Director: Simon Kinberg Writers: Simon Kinberg, Theresa Rebeck Starring: Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, , Diane Kruger, Penélope Cruz, Bingbing Fan Production Company: Freckle Films, CAA Media Finance, FilmNation Entertainment Locations Used: Fairbourne Reservoir in Harrietsham
The 355 (2022) is an American spy thriller about a CIA operative who joins forces with three international agents on a mission to recover a top-secret weapon that has fallen into the wrong hands.
Director: Alex Winckler Writer: Greg Davies Starring: Greg Davies, Helena Bonham Carter, David Mitchell, Stephanie Cole, Layton Williams, Jo Hartley Production Company: Studio Hamburg UK Kent Locations Used: Private residences in Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone, Showfields Hall Community Centre
The Cleaner (2021) is a BBC sitcom that tells the story of Paul ‘Wicky’ Wickstead, a state-certified cleaning technician, who is responsible for the removal of any signs of death from crime scenes. When carrying out his duties, he stumbles across the strangest of people: from the victim’s relatives, employers, neighbours, and acquaintances, to occasionally even the murderers themselves. And because he’s a sociable type, he sometimes gossips more than he cleans.
During filming, production visited several private residences in the Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone districts, and built a green screen set at Showfields Hall Community Centre in Tunbridge Wells. Each episode of the series focuses on a different crime scene, and Kent residences are the main locations for all but Episode 3.
Writer: Julie Wassmer, Øystein Karlsen, Mike Walden, Rachel Flowerday, Alastair Galbraith Directors: David Caffrey, Jon Jones Starring: Kerry Godliman, Howard Charles, Frances Barber Production Company: Buccaneer Media Kent Locations Used: Whitstable, Canterbury, Faversham, Herne Bay, Margate, Ramsgate, Detling, Dover, Maidstone
Based on the much loved series of novels ‘The Whitstable Pearl Mysteries’ by Kent resident Julie Wassmer (EastEnders, London’s Burning), Whitstable Pearl (2021) is a six part 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.
Whitstable High Street features in the show and local shops were filmed including Iain’s Plaice (fish and chip restaurant), Gilbert’s Cafe and art gallery Chappell Contemporary which doubles as Houlihan’s Hardware store. Other Whitstable businesses filmed include the Cemetery, Football Ground, MFA Bowl and Seaview Holiday Park, which features as the trailer park where Vinnie and Connie live. Several private residences were used for filming including Beacon House as Pearl’s House located on Tankerton Beach and several other properties across Whitstable town.
Interior scenes were filmed at St Martin’s Hospital in Canterbury doubling as a police station and a hospital, while The Citadel doubles as a Police Station and a children’s home. In Episode 3, Jasper House on London Road in Dover doubles as Greenacre Social Club. Other filming locations include the Redsand (Maunsell) Forts off the shore of Whitstable, a field near Faversham at Belmont Park, Hall Place Enterprises – a campus of the University of Kent at Canterbury doubling for interior scenes for both Whitstable Hospital and Whitstable Police Station – and private residences in Herne Bay and Thurnham near Maidstone. Mount Ephraim Gardens in Hernhill also features in Episode 1 as the Azarov family rented villa.
Canterbury is a historic cathedral city; many of its original historical structures remain, including the cathedral and section of the city wall. The city is a popular tourist destination and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sex Education Season 3 (2021) and Small Axe (2020) have previously filmed at locations in the City.
Mount Ephraim Gardens located in Hernhill, Swale is a late Victorian property with an impressive and grand columned entrance situated in 10 glorious acres of stunning Edwardian terraced gardens. The large hall has marble columns and an elegant staircase adorned with a highly decorative hand-rail. The original Victorian roof-mounted skylight is located directly above the hall, providing natural daylight.
Margate is a traditional seaside town complete with sandy beach, harbour, amusement park, period housing and ultra modern art gallery Turner Contemporary. The Walpole Bay Hotel & Museum in Margate was built for discerning guests in 1914 and extended in 1927. The hotel has five floors and 42 bedrooms and a museum space. The décor and layout is versatile to suit many eras and the hotel provides cast and crew accommodation and on road parking in a quiet cul de sac. Westgate-on-Sea is a charming Victorian town, steeped in Heritage with quaint shops and two fantastic blue flag beaches. Margate is popular as a film location with recent productions including Two Weeks to Live (2020), Pandemonium (2020) and Top Boy – Series 3 (2019).
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 and the Ramsgate Harbour Approach Tunnel. 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).
Starring: Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell Production Company: ITV Studios Kent Locations Used: Gravesend, Maidstone, Dartford
Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace returns for a second series. The team combine detective work alongside the latest DNA technology to help four contributors uncover their real identities and work out where they came from.
In these two special episodes we see the incredible stories of a man who was left in a car on the outskirts of Belfast, a woman left in a telephone box in Dundalk, another woman found in a public toilet in Warminster and lastly, a man found outside a railway tavern in Greenhithe.
The show is presented by Davina McCall (Long Lost Family) and Nicky Campbell (The Big Questions), who continue to work together to bring solace to many families across the UK.
Phil, accompanied by Conservation Architect Liz Smith ,is given unprecedented access into fascinating stately home archives to reveal the incredible ambition of the house’s creators, as well as the huge quantities of materials, labour and money involved in turning their flights of fancy into bricks and mortar.
With a chance to try his hand at craft and restoration, and insight from the current custodians, Phil discovers how these homes became symbols of power – and play – and what the buildings and estates are really like to own.
The series is produced by Mayfly Television and written by Harry Williams and Jack Williams. The executive producer is Marcus Stephenson with Clemency Green Commissioning Editor for Features.
