THE HIT ‘FACTORY’ (HOPEFULLY!)

Alan Partridge actor Steve Coogan is in talks to play the UK label's headhoncho Tony Wilson...

British actor/comedian STEVE COOGAN is in talks with film producers to play FACTORY RECORDS and HAGIENDA boss TONY WILSON, nme.com can reveal.

Coogan is the favourite to play Wilson in ’24 Hour Party People’, a British film documenting Factory Records, the Hagienda and the subsequent ‘Madchester’ era. It will be directed by Michael Winterbottom, whose previous credits include ‘Welcome To Sarajevo’ and ‘Jude’, and scripted by seasoned Northern writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce.

Sources on the project have told nme.com that the film will cover the period between 1976-92, taking the 1976 Sex Pistols gig at the Free Trade Hall as the catalyst for Wilson and his activities. The focus will be on Wilson himself, with bands such as New Order and Happy Mondays depicted, although not as pivotal characters.

Filming is expected to start in January, with a release date no earlier than autumn 2001.

Producers are holding an open audition at Joshua Brooks bar (103 Princess Street) in Manchester on Tuesday, September 26. No previous acting experience is required, but casting officials stress that the auditions are for characters and not extras.