INFERNO the movie ... now there's a thought.

Today, dear readers, it is the 200th Inferno – the icing on the four-year cake. So it's time to be self-indulgent.

Liverpool has just launched a guided walking movie tour.

I was inspired as I sat on the Ferry yesterday morning wearing my thermal scarf and gloves.

I was admiring the much-filmed Waterfront and day dreamed about a great tourist attraction ... a Wirral trek around the places featured in famous movies?

Cue the Twentieth Century Fox music and the iconic roaring MGM lion.

Imagine a sign on Bidston Hill that boasts: Welcome to WIRRALWOOD (well, you have to think big).

Granted, the size of the borough would mean you would need a mini-bus, but it would prove that we have plenty of sights for sore eyes So where would our magical movie mystery tour go?

For a starter, there would be a brief history of our home-grown stars from Oscar -winner Glenda Jackson to box office-busting Bond Daniel Craig.

Then off to Woodside Ferry terminal where Gerry Marsden's Ferry 'Cross The Mersey was made, the war-time epic Yanks and Chariots of Fire, which used Bebington Oval as a double for the Paris Olympic Stadium.

Ealing Studios decamped to New Brighton to make its '60s classic The Magnet.

The resort is currently one location star of Channel Four's quirky promos.

And most recently the crew of Florence Foster Jenkins went to our wonderful proms while the picturesque village of Thornton Hough was the location for the new biopic on Lord of the Rings writer, simply called Tolkien.

And from big screen to small, Jim Hitchmough's Watching made a star of Meols, while Peaky Blinders was filmed in Port Sunlight and Birkenhead Docks and Peter Kay's Car Share had used Wirral roads.

We could even plan ahead with a remake of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest at Wallasey Town Hall.

With culture on our minds the time is right for Liverpool City Region to give Wirral an even bigger role in the ongoing location success story.


FILM star Ricky Tomlinson has carved another career as an artist.

Granted, he is more Tate and Lyle than Tate Gallery.

But he is a great impressionist (you should hear his George Formby).

Ricky sold off all his paintings recently for a tenner each, a case of 'Monet' for old rope (oh, please yourselves).

Generous Ricky supported the Florrie arts centre in Liverpool where he is a patron.

'Ricasso' will draw in more funds entertaining audiences for the Edie Molyneux charity night at the Gladstone Theatre in Port Sunlight next Tuesday.

Birkenhead's cowboy Charlie Landsborough will be there too.

On the eve of Ken Dodd's funeral at the Liverpool Cathedral both stars will be paying a tribute to their pal.

Ricky, 79, told me: "I was in awe of the man."

And Charlie has an unforgettable memory when at an album launch Doddy declared to the star-studded guests that Charlie’s albums should come with a warning sticker saying: "don't play on your car stereo if you are on a long drive."


IT'S also been a sentimental time for Wirral-based Stan Boardman.

It was no laughing matter for the comic as he came to terms with the loss of three local legends he worked with and admired.

For once, holding back the gags, Stan told the Globe about the first time he met Doddy.

"I was 10 years of age when I first met him and he was a salesman doing rounds in Huyton.

"He told me a surreal joke about how he could eat a tomato through tennis racquet."

Stan was saddened to hear of the passing of Eddie Amoo of The Real Thing.

"I worked with him in on TV in the '70s – he was a brilliant singer who started out at the Cavern in the 60s." 

And he was upset to hear that Heswall-born Jim Bowen, fellow star of TV's The Comedians, had died.

"He made game show Bullseye a cult. I always wanted to win a speedboat on it." 

Now Stan, 80, is looking forward to lifting the roof off the Floral Pavilion on May 26 with his Audience With ... comedy show.

He said: "We are all in need of a good laugh in these very sad times and I invite everyone to go nuts with me in May."


FORGET Shakespeare's Ides of March, it's more like the Ices of March as spring officially arrived yesterday.

Hail Caesar, indeed, and snow and sleet.

Which leads me nicely to Britain's Favourite Food on C4 this Friday hosted by Wirral's Simon Rimmer which whets our appetites with culinary fads of the '70s.

Already, I am drifting back to childhood halcyon days in West Kirby.

I recall the Zoom lolly crafted like a rocket.

And the Fab version for girls – with its Thunderbirds theme.

Oh, how I love these telly trips down memory lane when a mobile phone was happily light years way.

And a 99–er with a flake was pocket money treat.

Cone but not forgotten.


PICTURE this ... Wirral was ahead of its time when it came to dealing with restless cinema audiences.

The Phoenix in Wallasey Village was built out of the ashes of the old Coliseum in 1951 and knew how to deal with close encounter special effects of the unwanted noisy kind.

They built sound-proof cry areas where kiddies could be seen and not heard.

Now that would get my PG Certificate of excellence.


AND finally ...

To seal my 200th column I salute Royal Mail launching a limited edition of stamps to mark the centenary of our glorious RAF.

I predict they will fly off the shelves.

Peter Grant