Harry Potter director (Philosopher’s Stone & Chamber of Secrets) Chris Columbus was the man who conceived the idea for 1980s horror comedy Gremlins.

It was while at film school that he penned his screenplay about an army of mischievous monsters after being inspired by the noisy nocturnal  rodent activity in his loft.

“What sounded like a platoon of mice would come out,” he explained, “and to hear them skittering around in the blackness was really creepy.”

After graduating from college, Columbus tarted his Gremlins script around to potential buyers, and it was Steven Spielberg who spotted the screenplay’s potential – commenting that  it was ‘one of the most original things I’ve come across in many years, which is why I bought it.’

Gremlins is showing tonight – Tuesday 22nd November – on ITV1 at 10.35pm.

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