Belfast Telegraph

Patrick Moore’s cameo in Irish sci-fi flick

For 50 years he has been an authority on astronomy for the BBC but fans of Patrick Moore will be surprised to know he starred in a Irish science-fiction film.

The veteran Sky At Night presenter starred in ‘Them In The Thing', a low-budget movie, complete with flying saucers hovering over Castle Leslie in Co Monaghan, in 1954.

Recently unearthed by the Irish Film Institute (IFI), the lost classic is the work of the late Desmond Leslie, whose family have lived in the castle for the past 300 years.

A lifelong UFO enthusiast, his interest in the extra-terrestrial prompted Leslie to pen a worldwide bestseller in 1953, ‘Flying Saucers Have Landed'.

And a year later, to make his own alien movie, he enlisted help from the neighbouring village of Glaslough, as well as members of his family, including his son Mark.

Mr Leslie pointed out that the pulsating UFO featured in the film is an old castle heirloom.

“The flying saucer is actually an old Spanish Renaissance shield which was hanging on a wall. My dad suspended it on a fishing line while my brother shone a mirror at it to make it glow,” he said.

Having previously taken part in a TV debate with him on UFOs, Desmond Leslie invited the unknown astronomer Mr Moore over to Ireland for a cameo in the film.

This was three years before he hosted ‘The Sky At Night', which he still presents, 53 years later.

Belfast Telegraph

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