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Christopher Eccleston
Christopher Eccleston
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Eccleston lends a hand

Dianne Bourne
2/11/2005

HE'S known to hate the trappings of showbiz life. So it's no surprise that having left his hugely popular Dr Who role, Christopher Eccleston's latest project sees him back to his gritty northern roots.

The Salfordian, who last week won Most Popular Actor at the National TV Awards, but failed to turn up to the glitzy ceremony to collect the gong, has narrated a documentary about a priceless archive in his home city that will be screened for the first time at next week's Salford Film Festival.

It tells the incredible story of the world-famous Working Class Movement Library on The Crescent.

Ruth and Eddie Frow created the library after they met in the 1950s, driving all over Britain in their Morris Minor and later in a caravan collecting objects relating to labour history.

The archive includes 50,000 books, pamphlets and periodicals and 2,000 items of memorabilia and is recognised across the globe for its importance.

Christopher, raised in Little Hulton, was happy to be narrator for no fee, and I hear there are plans to release the 25-minute film on DVD before the end of the year.

Working class

Film director, John Crumpton, says: "His family are from a working class background, and Christopher is from Salford and proud of it.

"He has said that once the DVD is launched he would like to visit the library with his mum and dad and meet the people who run it."

Screening the documentary is something of a coup for the film festival - although I'm told that Christopher has had to send his apologies and won't be attending the premiere of the documentary, on Saturday, November 12, as he is currently in Brazil.

The film festival, which runs from Friday to Sunday next week, will also host Salford's first ever world film premiere, of new murder mystery The Truth, at The Red Cinema at Salford Quays on Friday, November 11.

Stars of the film, including Stephen Lord and Elaine Cassidy, are expected to attend as well as the region's VIPs for the glitzy bash.