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PICTURE MARTIN BOSTOCK'Harry Hill  filming 'The Harry Hill Movie' on Blackpool Beach.
PICTURE MARTIN BOSTOCK'Harry Hill filming 'The Harry Hill Movie' on Blackpool Beach.
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He’s one of television’s most recognisable personalities, known for his trademark specs, quick quips and zany antics.

Now comedian Harry Hill is making his move to the big screen – and he’s come to the Fylde coast to do it.

The funny man is currently in the resort making his eponymously titled project, The Harry Hill Movie, and has spoken exclusively to The Gazette about the film.

So, why did he choose Blackpool?

“It’s integral to the plot,” explains Harry.

“I can’t go into it too much but it’s a road trip heading towards Blackpool.

“My hamster has seven days to live and we’ve got to give him his dream holiday, so we head up to Blackpool although there is a misunderstanding due to the language barrier between hamsters and humans.”

A familiar tale of the trials and tribulations faced by both man and rodent then, which also features a cast comprised of some of the biggest names in British comedy.

Simon Bird (of Inbetweeners fame) plays a mad vet who chases Harry and his hamster across the country, while Little Britain’s Matt Lucas features as his evil twin brother Otto.

Julie Walters also stars as Harry’s petrol-drinking grandmother.

And according to the man himself, the filming process is one he’s enjoying.

“We’ve got Julie Walters, who I’m a huge fan of.

“We couldn’t have got a better person to play my nan, it’s pretty unbelievable to me that she would do it.

“I’m really enjoying being on set, it’s kind of the opposite of what I do when I turn a show around every week.

“The process is completely different, there’s a lot of preparation and taking time over shots.

“I’ve wanted to do a film for a long time but I’ve never had the time because I’ve also been doing all that other stuff, so I thought that I’d have a year off to do it.”

The cast are here for the next two nights, with scenes being shot at Central Pier and the Pleasure Beach.

The film’s dramatic climax takes place at Blackpool Tower, and Harry has praised the resort as a filming location.

He adds: “I haven’t been to Blackpool for a long time.

“I came up on holiday when I was in my twenties and did a few gigs here, but it might have been 10 years ago – I think I did the Opera House one bank holiday weekend.

“What’s surprised me is when I was last here I thought Blackpool was looking a bit run down.

“When we came up on a recce to have a look around I thought it looked great.

“We’re doing a lot of night shooting here because Blackpool does look really good at night.”

And the former doctor, who rose to stardom in the mid-1990s, says it’s not just the resort’s landmarks which makes it so appealing.

The cast spent Sunday evening happily mingling on the sands with holidaymakers and walkers on the Prom.

Posing for photographs and answering fans’ questions appears to be a genuine delight for a man who clearly embraces with a great sense of modesty the joy his work has brought to an audience of millions over the past two decades.

“We’re all in a really good mood here and it’s a like a social outing. Everyone here has been really helpful, all the people involved with the town and the council too. It’s really appreciated.”

The Harry Hill Movie is due for release towards the end of this year.