TELETEXT ITEM (4th to 6th May 2003)


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Ex-gangster shoots down own film

Fighting mad: Dave CourtneyEast End hardman and movie star Dave Courtney has pulled the plug on his movie Hell To Pay the day before it was due to be sent to the Cannes film festival.

Courtney, who directed the film, is furious the soundtrack, featuring one of his own songs, has been cut from the final version by editors.

Now he and several financial backers are set to lose more than a million pounds in lost profits.

The former gangster says he is livid. "When I saw the final edited version I was horrified. I only saw it by chance just hours before it was due to go to Cannes. The editors had taken my song, The Commandments, out of the film which I'd promised my record label, Universal, would definitely be in it."

Businessman Brendan McGirr is furious that Courtney won't release the film.

"This film has virtually wiped me out and now I'm going to lose a quarter of a million, without any chance of making a profit," he says. "I'm totally gutted, I just don't understand why Dave has done this. For the sake of those like me who will lose serious cash I hope he thinks again."

And Courtney admits that he and his financial investors stand to lose millions of pounds.

"I'm afraid it's just tough and if any of them whinge about the money they're going to lose it's nothing compared to what I've lost," he says. "I've put every penny and second of the last two years into that film. I wanted to be proud of it. But I hate the final cut so I'm scrapping it."

The ex-gangster says he lost control of his debut film when he was injured in a car crash.

"I was in hospital in a coma and I was out of the of the picture for six months, that's when things started to slip. What makes me really angry is I promised my record company that my new single would be in the film. Now it's not so it makes me look like a liar and that's bang out of order."

McGirr says he may lose 250,000 because of Courtney's decision: "This was going to be our answer to The Long Good Friday. The last two years with Dave have been quite a rollercoaster ride and it's just a shame it has to end like this. My new book The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth will show people just how mad it's been."

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