SIR Donald Sinden and Ian Paisley had been signed up to play each other in the West End, it has emerged.
The two greats of British theatre had been working on a biographical play where Sinden would become the Unionist firebrand and Paisley would portray the slightly camp actor.
But they died within hours of each other, robbing theatregoers of a unique insight into the Northern Ireland peace process and the filming of Rentadick.
Playwright Tom Logan said: “Donald was relishing the prospect of playing Ian. He had a lot of stuff about Papists and sodomy that he wanted to get off his chest.
“Meanwhile, Ian was immersing himself in the role. He was known for shouting about Satan, but when you met him privately he sounded almost exactly like Donald Sinden. He also had a insatiable desire to work with Elaine Stritch.
“And, of course, while Donald would never have admitted it, he did enjoy getting loyalist paramilitaries all worked up.”