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  1. #1
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    Does anyone know what became of Alan Barnes who played Hayley Mills' brother in Whistle Down The Wind?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: England
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    He was 8 years old when the film was made and had no interest in pursuing an acting career. He went back to school and on leaving became a motor mechanic in the area where he was brought up - Chatburn in Lancashire.

  3. #3
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    Thank you Hugo. Bryan Forbes in his autobiography says that Alan was "seven, going on thirty-seven"!

    In an Alan Bates interview that I have found it is suggested that he may have become a chemist. I wonder if he is still alive.

  4. #4
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    Didn't he have a small part in "THE VICTORS" 1963.

  5. #5
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Yes, he's done a few other film roles over the years and even appeared in EastEnders!



    Check his entry on the IMDb - he's called "Alan Barnes (I)" there but this system doesn't like parentheses in a URL.

  6. #6
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    He is also credited with writing episodes of DR WHO. I do not think that this is the same Alan Barnes, it is not an uncommon name

  7. #7
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    But there are rules about these things that (generally) prevent two people with the same name working in films and/or TV that usually works for all professions around the world. The system can be fooled when non-professionals are included in the cast (or crew). Also when one person dies another can use the same name after a certain number of years.

  8. #8
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    Yes, but as the original Alan Barnes was only 8 when he appeared in the film, he was too young to get an Equity card and be in the system, and if he has done no acting subsequently, his name still won't be in the system and there is no problem for anyone else of that name using it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: Wales David Challinor's Avatar
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    I'm sure this request has been posted here before but whatever happened to Alan Barnes, the boy whose film debut nearly stole 'Whistle Down the Wind' (1960) from everyone else... I read once he was living a quiet life in his 40's, and elsewhere, more sadly, that he died in a road accident.

    ...I happen to ask cos I'm reading the old autobio from that film's director Bryan Forbes. He set about finding child actors in Clitheroe for the film. Amusingly in the book he says he was sure Alan Barnes was right for the part when he asked the boy ''how do you feel about acting in my film?', the un-star struck lad shrugged ''I'm not bothered''. And after Whistle he apparently wasn't.

  10. #10
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    We have had this thread before and if I remember correctly somebody had taped a documentary showen the last time "WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND" was on TV. The only other film I know Alan Barnes was in "THE VICTORS" 1963. Did he do some egg adverts on TV?.

  11. #11
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    According to the audio commentary, the person who appears on there with Hayley Mills excitedly tells Hayley that Alan got the acting bug again and appears in Love Actually as a film director. But are they really the same person? Anyone have a copy of this film? I cannot imagine him losing his accent.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Is it the same Alan Barnes? I slept thru most of Love Actually and the only filming I recall was a minor segment involving the making of a sex video. (Martin Freeman of The Office featured)

  13. #13
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    The Imdb says it's two different people, although the info on there is fairly sketchy, so that's a lot of bl***y use then . eh? But I do remember vaguely seeing this documentary and I thought that he wasn't acting anymore, but I'm afraid I recorded it on VCR and the tape is knacked, :mad: so I can't be sure. The irony is I was taping the film before this documentary because my original recording was destroyed by fire! Can't win can ya? Still no bl***y use then! Jeez! Regards, Decks.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    The locations for Whistle were featured in the series with Ben Fogle as presenter, (was it Big Screen Britain)did he mention anything then, can't remember myself, cracking little series but on at odd times of the day.

    best wishes

    Freddy

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Wales David Challinor's Avatar
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    I received Love Actually as a present - and shall watch it again to see 'Alan Barnes' - mind you, that's the only reason to watch it again! Thank you for all your comments on this question, and I'm amazed in this internet-age it's a mystery what happened to him. I too saw the Ben Fogle doc, but although I only had half an eye on it - I was playing with my daughter when it was screened - I'm sure there was no mention of him today, and he was noticably absent from the other now-grown-up children who agreed to appear...the search goes on!

  16. #16
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    Alan Barnes is alive and well,and runs a joinery business in Lancashire.He only did one more film,'The Victors',and was not in 'Eastenders' or 'Love Actually',as the imdb used to say.I have since corrected this.In fact in 'Love actually an Alan Barnes played the part of a film director.This actor is coloured so it is obviously not the same actor.

    You may have seen my other posts on this forum,about me tracing Diane Holgate,so she was able to tell me about Alan.He is not interested in doing any documentaries about the film,and Diane last saw him about 8 years ago.

    Diane has now become a good friend,and she visited me for a weekend last May.She is very proud of the film,and i played the DVD commentary of Hayleys.Diane said she would love to have been included on that,as Diane was a local girl she knows more about the locations,and would not have confused Clitheroe and Downham ,as Hayley did at the beginning.

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by Rich@Jul 25 2005, 05:18 PM

    Alan Barnes is alive and well,and runs a joinery business in Lancashire.
    This is wonderful news. For about three years now I've been under the impression that he died young. This remains my favourite British film and have just watched it again for the zillionth time on BBC4. Needless to say I cried again.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator Country: Scotland
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    "'e doesn't know, does 'e"



    my favourite line and moment in the film, Alan says this to Hamilton Dyce.

  19. #19
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    Glad to have been able to help James.I don't know where you heard that he had died,but Alan is definitely still with us.

  20. #20
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    (JamesM @ Aug 2 2005, 05:56 AM)

    "'e doesn't know, does 'e"



    my favourite line and moment in the film, Alan says this to Hamilton Dyce.


    mine's 'it's not Jesus,it's just a fella'.just brilliant.

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