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Flash Gordon actor backs Skye airstrip campaign

Gordon's backing the bid: Sam J Jones has lent his support to the campaign. Picture: Complimentary

Gordon's backing the bid: Sam J Jones has lent his support to the campaign. Picture: Complimentary

  • by ANGUS HOWARTH
 

HE’S MORE accustomed to battling Ming the Merciless, but Flash Gordon has unexpectedly lent his support to a campaign to reopen a landing strip on the isle of Skye.

Actor Sam J Jones, who portrayed the sci-fi hero in the 1980 film, is backing the bid to reopen the landing strip on the Scottish island where parts of the film were shot.

Jones spent around seven days on the island and reportedly fell for its charms and the locals, who he described as ‘tough but warm’.

The one-time US Marine - who recently appeared as himself in Seth MacFarlane’s film Ted - and co-star Melody Anderson shot the opening scenes of the film at Ashaig, where Flash and his love interest Dale Arden, played by Anderson, are seen on board a small aeroplane battered by a hail storm created by Ming the Merciless.

In the film, the pair are helped onto the aircraft by Scots actor Robbie Coltrane, credited as ‘Man at Airfield’.

Looking back on his time on the island, Jones said: “I stayed in a 200-plus-year-old hotel. You had to give two days’ notice if you wanted to bathe.”

He recalled: “I visited some of the pubs where the older farmers taught me darts.”

Speaking about the airstrip, Jones added: “Based on my experience with the local people, if it is in their best interest, then I am for it.”

A number of those involved in the island’s business community are part of Fly Skye, the campaign for the return of commercial flights, and are determined to further the idea of reopening the landing strip.

The Scottish Government has so far refused to come up with the funding to reopen the strip, according to the Daily Express, estimated at between £9.7 million and £15.3 million.

 

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