Former Timelord Christopher Eccleston is film group’s patron

Christopher Eccleston, who is the new patron of Leigh Film and the Leigh Short Film Festival
Christopher Eccleston, who is the new patron of Leigh Film and the Leigh Short Film Festival

Leigh film enthusiasts have pulled off a coup by unveiling one of the region’s best-known acting stars as their community group’s patron.

Christopher Eccleston, best known for playing the ninth Timelord in Doctor Who, has given his official backing to Leigh Film and the Leigh Short Film Festival.

The award-winning actor, who was raised not far from Leigh in Little Hulton, has appeared in a host of TV dramas and films as well as taken on top stage roles including Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

He is now the patron of the town’s annual celebration of short, low-budget movies made by up-and-coming film-makers and the regular screenings of classic and non-mainstream films at The Turnpike Centre in Leigh.

Leigh Film secretary Elizabeth Costello said: “We are so honoured at Leigh Film to have Christopher Eccleston as our patron. We have been working over the past four years on delivering quality community cinema and having Christopher, an award-winning actor, as our patron is amazing recognition for what we do and our ethos.

“He was raised not a stone’s throw away from Leigh and we believe he proves that with hard work and passion for what you believe in you can succeed.

We are so honoured at Leigh Film to have Christopher Eccleston as our patron

Leigh Film secretary Elizabeth Costello

“It is hoped through Christopher’s patronage that we at Leigh Film can raise the aspiration of young people in the borough to get involved in film and other associated activities.”

Now living in Worsley, Eccleston, has become one of Britain’s most recognisable acting talents, with notable credits including his roles in hit films such as Shallow Grave, Elizabeth, 24 Hour Party People and 28 Days Later.

Originally influenced by films such as Ken Loach’s Kes and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, he studied at the Central Speech of School and Drama and first trod the boards professionally at The Old Vic in Bristol aged 25.

Recent major roles including British series The A Word about autism and American drama The Leftovers.

He is also known for his work on defeating dementia, currently featuring in Alzheimer’s Research’s new campaign, and Leigh Film hopes to work on this as its Afternoon Cinema Club aims to tackle social isolation and provide somewhere for dementia sufferers and their carers.

For more information about the group visit www.leighfilmsociety.com