Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022)

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

Creator: Julie Wassmer
Starring: Kerry Godliman, Howard Charles, Sophia Del Pizzo, Frances Barber
Production Company: Buccaneer Media
Kent Locations Used: Whitstable, Canterbury, Faversham, Herne Bay, Margate, Ramsgate, Detling, Dover, Sevenoaks, Rochester

Based on the much loved series of novels ‘The Whitstable Pearl Mysteries’ by Kent resident Julie Wassmer (EastEnders, London’s Burning), Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022) is a 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 was adapted for screen by Norwegian filmmaker Øystein Karlsen (One Night, Dag). Kerry Godliman (After Life, Call the Midwife (2012-2020)) 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

For both Series 1 and 2, most of the filming took place in and around Whitstable itself, including scenes filmed by the coast at Whitstable Harbour, Whitstable Beach, Whitstable Yacht Club and Tankerton Beach. In Series 1, Whitstable High Street features and local shops were filmed including Iain’s Plaice (fish and chip restaurant) and art gallery Chappell Contemporary as Houlihan’s Hardware store. Other Whitstable businesses filmed for Series 1 include the Cemetery, Football Ground, MFA Bowl and Seaview Holiday Park, which features as the trailer park where Vinnie lives. Several private residences were used for filming, including Beacon House as Pearl’s House for Series 1, the exterior of The Ness as Mike’s Flat in Series 2 Episode 2, The Warehouse Cottages for the same episode, and various private residences on Island Wall for Series 2 Eps 1 and 2. Filming took place at The Old Neptune pub, which doubled as the Pearson’s Arms for both series. Whitstable train station also features briefly in Series 2 Ep 2 as Pearl trails a suspected cheating spouse.

The Kent Events Centre was used as a studio build location in Series 1 for interiors of Pearl’s seafood restaurant.

Meanwhile, Margate in Thanet features in both series with Margate Beach and The Walpole Hotel doubling for Whitstable seaside scenes in Series 1, Dreamland and the Nayland Rock Hotel featuring in Series 2 as a theme park and The Bradford Hotel. For Series 1, production also filmed at St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church on Canterbury Road in nearby Westgate-on-Sea. The Port of Ramsgate and Royal Harbour Marina double for the Port of Dover cruise terminal and Dover Marina in Series 1.

Dover features multiple times in Series 2, with locations such as The White Cliffs, Port of Dover, Lydden Spout Battery and Western Heights making an appearance in Episode 1, along with various nearby roads. The Citadel also appears in both series, doubling as a police station. The Citadel also features in Series 1 as a children’s home, and in Series 2 Episode 1 the location’s tunnels feature as the setting for the dramatic confrontation between Kruz Tomlin (Yaw Nimako-Asamoah) and his stepfather Leo (Oliver Walker).

For Series 2, production also visited various locations in Sevenoaks, including a private house which doubled as Dolly’s House, Stonepitts PYO Farm and the St Clere Estate which doubles as Zelda St John’s (Stephanie Beacham) mansion.

Rochester High Street in Medway appears in Series 2, with local businesses Baggin’s Book Bazaar, Kiss the Bride and a former Estate Agents featuring in Episodes 2 and 3.

Interior scenes for Series 1 were filmed at the former St Martin’s Hospital in Canterbury doubling as a police station and a hospital. Other filming locations for Series 1 include a field near Faversham at Belmont Park and private residence in Herne Bay.

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 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.

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.

Margate is a traditional seaside town complete with sandy beach, harbour, amusement park, period housing and ultra-modern art gallery Turner Contemporary. The Walpole Hotel was built for discerning guests in 1914 and extended in 1927.  Built over 5 floors it has 42 Bedrooms, 2 flats and a newly added small museum space. Dreamland is considered to be the oldest-surviving amusement park in Great Britain, and has played host to a variety of productions, including Killing Eve (2018-2022), Two Weeks to Live (2020) and Jellyfish (2018). Located nearby, The Nayland Rock Hotel also featured in Killing Eve (2018-2022), as well as King of Thieves (2018).

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 locations with recent productions including Two Weeks to Live (2020), Pandemonium (2020) and Top Boy (2019-2022).

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. 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).

Dover houses the major port, connecting the UK with the European mainland. Dover Castle towers above the town, signalling Dover’s strategic importance in the defence of the country and the White Cliffs are one of the most recognised landmarks in Britain. Recent productions to have filmed in Dover include Pistol (2022), Rogue Agent (2022), and The Tunnel: Sabotage (2016).

