PUPILS at a school in North Yorkshire got to rub shoulders with the stars on the set of a new film being shot near York.

When film director Philippe Martinez sat down to enjoy his son’s nativity play at Terrington Hall School, he had no idea what to expect. The Martinez family relocated to Yorkshire from Spain last year and had never seen children re-enact the story of Mary travelling to Bethlehem.

Philippe was inspired and immediately decided to include a childrens’ nativity in his next Christmas film.

Pupils from Terrington Hall and their teacher, Claire Stubbs, jumped at the chance to appear in Father Christmas is Back, which is being filmed in Sand Hutton and includes a high profile cast.

The family comedy stars Elizabeth Hurley, John Cleese and Kelsey Grammer.

The plot centres around Caroline Christmas (Elizabeth Hurley), a control freak who wants to host a perfect Christmas with her sisters at her country manor.

Caroline wants to compensate for the fact their long-lost father abandoned the family on Christmas Day many years ago. But on Christmas Eve their father arrives on the doorstep with his new girlfriend and chaos follows. After a series of family mishaps, Caroline uncovers a family secret. Will Christmas go ahead?

The supporting cast include Nathalie Cox, Talulah Riley, Kris Marshall, Caroline Quentin and Ray Fearon.

Director Philippe was thrilled pupils from Terrington Hall took part.

He said: "It was an absolute pleasure to have the children of Terrington Hall School, one of their teachers, Mrs Stubbs, and some of the Terrington mums appearing in our film Father Christmas is Back.

"Our cast thought the children did very well, and we hope they had a great time experiencing the film set and seeing first hand how a film is made."

Philippe said he hopes that the film will make us all laugh and raise our spirits,

He said: "We all need uplifting stories to inspire us and a big Christmas comedy is the perfect antidote."

Philippe has also been filming locally with Kelsey Grammer and Nathalie Cox on his latest project Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop.

Father Christmas is Back is set to be released in December next year.