The Bill (2000)

The Bill Poster- headshots of all the cast members in a row with the bill written on top

The Bill Poster © ITV

Creator: Geoff McQueen

Starring: Graham Cole, Trudie Goodwin, Jeff Stewart, Russell Boulter, Tony O’Callaghan, Peter Ellis, Lisa Geoghan, Mark Wingett

Production Company: Thames Television

Kent Locations: Allhallows, Rochester

The Bill is an ITV police drama about the trials and tribulations faced by the officers working at Sun Hill Police Station in the fictional East London area of Canley.

Created by Geoff McQueen (Big Deal, Stay Lucky, Bureau Kruislaan), The Bill ran from 1984 – 2010 and won a number of awards including a BAFTA.

Throughout the years, the series starred Graham Cole (Doctor Who, Sooty), Trudie Goodwin (Emmerdale, Heartbeat), Jeff Stewart (Crossroads, The Mr. Men Show), Russell Boulter (Casualty, Isaac), Tony O’Callaghan (EastEnders, The Coven), Peter Ellis (Emmerdale, Acorn Antiques), Lisa Geoghan (Desmond’s, Honeymoon) and Mark Wingett (Snow White and the Huntsman, Far from the Madding Crowd).

bottle of Chardonnay with The Bill written on it

The Bill Chardonnay © Mike & Jacky Davies

The production visited Kent in 2000, to film a high speed car chase on Ratcliffe Highway in Allhallows Marshes and local residents were presented with their very own bottle of ‘The Bill Chardonnay’ as a thank you from the team.

Allhallows is a village set on the Hoo Peninsula in Medway with a church, creek, farmland and caravan park. The Medway area has featured on screen in productions including Jekyll and Hyde (2015), Great British Railway Journeys (2014) and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (2011).

The Bill aired on ITV between 1984 and 2010.

 

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

 

 


Cold Comfort Farm (1995)

Cold Comfort Farm poster- 6 characters standing facing the camera in a frame. Cold Comfort Farm is written in white on top

Cold Comfort Farm poster © BBC, Thames Television

Director: John Schlesinger

Writer: Malcolm Bradbury (screenplay), Stella Gibbons (novel)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Eileen Atkins, Sheila Burrell, Stephen Fry, Freddie Jones, Joanna Lumley, Ian McKellen

Production Company: BBC, Thames Television

Kent Locations Used: Kent and East Sussex Railway, Royal Military Canal

Cold Comfort Farm is a BBC adaption of Stella Gibbons’ novel of the same name. Set in early 1930’s England, the story focuses on young Flora Poste (Kate Beckinsale) who is left penniless when her parents die and goes to stay with distant relatives on Cold Comfort Farm. Flora makes it her mission to improve the lives of the miserable inhabitants.

The TV movie parodies the romanticised, sometimes doom-laden accounts of rural life and is directed John Schlesinger (Marathon Man, The Next Best Thing) and written by Malcolm Bradbury (The Gravy Train, In the Red).

Kate Beckinsale (The Aviator, Underworld) takes the leading role of Flora alongside Eileen Atkins (Cold Mountain, Robin Hood), Sheila Burrell (Jane Eyre, Perfect Strangers), Stephen Fry (Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), Freddie Jones (The Elephant Man, Dune), Joanna Lumley (Corpse Bride, Absolutely Fabulous) and Ian McKellen (The Hobbit Series, Vicious).

The production filmed on location in Kent at Kent & East Sussex Railway which provided the trains for Flora’s journey from London to her relatives at Cold Comfort Farm and Northiam station which is the fictional railway station of Beershorne.

The Royal Military Canal was also used for scenes where Flora and Amos (Ian McKellen) walk and chat.

Kent & East Sussex Railway is a ten and a half mile rural light period railway which runs between Tenterden and East Sussex. The railway has also been used for filming by productions such as Richard E. Grant on Ealing Comedies (2016) and Last Passenger (2013).

The Royal Military Canal runs for 28 miles between Seabrook near Folkestone and end at Cliff End near Hastings. The canal passes the iconic Romney Marsh, tranquil countryside and quiet villages and has a footpath for the entire stretch.

Cold Comfort Farm was broadcast on 1 January 1995 and is now available for DVD purchase.

 

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


Covington Cross (1992)

Covington Cross characters standing in front of the castle facing the camera

Covington Cross © Gil Grant Productions/Reeves Entertainment Group/Thames Television

Creator/writer: Gil Grant

Starring: Nigel Terry, Cherie Lunghi, James Faulkner, Jonathan Firth, Tim Killick, Glenn Quinn, Ione Skye

Production Company: Gil Grant Productions, Reeves Entertainment Group, Thames Television

Kent Locations: Penshurst Place, Allington Castle 

Covington Cross is a medieval soap about the day to day concerns and struggles of the Grey family, headed up by widower, Sir Thomas Grey (Nigel Terry).

Although 13 episodes of Covington Cross were made, only seven were broadcast in America and the UK.

The series was created and written by Gil Grant (NCIS, 24, Army Wives) and stars Nigel Terry (Excalibur, Troy, Caravaggio), Cherie Lunghi (The Mission, Unforgotten, Secret Diary of a Call Girl), James Faulkner (Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Bank Job, X-Men: First Class), Jonathan Firth (Luther, Far from the Madding Crowd Far from the Madding Crowd, Pompeii: The Last Day), Tim Killick (Without a Clue, Erik the Viking, Little Claus and Big Claus Little Claus and Big Claus), Glenn Quinn (Roseanne, Angel, At Any Cost) and Ione Skye (Four Rooms, Wayne’s World, River’s Edge).

Covington Cross written in white with a picture of a castle at sunset behind

Covington Cross screenshot © Gil Grant Productions/Reeves Entertainment Group/Thames Television

The production chose Allington Castle to double as Covington Cross, the home of Sir Thomas Grey and Penshurst Place where the exterior features as the Convent in episode 2 and the Barron’s Hall as King Edward’s palace interior.

Allington Castle is set on the banks of the River Medway in 42 acres, near the town of Maidstone and features a moat, lakes and extensive gardens. The castle is now a private residence and has previously featured on productions such as  The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1984) and Bernard Matthews and Mars commercials.

Penshurst Place is a Medieval and Tudor style manor house set in gorgeous parkland in West Kent. The location offers formal Elizabethan gardens, state rooms and Gardens, an adventure playground and maze. Penshurst Place has previously been chosen as a film location by Wolf Hall (2015), The Great Fire (2014) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).

Covington Cross aired in 1992.

 

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