Film stars dazzle as Ambleside hosts Lakes movie's debut

The Westmorland Gazette: Actors Richard Lumsden and Jeremy Swift arrive for the premiere of Downhill Actors Richard Lumsden and Jeremy Swift arrive for the premiere of Downhill

THE glamorous world of cinema got a distinctly Cumbrian twist as the premiere of a new British comedy came to Ambleside.

Cast, crew and audience paired evening gowns and suits with hiking boots, walked down a grassy red carpet and nibbled on themed canapés including ‘Grassy Knolls’ and ‘Cheesy Boots’ as the curtain went up on ‘Downhill’ at Zeffirellis.

Shot entirely on location, the comedy tells the story of four friends who take on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.

The film, which hits cinemas tomorrow, is the feature debut of TV commercial director James Rouse and stars Richard Lumsden (‘Sightseers’, ‘The Catherine Tate Show’), Karl Theobald (‘2012’, ‘Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa’), Jeremy Swift (‘Downton Abbey’) and Ned Dennehy (‘Tyrannosaur’, ‘Luther’).

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The event was attended by cast members Swift and Lumsden, and director James Rouse, who was visibly emotional at seeing his feature debut on the big screen, and the warm audience reaction.

“It’s an incredibly hard road to make an independent British movie,” he said.

“It’s a story about four guys going on a walk which doesn’t sound very sexy but it’s the character, hopefully, that make you stay with it.”

Although the four main cast members share the screen for most of the film, the story’s team leader is Gordon, played by Richard Lumsden, who said making ‘Downhill’ was the ‘most fun’ he’d ever had on a shoot.

“I loved it. I’m from the Peak District and walking is something you do all the time, so to be able to go to work and do it was great.”

The small crew were a ‘tight unit’ and helped each other carry equipment up hills while dealing with the downpours.

“If a film showed a two-week walk in the north of England with wonderful weather no one would have believed it.

“The landscapes were extraordinary and I think England looks really good in this film.”

The event was held in aid of the Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team, with a total of £900 raised.

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