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Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Party People shock Cannes
Sean Cunningham and other actors
The actors were ejected swiftly by security
A publicity stunt for a forthcoming British movie ended in actors and journalists being ejected from a Cannes beach on Tuesday.

Danny Cunningham and other actors from the film 24 Hour Party People - which tells the story of the Manchester music scene in the 1980s and early 90s - attacked each other with dead pigeons.

Holidaymakers on a private beach in front of the exclusive Majestic Hotel were splattered with fake blood and worse as Cunningham received a cut to his head during the fracas.

Steve Coogan
Coogan is in Cannes to promote The Parole Officer
Cunningham plays Shaun Ryder, the lead singer of the Happy Mondays, and the whole stunt was designed to commemorate the wild lifestyle of the band.

"I think Shaun would have been proud of us," said Cunningham.

"We came to Cannes to be wild and now we are going home."

The four actors, who play the Happy Mondays in the film, brought the pigeons - stuffed as stage props - from Britain with them and proceeded to attack each other with them.

They were inspired by an incident from Ryder's life portrayed in the film, when the young Ryder is alleged to have poisoned 3,000 of Manchester's pigeons with crack cocaine.

Shaun Ryder
Shaun Ryder won the NME Godlike Genius award in 2000
Alan Partridge star Steve Coogan plays Factory Records label boss Tony Wilson and The Royle Family's Ralf Little also stars as guitarist Peter Hook.

The Happy Mondays, whose hits included Kinky Afro, Step On and Hallelujah, first found fame in the late 1980s.

The group dissolved in 1993, and Ryder formed another band, Black Grape.

When Black Grape split in 1998, Ryder reformed the Happy Mondays, and the band played the Glastonbury Festival last year.

The publicity stunt is premature as 24 Hour Party People is not due for release until February 2002.


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