IT is Sunday night and I have just rolled in having spent 48 hours in the company of 100 On The Buses fans on their annual pilgrimage to Borehamwood, where the three spin-off films were made in the Seventies.

In fact this year marked the 40th anniversary of the original On The Buses film which was made for £97,000 and went on to gross ten times that amount within three months at the UK box office alone. It also helped Hammer films remain profitable for a few more years.

The cost seems remarkably low nowadays, but you have to remember even its star Reg Varney was only paid £5,000 and most of the film was shot locally.

In fact, thanks to Sullivan Buses, we spent part of Saturday and Sunday travelling around these locations on an old Routemaster double decker.

It included looking at a house in Clarendon Road, where Reg’s character’s family lived, and a manhole cover in Bullhead Road in which Olive, in the shape of actress Anna Karen, got stuck.

We also did a walking tour of the new street plaques and stars, which were recently installed by the First Impressions project.

You may wonder at first glance if these people are mad, but in fact they are a great bunch of folk from all walks of life out to have a good time. They also represent a boost for our local economy with 100 people booking hotel rooms, dining out and having a few drinks.

I spent a fair time with Ray Warren and his son, Ray junior, who travelled up from Sherborne in Dorset, and spent three nights in a local hotel. We sank a few pints while I told tales of Elstree Studios.

The organisers Steve, Craig and Rob put a lot of effort into the event including a quiz, screening of the film and inviting the two writers of the TV series. Today it is easy to forget that On The Buses used to achieve television ratings that the X Factor could only dream of, and represented old-fashioned family entertainment.

I am very keen that we encourage more such film and TV tourists and with that in mind I guess we must welcome the return of Big Brother and the eviction nights fans from August onwards.

I also read a report a couple of weeks ago in a national newspaper saying that the TV show Dancing On Ice was returning to Elstree, having been required to move to Shepperton last year.

The programme makers say it is to enable them to build an arena-style set, which will introduce 360 degree seating for the first time. I suspect the crew and the audiences will welcome a more accssible studio especially for those travelling by public transport.

Anyway, it is time for me to eat something so I must sign off and, until the next time, all I can say is ding ding.