CATHERINE ZETA-JONES said filming the new movie version of TV classic comedy Dad’s Army in Yorkshire reminded her how much she loves the UK.
Her affection tonight may not have extended to the British weather though as the cast huddled under umbrellas on a damp red carpet at the film’s world premiere in Leicester Square.
The Welsh actress, 46, kept all eyes off the rain clouds in her low-cut teal dress as she joined co-stars Toby Jones, Sir Tom Courtenay and Sir Michael Gambon.
Now based in Los Angeles with husband Michael Douglas and their two children, Zeta-Jones said filming it in England was like “coming home to a cup of Ovaltine”.
She said: “It was everything I hoped it to be, it was all these great actors, knew their lines, knew what they were doing.
“We were laughing all the way through it and it just reminded me how much I love being in the UK to work and to be with British actors.
“It’s nice to come home and this was like coming home to a cup of Ovaltine, nice and cosy.”
The big screen version of the Second World War-set BBC sitcom, which ran from 1968-77, sees Zeta-Jones plays journalist Rose Winters, whose arrival in Walmington-on-Sea to report on Captain Mainwaring’s Home Guard sets pulses racing and proves a distraction while the group try to smoke out a German spy in their midst.
Suddenly the fate of the nation falls in the hands of the Home Guard played by an all-star British cast which also includes Bill Nighy as Sergeant Wilson, Bill Paterson as Frazer, Daniel Mays as Walker and Blake Harrison as Private Pike.
Sir Michael says the set was full of laughter.
“It was nothing but laughing and fooling around. I was mucking around with all of them,” he said.
The film is out in UK cinemas on February 5.
Meanwhile, people in Bridlington were hoping it would give the town a different billing – one that gets the visitors marching in.
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is a money-can’t-buy opportunity to show the world what a stunning county Yorkshire is and I can’t wait to see the film.
“The most popular UK film locations can attract up to £1.6m a year from international tourists and I’m sure the local economy will see a tremendous boost once Dad’s Army reaches cinemas.”
In Bridlington – fictional Walmington-on-Sea – businesses are gearing up for what they hope will be a bumper season.
From May Bridlington Spa will be running a vintage open-top bus tour of film locations, including Danes Dyke, North Landing, Sewerby Hall and ending in the Old Town.
Organisers of the annual Old Town festival are hoping to double numbers with a 1940s-themed festival in June.