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Back Then: George Moore gives being movie star a spin


George Moore in the radio station in Spain

George Moore in the radio station in Spain

Sir Richard Branson and his co-pilot Per Lindstrand celebrating his rescue with the Rathlin islanders

Sir Richard Branson and his co-pilot Per Lindstrand celebrating his rescue with the Rathlin islanders

George Moore in the radio station in Spain

George Moore, a man with a passion for pure jazz, is about to make his debut in a movie at 73. He and four musical pals who play in a group called Eagle Wings will be off to Spain soon to appear in a thriller called The Cucharacha Club being produced by English company Siesta Productions.

It's all down to a promise retired architectural consultant George made to the son of a close friend who used to play with him in the Bangor Folk Four.

"He asked me to keep his dad's interest and love of music alive and I am proud to be keeping that promise," said drummer George.

George put Eagle Wings together for the movie, which stars Tom Watt, who used to be Lofty in EastEnders, and Al Matthews, who was in Aliens with Sigourney Weaver, The Fifth Element and several other hits.

Eagle Wings, whose other players are Derek (keyboards), Colin (songs and bass) and Victor (flute and clarinet) will be playing the songs they have written in the club as the plot unfurls and George gets into the action with a speaking role.

The picture here today shows George Moore way back in 2006 seated at the microphone in a studio of Exite FM Radio Station in Torrevieta, a Spanish town where he had become a household name as a presenter after making his debut as a broadcaster with the Costa Blanca FM station, where he had his first daily show.

"At one time during my career on the wireless I also presented Sweet Sounds on Sunday, a Sunday Sequence kind of show," adds Georg,e who lived in Spain with his wife Ann for several years before returning to Northern Ireland.

So when the production team of The Cucharacha Club were casting around for a band leader with a touch of the drama about him they immediately thought of George back home in Bangor and persuaded him to put Eagle Wings together and prepare to fly on location to Spain.

"It will all happen in the new year," he said. "We are all happy about the part Eagle Wings is to play in this spy story too. That's why the picture of me in the studio brings back so many memories. Just think, though, that this story really began 45 years ago when David Franklin senior and I were playing together in the Bangor Folk Four, cutting albums like The Folk Of Ireland and appearing in the Half-Door Club with the likes of Marie Cunningham, The Recordites, Jimmy Kennedy and Peter Tomelty. After that I sang with Bangor Operatic and, of course, I played for a long time with the Martella Jazz Band before Ann and I got a hankering after a break in Spain, where friends talked me into picking up a mic and going on the air."

Day Rathlin folk came to Sir Richard's rescue

If Sir Richard Branson ever does fulfil his dream of taking ordinary folk (but with plenty of money for the tickets) into space on regular flights his first passengers - for free - should be the natives of Rathlin Island.

Way back in 1987 they came to the rescue when Branson's hot air balloon crashed in the Atlantic off Northern Ireland's only inhabited isle. They helped to pluck him and his co-pilot Per Lindstrand from the freezing water, made sure they were none the worse from their adventure and altogether made a big impression on the pair. It has been said that if Rathlin - sometimes called Raghery - had been just another uninhabited lump of rock, Sir Richard might not have survived.

He has never forgotten the Rathlin islanders and their hospitality, so if he does ever take off in a passenger space ship they should definitely be the first on a trip to the stars.

That is, of course, if they want to go. They may never get the chance. That horrific accident last week and the death of a crew member on the trial trip that went wrong has set the project back.

Belfast Telegraph