Rare photographs of film legend Stan Laurel are going under the hammer at a British auction and are expected to fetch $9,000 (GBP5,000).

The comic's nephew HUNTLEY WOODS, 82, is selling his collection of pictures and memorabilia which trace Laurel's life and career at Newcastle auctioneers ANDERSON AND GARLAND today (01JUL04).

Woods says of his famous uncle, "He was a nice man, down to earth.

"All these things are all signed, 'affectionately yours' or 'your son'. He was a real family man."

Auctioneer John Anderson adds, "Most of these images have never been published and are absolutely unique.

"We have had such overwhelming demand from people who want to bid from far afield on the phone that we have had to draft in extra phones and staff."

01/07/2004 17:22