HOLLYWOOD celebrities are lining up to take part in a radio show broadcast from a house in Lanarkshire – all because of Laurel and Hardy.
Ricky Gervais, Star Wars actor Mark Hamill, Spinal Tap star Michael McKean and actress Minnie Driver are just some of the stars who have already been interviewed by Ross Owen since he started recording the weekly show from his Cumbernauld home last month.
A huge Laurel and Hardy fan since childhood, Ross also runs an online forum and Twitter page in honour of the comedy duo.
The 47-year-old said: “It seems almost everyone in showbiz follows the Laurel and Hardy Twitter page, which gives me direct access to them.
“The proper etiquette is to go through managers and agents, but they usually say no without even asking their client, so I find that if I ask directly in a respectful way they respond.”
Ross got his DJ break after chatting online with Mike Walker, the owner of Kansas-based Black Sky Radio.
“I’d never done a radio show before meeting Mike but it’s going well so far.
“I spoke to Michael McKean last week. He’s a big Laurel and Hardy fan and he told me his wife, Annette O’Toole, is coming to the Edinburgh Fringe to do a play in August and he’s coming over with her.
I’m going to take him to the Britannia Panopticon, where Stan Laurel made his stage debut.
“And Mark Hamill was supposed to phone for a five-minute chat but talked for an hour.
“People ask me why celebrities appear on my wee show, but it goes out worldwide via the internet so is great exposure.”
Fran Healy of Travis, actress Minnie Driver and Carice Van Houten from Game Of Thrones are all big Laurel and Hardy fans and they’ll be on a special show to celebrate Stan’s birthday on June 16, alongside other stars like Ricky Gervais.
“I’ve known Ricky for a few years now and I consider him a friend,” dad-of-three Ross continued. “He’s a massive Laurel and Hardy fan.
“I’ve met him a number of times now – he invited me down to the set of his Channel 4 show, Derek, and to see the David Brent show.
“I’m going down south soon to see one of his live shows.
“When my sister had cancer we held a charity night and Ricky not only donated a prize for the raffle, but also recorded a little video for the evening.
“He offered me a small part in his new movie, Life On The Road, but I took unwell and unfortunately had to miss out.
“Ricky has encouraged me a lot and proved to be a big influence,” he added.
Listeners can tune in at www.therossowenshow.com on Fridays at 8pm.
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