During filming in 2019 the production visited Leeds Castle in Kent in the year the castle celebrated its 900th anniversary. Filming took place inside the Castle when Phil interviewed staff members including Leeds Castle Curator Annie Kemkaran-Smith as well as a descendant of the last private owner Lady Baillie. During the episode Phil went punting on the moat and visited the clock tower to raise Lady Baillie’s flag.
Director: Titus Ogilvy Starring: Michael Portillo Executive Producer: John Comerford Production Company: Boundless West Kent Locations Used: Canterbury, Maidstone, Chartwell House in Westerham
Great British Railway Journeys is a documentary series in which Michael Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country by train referring to his 1930s Bradshaw’s Guide stopping at places of interest.
Produced by Boundless West for the BBC, the episode is directed by Titus Ogilvy with John Comerford as Executive Producer.
In episode 11 Michael Portillo takes a journey from Canterbury to Alexandra Palace exploring the east of England in the inter-war period. Beginning in Canterbury, Michael treads the boards as he uncovers the political message behind a play published in 1936 ABOUT the 12th-century murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket.
In Maidstone, Michael learns of the international origins of the most British symbol of remembrance at the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal before paying his respects at a war memorial based on London’s Cenotaph.
Michael stopped off in Sevenoaks and travelled to nearby Westerham where he visited the country home of one of his political heroes, Sir Winston Churchill and discovers how the 1930s were wilderness years at Chartwell.
As the county town of Kent Maidstone plays an important part in Kent’s history. The River Medway runs though the town centre linking it with other towns such as Rochester and Chatham. The Borough of Maidstone is a popular town for filming, previous productions include Celebrity Antiques Road Show – Series 8 (2018) and popular Netflix show Black Mirror.
Chartwell House, Churchill’s former home. Set in delightful gardens,Chartwell is a National Trust property in Westerham, just outside Sevenoaks, and the rooms remain much as they were when Churchill lived there. Chartwell has previously been used as a film location by productions such as Flog It! (2014) and feature film Darkest Hour (2018).
Episode 11 Canterbury to Alexandra Palace airs on BBC Two at 630pm on Monday 20th January 2020.
Writers: J.J Mcdowell and Damián Romay Director: Ara Paiaya Starring: Angus MacFadyen, Lou Ferringo, Armando Gutierrez, Anna Hutchinson, Madison McKinley, Arin Aldridge Production companies: Conglomerate Media, Swen Group Kent filming locations: Leeds Castle
Purge Of Kingdoms is a parody of HBO’s hit TV series Game of Thrones. The story depicts nobles from Eight Kingdoms gathering for Purge Fest 3000 to try and put an end to their violent conflicts. Meanwhile, members of the Fat King’s own family conspire to overthrow him.
The film was shot almost entirely at Leeds Castle in Maidstone including the Maiden’s Tower and the large grounds surrounding the castle, all doubling as the fictional Kingdom of Kingshire.
Leeds Castle is located in Maidstone as is a romantic castle with medieval themed rooms. Other features include 1920s style interiors and original marble bathrooms, large estate – grounds, gardens, moat, river, large formal gardens, woodlands, maze with shell grotto and a aviary. The castle dates mostly from the 19th century and has been open to the public since 1976. The location was also used during the filming of Henry VIII (1979) and Lady Jane (1986).
Purge of Kingdoms was released on 16th December 2019.
Writer: Surabhi Bhatnagar, Tarun Jain, Luv Ranjan Director: Akiv Ali Starring: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Rakul Preet Singh Production Company: Luv Films, T-Series Kent Locations Used: Castle Farm Lavender in Sevenoaks and Leeds Castle in Maidstone
De De Pyaar De is a hit Hindi romantic comedy feature film. The film centres on Ashish Mehra (Ajay Deygn), a single father and business man from London who falls in love with a younger woman, Ayesha Khurana (Rakul Preet Singh), much to the disapproval of his family and ex-wife.
Some scenes in the film were shot at Castle Farm Lavender in Sevenoaks. The farm was used for a motorcycle driving scene, and the half-timbered Kentish barn at the farm was converted into a motorcycle shed for a BBQ and dance scene. Filming also took place at Leeds Castle in Maidstone.
Writer: Mick Sands Director: Tom Sands Starring: Sandy Batchelor, Daisy Keeping, Adam Astill, Ben Porter Production Company: Substantial Films Kent Locations Used: Streets in Royal Tunbridge Wells: Brook Road, Gusta Café, alleyway between Prospect Road and London Road in Southborough.
This comedy follows the life of Rupert (Sandy Batchelor), a struggling actor with multiple personality disorder and his three identities that compete for control after he earns the lead role in a West End play and meets Stevie (Daisy Keeping), the production’s makeup artist, who shows a romantic interest in him.
Areas in Royal Tunbridge Wells were used for filming, including Brook Road, where Stevie lives and holds a garden party. The exterior of Gusta Café is shown when Rupert’s agent walks out with a coffee. The alleyway between Prospect Road and London Road in Southborough, Tunbridge Wells was also used for filming.
A historic town with a lot of character, Royal Tunbridge Wells has also been used for filming for the musical Half a Sixpence (1967), specifically The Pantiles, a parade of shops with old-style Georgian architecture. Gusta is a popular Italian café and restaurant in the busy town centre.
Rupert, Rupert and Rupert was released on the 26th April 2019 and can be seen on amazon prime.
Kent Locations Used: Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells.
The competition to find UK’s brightest children continues on Channel 4. The competition is in association with British Mensa and tests twenty 8-12-year old’s in areas like spelling, mathematics or niche history to establish whether these children are deserving of the title Child Genius, as well as a unique view inside the childhood of the prodigies, who are from varying backgrounds.