STARS of the blockbuster movie Yanks may make a glittering return to Saddleworth to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film’s release next year.

The excited organisers of the annual ‘Yanks are back in Saddleworth’ event, which attracts thousands to the villages, admit they are “in contact” with heartthrob Richard Gere, who was the male lead in the film.

And there has been very positive response from film actress Lisa Eichorn who bagged the part of Gere’s Love interest Jean by convincing the director John Schlesinger she was English.

Four years ago, Lisa became friends with Michael Powis and Tim Newbold, then the landlords of The Swan Inn, Dobcross, when she revisited the village which featured in the film.

Tim said: “We keep in regular touch with Lisa. In fact at the launch of this year’s Yanks jamboree she texted saying: ‘I am thinking of you all today. Please let the people of Dobcross know that they will see me next year . I send my love and best wishes’.”

And she hinted she would be accompanied by fellow actress Wendy Morgan who played Mollie, a bus conductress, in the film.

Said Tim: “Lisa and Wendy were really taken with Saddleworth. Lisa was swept away by the warmth and kindness shown to her and has made several private visits since.”

The women have both spent their lives carving out distinguished careers in film, theatre and TV, with Wendy playing John Lennon’s wife, Cynthia, in the film, “The birth of The Beatles”.

Lisa, who has homes in America and the South of England, won two Golden Globe nominations for her role in Yanks.

Paul “Dog Tags” Higginson, the Yanks organiser, said: “I’m in regular contact with Wendy who is in touch with Richard Gere currently filming in the UK.

“It’s early days yet but there could be something very exciting next year at the 40th anniversary.”

And he added: “I am hopeful that in addition to centring the event Uppermill we could work colabatorily with other Saddleworth villages to make it a very extra special weekend.”

Next year’s Yanks event will be staged on Saturday and Sunday, August 10 and 11.