Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Saturday, 3 May 2008 13:00 UK

Village pub recalls comedy greats

Laurel and Hardy in 1952
The duo performed together until shortly before Oliver Hardy's death

A village pub in the Midlands is to recreate the moment two Hollywood comedy icons served behind the bar.

Laurel and Hardy pulled pints at The Bull Inn in Bottesford, Leicestershire, during a break in a European tour in Christmas 1952.

The pub was run by Stan Laurel's sister, Olga, and she invited them over while their show was in Nottingham.

Now two amateur actors will appear as the screen legends as part of Bank Holiday events in the village.

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy rose to fame in Hollywood's silent era but continued their success into the 1930s and 40s.

Local hero

But after World War Two their movie careers slowed and they toured Europe with live shows.

Teacher David McCormack will play Oliver Hardy and also wrote the sketches for the celebration.

"I looked at photographs of their time here to think about what they would have done and said," he said.

"I suspect they would have used snippets from their old routines in pastiche form."

He added: "There are jokes, a bit of slapstick and maybe even a song or two. But there is a serious note, thanking the residents of Bottesford for their hospitality."

Oliver Hardy died after a stroke in 1957 but Lancashire-born Stan Laurel lived until 1965.


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