Published: 00:00, 28 August 2008
Award-winning film director Ken Russell’s return to Herne Bay was tinged with sadness.
Despite describing the town in a tounge-in-cheek interview as “the finest place I have ever been” he said he was sad to see the old pier had gone.
Mr Russell, 81, was in town on Friday to introduce a screening of his 1964 film French Dressing, which was shot in Herne Bay and includes scenes of the seafront and former pier.
“I’m saddened to see that the pier seems to have drifted out to sea,” he said. “It used to be one of the longest piers in the world and is very much a feature of the film.”
French Dressing stars Roy Kinnear, Marisa Mell and James Booth.
It is a comedy about a dull British resort called Gormleigh-by-the-Sea. Things liven up when deckchair attendant Jim (James Booth) convinces the local entertainment director and mayor into starting a film festival.
French Dressing was shown in Memorial Park as part of Herne Bay Festival.
Before the screening Mr Russell, best known for directing the Oscar-winning Women in Love and The Who’s rock opera Tommy, said: “I’ve been to Pisa, Clacton-on-Sea, Margate, but Herne Bay is the finest place I’ve ever been.”
And asked how he felt being in Herne Bay, he said: “I’m beside myself.”