Mary Queen of the High Street (2013)


Mary Portas leaning on a High Street sign in a road with closed shops

Mary Portas © Channel 4

Production Company: Optomen Television

Kent Locations: Margate

Mary Queen of the High Street is a new Channel 4 series that sees retail expert Mary Portas attempt to save Britain’s declining high streets. Having developed the 28-plan “The Portas Review”, Mary tries to put it into place with the help of Town Teams and locals to breathe some much needed life into our high streets.

In the second episode of the series, Mary Portas visits Margate where the main shopping thoroughfare has been declining in recent years, with 1 in 4 shops closing down. However, the highly successful Turner Contemporary gallery which is on the door step of the high street brings up to 10,000 visitors a week so Mary tries to encourage these visitors to venture on to the high street.

Mary’s plan of action to change the existing facilities in Margate includes an inland pier and cut price rail tickets from London. The team also visit a struggling sweet shop and with the help of Margate artist Tracy Emin, try to rebrand the shop and turn things around.

Margate is a delightful seaside town with a sandy beach, harbour, arcades, and period housing. The Old Town has lots to offer including galleries, quirky shops and trendy cafes. Margate is a popular location having previously welcomed productions such as BBC One’s improvised drama True Love (2012), The Apprentice (2009) and feature film Last Orders (2002).

The Margate episode of Mary Queen Of The High Street will be shown on Channel 4, Tuesday 14th May 2013 at 21:00.


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