Kingdom star tells of love of Swaffham
SWAFFHAM is making a return to the limelight as more film crews are expected to capture the town's olde-worlde charm in their latest TV series.The unassuming Norfolk town is to become a hive of activity as Kingdom producers have officially confirmed that shooting will start on the third part of the popular show later this summer.
SWAFFHAM is making a return to the limelight as more film crews are expected to capture the town's olde-worlde charm in their latest TV series.
The unassuming Norfolk town is to become a hive of activity as Kingdom producers have officially confirmed that shooting will start on the third part of the popular show later this summer.
But just as news was sinking in, residents were surprised to find actor Tony Slattery, alias Sidney Snell in the Kingdom series, sauntering in the market square, accompanied by a film crew.
“I really like Swaffham,” he said. “It's got such an interesting mix of listed buildings and good pubs. People are also very courteous and friendly.
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“I have spent nine months here in total since filming began in 2006. It was a good experience.”
Mr Slattery, best known for his appearances on Whose Line is it Anyway?, Have I got news for you? and Grumpy Old Men brought London-based producers Tiger Aspect to Swaffham for a new hit show to be presented on ITV later this year.
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The company which boasts household titles such as Mr Bean, Dame Edna Xmas Show and The Vicar of Dibley, is working on Drama Trail, a new series revisiting some of the best-loved ITV dramas from Brideshead Revisited through to Coronation Street, Soldier, Soldier, Auf Wiedersehen Pet andKingdom.
“The series will be filmed at locations where these dramas were initially shot,” said Jessica Edwards, producer and director for Tiger Aspect Productions.
“Starring actors will speak in front and behind the cameras about their memories while filming.
“With Kingdom we brought Tony Slattery here. He loves Swaffham and he was very keen to take us to all the locations which appeared in the film.
“Drama Trail is a 10-part series and it will feature a number of high-profile actors who starred in popular ITV dramas.”
The series will feature the usual Kingdom locations: Oakleigh House, as the offices of Kingdom, the Greyhound pub, renamed The Startled Duck and the parish church of St Peter and St Paul.
It has not been confirmed the date when the series is coming out, but a spokesman for Tiger Aspect Productions said it will run for 10 weeks.
Swaffham will once more become the fictional town Market Shipborough when ITV actors and producers return to the area in July. It is expected that the ITV show, which had an audience of over 6m viewers throughout both series, will bring an estimated £1m into the local coffers in addition to the previous £2.5m.
“We can confirm that the series is coming back to Swaffham for the summer and we will be looking for more extras,” said producer Georgina Lowe from Kingdom.
Richard Wood, from the local tourism information centre, who has been rubbing shoulders with Peter O'Toole, Sam Neill, Tony Slattery and Stephen Fry since Norfolk became a hotspot for filming, is cock-a-hoop about the new productions.
“It's fantastic that Kingdom is coming back,” said Mr Wood, who started the local Cool Cabs company.
“People from all over the country and even from abroad come here to inquire about Peter Kingdom's house. They love Swaffham. They think it's a fantastic place.”