Sometimes, just sometimes, a long shot pays off. For Ellie Utting from St Albans it has paid off big time after television star Ricky Tomlinson agreed to star in a short film she is directing as part of her university degree.

Pschyed is a supernatural comedy, co-written by Ellie, about down-on-his-luck psychic Clive, who has his license revoked by the Ghosts’ Union and has to learn what it means to be dead before he can talk to them on stage again.

Brookside and Royal Family star Ricky will play the president of the union, who delivers Clive the bad news.

Ellie says: “Our producer is from Liverpool and used to deliver newspapers to Ricky Tomlinson’s house, so he knew where it was.

“As a bit of fun he thought he might as well drop the script round with a letter.

“We never expected to hear anything, but a week later we got an email saying he would do it. We were ecstatic.“ The 21-year-old, who went to STAGS and Sandringham School and is now in her final year at the University of York, is hoping people from her film-loving home town will now help fund the project as they have already drummed up £1,000, but need extra money for specialist equipment.

Filming for the 20-minute short, inspired by the style of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, is due to start in York, “the most haunted city in the world“ according to the Ghost Research Foundation International, on Friday, with the crew travelling down to Ricky Tomlinson’s comedy club in Liverpool, The Green Room, to film his “pivotal“ scene.

Ellie, who grew up watching Hitchcock films, says: “I’m a little bit starstruck and a bit nervous that I’m going to be directing a comedy legend.“

For details about the film, and how you can support it, visit: