Sunday, 04 October 2015

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Who’s a pretty actor then? Budgies on the silver screen

Two budgies from Seaton will stick their beaks into the limelight for a feature-length film.

The budgerigars will taste the seeds of fame when they feature in a 90-minute film called The Raven on the Jetty, produced by film maker Erik Knudsen.

The feathery pair, trained by Barrie Shutt, 68, of Coronation Avenue, will appear in a scene to be filmed near Penrith in April.

Barrie has been breeding birds since 1959 and the film-makers found him via his website.

He is also training up two birds as understudies, in case the budgies get an attack of stage fright.

Another scene in the film will be shot at a house in Seaton.

The village was chosen as a location by producers One Day Films, after a recommendation from contacts.

The crew is also looking for a cat from Seaton to be featured.

Barrie, an award winning breeder, plans to donate his fee for the film to granddaughter Emily, of Dearham, who is battling leukaemia.

He has been training the birds for several months.

He said: “It’s important to begin the training when the birds are still in the nest box. When they eventually come out of the nest box they will be tame and have no fear.

“You should also keep a budgie at eye level and give it a wink now and again. If you do you will find it will wink back.”

The art house movie is about an electively mute boy who visits his estranged father in the Lake District after his parents’ bitter divorce, and then connects with nature.

Mr Knudsen, whose film One Day Tafo was broadcast on Channel 4, a bronze award at the 1991 Houston International Film Festival.

Anyone who has a cat for the production should email


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Is it time to reintroduce the dog licence?

Yes - It would certainly make people more responsible about looking after their pets

No - Some people will just abandon dogs whether they've paid for a licence or not

Maybe - but also all dogs should be microchipped and tagged so owners can be traced

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