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  • Writer's pictureEllen Cheshire

Wish You Were Here!

Updated: May 5, 2023

3 Years ago on the 23 April 2017, I was present at an historic event. After 30 years, director David Leland was reunited with Emily Lloyd, who had starred in his 1987 film Wish You Were Here, based on their early life on infamous British madam, Cynthia Payne.

Cynthia Payne was born in Bognor Regis, but the film was largely shot in Worthing (with some scenes shot in Bognor), which is why I had been researching and writing about it for an HLF funded book for Worthing WOW, Electric Pictures: A Guide to Films, Filmmakers and Cinemas of Worthing and Shoreham (The History Press, March 2017).

As part of this, co-writer James Clarke had gotten in touch with David Leland, who very kindly wrote an introduction, and agreed to pull-in all his contacts for a special 30th anniversary screening at the Worthing Dome, which is featured in the film. Watch some highlights of the event.

The book, Electric Pictures: A Guide to Films, Filmmakers and Cinemas of Worthing and Shoreham, celebrates the breadth and historical significance of filmmaking and cinemagoing in Worthing and Shoreham, West Sussex, and was part of an HLF funded project commemorating the 120th anniversary of the the first film screening in Worthing.

In the introduction David Leland, director of Wish You Were Here wrote: "I am appalled by my ignorance. Having devoted most of my life to working in the film and television industry, I discover I have been ignorant of a significant portion of British cinematic history. That is, until I read this thoroughly entertaining book, Electric Pictures."

You can read more about the making of the film here, in an interview David and Emily did at the 30th anniversary event.

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