulverston.

Braving the elements as he stood outside the Coronation Hall, he was keen to learn more about Stan Laurel and Ulverston’s comedic history.

“Ulverston is a lovely town,” he said. “I will come back when it’s sunny.”

After spending Monday filming at The Bay’s studio in Lancaster – since Bishop’s character is a radio DJ – he spent Tuesday morning filming in Ulverston before heading south to Bath where he was due to turn on the Christmas lights.

Bishop’s co-star and on-screen love interest Sheridan Smith, who has appeared in TV’s Gavin and Stacey as well as winning an award for her performance in the stage version of Legally Blonde, also enjoyed the sights of Ulverston.

Smith plays the show’s token celebrity, Tamsin, who is starring in the pantomime as Dick Whittington.

Also due to feature in the comedy, which is expected to air on ITV1 on Boxing Day, is 1990s pop star Chesney Hawkes.

Local historian Graeme Livingstone said he was pleased to see Ulverston attracting big names to the town.

He added: “I think it is tremendous that something good is coming to Ulverston. It’s great that they are filming here and using the area for that kind of media facility.”

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