Paul Sykes movie: Emmerdale star’s desire to play a Yorkshire man of steel in new movie

Independent filmmakers, Western Edge Pictures, have hinted that work on the much-anticipated film about the life of an ex-Lupset boxer and long-time prisoner may begin in the coming months.

Michael Barr, who spent five years on the ITV series, told Express he wanted the lead role.

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Like Sykes, he has an interest in boxing, and although he’s from all over the Pennines, he says he actually worked at a West Yorkshire twang.

Paul Sykes (left) and Michael Barr.

“I’ve always had an obsession with Paul Sykes, and when I heard they were doing the movie, I thought I’d love to play him,” said the 35-year-old actor, who returned from living in Los Angeles.

“These little films can really put characters like Sykes on the map.

“It was a body sample and I should have put in two muscle stones.

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Sykes’ inner guidance… Michael Barr, having put his picture in an old app.

“I’ve heard there are quite a few people in the running, but I bet none of them can get Sykes’ mannerisms like me, I’ve studied them to the bone!”

Sykes became a professional boxer in his younger years as he competed for the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles, both of which failed to land.

But his spells in prison for petty thefts, as well as bouts of violence behind bars earned him a reputation as one of Britain’s toughest inmates during the 1970s and 1980s.

He spent time in 18 prisons in total, was imprisoned for 21 of the 26 years, and became a good friend of notorious prisoner Charles Bronson.

Sykes at the height of boxing.

Sykes’ reputation for violence was established and he was later banned from Wakefield town center due to his unpredictable antisocial behaviour, exacerbated by his excessive drinking.

He died in Pinderfields in 2007 of pneumonia and cirrhosis of the liver. He was 60 years old.

His reputation continues to divide people, with some seeing him as a legendary figure, while others simply describe him as a violent bully.

Videos of Sykes are still popular on YouTube, including footage of him being interviewed in his back garden in Lobst, where he vaguely brags about how best to handle a shark.

Since then, true crime author Jimmy Boyle has written a series of books on Sykes in recent years, which have been read by Michael Barr, and that have piqued interest in Western Edge Pictures.

It is understood that award-winning director Vaughan Seville is involved in the film.

Western Edge is expected to spend around £2 million on the production, which will be filmed around Wakefield, Leeds and Pontefract.

He will focus on Sykes since 1989, when he was 43 years old.

Mr. Boyle said: “I hope filming begins in the summer, and the ’80s band will do the soundtrack, and that will be massive.

It will be shown (for the first time) in Leicester Square.

“Sykes is someone that people care about, either way, no matter what the opinion is, he’s an amazing personality that can’t be ignored.

“He’s the most interesting person I’ve ever studied.”

Speculation is mounting that Michael Barr will get the part after he put a picture of himself through an old Instagram app to his 248,000 followers.

He carries a Sykes-like mustache, and added the caption “Having Paul Sykes Feelings.”

Michael said: “I picked it up in a newspaper and I’m not sure if they knew I was going to put it through the app or if I was out in the sun too much!

“But people kept saying I looked like Paul Sykes, I watched the monologue about hitting sharks so many times, I even did it in auditions as a comedy piece.”

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