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Regional journalist to be immortalised in Colin Firth film

John WareA character based on a regional reporter is set to appear in a film about an ill-fated sailor’s round-the-world yachting attempt.

Filming is currently under way for the as-yet untitled movie, which features Oscar winner Colin Firth as Donald Crowhurst, who is believed to have committed suicide in 1969 while competing in the Sunday Times Golden Globe race.

Crowhurst set sail from the Devon town of Teignmouth in the race, where he was competing against others to become the first person to complete a non-stop single-handed round-the-world voyage.

While on the seas, he was so far behind the others he commenced a plan to deceive the world by falsifying his locations on the ship-to-shore messages sent from his radio.

His fake reports led those following the race to think he was winning, and people prepared to give him a hero’s welcome home — but in the end his boat was discovered unmanned and drifting, with Crowhurst assumed to have drowned himself after suffering a mental breakdown.

It was later discovered he had faked his logs and never left the Atlantic.

The film will feature a character called Wheeler, a rookie reporter who is believed to based on former Torquay Herald Express journalist John Ware.

John, pictured above left, covered Crowhurst’s exploits for the Herald Express, and said he was “delighted” to be portrayed in film.

Wheeler will be played by Jonathan Bailey, whose past acting credits include Broadchurch and Testament of Youth.

John, who now works at the Teignmouth Post, told the Herald Express: “I’m really glad they are making a film about Crowhurst, it’s a fascinating story and deserves a wide audience.”