‘Truly British movie’ to tell how tragedy-hit shanty singers rose to stardom

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The life and times of shanty singers the Fisherman’s Friends are to be immortalised in a feature film.

The Cornish-based singers were propelled to stardom after being spotted by a record company executive while performing a capella on Port Isaac harbour four years ago.

Their debut album subsequently reached the top 10, and they performed on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury in 2011.

However, the release of their follow-up album One and All had to be delayed after singer Trevor Grills was killed by a falling stage door at a concert venue in Guildford, Surrey, in February.

The film, which is written by Nick Moorcroft and Piers Ashworth, will start casting in late 2013. Band manager Ian Brown said: “Contrary to normal Hollywood casting requirements, young and beautiful is not the priority.

“The key roles of the 10 Fisherman’s Friends will cross all ageism boundaries and range from 45 to 80 years of age.

“The film will tell the story of the band right up to the Glastonbury gig. We have been consulted on the script so there will be a bit of the band’s humour in there, I’m sure.

“We’re leaving the casting to the film company. I’m sure a few of the lads would want their parts to be played by Brad Pitt, but the main criteria will probably be an ability to sing.”

The singers have only performed once since the tragedy, at Mr Grills’ funeral service, although members meet up for a get-together every week.

Despite the hiatus, the Fisherman’s Friends have continued to release new material, with One and All scheduled to hit the shelves on August 19 through Island Records.

Ealing Studios have now confirmed British film director Nigel Cole, responsible for successful feel-good movies Calendar Girls, Saving Grace and Made In Dagenham, will direct the movie based on the trials, tribulations and tragedy during the rise to fame of the shanty singers.

The director said: “I am very much looking forward to making the film.

“It will be a truly British movie.”

Mr Brown described the director, from Cornwall, as “a legend of British film”, adding: “I’m sure the story is in safe hands.

“It’s been a difficult year, so this will be something positive to look forward to.”

The film is expected to be shot on location in Port Isaac in spring next year.