Page last updated at 11:53 GMT, Monday, 23 June 2008 12:53 UK

Todd to kick off veteran festival

Actor Richard Todd. Pic by BBC
Richard Todd has recorded a special message to start the festival

Veteran paratrooper and star of The Longest Day, Richard Todd, has recorded a special message to kick off the UK's first veterans-themed Film Festival.

A welcome by Todd, who is the festival's patron, is to be screened before the film views as the opening feature in Stirling on Sunday.

This year's event will also feature an audience with Ewan McGregor's brother Colin, who recently served in Iraq.

The festival, which has Stirling as its flagship city, runs until 6 July.

The Longest Day, was voted the best war film of all time by British veterans and tells the events of D-Day on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Ironically Todd, who took part in D-Day, starred as Major John Howard in the film while another actor played the part of Richard Todd.

The screening will take place at the MacRobert Arts Centre on Sunday at 1930 BST.

The festival forms part of Stirling Council's two weeks of celebrations for Veterans Day, which culminates on 12 July with the Piper's Trail procession of pipe bands and veterans through the city.

Colin McGregor, who is an ex squadron leader of 617 - the squadron best known for their daring WWII mission to drop bouncing bombs - will chat to the audience following a screening of The Dam Busters on Monday 30 June 30.

Stirling Provost Fergus Wood said: "We're very proud to host Scotland's premier Veterans Day event, and have arranged a full programme of entertainment to appeal to all ages starting with the Film Festival.

"I hope people will join us this summer to salute all those who have served."

Veterans Day celebration unveiled
02 Jun 08 |  Tayside and Central
New fund to support war veterans
03 May 08 |  Scotland

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