North Somerset locations star in Broadchurch Monday 9pm ITV

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By Carol_Deacon | Friday, March 01, 2013, 17:51

Clevedon 'stars' as the fictional West Country town of Broadchurch in a major new television series which starts on Monday, March 4, starring David Tennant and Olivia Coleman.

The production team for the eight-part drama series was based at the Paintworks, Bristol, from August to November last year.

It also went on location at Portishead and regularly travelled down to West Bay and Bridport in Dorset to film along the Jurassic Coast.

Producer Richard Stokes said that Clevedon was an ideal filming location.

He said: "Hill Road was perfect for us and the businesses along the road were incredibly accommodating. 

"We also found numerous locations in the surrounding area including the church and people's homes. 

"Our only studio set was the inside of the police station and a couple of domestic interiors where it was impractical to expect to be able to get a camera team."

Hill Road was used to represent Broadchurch High Street and some locals acted as 'extras' during the filming.

Just up the road from the former Clevedon Mercury building a fictional local newspaper office was created at Seeley's, the disused newsagents.

The old Lloyds bank became The Traders Hotel complete with fake menu boards and a brass licensing plate on the door. 

And a number of scenes were shot at the West End area of the town, around Marshall's Field and Clevedon Pill.

Two private houses in St Andrews Drive and Lavington Close were used to represent the homes of some of the characters and St Andrew's became Broadchurch parish church.

North Somerset Council executive member for tourism Felicity Baker is the Conservative ward councillor for Redcliffe Bay.

She said: "People may find it a little strange that parts of North Somerset have been used to portray parts of Dorset! 

"Production companies scout many locations and in this case they found that North Somerset fitted the bill for what they wanted.

"During filming, the location manager showed me round the 'village', a collection of trailers housing props, make-up, costume and the actors' trailers parked in a Clevedon car park.

"I was then taken up to Hill Road where it was fascinating to have a close look at how some of the buildings had been transformed. 

"The attention to detail was mind boggling - even the fruit and vegetables on the market stalls looked real.

"I was also able to watch some of the actors rehearsing a scene.  

"A crowd of curious locals gathered as rehearsals began, including some young ladies who I think were going to be very disappointed that David Tennant was not on set that day.

"The logistics of filming, the almost military precision and the number of people and different skills involved is quite fascinating."

Other sites used in the filming include the Co-op store at Portishead, Yeo Moor Primary School at Clevedon and Weston Hospital.

The film company was supported by local councils and Creative England for the shoot.

Creative England estimates that a major television production such as this will spend in the region of £16,000-19,000 each day.

Creative England south west production liaison manager Ellie Cook said: "For a production this size to be based in the south west for such a long period is a fantastic opportunity for the local areas involved.

"As Broadchurch was a four-month shoot based nearly entirely on location, we would expect high amounts of investment into the region."

The star studded cast also includes Andrew Buchan, Jodie Whittaker, Vicky McClure, Pauline Quirke, Will Mellor, Arthur Darvill and Carolyn Pickles.

Scottish-born David Tennant, aged 41, is best known for his work in theatre, as the 10th incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who and in the title role in the TV serial Casanova (2005).

Olivia Colman is a BAFTA nominated English comedy actress who received critical acclaim for her breakthrough performance in the 2011 film Tyrannosaur.

Most of the  other players have all had considerable big and small screen success especially Pauline Quirke of Birds of a Feather fame.

Broadchurch is inspired by the series The Killing and written by Chris Chibnall, creator of Law and Order: UK and Doctor Who.

It explores what happens to a small community in Dorset when it suddenly becomes the focus of a police investigation following the mysterious and tragic death of 11-year-old Danny Latimer played by Oskar McNamara.

Working under the glare of the media spotlight Tennant plays a gritty detective who investigates crimes which other policeman have been unable to solve.

As DI Alec Hardy, an out-of-town, newly promoted police detective he takes the job local girl DS Ellie Miller played by Miss Colman believes should have been hers.

Mr Chibnall said: "Broadchurch focuses on a small British community which finds itself at the eye of a storm.

"In the wake of one boy's death, the residents of Broadchurch come under scrutiny and suspicion."

Cllr Baker added: "There are real  economic benefits of film crews using North Somerset and wherever possible we encourage them to use local businesses and support the local economy through accommodation providers, catering supplies, builders' merchants, security services, restaurants, cafes and car parks.  

"We also hope to benefit from the growing market for 'film tourism'.  

"In 2011 The Café filmed by Sky brought £37,500 income to North Somerset Council and in addition it is estimated the film crew pumped more than £70,000 into the local economy; they returned to film a second series last year.  

"We had 46 filming requests last year, resulting in 37 actual shoots bringing  more than £54,000 income to the council."

Other North Somerset film facts:

  • Filming has included BBC's Antiques Road Trip, Channel 4's Come Dine With Me and Hugh's  Fish Fight with Fearnley Whittingstall.
  • Even a documentary about Stonehenge filming a prehistoric boat landing at Battery Point in Portishead.
  • In the 1993 movie, The Remains Of The Day, starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson and Christopher Reeve, references are made to Clevedon, where the final scene was filmed near The Little Harp at a bus stop built specially for the film.
  • The 1998 adaptation of Cider With Rosie also featured scenes filmed in the town and the 2010 film, Never Let Me Go, starring Keira Knightley was filmed on and around Clevedon pier during the summer of 2009 and used for the publicity poster.
  • Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay filmed his Channel 4 show at a Portishead marina restaurant in September 2010 and Keeping Up Appearances star Patricia Routledge wearing winter boots played her detective role on the streets of Posset.
  • E4 TV series Skins used Portishead Quays marina as a backdrop with some scenes filmed aboard the ketch Tangaroa.
  • In 2008 while filming in the Wells area Johnny Depp was spotted pushing a trolley around Waitrose in Portishead – where celebrities Carol Vorderman, Johnny Briggs and Eddie Large are also know to shop.
  • And US Mr Fix-it Ty Hamilton rolled up with pots of orange paint in the summer of 2009 to help renovate the outdoor pool for his show Ty's Great British Adventure.
  • If you count all shooting of Casualty shooting then North Somerset is a small Mecca for the film industry.
The first episode of Broadchurch is on ITV on Monday at 9pm.



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