Role play

Budding film star Councillor Michael Allan has earned a dual role in the sequel to Elizabeth I, which started filming in Ely yesterday (Wednesday). The Liberal Democrat councillor will be seen on screen as a wealthy London businessman wearing the same cos

Budding film star Councillor Michael Allan has earned a dual role in the sequel to Elizabeth I, which started filming in Ely yesterday (Wednesday).

The Liberal Democrat councillor will be seen on screen as a wealthy London businessman wearing the same costume Sir Richard Attenborough wore in the first film.

He has just finished four days of filming The Golden Age in Cambridge, working alongside big names from the film world including Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen and Geoffrey Rush.

And earlier this month he spent time in London dressed as a Spanish cardinal for filming in Westminster Abbey.


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Cllr Allan was cast as the two very different characters after attending auditions at Ely's Maltings.

His filming schedule in Cambridge began last Thursday at 6.30am when he was treated to breakfast on the set before make-up and fitting of his costume, which included slippers, tights and breeches.

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"It was exhausting," said Cllr Allan, who represents the Fordham villages on East Cambridgeshire District Council. "We were working until about 7pm each day. It was a shame the weather wasn't good. We were dodging the showers.

"They film for about two minutes a day and repeat the same piece about a dozen times. There's a lot of hanging about but they look after you very well. At one point I was cold so they gave me a hand-warmer.

"They cut my part in London and I think they felt sorry for me so they gave me the role in Cambridge.

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