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Lord Attenborough and his trip to Burton

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 28, 2014

By Rob Smyth

Richard Attenborough

Richard Attenborough

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THE leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council has spoken about how legendary actor and director Richard Attenborough once visited Burton.

Labour chief Julian Mott spoke about his experiences of meeting the member of film royalty, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 90.

Lord Attenborough (right), the stars of great films such as Jurassic Park, headed to the town to support a political candidate in the 1980s.

Councillor Mott told the Mail: "I met Lord Attenborough once.

"It must have been more than 30 years ago, about the time of Gandhi and long before Jurassic Park.

"Of course, he insisted that we call him Dickie.

"Dickie, who was a Labour peer, was in Burton to show his support for a Labour candidate, possibly our 1983 General Election candidate Bob Slater.

"As he wandered through what we then called The Precinct, now Coopers Square, my job (as a young Labour Party member) was to round up a few local people and ask them if they wanted to meet Richard Attenborough.

"I don't think many of them believed me when I said that the world-famous actor and director was nearby. A glance in his direction and they soon recognised his gap-toothed smile and wavy white hair.

"He treated everyone with his natural charm, charisma and many an anecdote.

" He had time for everyone. He was one of the good guys. Everybody liked him and it was great of him to give up his time for the party. I am sure that everyone who met him will remember him."

Lord Attenborough was the star of films including Brighton Rock, The Great Escape and Jurassic Park.

His greatest directorial piece was the biopic of Gandhi, for which he won two Oscars.

He was was knighted in 1976, before being made a life peer in 1993.

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