Director: Oliver Parker
Writer: William Ivory
Starring: Michael Caine, Glenda Jackson
Production Company: Ecosse Films, BBC Films, Filmgate Films, Ingenious, Pathe UK
Kent Locations Used: Port of Dover, Dover, Abbot’s Cliff
Inspired by true events, The Great Escaper (2023) chronicles the story of WWII veteran Bernard Jordan, who masterminded a ‘great escape’ from his care home in order to attend the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in France.
Creator: Simon Kinberg, David Weil Starring: Golshifteh Farahani, Shioli Kutsuna, Shamier Anderson, Billy Barratt
Production Company: Genre Films, K Films, Platform One Media
Kent Locations Used: Dover, Eurotunnel
Invasion (2023) is an American sci-fi series set during the aftermath of an alien invasion and seen through the eyes of five ordinary people across the globe.
Dover is home to the busiest passenger port in the world, connecting the UK with the European mainland. Dover Castle towers above the town, signalling Dover’s strategic importance in the defence of the country and the White Cliffs are one of the most recognised landmarks in Britain. A popular filming location, Dover has also played host to Rogue Agent (2022), Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022), and Pistol (2022).
Creator: Julie Wassmer Starring: Kerry Godliman, Howard Charles, Sophia Del Pizzo, Frances Barber Production Company: Buccaneer Media Kent Locations Used: Whitstable, Canterbury, Faversham, Herne Bay, Margate, Ramsgate, Detling, Dover, Sevenoaks, Rochester
Based on the much loved series of novels ‘The Whitstable Pearl Mysteries’ by Kent resident Julie Wassmer (EastEnders, London’s Burning), Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022) is a detective series for Acorn TV. The story follows big-hearted local restaurant owner Pearl Nolan (Kerry Godliman) who sets up a local detective agency after undergoing police training in an earlier career. She is soon embroiled in her first case when she discovers the body of close friend, Vinnie. Pearl forms an unlikely partnership with DCI Mike McGuire (Howard Charles) and finds herself pulled into the dark underbelly of the picturesque town she calls home.
For both Series 1 and 2, most of the filming took place in and around Whitstable itself, including scenes filmed by the coast at Whitstable Harbour, Whitstable Beach, Whitstable Yacht Club and Tankerton Beach. In Series 1, Whitstable High Street features and local shops were filmed including Iain’s Plaice (fish and chip restaurant) and art gallery Chappell Contemporary as Houlihan’s Hardware store. Other Whitstable businesses filmed for Series 1 include the Cemetery, Football Ground, MFA Bowl and Seaview Holiday Park, which features as the trailer park where Vinnie lives. Several private residences were used for filming, including Beacon House as Pearl’s House for Series 1, the exterior of The Ness as Mike’s Flat in Series 2 Episode 2, The Warehouse Cottages for the same episode, and various private residences on Island Wall for Series 2 Eps 1 and 2. Filming took place at The Old Neptune pub, which doubled as the Pearson’s Arms for both series. Whitstable train station also features briefly in Series 2 Ep 2 as Pearl trails a suspected cheating spouse.
The Kent Events Centre was used as a studio build location in Series 1 for interiors of Pearl’s seafood restaurant.
Meanwhile, Margate in Thanet features in both series with Margate Beach and The Walpole Hotel doubling for Whitstable seaside scenes in Series 1, Dreamland and the Nayland Rock Hotel featuring in Series 2 as a theme park and The Bradford Hotel. For Series 1, production also filmed at St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church on Canterbury Road in nearby Westgate-on-Sea. The Port of Ramsgate and Royal Harbour Marina double for the Port of Dover cruise terminal and Dover Marina in Series 1.
Dover features multiple times in Series 2, with locations such as The White Cliffs, Port of Dover, Lydden Spout Battery and Western Heights making an appearance in Episode 1, along with various nearby roads. The Citadel also appears in both series, doubling as a police station. The Citadel also features in Series 1 as a children’s home, and in Series 2 Episode 1 the location’s tunnels feature as the setting for the dramatic confrontation between Kruz Tomlin (Yaw Nimako-Asamoah) and his stepfather Leo (Oliver Walker).
Rochester High Street in Medway appears in Series 2, with local businesses Baggin’s Book Bazaar, Kiss the Bride and a former Estate Agents featuring in Episodes 2 and 3.
Interior scenes for Series 1 were filmed at the former St Martin’s Hospital in Canterbury doubling as a police station and a hospital. Other filming locations for Series 1 include a field near Faversham at Belmont Park and private residence in Herne Bay.
Beacon House is a colonial clapboard wooden turn of the century Beach House. Set above beach on a private sea road, the grounds include wild woodland gardens and views out to sea and lines of beach huts. Catastrophe Series 4 (2019) filmed at this location.
