Veteran showbiz stars currently entertaining TV audiences with their attempt to crack Las Vegas rehearsed for the show in Wigan.
The cast of Last Laugh in Vegas, which is being shown on ITV, prepared for their visit to Sin City with cameras in tow at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (Alra) North at Wigan Pier.
Eight acts, including St Helens’ 81-year-old entertainer Bernie Clifton famed for his routines with Oswald the Ostrich and comedy duo Cannon and Ball, are being shown staging a one-off variety performance in the glamorous Nevada playground.
They were accompanied for their two days of rehearsals at Alra North by their American producer Frank Marino, whose presence in Wigan caused quite an impact.
The drama school also got something in return for hosting the top-secret practice sessions in the shape of some spectacular drone footage of the venue.
Alra principal Adrian Hall said: “A friend of a friend who works at ITV suggested us as an interesting venue and we were more than happy to have them down here.
“They had a great time, although I’m not sure what Frank made of the Mill and of Wigan when he turned up in his very flash Rolls-Royce. It looked a little out of place.
“It was all quite secretive. They wouldn’t even tell us who was coming beforehand. Anyone around who recognised people were lucky because the rest of us were kept in the dark.
“It was really nice of them to offer the footage, which we decided was a fair swap for them using the theatre space and one of our upstairs break-out rooms. They even waited for a nice sunny day.
“I thought the first programme was pretty good and I’m interested to see what happens when they actually perform.”
The opening episode of the programme aired on April 3 and there is a total of four episodes following the build-up before the feature-length screening of the actual variety performance.
The other British acts taking part are comedian Mick Miller, pianist and entertainer Bobby Crush, vocalist Kenny Lynch, 1960s pop idol Jess Conrad OBE, actress and singer Anita Harris and comedian and singer Su Pollard.
Throughout the programme the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s acts lived in a single house and were filmed reminiscing.