It’s amazing what you can find during a spring clean.
Unseen footage of the Beatles having fun and larking around on the set of their 1965 movie ‘Help!’ in the Austrian Alps has emerged after being stored in a garage for more than half a century.
The late actor Leo McKern – best known as Rumpole of the Bailey on ITV between 1978-92 – shot the unique footage, entitled ‘Snow Scenes’, while filming with the Fab Four on the Richard Lester-directed movie.
McKern starred in Help! as a cult supervillain called Clang who is after the ring on Ringo’s finger, but in real life he was friendly with the band teh amateur photographer and filmmaker caught glimpses of them on camera, relaxed and off guard, as they prepared to film scenes in the ski resort of Obertauern.
McKern died in 2002 and fellow actor Neil Pearson, who is also a rare books dealer, was approached by his daughter Abigail McKern to help sort through her mother’s collection of children’s literature and together they discovered the film.
Speaking of the footage, Pearson told The Guardian: “It is unseen footage of people who were, at that time, the most famous people on earth. It is footage of golden age Beatles, fooling around between takes, waiting for something to happen … I know that feeling.”
The footage also includes a sweet scene with a then 10-year-old Abigail, who can be seen larking around in the snow, She spent a lot of time with her dad on set of the movie and traveling with the Fab Four.
Pearson added: “Abigail remembers being thrilled and then confused and then frightened because at one stage she was spat at by an apparently jealous fan.”
BBC1’s The One Show will feature the unseen footage later today.
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