The Kent Events Centre based in Detling is the largest, most flexible conference and exhibition venue in Kent, offering 7,000 sqm of indoor space available to film productions as studio space and 200 acres of outdoor space.
The Port of Ramsgate offers 32 acres of dedicated Port Land including 3 modern Ro-Ro bridges and Water and bunker facilities on all berths. It is often used as ‘stand-in’ for the Port of Dover. Royal Harbour Marina offers 700 finger moorings set in a picturesque and historic harbour setting. Crime dramas to previously film at the Port of Ramsgate include The Tunnel: Vengeance (2017) and Baptiste (2019).
Dover houses the major port, connecting the UK with the European mainland. Dover Castle towers above the town, signalling Dover’s strategic importance in the defence of the country and the White Cliffs are one of the most recognised landmarks in Britain. Recent productions to have filmed in Dover include Pistol (2022), Rogue Agent (2022), and The Tunnel: Sabotage (2016).
The Citadel, located on Dover‘s Western Heights was constructed in the late 1700’s as a port of defence during the Napoleonic war. Most recently it has been used as a borstal, prison, and immigration detention centre up until its closure in 2015. It is now becoming popular as a filming location and has welcomed several productions over the past year – soon to broadcast.
The town of Sevenoaks has a varied landscape, featuring a bustling high street, stately homes and castles as well as beautiful countryside. Located in that countryside is the St Clere Estate, which offers stunning views of the North Downs, formal gardens, paddocks, a kitchen garden, orangery, green houses, and a temple by the lake. Built in 1630, it has some fine architectural examples of the Caroline era. It has recently played host to a variety of productions including The Great (2020-2021), Gangs of London (2020-2022) and The Third Day (2020).
Director: Declan Lawn, Adam Patterson Writer: Michael Bronner Starring: Gemma Arterton, James Norton, Sarah Goldberg, Shazad Latif, Jimmy Akingbola Production Company: Rabbit Track Pictures Kent Locations Used: Dover, St. Margaret’s Bay, South Foreland Lighthouse
Rogue Agent (2022) depicts the chilling true story of career conman Robert Freegard, who masqueraded as an MI5 agent in order to extort and kidnap countless victims. When one woman falls for his charms however, she becomes the only person capable of finally bringing him down.
Production visited several locations across Dover for their filming. A driving scene was shot on Upper Road, where Robert Freegard (James Norton) gives Alice (Gemma Arterton) the chance to drive his red Ferrari. The exterior of South Foreland Lighthouse features as the holiday let Freegard stays in with Alice and Jenny (Sarah Goldberg), and St. Margaret’s Bay appears in the scene where Freegard and Jenny take a walk along the beach and discuss her student debt.
Director: Danny Boyle Starring: Anson Boon, Jacob Slater, Toby Wallace, Christian Lees, Louis Partridge, Emma Appleton, Maisie Williams Production Company: FX Network Kent Locations Used: Dover, Folkestone, Sandgate, Deal
During filming, production visited Kent to film in Dover, Folkestone, Sandgate and Deal. The exterior of FOLCA (former Debenhams store) appears at the end of Episode 1, when Steve Jones suffers stagefright at his first gig. In Episode 4, The Grand in Folkestone doubles as the exterior of a Whitby Hotel, whilst the interior of The Grand Burstin Hotel appears as the Victorian ballroom in which the Pistols perform to a crowd of two people. Folkestone Railway Social Club also features in this episode, doubling as the exterior of a pub in Barnsley. Various roads around Folkestone were also filmed for driving scenes. Sunny Sands beach also features as Whitby Beach.
Filming in Sandgate village took place at Riviera Car Sales, which was dressed as the 1970s, Sandgate High Street and Undercliff. These locations can be spotted in Episode 4, as the band tour around the North of England.
In Dover, filming took place at Kings Hall and various nearby streets, as well as Dover seafront and Marine Parade. Marine Parade appears in the opening of Episode 2, as Jordan (Maisie Williams) cycles along the seafront in a see-through t-shirt, whilst the exterior of Kings Hall appears in Episode 4 as the Pistols leave a gig in Doncaster and a huge fight breaks out. Nearby, The Citadel was filmed as a stand in for HM Remand Centre in Ashford, where Steve Jones is imprisoned in Episode 1, and as HMP Chelmsford in Episode 3, where the Pistols perform to a crowd of prisoners.
In Deal the beach and Channel View B&B were used for various scenes in Episode 4. The exterior of the Royal Amusement Arcade appears in the final shot of the series, as the Pistols perform a Christmas gig at Ivanhoes in Huddersfield. A variety of other street scenes were shot in Deal, but unfortunately these didn’t make the final cut!
