Whitstable Pearl Series 1 (2021)

Kerry Godliman as restaurant owner Pearl Nolan is centre of the image wearing a green top and blue apron. She has blonde hair and behind her is a pebble beach with boats and fishing huts

Whitstable Pearl stars Kerry Godliman as restaurant owner Pearl Nolan © Acorn TV

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 Pearl (2021) was adapted for screen by Norwegian filmmaker Øystein Karlsen (One Night, Dag). Other writer credits include Mike Walden (Marcella), Rachel Flowerday (MarcellaMalory Towers) and Alastair Galbraith (Coronation Street). David Caffrey (The Alienist: Angel of DarknessPeaky Blinders) is lead director joined by Jon Jones (We Hunt Together, Mr Selfridge (2013)).

Kerry Godliman (After Life, Call the Midwife (2019)) headlines the show as Pearl Nolan alongside Howard Charles as DCI Mike McGuire (Shadow and Bone, Liar Series 2 (2020)) and Frances Barber (Cold Feet, Queens of Mystery (2019)) as Pearl’s mum Dolly.

A woman with red hair and a black hat (Frances Barber as Dolly) walks along the sea shore with a woman wearing a black coat carrying a box (Kerry Godliman as Pearl Nolan). In the distance is the shoreline with houses and a beach

Frances Barber as Pearl’s mother Dolly (left) and Kerry Godliman as Pearl Nolan © Mark Bourdillon / Acorn TV

Most of the filming took place in and around Whitstable itself, including scenes filmed by the coast at Whitstable Harbour, Whitstable West Beach, Whitstable Yacht Club and Tankerton Beach. Long Rock and Swalecliff doubles as Seasalter Beach in Episode 6.

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.

The Kent Events Centre was used as a studio build location for interiors of Pearl’s seafood restaurant. Meanwhile, The Walpole Bay Hotel & Museum in Margate doubles for a Whitstable hotel. Production also filmed what was formerly St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church on Canterbury Road as Mather’s Church in Westgate-on-Sea for Episode 4. The Port of Ramsgate Harbour Approach Tunnel and Royal Harbour Marina also feature in Episode 2.

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 MaidstoneMount Ephraim Gardens in Hernhill also features in Episode 1 as the Azarov family rented villa.

Whitstable is a 16th century thriving seaside resort in Kent. Known for its native oysters, Whitstable boasts a working fishing harbour, shingle beach and busy high street. Recent productions to film in the town include The Great Pottery Throw Down – Series 3 (2020) and The Thames: Britain’s Great River With Tony Robinson (2019). Beacon House is a colonial clapboard wooden turn of the century Beach House.  Set above the 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. Long Rock beach is a shingle promontory covered in grass with a number of paths across it. It is situated at Swalecliffe between Whitstable and Herne Bay.

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.

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. As the county town of Kent, Maidstone plays an important part in Kent’s history. The Borough of Maidstone is a popular town for filming, previous productions include This Time With Alan Partridge – Season 2 (2021) and Hetty Feather Series 1 – 6 (2015 – 2020).

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).

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. Dover is the site of the famous The White Cliffs of Dover and has been used in previous productions such as Britain’s Most Historic Towns – Series 2 (2019) and Flog It! Series 17 (2019).

Herne Bay is a coastal resort popular for filming along the Kent coast. Kate & Koji (2020) is a recent production to film here. Faversham is a beautiful historic market town set on Faversham Creek. TV productions to film in the area include Hetty Feather Series 1 – 6 (2015 – 2020) and Celebrity Antiques Road Show – Series 8 (2018).

St Martin’s Hospital is a large building on the outskirts of busy Canterbury town centre. It has hosted filming for crime drama The Tunnel: Sabotage (2016) and The Tunnel: Vengeance (2017).

Series 1 of Whitstable Pearl will be available as a box set on Acorn TV on Monday 24th May 2021.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.  


The Flood (2019)

Actor Ivanno Jeremiah starring at the camera in a dark coat

Ivanno Jeremiah in The Flood (2019) © Joel Frakes

 

Writer: Helen Kingston

Director: Anthony Woodley

Starring: Lena Headey, Ivanno Jeremiah, Iain Glen, Peter Singh, Mandip Gill

Production Company: Megatopia Films

Kent Locations Used: Joss Bay, Port of Ramsgate

The Flood follows the story of an asylum seeker Haile (Ivanno Jeremiah) as he makes a perilous journey to England with his newfound friends Faiz (Peter Singh) and Reema (Mandip Gill). Wendy (Lena Headey), a hardened immigration officer hears his story and must decide his fate. His dangerous trip is recounted through various emotional flashbacks.

