How Steve Coogan fared in his role as Stan Laurel

PUBLISHED: 00:00 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 18:10 11 March 2019

John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy and Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel. (c) PA Photo/Entertainment One/Aimee Spinks.

John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy and Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel. (c) PA Photo/Entertainment One/Aimee Spinks.

Aimee Spinks

Steve Coogan's film portrayal of Stan Laurel has received rapturous applause, especially in his home county

They’ve done the boys justice. That’s the enthusiastic reaction to the new Stan and Ollie film from one of their biggest fans.

Mark Greenhow runs the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Ulverston, the old Lancashire town where Stan was born in 1890. ‘I’ve seen it twice and it’s wonderful,’ said Mark, whose grandfather opened the museum back in 1984. ‘It hits the nail on the head, telling the story of two friends who really got each other.’

The first time Mark saw the movie, which has received rave reviews, it was in the company of Mancunian Steve Coogan, who plays Stan. He and his co-star, John C Reilly, secretly visited the museum before filming began.

‘Steve’s performance is exceptional – spot on. And while the film might not be chronologically perfect, that’s not a criticism because we realise it’s necessary to tell a story in an hour and a half. They’ve done the boys justice.’

The film affectionately tells the story of how they attempted to reignite their film careers as they embarked on what became their swansong – a gruelling theatre tour of a largely indifferent post-war Britain.

Mark is particularly pleased that the film is helping to keep alive the memory of his comic heroes.

‘It’s marvellous to see the boys on the sides of buses, discussed on The One Show and even trending on Twitter. I wonder what they would have thought of that?’

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