Sandgate village is in the Folkestone & Hythe district of Kent and features Martello towers, various boating clubs, antiques shops and a lift platform office that used to run in the Victorian times up Sandgate Hill to The Leas.
The coastal town of Deal has a long naval history and is one of the major cinque ports along the south coast. The Pier is a significant local landmark and public amenity offering excellent views of the town. It is internationally recognised as an angling venue.
The Great Pottery Throw Down with Sue Pryke, Keith Brymer Jones and Melanie Sykes (Channel 4/PA)
Starring: Melanie Sykes, Keith Brymer Jones, Sue Pryke Production Company: Channel 4 Kent Locations Used: Dover
The Great Pottery Throw Down (2015-), now in its third series, is produced by the company behind The Great British Bake Off. The TV show sees home potters strive to create their most intricate and imaginative works as they compete to be crowned best at the wheel.
The programme has moved to Channel 4 with new host Melanie Sykes fronting the series. Master potter Keith Brymer Jones returns to judge alongside award-winning ceramicist Sue Pryke.
Master potter Keith Brymer Jones, a born and bred Londoner and a potter by trade, started his career in a studio in Whitstable, Kent, which is housed inside an old bakery. Here he throws shapes on his pottery wheel for various designers, a leading retailer and clients such as the National Trust.
One of the 12 contestants is Rainna Erbas who grew up in Bow, east London, but moved to Kent when she was 14, where she began her love affair with potting. She uses her whole house as a studio, including the kitchen and conservatory, but she can mainly be found throwing in a converted garden shed.
Kent contestant Rainna Erbas (Channel 4/PA)
During filming production visited the woods behind Coxhill Gardens in Dover to go bird watching with Rainna.
Writer: Daisy Haggard and Laura Solon Director: Christopher Sweeney Starring: Daisy Haggard, Geraldine James, Jamie Michie, and Christine Bottomley Production Company: BBC Studios Kent locations used: Dungeness, Abbot’s Cliff in Dover, Folkstone Harbour Arm, Hythe, Lydd-on-Sea
In Series Two Miri starts a relationship with her neighbour Billy (Adeel Akhtar (Victoria and Abdul (2017)), but all is not plain sailing as a body is washed up on the beach and she becomes the prime suspect.
The series is set in in the small seaside town of Hythe, and filming for both series took place along the seafront, including various scenes at the beach promenade on West Parade, and a cycling sequence on the promenade at Princes Parade. In Series 2, Hythe High Street is pictured in various scenes, including Caroline (Geraldine James) and Oscar’s (Richard Durden) litter-picking crusade and when Lara’s father John (Adrian Edmondson) leads a procession of mourners through the town.
Writers: Harry Williams and Jack Williams Director: Börkur Sigþörsson and Jan Mattys Starring: Tchéky Karyo, Anastasia Hille, Tom Hollander, Camille Schotte, Trystan Gravelle Production Company: Two Brothers Pictures for BBC One Kent Locations used: Discovery Park, Dover, Kingsdown, Deal, Ramsgate
The highly anticipated new six-part BBC drama Baptiste (2019-2021) will be airing next week! From the creators of The Missing, this spin-off stars Tchéky Karyo as the insightful, yet stubborn investigator Julien Baptiste. Now retired and trying his best to enjoy his retirement with his family, the investigator is contacted by Police Commissioner and former girlfriend Martha Horchner (Barbara Sarafian), who brings him a missing person’s case he can’t refuse.
Production visited numerous Kent locations during filming for the series. These included a scene on Deal seafront, also showing Deal Pier, which features Edward Stratton (Tom Hollander) arriving by boat. A small scene also features a Co-op store in Deal where Edward shops for groceries. Further filming took place in neighbouring Kingsdown, again using the sea road and beachfronts. These include an establishing shot of a seafront house, a drone shot of Undercliffe and Sutton Vale Road of a black taxi and Sutton Vale Country Park where Edward Stratton (Tom Hollander) visits his family and meets with Baptiste (Tchéky Karyo). Kingsdown Beach is also featured for a conversation scene between Edward and Baptiste in the final episode.
Discovery Park in Sandwich was also used in the filming, doubling as a Japanese airport. A tool store on Manston Industrial Estate in Ramsgate is featured as Baptiste (Tchéky Karyo) shops while talking on the phone.
A dangerous smuggler’s haunt in the 1800s, Deal town boasts a wonderful collection of colourful Georgian buildings, complemented by a long shingle beach with huts, fishing boats and pier restores in the 1950’s. It is a popular filming location and has previously featured in productions such as The Tunnel: Sabotage (2016) and Liar (2017). Kingsdown village is situated south of Deal and features in the James Bond trail.