UTV presents Jimmy Ellis tribute

Published Thursday, 20 March 2014
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UTV will present a special half hour programme paying tribute to the late Jimmy Ellis.

UTV presents Jimmy Ellis tribute
James ''Jimmy'' Ellis receiving an honorary degree at Queen''s University. (© QUB)

Jimmy Ellis: The Actor's House will feature never before seen recordings of the star during a final visit to his lifelong family home in east Belfast.

The footage was filmed by the poet Paul Yates, who was a close friend of the actor, and pays a funny, revealing and poignant homage to the 'Z-Cars' legend.

The special programme will explore the surroundings of the east Belfast home Ellis loved so much as he paints a vivid portrait of his memories of his father and mother, the war years, the production of "Over the Bridge" that will prove a lasting tribute to his talents and his humanity.

Paul Yates said: "I was privileged know Jimmy as a close personal friend and collaborator. In the late 1990s I filmed with Jimmy at his lifelong family home in Park Ave East Belfast, shortly before it was sold.

"Jimmy's first collection of poems 'Domestic Flight' had just been published and he read from this as well as sharing early childhood memories.

"This footage has never been seen before and is broadcast in sincere tribute to James Ellis 'the legend' and Jimmy Ellis 'the man'."

The Belfast-born actor was 82 when he passed away from a stroke earlier this month.

He began his acting career at Belfast's Group Theatre in 1952 and was appointed director of productions in 1959.

In 2008 Ellis was awarded an honorary doctorate from Queen's University, where he had been a student, for services to the performing arts.

Jimmy Ellis: The Actor's House airs on UTV Friday 21 March at 10.35pm.

© UTV News
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