AN actor who stars in a major film released next week said he feels ‘enormously privileged’ to have been part of its stellar cast.

Joe Gilgun, who has previously appeared in Made In England, Emmerdale and Coronation Street, performs alongside BAFTA winners Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West and Paddy Considine in the all-star ensemble cast of Pride.

The 30-year-old plays Mike Jackson, who comes from Accrington, in the ‘heart-warming British comedy drama based on a remarkable true story’.

The film has been tipped to be a smash hit in the mould of Billy Elliot.

It is set in the summer of 1984 when Margaret Thatcher was in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike.

At the Gay Pride march in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decided to raise money to support the families of the striking miners.

Mike, who lived in London at the time, was the co-founder of the Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM).

In the film, he and the other activists are not deterred by their initial rejection by the miners’ union and decide to go direct to the miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a minibus to make their donation in person.

And so begins the extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form an ultimately triumphant partnership.

Joe, who attended Southland High School in Chorley, said: “Back in the 1980s, the political climate was completely different, it was cool to be out there on the streets and standing up for what was right. Now it’s a completely different breed.

“My character Mike is quiet and still. I met him and got told the remarkable story. I’m very excited about the film.

“Chorley’s a similar town in a way in that it was a mill town and when they shut those down it lost some of its sense of identity.

“It’s a fantastic film and cast and I feel very lucky, very humble to have been involved in it.”

Pride is released in cinemas on Friday, September 12.