BEACH walkers wandering along Sandbanks early yesterday could have been forgiven for thinking they were on the set of Baywatch.

A film crew had transformed Sandbanks into Venice Beach in California, complete with lifeguard tower.

Twist Films will be in Poole this week shooting scenes for their feature- length comedy drama Morris - A Life With Bells On, which is being shot in a documentary style similar to the hit movie Spinal Tap.

The film, which stars Sir Derek Jacobi and Ian Hart, is about Morris dancer Derecq Twist, who is cast out of the Morris Circle for his pioneering style and travels to Los Angeles to dance with the Morris men of Orange County.

A team of 12 spent Bank Holiday Monday digging in 15ft palm trees to create the Venice Beach effect. And dozens of extras from the conurbation arrived for the shoot, which took place at 5am, in shorts and bikinis.

Assistant director Richard Hatherell said: "People have been extremely friendly and co-operative and very interested in getting involved. From the moment we identified Sandbanks as a location we made contact with the council and the tourist board and they have been incredibly helpful."

The film crew is now inviting 1,000 people to get their 15 seconds of fame as extras in a crowd scene at Lighthouse in Poole on Friday, June 1.

If anyone is interested they should come along at 1pm on the day and be prepared to stay until the end of the shoot at 7pm.

During the shoot the film crew will hold a draw and the winning extra will be offered a small speaking role.

The Bowlplex in Branksome, Le Café in Poole and Bournemouth University will also feature in the film.