Belfast Telegraph

The Journey: Paisley and McGuinness 'Chuckle Brothers' movie premiere laid on for MPs

By Noel McAdam

Martin McGuinness is to feature next week in a place he boycotted during his life - the House of Commons.

A screening of The Journey, the film of the former Deputy First Minister's 'Chuckle Brother' relationship with Ian Paisley has been organised for MPs.

Plus, the first Press screening of the long-awaited movie, scripted by Ulster author Colin Bateman, is also planned in London next week.

The Journey is then further scheduled for its premiere in the province under the umbrella of the Belfast Film Festival in June.

Belfast-born director Nick Hamm said: "We have a Press screening of the film in London next week as well as a screening at the Houses of Parliament."

Colm Meaney, who plays McGuinness and who has been nominated in the best actor category for this month's Irish Film and Television Awards, referred to the senior Sinn Fein figure as an "extraordinary statesman".

"I supported him in his candidacy for President of Ireland at the last election because I thought he was the most qualified person to do it," he said in a statement last year.

"He's proved himself over the last 10 years to be a very astute politician and a remarkably competent statesman, which surprises a lot of people."

Meaney - best known for his roles in the movie Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and on television in Star Trek: The Next Generation - also brushed off controversy surrounding Mr McGuinness, and argued: "Anyone who is involved in politics in Ireland is controversial.

"I think what Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein have achieved in Ireland in the last 10 years is tremendous," he said.

"They're the only all-Ireland party. They're moving towards bringing the island of Ireland together, which I think is a laudable goal."

Mr Paisley, the former DUP leader who died in 2014, is portrayed in The Journey by Timothy Spall.

Director Hamm said: "We were looking to present a balanced argument where both sides would be equally comfortable and equally uncomfortable."

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