BRADFORD will be playing host to an annual convention celebrating two of cinema’s best-loved comedians.

The Bradford branch of the Sons of the Desert - the official Laurel and Hardy appreciation society - will be welcoming fellow groups from across the country and abroad.

More than 120 people are expected to attend the Sons of the Desert convention, the 37th of its kind to be held in the UK.

Named after Laurel and Hardy’s 1933 film Sons of the Desert, the club was set up to keep the work of the duo alive after their deaths.

In keeping with the desert theme, each branch of the society is called a tent, and is named after a Laurel and Hardy film; Bradford’s is called the County Hospital tent.

The convention will run from Friday, April 28, until Monday, May 1, and will be based at the Midland Hotel.

The party will visit Haworth and ride on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway on the Saturday, before spending the Sunday visiting the Alhambra theatre and Science and Media Museum, which will be screening Laurel and Hardy films in the Picturehouse Cinema.

The films on show will be the 1932 short film County Hospital, and the 1937 feature film Way Out West, with tickets costing £5 for adults and £1 for children.

David Ballard, ‘Grand Sheik’ of the Bradford branch, said this is the first time the convention has come to Bradford.

He said: “I’m looking forward to 120 people converging on Bradford.

“We are looking forward to visiting the Alhambra where Laurel and Hardy played in 1952 and 1954.

“We’re also staying at the Midland Hotel, where they stayed in 1952; there are plaques outside the rooms they stayed in.

“We are having a draw to see who gets to stay in their rooms.

“The best thing about Laurel and Hardy is they just make you laugh. It’s good clean fun with jokes for all ages, and I think everyone can see a bit of themselves in their characters.

“I grew up watching them on television every day in the 1970s and just fell in love with their comedy.

Laurel and Hardy were a comedy duo during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema, made up of Stan Laurel, from Ulverston in Cumbria, and Oliver Hardy, from Harlem in Georgia in the US.