Kate & Koji (2020-2022)

Koji sits at a table in a dated looking café. He holds a white mug and has a full English breakfast in front of him. Kate stands behind him, wearing a green apron and smiling at the camera.

Brenda Blethyn as Kate and Okorie Chukwu as Koji in Kate and Koji (2020-2022) © Hat Trick Productions

Writers: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin
Director: Ben Kellett
Starring: Brenda Blethyn, Jimmy Akingbola (Series 1), Okorie Chukwu (Series 2), Blake Harrison, Barbara Flynn, Meera Syal
Production Company: Hat Trick Productions, ITV Studios
Kent Locations Used: Romney House, School Road, Charing, Herne Bay Beach, Pier & Promenade

Kate & Koji (2020-2022) is a six-part TV sitcom about a working-class woman played by Brenda Blethyn  (Vera, Pride & Prejudice (2005)) who runs an old-fashioned café in a neglected seaside town. Kate develops an unexpected and spirited friendship with Koji, an asylum-seeking African doctor (Jimmy Akingbola – Series 1 (In the Long Run (2019), Bel-Air); Okorie Chukwu – Series 2 (The Complex: Lockdown (2020)). Although from very different worlds, they are similar in ways which they do not recognise, including a dogged determination to never back down!

Kate’s resourceful nephew ‘Medium’ played by Blake Harrison  (The Inbetweeners (2010), Big Bad World (2013)) is often on hand to act as peacemaker. Barbara Flynn (The Durrells, Cracker) also stars as Kate’s lifelong nemesis Councillor Bone, and in Series 1, Meera Syal (Back to Life (2019-2021), The Split (2020)) guest stars as an adversarial GP to Koji.

The series is directed by Ben Kellett  and written by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin. It is a Hat Trick Production for ITV Studios filmed on location in Kent and at Elstree Studios in front of a live audience.

The seaside café for the TV sitcom was filmed at Frasiers Pie and Mash Shop in Herne Bay, standing in for the fictional seaside town of Seagate. The production also filmed exteriors of The Divers Arms pub and various scenes around the Promenade and Pier and an exterior scene at Herne Bay Industrial Estate. A further sequence was shot on the Promenade featuring a storm and its after-effects.

Series Two returned to Herne Bay for exterior filming and once again filmed along the Pier and Promenade, as well as the Neptune Arm and the Bandstand, which doubled as the exterior to a Community Centre.

A damaged road sign saying ‘Seagate’ on the side of a coastal road with the sea in background.

Herne Bay stands in for the fictional seaside town of Seagate © Hat Trick Productions

Herne Bay is a seaside town which has a Pier and shingle beach and is set just outside of the historic City of Canterbury. Recent productions to film in the area include Blue Planet UK – Series 1 (2019), The 1900 Island – Series 1 (2019) and Coast vs Country (2016).

Series 2 of Kate and Koji is due to air on ITV on Wednesday 16th March 2022 at 9PM.

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


The Cleaner (2021)

Greg Davies as Paul ‘Wicky’ Wickstead is stood in a kitchen wearing white overalls and blue gloves and has a face mask around his neck. He has grey hair and a moustache and beard. Behind him is a fridge covered in blood.

The Cleaner (2021) © BBC / Studio Hamburg UK / Jonathan Browning

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.

The six-part series was directed by Alex Winckler (My Mad Fat Diary, Traitors). Greg Davies (Cuckoo, Man Down) wrote the series and plays the lead role. Each episode features a different co-star; Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown Series 1 – 4 (2016-2020), The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) in Episode 1, David Mitchell (Peep Show, That Mitchell & Webb Look) in Episode 2, Stephanie Cole (Gentleman Jack, Doc Martin) in Episode 4, Layton Williams (Bad Education, Beautiful People) in Episode 5, and Jo Hartley (After Life, Eddie the Eagle) in Episode 6.

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.

The town of Sevenoaks boasts a varied landscape with acres of beautiful countryside, stately homes and castles as well as a thriving town centre. It is most known for being home to one of the oldest cricket grounds in the country – The Vine Cricket Ground. Previous productions to have filmed in the town of Sevenoaks include The Larkins (2021), Making Noise Quietly (2019) and Parade’s End (2012).

Royal Tunbridge Wells is known for its Georgian and Victorian architecture, a shopping centre, bars, restaurants, and live music scene. Previous productions to visit the area include Catastrophe Series 4 (2019) and Queens of Mystery (2019).

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 This Time With Alan Partridge – Season 2 (2021) and Hetty Feather Series 1 – 6 (2015 – 2020).

Episode 1 of The Cleaner aired on BBC One on Friday 10th September at 9.30pm. The full series was made available on BBC iPlayer on the same date.

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


This Way Up Series 2 (2021)

The image is an overhead view of Aisling Bea as Aine lying on an unmade bed. She is wearing a stripey purple, grey and yellow top, grey hairband and red and black pyjama bottoms. She is holding a phone and on the bed is a messy pile of paperwork, a laptop and other small items.

This Way Up Series 2 , Episode 1, Aine (Aisling Bea) © Channel 4 | Rekha Garton

Writer: Aisling Bea
Director: Alex Winckler
Starring: Aisling Bea, Sharon Horgan, Tobias Menzies
Production Company: Merman
Kent Locations Used: Tunbridge Wells

This Way Up (2021) is a TV comedy that follows Aine (Aisling Bea (Quiz, Living with Yourself)), as she recovers from a teeny little nervous breakdown. Sisters Aine and Shona (Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe, Women on the Verge)) share an unshakeable bond and Aisling Bea, who is the show’s creator, describes their relationship as “passionate, caring, often-angry, always-hilarious. In the darkest moments, when faced with overwhelming loneliness and sadness, the two sisters will always save each other and bring each other back into the light.” Series 2 follows Aine as she is starting to leave her time in rehab behind and live less cautiously, which may not be entirely wise.

