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Darth Vader breaks down on the M1

Traffic cops were stunned to find Darth Vader stranded at the side of a motorway – in R2D2's car.

Dave Prowse, who played the Dark Lord in the original Star Wars films, bought the Mercedes CL500 from Kenny Baker, who lives in Ashton, Preston, around six years ago.

He was driving north on the M1 in the East Midlands when there was a problem with the alternator.

Dave, 74, who regularly meets Kenny for conventions, said: "All of a sudden, everything went kaput on the car.

"All the lights were flashing on and off and it lost power.

"Nothing untoward has happened before, just little things.

"It's a wonderful car, it's my pride and joy.

"It has a great provenance as it was previously owned by my good friend Kenny Baker.

"Of course, because of Kenny's size he used to keep a little ladder in the boot so he could climb up and put his suitcases in the back.

"When he'd finished, he'd put the ladder back in but then he couldn't reach to close the boot so he'd tied a cord to the boot handle.

"I left the cord there as a reminder of the previous owner."

Kenny, 75, who now drives a Mercedes CLS, said: "It was too big for me.

"I didn't need such a big car and he did because of his bad hip.

Dave, who lives in Croydon, rang through to the Highways Agency using an emergency telephone and a patrol was dispatched to help.

Traffic officer Craig Chapman, 29, of Milton Keynes, said: "We meet all kinds of people on the hard shoulder but, since I started work for the Highways Agency, meeting Darth Vader is definitely one of the strangest situations I've been in.

"He was such a nice man and was so grateful that we came to help."

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