Steve Coogan and John C Reilly to play Laurel and Hardy

The actors will portray the iconic comedy duo and their complex partnership in BBC film Stan & Ollie

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Steve Coogan and John C Reilly are to star as iconic comedy double act Laurel and Hardy in a BBC film created by Cilla writer Jeff Pope.

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The actors will portray the friendship and working partnership of the legendary comics, with Alan Partridge’s Coogan playing Stan Laurel and Hollywood star Reilly as Oliver Hardy.

The film will tells the story of the duo’s final tour in 1953 and will be directed by Jon S Baird, director of James McAvoy comedy-drama Filth, reports Deadline.

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“Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are my heroes,” said Pope, who co-wrote the Bafta-winning Philomena with Coogan. “When I watch their movies, in my head it is forever a Saturday morning and I am six years old watching the TV at home utterly spellbound. I am aware of the huge responsibility of bringing their characters to life, but I have not treated the boys with kid gloves or looked at them through rose coloured specs. They are living and breathing characters, with flaws and shortcomings.”