Rare Sellers films are Peter perfect delight for Leeds cinema fans

Peter Sellers in Dearth Of A Salesman.
Peter Sellers in Dearth Of A Salesman.
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Comedy fans are in for a rare treat when two ‘lost’ Peter Sellers films are screened in Leeds this weekend.

Dearth Of A Salesman and Insomnia Is Good For You are both being shown at Hyde Park Picture House on Sunday.

The films were shot in 1957, around the time Sellers was making his cinema breakthrough with feature-length hits such as The Ladykillers and I’m All Right Jack.

Intended as a showcase for his comic talents, the two 30-minute shorts were believed lost for many years until their prints were identified after being rescued from a skip in London.

They have now been digitally mastered and will be screened in Leeds with another infrequently-aired Sellers short, Cold Comfort.

All three see the star playing a Yorkshireman who goes by the less than complimentary sounding name of Hector Dimwittie.

Hyde Park Picture House’s Ollie Jenkins said: “With so many lost films out there, especially short ones, it’s always a genuine thrill to hear when some are fortuitously rediscovered, especially when they’re films from such iconic figures as Peter Sellers.

“Whether you’re a keen Sellers fan or like most people you’ve enjoyed one or two of his unforgettable performances in films like Dr Strangelove, this is a really special chance to see some brilliant films from one of the UK’s greatest comic actors.”

The Hyde Park event is the result of a partnership between the cinema and Leeds International Film Festival’s Short Film City project.

Sellers first found fame with radio series The Goon Show and later achieved huge worldwide success with the Pink Panther movie franchise. He died in 1980, aged just 54.

Sunday’s screening of Peter Sellers: The Lost Shorts starts at 6pm.

Ticket prices range from £5 to £7.50. For further information, visit www.hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk or ring 0113 275 2045.