A FILM producer has set off to recreate Dick Turpin's legendary overnight ride from Epping to York – but this time on a bicycle.

Dale Nichol, 48, set off from Epping High Street at 9am this morning (Thursday) on the anniversary of the highwayman’s execution at the start of a 209 mile journey towards Turpin’s grave in York.

But while Turpin was carried by his faithful steed Black Bess, Mr Nichol had to rely on his own pedal power, cycling through the night and taking minimal rest breaks, and cycling overnight.

Mr Nichol, who runs his own theatrical production company, is attempting to raise money and publicity for a film about the life of Essex’s most notorious bandit.

“People thought I was mad, but have bent over backwards to help me,” he said.

Setting off on the journey, he added: “What will push me on is the desire to make the film. It will be tough but it's what I have to do to get the word out there about the project.

“I used to be an actor at the York Dungeons museum and would retell the story of Turpin’s life. I started to research him and thought his story would make an amazing film.

“We are looking to make the film as historically accurate as possible. We have been given permission to film in Epping Forest and are wanting to cast as many people from the area as possible.

“I will be holding auditions for parts in my movie in Epping in June this year, but if Epping people would like an audition earlier then feel free to contact me sooner.”

For further details email dalentertainment@btinternet.com