Forget Mecca and come to Blackpool

Filming of "Going to Mecca" on Blackpool's North Pier. Jack Carroll.
Filming of "Going to Mecca" on Blackpool's North Pier. Jack Carroll.
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Young comedian Jack Carroll had the Britain’s Got Talent judges laughing in less than a minute after he took to the stage – and in Blackpool his performance was just as
hilarious.

The 14-year-old is in town this week to film for the short movie Going to Mecca, and between scenes he had the cast and crew cracking up.

Filming of "Going to Mecca" on Blackpool's North Pier. Aqib Khan.

Filming of "Going to Mecca" on Blackpool's North Pier. Aqib Khan.

The film is being shot around South Shore and on North Pier, and tells the story of two brothers coming to terms with the death of the man who raised them. Jack, from Halifax, takes a leading role, opposite Aqib Khan who starred in the film West is West.

He said: “I’ve never been to Blackpool before but I hope I can go on some of the attractions.

“It’s nice because the Pensioners’ Convention is in town and I’ve been accosted by a few older women who wanted a cuddle!”

Acting out serious scenes concerning his father’s ashes on North Pier is a step away from the stand up that brought Jack to the country’s attention, but he said he was enjoying the change.

“It’s been a long day of filming, but I’ve got the stamina,” he added.

Speaking about his trip to the resort, Jack’s co-star Aqib, 18, from Bradford, said: “Blackpool is magical.

“It’s a beautiful place with beautiful people.”

Writer David Isaac said he and director Jason Wingard had originally chosen Hull for filming, but decided Blackpool would be more appropriate for the project. He said: “Blackpool is a much better location to shoot.

“It is cinematic, beautiful, nostalgic and charming.”

David said he and Jason watched Jack’s Britain’s Got Talent audition on YouTube, and got in touch with the young funnyman through Twitter to secure his appearance in the show.

The short film will last around 15 minutes, but if the British Film Institute like what the production team has done, it could be made into a full feature.

If that happens, David says, 95 per cent of the film will be shot in the resort.

A spokeswoman from Marketing Blackpool said: “What we have to offer in Blackpool is fantastic.

“Blackpool is unique. Other resorts have a little bit of Blackpool, but we are all-encompassing and it’s great to be able to help people when they ask to come here for filming.”

North Pier spokesman Stephen Mercer added: “It’s great to be able to work alongside Marketing Blackpool to help showcase the resort.

“If we can help show this positive image by allowing film crews to come onto the pier, that’s good for Blackpool and those who work here.”