TV star Miranda Hart visits Morecambe

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Telly superstar Miranda Hart paid a hush-hush flying visit to Morecambe to film her latest TV show.

But the sitcom star almost found herself locked out of the Winter Gardens after the BBC only confirmed her visit at the 11th hour.

The Beeb wanted access to the old theatre so Miranda could shoot her new documentary about Eric Morecambe - at 30 minutes’ notice!

“We’d talked about Miranda coming but I’d heard nothing for weeks,” said Evelyn Archer, keyholder and chair of the Winter Gardens Preservation Trust.

“I’d been invited to speak at a church service that day so I told the BBC to give me plenty of warning.

“But they phoned me at 11.30am to tell me they were coming at noon. I opened up and then had to rush off. I didn’t half give them a blast!”

Miranda also filmed scenes on Morecambe beach and near the Eric statue on December 7, where she met the late comic’s former chauffeur Mike Fountain.

“She was really really nice, and told me how marvellous the statue was and what a good job they had done with it,” said Mike.

The BBC had initially asked Mike to drive Miranda to some of Eric’s old haunts in the late comic’s Rolls Royce, recently restored by Carnforth wedding car specialist Peter Yates.

But plans fell through due to a clash with another programme about Eric’s life.

“I had a word with (Eric’s wife and son) Joan and Gary, and they have a similar programme planned for the New Year on BBC2,” said Mike.

“They haven’t had anything to do with this one.”

Miranda also recently visited Eric’s beloved Luton Town football club to film footage.

The programme is due to be shown on BBC1 in spring 2013.