Two lost Peter Sellers films are to get a public screening for the first time in 50 years.

The Pink Panther star made the short films Dearth of a Salesman and Insomnia Is Good For You in 1957 when he was trying to launch his career as a screen actor, but the spoof government information shorts were forgotten as Sellers' career took off.

The film reels were originally rescued from a trash heap by building manager Robert Farrow, but were left forgotten in a cupboard until a he cleared out his home.

Farrow tells the Bbc, "It was then that I realised they were two Sellers films including the negatives, titles, show prints, outtakes and the master print. It was amazing."

Mark Cousins, of The Peter Sellers Appreciation Society, says, "These early films, although they're only shorts, are quite important because they were really made before he hit the big time. They are missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. (Sellers) is very well known for his later works such as Dr Strangelove and the Pink Panther films and these help to give people an appreciation of how he got there."

The short films are now being digitally restored ahead of a screening at the Southend Film Festival in England in May (14).