A LARGS man has told how he gatecrashed a talk by Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas to try and lure him to Largs.

Harry McEachan reminisced about the time he tried to persuade the Spartacus star to visit the town to open the £4,2m Vikingar! after news broke of the actor's death aged 103.

Kirk starred in 'The Vikings' movie in 1958 and Largs own Nordic invader was determined to meet the iconic film actor and hand him an official invitation - which included VIP treatment at Kelburn Castle.

Harry, 83, who lives in Sandringham in Largs, said: "Back in 1995, I heard that Kirk was doing a talk in Glasgow about his glittering movie career to raise money to plant trees in Israel.

"I got a ticket for the Hilton in Glasgow, which cost me £75, but security turned me away and said I had to be in more formal attire if I wanted to get in!".

The Largs pensioner said: "I sourced a dinner suit and managed to speak to Kirk around four times. I gave him an invite to stay at Kelburn Castle if he would come down and open the Vikingar!

"I had visited Lord Glasgow that morning to arrange the VIP invitation.

"The next night Kirk was doing the same dinner and talk event at the Dorchester Hotel in London so I ventured down for that as well in the hope of getting a picture together with me in my Viking outfit.

"As Kirk got out his limousine with his wife he recognised me from the night before.

"I told him I was his biggest fan in the UK and was having a wee bit of trouble getting in with my Viking outfit on so he took me into the hotel with his wife on one arm and me on the other!

"Before I knew it, I was drinking champagne with the American ambassador to the UK, Admiral William Crowe."

Harry said: "There was press photographer who snapped us together - it was a dream come true!

"Kirk was a wee bit bigger than me so I got on to a chair and crouched down a bit so we were the same size for the photo."

Despite Harry's heroics in overcoming security to enjoy the VIP gathering, sadly he never heard back from Kirk regarding his own VIP invitation.

Harry said: "I heard that Kirk was charging £70,000 for public appearances - so I was hoping he would come to us for free!

"Sadly it was not to be."