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.  


Humans Series 2 (2016)

Humans poster with the titles Humans 2.0 written on top of four cast members staring at the camera

Humans © Channel 4

Production Company: Kudos Productions, Matador Films

Starring: Gemma Chan, Emily Berrington, Colin Morgan, Katherine Parkinson, Carrie-Ann Moss, Tom Goodman-Hill

Kent Locations Used:  Westgate-on-Sea – West Bay Café, Piggy Bank nursery, Station Road Birchington, Botany Bay, Norfolk Road, Cliftonville

Set in a parallel present, Humans returns for a second series and explores how the latest family gadgets, highly-developed robotic servants called “Synths”, affect and transform human lives, not always for the better.

Series two picks up several months after the end of the first series – Niska (Emily Berrington) is still missing and her fellow synths – Mia (Gemma Chan), Leo (Colin Morgan) and Max (Ivanno Jeremiah) are still trying to find their place in the world amidst unconfirmed reports of synths behaving erratically.

Humans Ed (Sam Palladio) standing in front of beach huts at Westgate-on-Sea

Humans Ed (Sam Palladio) at Westgate-on-Sea © Channel 4

The award winning first series of Humans attracted an average of 4.8million viewers, becoming Channel 4’s highest rated drama in 20 years.

The series stars Gemma Chan (Secret Diary of a Call Girl Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit), Emily Berrington (The Inbetweeners 2 24: Live Another Day), Colin Morgan (Merlin The Fall), Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, The Boat That Rocked), Carrie-Ann Moss (Jessica Jones, The Matrix) and Tom Goodman-Hill (Mr Selfridge, Everest).

The production team filmed in Thanet between April and June 2016 using locations including Westgate-on-Sea – West Bay Café, Piggy Bank nursery, Station Road in Birchington and Botany Bay and Norfolk Road in Cliftonville.

Westgate-on-Sea is a coastal town near Margate which offers a sandy beach, arcades, Dreamland amusement park, shops and restaurant plus the renowned Turner Contemporary gallery. Botany Bay is in Thanet and is a popular film location due to its blue flag beach almost 200m long with stunning chalk cliffs and rock pools. The Thanet area has previously featured on screen in productions such as The Lady in the Van (2015), True Love (2012) and Ruby Blue (2007).

Humans series 2 starts on Sunday 30th October at 21:00 on Channel 4.

 

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


True Love (2012)

True Love cast L - R Adrian (DAVID MORRISEY), Nick (DAVID TENNANT), Holly (BILLIE PIPER), Paul (ASHLEY WALTERS), Sandra (JANE HORROCKS) standing in a row with the sky behind them

True Love cast L – R Adrian (DAVID MORRISEY), Nick (DAVID TENNANT), Holly (BILLIE PIPER), Paul (ASHLEY WALTERS), Sandra (JANE HORROCKS) © BBC and Working Title

Two lovers holding hands on the beach with the sea in the background

True Love L – R Stella (JAMIE WINSTONE) and Paul (ASHLEY WALTERS) © BBC and Working Title

Writer/director: Dominic Savage

Starring: David Tenant, Billie Piper, David Morrissey, Joanne Froggatt, Kaya Scodelario, Lacey Turner, Jane Horrocks, Ashley Walters, Jaime Winstone, Vicky McClure

Production company: Working Title Television, BBC

Kent Locations: Thanet – Margate – Beach, promenade, High Street, train station, various hotels and bars, Thanet District Council Offices, Turner Contemporary, Westgate-On-Sea, Cliftonville, Pegwell Bay, Botany Bay, and Broadstairs

True Love has many familiar faces including David Tenant (Doctor Who) Billie Piper (Secret Diary of a Call Girl), Jane Horrocks (Absolutely Fabulous), Vicky McClure (This is England), Lacey Turner (Eastenders), Ashley Walters (Inside Men), Jamie Winstone (Kidulthood), and David Morrissey (The Other Boleyn Girl).

The series explores love in the modern day and the many different dilemmas and situations along the way. Each story has links with the previous, either through connecting story lines or character connections and all have plenty of drama, heartbreak passion and some surprising outcomes.

The five stories that take place during the week-long serial include a married man whose life is turned upside down due to the reappearance of his first love, a school teacher who is drawn to a female pupil, a married woman who takes revenge on her cheating husband by starting an affair, a father unable to connect with his baby and a divorcee on a desperate search for new love.

David Morrissey as Adrian at Margate train station with the sign behind him

David Morrissey as Adrian at Margate train station © BBC and Working Title

In 2011, Kent welcomed the crew and stars of True Love. The production based it self in Margate, the director Savage’s home town, and used many Thanet locations including Margate Beach and promenade, Margate High Street, train station, various hotels and bars and even Thanet District Council Offices.  They also used the Turner Contemporary, as well as nearby Westgate-On-Sea, Cliftonville, Pegwell Bay, Botany Bay and Broadstairs.

Thanet has an astonishing 9 Blue Flag beaches and is a very popular filming location, due to its beautiful bustling seaside towns. It previously welcomed many TV and film productions, including Hancock and Joan (2008), Last Orders (2002) and a McDonald’s Happy Meal Commercial.

It is also home to the Turner Contemporary art gallery, adjacent to Margate harbour, which was built to contribute to the regeneration of the town and is fast becoming a highlight of the British visual arts scene. It also hosted the first public screening of the opening episode of True Love on 29th March 2012.

True Love will air every night on BBC One at 22.25pm from Sunday 17th – Thursday 21st June 2012.

 

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