David Behrens joins the cast of Los Angeles Without A Map on location in Bradford

It had never happened before, so far as anyone on the set could remember - and it'll be a long time before it happens again.

An assistant director explained the problem. "The Bradford weather won't do," he said. "It's too nice here."

Perhaps it was global warming; perhaps a divine attempt to confound the city's dark, satanic stereotype - but as the film cameras rolled, the sun shone on the Otley Road.

The trouble was, the script called for gloom. A great deal of trouble and expense had been spent on selecting a vista that would exhibit the industrial north at its most funereal.

A huge camera dolly had been sited precariously at the edge of Undercliffe cemetery to capture the grit and grime of the skyline before it.

Instead, sunlight played annoyingly on the roofs of the houses. "It looks quite pleasant here," said a visiting crew member. "Shame."

As the director discussed changes to his schedule which might coincide with spells of cloud - perhaps drizzle, if he was lucky - locals watched from a distance, wondering what was going on.

The crew was finishing work on a film called Los Angeles Without a Map, based on a novel of the same name by the former Bradford author, Richard Rayner.

The story concerns a young Bradford funeral director who meets a visiting American by chance, and on an impulse decides to follow her back to Los Angeles. David Tennant, a star of the BBC2 drama, Takin' Over The Asylum, plays the main role, loosely based on Rayner himself.

That he does it in his native west of Scotland accent required a subtle script change. "We talked about giving me a Yorkshire dialect, but we decided against it," he says. "The Scots accent is quite 'in' at the moment."

Tennant has just returned from Los Angeles, where the bulk of the film has been shot.

"It's an extraordinary place," he says. "It's completely obsessed with the movies. Everyone you meet is in some way involved with them. Every petrol pump attendant says, 'Really I'm an actor. Have you read my script?'"

Tennant's co-star for the Bradford scenes had his own taste of Hollywood recently. Steve Huison is a Shipley-based actor who came to national and then international prominence as one of the strippers in The Full Monty.

Since the film's release, he's travelled the world promoting it - but fame, he says, does not also mean fortune. Not in his case, anyway.

"Contrary to popular belief, most of us haven't made anything out of Monty," he confides. "We were paid the basic union minimum and that's all. On the publicity tours they pay our expenses and give us a few quid a day spending money, but it's nothing like a wage. We certainly haven't seen any of the film's profits."

The travelling must have its compensations, though? "Call me cynical but I find it tedious and tiring," says Huison. "I don't like flying at the best of times.

"But I must admit, if you want to talk about film, LA is the place to be - because it's all that they do talk about."

The Full Monty has, however, caused theatrical doors to open for Huison which might otherwise have been slammed in his face.

"Take today's film," he says. "They rang up and asked if the producer and director could join me for a pint in my local pub.

"I've also done two episodes of a new BBC police drama called City Central, which is based in Manchester and should be out in March, plus an episode of Where The Heart Is for ITV.

"I'm not expecting huge leading roles, you see. At the end of the day I just want to work, and do decent work."

Huison's face has, it seems, become too familiar for his old stomping ground of Beckindale, though; YTV, producers of Emmerdale, have summarily abandoned his occasional character, PC Ray Wilson. "I don't know what I did to offend them," he says. "They just stopped sending me scripts."

Film work has prompted him to sign up with a major theatrical agency instead of the Sheffield workers' co-op which had handled his bookings previously. But he's stopped short of acquiring an agent in Hollywood.

"I know I'm on the crest of a wave at the moment and it's just a question of picking the right jobs," he says. "In a year's time, no-one will know who I am. I'll be some sad has-been and that'll be it.

"So my new agent's advising me to stick out for good film roles while I can get 'em. This job today is fine."

As he's called back to the set - a helpful cloud has allowed the director to snatch a shot for the comedy funeral scene he's filming - the producer Sarah Daniel reflects on the other locations which she hopes will make Bradford look more like its traditional self: i.e., not sunny.

"Tomorrow we're at a pub called The Queens on Lumb Lane," she says. "Great location.

"And we did get a good shot this morning before the sun came out."

Bradford has, she muses, a slightly sad air about it. "It needs a lot of money pumped into it."

But then, summoning a bucketful of the brand of diplomacy which is a producer's principal requirement, she adds: "Sun or not, I don't think there's anything dismal about Bradford. I think it looks beautiful."

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.