‘Lost’ Peter Sellers films to be screened publicly for the first time

Two Peter Sellers films thought to have been lost for almost 60 years will be shown in public for the first time next week.

Sellers lived in the Grade II-listed Chipperfield Manor, near Kings Langley, at the cusp of his stardom from the late 1950s.

Peter Sellers

Peter Sellers

The actor, thought of as one the best comedians of all time, died in 1980.

Clips from films Dearth of a Salesman and Insomnia is Good For You – some of the earliest examples of the actor’s work - have been released ahead of the premiere.

Dearth of a Salesman sees Sellers play Hector Dimwittie as he attempts to become the most successful salesman in Britain, while he plays the same character in Insomnia Is Good for You, in which he struggles to sleep before a meeting with his boss.

Peter Farrow, of Essex, discovered the films when he checked a skip outside the now defunct Park Lane Films in London back in 1996, but has awaited the chance to have them showcased in the best way. He had been in touch with the British Film Institute, which has its headquarters in Berkhamsted, to inform them of the find.

Members of the Sellers family will now attend the first public showing of the reels, each lasting 30 minutes, at the opening gala of the Southend Film Festival next Thursday.