Dudley Sutton, The Forum, Darlington

YOU'D think paying to watch a film at a film club only to find there was no film would be a major disappointment.

That was the unfortunate situation Darlington Film Club found itself in when licensing issues caused the last minute cancellation of a planned screening of 1962's The Boys.

Undeterred, one of the stars of that film – the redoubtable Dudley Sutton – carried on with his planned talk-in to fans about his life and lengthy career.

And the 84-year-old – appearing at The Forum in Darlington courtesy of Misty Moon Film Society – more than made up for the lack of a celluloid forerunner by delivering a two hour tour-de-force.

Nothing was off-limits as Sutton spoke candidly about his work, co-stars, directors and producers.

Prompted by the audience, he ripped through a series of risque tales, highlights – and lowlights – of his acting life.

Sutton had an anecdote for every movie – Ken Russell's fiery temper and Oliver Reed's prodigious drinking on the set of The Devils, the ordinariness of sex symbol Mary Millington in The Playbirds and the paranoia of Peter Sellers during the making of The Pink Panther Strikes Again.

His television career was also discussed. He spoke warmly of Ronnie Barker, waxed lyrical about the elegance of The Beiderbecke Trilogy and, of course, spoke of his most famous role in Lovejoy – and his sometimes joyous, sometimes vicious experiences with co-star Ian McShane.

Exotic locations (Rome, Moscow, Antigua – and Leyburn) featured heavily in his talk – as did various exotic substances.

But perhaps the highlight of a triumphant evening was saved for the end when Sutton treated the crowd to a five minute verse he composed, an irreverent rap titled 'My Daughter's F***ing Wedding'.