The parts of two of the Rystone Calendar girls in their forth coming feature film have been announced. The role of Angela Baker (Miss February) is to be played by Julie Walters and that of Tricia Stewart (Miss October) by Helen Mirren.
Helen Mirren was nominated for this year's Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film Gosforth Park, whereas Julie Walter is no stranger to such accolades, having been Oscar nominated in 1983 for her role in Educating Rita and being awarded an OBE in 1999.
Filming is expected to begin in June and to be shot in the Yorkshire Dales. Angela and the girls had to create recordings of themselves reading newspapers for the actresses so their northern accents could be perfected.
However, it is not certain whether the girls will meet any of the actresses before filming begins. It is thought that the actresses are to learn all of the girls characteristics from the script rather than from the girls themselves.
Since the launch of the now famous calendar in April 1999, around £500,000 has been raised for leukaemia research in the UK and US. It was the death of Angela's husband John Baker from lymphoma in July 1998 that bore the idea of the 'Alternative WI Calendar'.
During John's illness money was raised for leukaemia and lymphoma research by Angela and her friends from the Rylstone and District WI. When the Calendar was launched in April 1999 it became a surprise hit selling 88,000 copies in the UK, twice that of the famous Pirelli Calendar.
In May 2000, a nineteen month version, called the 'Ladies of Rylstone', using the original photographs by Terry Logan, was published by Workman Publishers in New York. This version sold over 200,000 worldwide, and a further 40,000 in the UK.