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Albert’s big role

Albert Wilkinson, one of the original Oompa Loompa's from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, with fan Gregor Gee.

Albert Wilkinson, one of the original Oompa Loompa's from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, with fan Gregor Gee.

Blackpool’s very own Oompa Loompa has helped set up a party featuring the world’s largest collection of Willy Wonka film memorabilia.

Albert Wilkinson is one of the last surviving Oompa Loompas from the 1970s hit musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and he agreed to help stage a Wonka-themed party for 100 people – all with a golden ticket – thrown by Gregor Gee.

Mr Gee, 24, snapped up thousands of items from the 1971 movie, including the bright coat and top hat worn by Gene Wilder, who played Willy Wonka himself.

Mr Wilkinson, a 76-year-old entertainer from Blackpool, said: “It’s a bit weird to dress up again with the orange face and the white eyebrows, but I feel nostalgic.

“I’ve been in entertainment all my life and it’s been 40 years since we did the original movie.

“There were 10 Oompa Loompas at the time, but there’s only three of us left in the world. I’m really retired now, but I come out and do these conventions.”

Mr Wilkinson also starred in Labyrinth with David Bowie, Willow, the Never Ending Story and has been a Womble.

Memorabilia dealer Mr Gregor held his party at his very own factory in Grangemouth, Scotland, dressed as sweetie boss Willy Wonka.

More than 100 film fans queued to catch a glimpse of the original film props including a golden egg, an everlasting gobstopper, Grandpa Joe’s costume and the world’s only Scrumdiddlyumptious Bar.

He said: “It’s a dream come true. I’m absolutely buzzing with excitement.

“I never thought in a million years I would have the original props and costumes and also my friendship with the cast of the movie. [Me and Albert] are like the best of friends now. We could hang out more.

“He’s just so much fun.”

 

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