The Film Stars Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans, London Unplugged), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones, Danger Mouse), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones, Delicious), alongside Mandip Gill (Doctors, The Good Karma Hospital) and Peter Singh (Gigglebiz, Coronation Street).

The Flood was written by Helen Kingston (Googly, The Carrier) and directed by Anthony Woodley (The Carrier, Outpost 11).

In the film Joss Bay doubles as an Italian shoreline as Haile crosses the ocean in a boat full of other refugees and lands on the beach. The toilet block also doubles as Italian Port toilets. The Port of Ramsgate is featured as the lorry carrying Haile pulls into passport control.

Joss Bay a Blue Flag sandy bay in Thanet. Facilities include lifeguards, cafe, parking, toilets, deckchairs, windbreaks, parasols, sun beds and a Kids Corner with bouncy castle and trampolines. It is home to the Joss Bay Surf School. Other productions to film here include Coast Vs Country (2016) and various music videos.

The Port of Ramsgate offers thirty-two acres of dedicated Port Land including three modern Ro-Ro bridges and Water and bunker facilities on all berths. Often used as a ‘stand-in’ for The Port of Dover. Previous productions to have filmed here include Britain at Low Tide – Series 3 (2019), Big Bad World (2013) and Will (2011).

 

The Flood is due for release on 21st June 2019.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map

 


Big Bad World (2013)

Big Bad World cast sat on a sofa in a living room smiling at the camera

Big Bad World

Director: Tristram Shapeero

Writers: Lloyd Woolf, Joe Tucker, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Rose Heiney, Jon Purkis

Starring: Blake Harrison, Seann Walsh, David Fynn, Rebecca Humphries, Caroline Quentin, James Fleet

Production company: Objective Productions

Kent Locations: Ramsgate, Port of Ramsgate, Herne Bay

Big Bad World is a new Comedy Central series about university graduate Ben Turnbell played by Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners), who returns home to Great Yarmouth to find that not much has changed in the three years he has been away.

As well as Blake Harrison, the show has many familiar faces from the world of comedy including Seann Walsh (Argumental), Rebecca Humphries (Come Fly with Me), Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly) and James Fleet (Vicar of Dibley).

The series is directed by Tristam Shapeero (Green Wing, Peep Show) and has a multitude of writing talent including Lloyd Woolf (Parents), Joe Tucker (Horrible Histories), Kevin Cecil (Come Fly With Me), Andy Riley (The Armstrong and Miller Show), Rose Heiney (Miranda) and Jon Purkis (Popatron).

The Big Bad World team was welcomed to Ramsgate in May 2012 to film the pilot episode at various locations including Kings Street, Queens Street, High Street, Harbour Street and the  Port of Ramsgate. The Kent Film Office used its Filming on Highways Act 2010 for the production to close the Royal Esplanade in Ramsgate for a scene that sees main character Ben Turnbell (Blake Harrison) exit the beach soaking wet and getting into a car.    

After the series was commissioned, the production came back to Kent in November 2012 and once again filmed in Ramsgate as well as the Port of Ramsgate and Herne Bay all doubling for Great Yarmouth in the series.

The scenes they shot in Herne Bay included Lucy at work trying to raise money for charity in the High Street as well as scenes by the seafront and bandstand. 

In Ramsgate, the production once again made the most of the Kent Film Office’s Filming on Highways Act 2010 where they used traffic management to film scenes at The Old Haine Road in Ramsgate where a car travels over a speed bump and comes to a a sharp stop after the bump, stops for a while and then continues on its way. At Ramsgate Harbour they shot scenes where the characters arrive at the harbour and watch oil rig workers boarding a vessel.

Ramsgate is a beautiful coastal town which boasts a beach, amusements, arcades, shops, eateries and a theatre as well as the Thanet District Council managed Port of Ramsgate, the only Royal Harbour Marina in the country. Ramsgate has provided back drops for productions such as True Love (2012), Johnny English Reborn (2011) and Ruby Blue (2008).

Herne Bay is part of the Canterbury district in South East Kent and has a popular shingle beach, beautiful coastline and seafront gardens. The town also has many shops and eateries, amusement arcades, a windmill and some interesting architecture including a Victorian bandstand. Productions that have chosen to film in Herne Bay include Things I Haven’t Told You (2008) and French Dressing (1964).

