THE unlikely star of a classic comic caper is going under the hammer at an auction.

The 1967 comedy the Plank boasted some of the biggest names in British comedy, including Tommy Cooper, Eric Sykes, Jimmy Tarbuck, Hattie Jacques, Bill Oddie and Roy Castle.

It followed the slapstick adventures of two workmen delivering a plank of wood to a building site.

Now the real star – the original plank itself – is going under the hammer after its Clacton owners decided they were bored of looking at it. The humble 6ft length of wood could sell for hundreds of pounds.

It was signed by the entire cast after filming finished.

Expert Michael Bowles, of Colchester auction house Reeman Dansie, said it was a unique piece of film memorabilia.

“You’re never going to get another one like it,” he said. “We get boxing gloves signed by famous fighters and autographed cricket bats, but this is really unusual. “The film was iconic and you had the brilliant Tommy Cooper, who was a legend in his own time.”

The Plank’s all-star cast didn’t have any trouble learning their lines – there weren’t any. Instead, there is just muttering and mumbling as Tommy Cooper and Eric Sykes haul the plank around with disastrous consequences.

The prop even got star billing on the film’s ad posters.

It ended up in Clacton after being given away as a bizarre prize.

Mr Bowles said: “A couple from Clacton went to the Ideal Home Exhibition many years ago and were the 100,000th people through the door. They were pulled to one side and told they’d won the plank.

“But they’ve had it a long time and they just can’t display it any more.”

A similar piece of wood would set you back about a tenner at Burcart DIY in Clacton.

The auction lot’s star quality is expected to help it sell for as much as £500. It goes under the hammer at Reeman Dansie in Colchester on Monday.