Rock legends have whale of a time at Aquarium

Status Quo at Blue Reef Aquarium
Status Quo at Blue Reef Aquarium

ROCK legends Status Quo had a whale of a time when they visited the Blue Reef Aquarium to film underwater scenes for their first feature movie.

Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, both now 63, braved sharks and stingrays to pose in front of cameras at the popular Hastings attraction.

The pair spent three hours at the venue last Thursday filming scenes for the movie Bula Quo which is due for release next year.

The venue was chosen in an attempt to keep the filming low key and away from prying eyes.

But there were plenty of onlookers in the water as the boys floated about in a tank full of blue tip reef sharks and stingrays.

The boys dressed up in Hawaiian shirts but had to be weighed down with diving weights to keep them under water.

They had their own team of security divers to keep an eye on the aquarium’s residents.

Filmed mostly on location in Fiji, Bula Quo takes its name from the islanders’ traditional Fijian greeting for hello.

It is a 90-minute action movie, featuring the band as themselves and uses 12 of their songs.

The film is being directed by award-winning Stuart St Paul, who has worked on projects ranging from Duran Duran’s seminal Wild Boys video, to massive franchises like Aliens, Batman and three Bond movies.

Having first met Francis and Rick when asked by ITV to look after their visit on Coronation Street, St Paul wrote the script specifically with the band in mind.

The aquarium’s general manager Chris Ireland said: “Rick and Francis both dived straight into the pool - there was no sign of nerves at all.

“A full risk assessment was carried out before they got in and they had two security divers each.

“We had to give them weights or they would have floated to the top.

“They kept getting out to have a look at the film shots and then got back in - there were in the water for 90 minutes. They didn’t wear wetsuits so after a while they would have been getting chilly.

“Considering they are almost pensioners they were good swimmers, had a lot of energy and were pretty fearless. It was a bit of a coup to have them here, we can’t wait to see the final cut - everything went swimmingly.”