Worthing takes centre stage on big screens across the UK as the town’s iconic seafront features as a backdrop for the new Laurel & Hardy biopic, Stan & Ollie.
The BAFTA-nominated film, which stars Steve Coogan and John C Reilly as Laurel and Hardy, has been hotly tipped to be a hit with UK audiences after release today (Friday, January 11).
Alongside stellar performances from the headline acts, a familiar location in Worthing is set to be an unlikely star - with the town’s Lido used as a backdrop for a key scene in the movie.
Worthing Borough Council, which owns the art deco attraction in the seafront, is hoping the motion picture acts as a catalyst to encourage more film and television crews to use the area as a location in the coming years.
Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Worthing has a fine heritage when it comes to film with some of the first moving images in the UK created on our very own pier.
“More than a century on I’m delighted to see that continuing with this high-profile feature-length production about the world’s favourite comic duo shot on our seafront.
“With the movie now released I know I am not the only one who is looking forward to seeing Worthing on the big screen.
“The feedback we received from the production company was excellent and I know that word is getting round about the beautiful coastal, urban and country backdrops that our town has to offer. For those reasons I look forward to welcoming many more crews down in the coming months.”
Stan & Ollie, which has been made by BBC Films and Entertainment One, focuses on the comic duo’s final UK tour in 1953.
The scene in Worthing comes at a crucial point of the movie and features Laurel and Hardy judging a beauty pageant when disaster strikes.
Filming took place in the town in May 2017 with crews adding a 1950s flavour to the Lido complete with a bespoke mural which remains in place today.
Stan & Ollie is the latest big production to use Adur and Worthing as a location for TV and film shows.
Productions to shoot in the area in the last year include the much-anticipated BBC drama MotherFatherSon which features the multiple award-winning Richard Gere.
Others include ITV’s psychological drama Cheat, made by the creators of Liar; Channel 4’s dating show Flirty Dancing with Diversity’s Ashley Banjo; and the Chelsea Flower Show.
In a bid to encourage more production companies to use the area as a backdrop, Adur & Worthing Councils has teamed up with Sussex Film Office to create a new app to promote locations direct to firms.
Already the partnership is working well with a host of production companies exploring locations to use the area as a backdrop in 2019.