Created by Aisling Bea (Quiz, Living with Yourself), Series 2 was directed by Alex Winckler (My Mad Fat Diary, Traitors) and stars Aisling Bea as lead character Aine, with Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe, Women on the Verge) playing her older sister. Aine’s love interest, Richard, is played by Tobias Menzies (The Crown (2016-2020), The Terror).

During filming, production visited Tunbridge Wells where they filmed in a private house in Speldhurst for several days as the location of Shona’s house.

Tunbridge Wells is in West Kent and is officially known as Royal Tunbridge Wells due to King Edward VII commemorating the town owing to his mother Queen Victoria’s love for the area. It is home to a host of historic buildings, specialist shops and a busy town centre. Previous productions to have filmed there include Rupert, Rupert and Rupert (2019) and Catastrophe (2019).

Series 2 of This Way Up will air on Channel 4 from Wednesday 14th July 2021.

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


This Time With Alan Partridge Series 2 (2021)

Actor Alan Partridge stands in the foreground on grass wearing a blue jumper and jacket and is pulling a silly expression. Behind him is a stone archway and monks gardening.

This Time with Alan Partridge © BBC / Baby Cow / Gary Moyes

Writers: Steve Coogan, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons
Directors: Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons
Starring:  Steve Coogan, Susannah Fielding, Felicity Montagu
Production Company: BBC / Baby Cow Productions
Kent Locations Used: Aylesford priory, Blue Bell Hill Country Park, Maidstone Studios,

This Time with Alan Partridge (2021) starring Steve Coogan (The Wind in the Willows (1996), Stan & Ollie) returns to BBC One with a second series of the BBC evening magazine show ‘This Time’ where he is now established as the show’s co-presenter. This Time with Alan Partridge follows Alan on air and off as he tries to cling on to his position in the face of behind-the-scenes upheaval and his fears that his relevance is dwindling.

The show was written by Steve Coogan, Neil Gibbons and Rob Gibbons (Veep, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa) and also stars Susannah Fielding (Life, Sticks and Stones) as co-presenter Jenny, Felicity Montagu (Landscapers (2021), Mapp and Lucia (2014)) as Lynn Benfield and Tim Key (The End of the F***ing World (2017), Pls Like) as Simon Denton.

During filming, production visited Maidstone Studios, which doubled for the BBC studios, Blue Bell Hill Country Park and Aylesford Priory. Filming also took place at private residences, a nursery and on local roads around Blue Bell Hill and in the county town of Maidstone.

Just 45 minutes from London, Maidstone Studios is the UK’s largest independent studios. They are classed as a regional studio facility and have been home to some of the industry’s best loved television programmes from Later… with Jools Holland (2014-2017) through to Take Me Out (2014-2016).

Aylesford Priory situated at The Friars is an ancient religious house of the Carmelite Friars dating back to the 13th Century. The Friars is a place of peace where visitors can enjoy walks around the breathtaking grounds and stunning medieval buildings or visit the pottery to see local artisans at work. Bollywood film Rustom (2016) was partly filmed at Aylesford Priory.

Blue Bell Hill Country Park is located on the North Downs Way near Aylesford with uninterrupted views across the Weald valley. The five-hectare site is part of a Nature Reserve with the Kent Wildlife Trust.

This Time with Alan Partridge Series 2 begins on BBC One on Friday 30th April 2021 at 9:30pm and is available for catch up on iPlayer.

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


Back to Life Series 1 and 2 (2019 – 2021)

 

Daisy Haggard as Miri Matteson is sat on a bench on a pebbled beach with Adeel Akhtar as Billy. She has long hair blowing in the wind and is holding her phone and a sandwich. She is wearing a green anorak and black leggings. Adeel has black hair and a beard and wears a brown jacket and blue jeans.

Miri Matteson (Daisy Haggard), Billy (Adeel Akhtar) in Back to Life Series 2 (2021) in Hythe © SHOWTIME

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

BBC3 comedy drama Back to Life follows Miranda ‘Miri’ Matteson (Daisy Haggard Breeders Series 2 (2021), Hilda) who has just been released from prison, having spent a decade behind bars. In Series One she is desperate to go straight and move on with her life.

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 was directed by Christopher Sweeney (Parental Advisory: Disciplinary Measures, Women are from Mars), is written by Daisy Haggard and Laura Solon, and stars Daisy Haggard (Black Mirror, Outnumbered), Geraldine James (Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes), Jamie Michie (Game of Thrones, The Outlaw King) and Christine Bottomley (Hard Sun, The End of the F***ing World).

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.

For Series One, production filmed in locations across Dungeness, including Dungeness Estate and the Britannia Pub InnLydd on Sea’s Lade Car Park also features in both series; in Series One it plays host to a Fish & Chips van, and in Series Two it became the driving school where Miri takes her practical test. Dungeness has played host to several recent TV productions including Brave New World (2020), The Third Day (2020) and Fantasy Homes by the Sea – Series 7 (2018).

Folkestone’s Harbour Arm features in several episodes of Series Two, with the lighthouse becoming the site of an untimely and mysterious death. The Folkestone & Hythe district of Kent has 26 miles of beaches and is a popular location for filming, recently appearing in Flesh and Blood (2020) and Queens of Mystery (2019).

Abbot’s Cliff in Dover features in both series as the site of a tragic death.

Series One aired on BBC 3 on Monday 15th April 2019 and is currently available on iplayer.

Series Two airs weekly on BBC One from Tuesday 31 August at 10.35pm and will be available on BBC iPlayer from the same date.

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