The first episode of Big Bad World starts on Wednesday 21st August 2013 at 21:00 on Comedy Central.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Gypo (2006)

an actor leaping off a concrete structure into the air

The Leap © Medb Films

Writer/Director: Jan Dunn

Producer: Elaine Wickham

Production Company: Medb Films, British Broadcasting Corporation, Distant Eye Films, Molinare Studio, Spotty Dog Films, VMI

Starring: Pauline McLynn, Chloe Sirene, Paul McGann, Rula Lenska

Kent Filming Locations: East Kent College, Kingsgate Bay, Margate, Pegwell Bay, Port of Ramsgate, Ramsgate, Royal Harbour Hotel and the Wig & Pen pub

Gypo is a 2005 feature length film follows the breakup of a working class family when their teenage daughter befriends a Romany Czech refugee.  Gypo told in three revelatory narratives, each from a particular character’s point of view, reveals how the disintegration of an ordinary working class family finally comes to a head when unexpected emotions are unleashed.  An innovative, gripping and engaging journey into the heart of a dysfunctional British family on the Kent coast, Gypo reveals how suburban fears and tabloid sensationalism have come to perpetuate the myths surrounding refugees.

Jan Dunn (The Calling, Ruby Blue) directs and writes the screenplay to her debut feature length film.  Pauline Mclynn (Father Ted, Eastenders, Angela’s Ashes) stars as Helen with a supporting cast including, Chloe Sirene (United 93, The Calling, Ruby Blue), Paul McGann (Alien 3, Withnail & I, Queen and the Damned).

The production filmed at a variety of locations in Thanet including East Kent College, Kingsgate Bay, Margate, Pegwell Bay, Port of Ramsgate, Ramsgate, Royal Harbour Hotel and the Wig & Pen pub.

 

 

 Chloe Sirene and Freddie Connor running along Ramsgate Harbour with two security guards running after them

Chloe Sirene and Freddie Connor running along Ramsgate Harbour In Gypo 2005 © Medb Films

 

Director Jan Dunn and Gypo Crew at Ramsgate Harbour in front of the check in departures entrance.

Director Jan Dunn and Gypo Crew at Ramsgate Harbour © Medb Films

The Thanet area is made up of the towns Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs, and boasts beautiful sandy beaches and busy vibrant towns. The area has been featured on screen in productions including  The Tunnel: Sabotage (2016)The Lady in the Van (2015) and Top Dog Model (2012) .

Since their success with GYPO, Elaine Wickham and Jan Dunn, the team behind Medb Films have made a second feature set in East Kent, RUBY BLUE starring Bob Hoskins, as well as a short, MY MOTHER, both currently in post-production.

The film was released in November 2005 and is now available for DVD release.

With thanks to Jan Dunn and Elaine Wickham from Medb Films for the photos

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Contraband (1940)

Contraband Film Poster- battle ships in the water firing at each other, two floating heads of the main characters are above. A plane is in the air. Conrad Veidt Contraband is written across the centre

Contraband Film Poster © British National Films

Director: Michael Powell
Writers: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell
Starring: Conrad Veidt, Valerie Hobson, Hay Petrie
Production Company: British National Films
Kent Locations Used: Ramsgate

Set in early World War II, Contraband (1940) is about a Danish sea captain, delayed in a British port when a blackout occurs. The darkness brings chaos with smugglers and spies wanting to take advantage and the captain is forced to participate in a game of cat and mouse through the dark streets of London looking for important papers that belong to the ship. However, he discovers something a lot bigger than a few thieves trying to make a quick profit.

Directed by Michael Powell (A Canterbury Tale (1944), The Red Shoes), the film stars Conrad Veidt (Casablanca, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), Valerie Hobson (Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), Great Expectations (1946)) and Hay Petrie (One of Our Aircraft is Missing, Crimes at the Dark House).

Ramsgate, particularly the harbour and railway station, doubled as the fictional town Eastgate-on-Sea in the film.

Situated in East Kent,Ramsgateis a beautiful coastal town, home to the Port of Ramsgate, the only Royal Harbour Marina in the country. The area also boasts a beach, amusements, arcades, shops, restaurants and a theatre. Ramsgate has been used as a film location for Eastenders (2015), Big Bad World (2013) and Johnny English Reborn (2011).

Contraband was released on Saturday 11th May 1940 and is now available to purchase on DVD.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.