UK actor Nick Moran hit Cannes this week to announce his directing debut, Telstar, a biopic of underground music legend Joe Meek.

The Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels star is to start shooting the picture next month on a budget of just under $2million, provided by an unnamed private backer. The film will tell the story of how the eccentric, tone deaf Meek and his partner Geoff Goddard - who is convinced he is the song-writing medium for Buddy Holly's spirit - came up with the biggest selling record of all time, Telstar.

"I've done nine movies since Lock Stock - if you haven't learnt something through osmosis by that process, you must be pretty dim," Moran said.

The production will be the first film from Mikast Movies, the UK production outfit formed by Milica Kastner and Yvonne Michael last year. Cast attached so far include Paul Nicholls and Danny Dyer.

Moran, who developed the project from his own stage play with James Hicks, sees the project as the next step after Baby Juice Express, which he recently co-wrote, executive produced and starred in. The Cannes market film was produced by Michael.

"On a personal note, in my grand plan to take over the world, if you do something very populist and hopefully successful, then you have to hit them with a classy number," said Moran. "I hope this film is screening in the festival next year."