Writer Alan Bennett has thrown his weight behind a campaign to derail plans for a windfarm on the Saddleworth moors.
The well-known actor, writer and broadcaster, who has been entertaining the nation for almost 50 years, has agreed to help raise funds for the Saddleworth Moors Action Group by hosting an “Evening with Alan Bennett” in a small village hall.
SMAG is fighting plans to erect a series of towering 360 foot wind turbines on Denshaw Moor which they claim will be a blight on the landscape visible for miles around.
The plans by German energy giant EON were thrown out 12 months ago, but are now back on the agenda following an appeal and an upcoming public inquiry.
David Makin, Chairman of SMAG, said: “Whatever your feelings about windfarms, we feel this is an entirely inappropriate location for an industrial complex.
“I have known Alan for about 25 years and when he learned what we were doing he was more than happy to help us raise funds.
“These things are being planned for locations all over the country and while I do not wish to put words in Alan’s mouth he is against the desecration of the countryside.”
The publicity-shy 72-year-old, who first appeared on TV in the early 1960s with Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, is famed for his work as an author and performer and was nominated for an Oscar for the script of the 1994 film The Madness of King George.
Over the years he has also produced smash hits including the comic monologues Talking Heads and more recently the highly rated play and later film The History Boys.
In a rare public outing the famed author will be entertaining a small audience at Uppermill Civic Centre to help raise around £25,000 to pay for a barrister to fight the developers on SMAG’s behalf at the public inquiry.
Environmental protestors have pledged their support for the plans and claim the silent majority are in favour of the Denshaw Moor development.
Bill Edwards, Chairman of Oldham Environmental Forum, said”Involving celebrities smacks of desperation and the fact they (SMAG) cannot convince people of their argument through logical debate.”
The public inquiry is due to open on June 26 and run for six days.
Tickets for An Evening with Alan Bennett, are priced at £20 and are available from the Civic Hall in Uppermill on 01457 876665 or from David Makin on 01457 872866 or David Harrison on 01457 875855.
18 February 2007