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.

The town of Sevenoaks has a varied landscape, featuring a bustling high street, stately homes and castles as well as beautiful countryside. Located in that countryside is the St Clere Estate, which offers stunning views of the North Downs, formal gardens, paddocks, a kitchen garden, orangery, green houses, and a temple by the lake. Built in 1630, it has some fine architectural examples of the Caroline era. It has recently played host to a variety of productions including The Great (2020-2021), Gangs of London (2020-2022) and The Third Day (2020).

Rochester is a city with the feel of a medieval market town, including a cathedral, castle ruin and unspoilt high street by the River Medway. Other productions to have filmed in Rochester include Unforgotten (2021), Jekyll and Hyde (2015) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012).

Herne Bay is a coastal resort popular for filming along the Kent coast. Kate & Koji (2020-2022) 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 was released on Acorn TV on Monday 24th May 2021.

Whitstable Pearl Series 2 will be released as a box set on Acorn TV on Monday 28th November 2022.

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


Celebrity Antiques Road Show – Series 8 (2018)

Cast of Celebrity Antiques Road Show - Series 8- Four celebritites standing in a row holding up various antiques.

Cast of Celebrity Antiques Road Show – Series 8 ©BBC Two

Starring: Kelly Brook, Denise Van Outen and Peter Andre
Production Company: STV productions
Kent Locations Used: Ramsgate, Margate, Whitstable, Faversham, Sittingbourne, Maidstone, and Ashford

A brand-new series of Celebrity Antiques Road Show (2011-) returns to BBC two.  In the programme each antique expert is paired up with a celebrity and they travel across the UK in vintage cars, in a quest to find worthy antiques to sell at auction.

The series producer for the upcoming show is John Redshaw, and the chosen stars for Series 8 include reality-star Peter Andre, actress Denise Van Outen and model Kelly Brook.

One of the episodes visited Kent where the celebrities played mini-golf in Margate, went antiques hunting in  the sea-side town of Ramsgate and paid a visit to Leeds Castle and Pleasant View Garden Centre in Maidstone, and Whitstable Harbour in Canterbury.

Filming also took place in Faversham and Sittingbourne, which are towns in the district of Swale, as well as further filming in villages Appledore and Chilham in Ashford.

Ramsgate, Margate and Whitstable are seaside towns in East-Kent.  Ramsgate has been a significant filming location for popular television shows such as Juliet, Naked(2018), EastEnders (2015) and The Apprentice (2015).

Faversham and Sittingbourne are both towns within the Swale borough of Kent. Previous productions which filmed there include Celebs on the Farm (2018) and Walks With My Dog (2017).

Ashford is a market town with many shops, eateries, and a designer outlet shopping centre with London and Europe are just a train ride away through Ashford International train station. Previous productions which filmed include The Apprentice (2015).

Maidstone has been a popular site for TV programmes, productions include Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace (2020). Tunbridge Wells has also been an attractive location for TV programmes like Question Time (2016) and Series Two of Hunted (2016).

The series will start on Monday 5th November on BBC Two at 7pm with the Kent episode.

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


Ade at Sea (2014)

Ade standing on a fishing boat with the sea and other boats behind

Ade at Sea © ITV

Production Company: ITV Studios

Kent Locations used: Thames Estuary – Redsand Forts, Whitstable Harbour, The Historic Dockyard Chatham

ITV’s new 5 part series, Ade at Sea, sees actor and presenter Ade Edmondson set sail to explore the history of Maritime Britain and meet people whose lives are still influenced by the sea today.

In the second episode of the series, Ade travels along the Thames Estuary visiting Kent locations such as The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Whitstable Harbour and Redsand Forts, also known as The Maunsell Forts.

With its cobbled streets, Georgian and Victorian architecture and period features spread across 80 acres, The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a popular filming location having been seen on screen in productions such as Mr Selfridge (2013-2014), Les Miserables (2012) and The Mummy (1999).

Whitstable is a seaside town near Canterbury and is famous for its annual Oyster Festival as well as the delightful harbour, shingle beach, busy high street and strong arts and culture scene.  Whitstable has been previously seen on screen in productions such as Things I Haven’t Told You (2008).   

The Redsand Forts are metal and concrete structures which were built as bombing defences during the Second World War and are located 6 miles out into the Thames Estuary off the coast of Whitstable. They have previously been used on screen for projects such as a Prodigy music video and a Red Bull challenge!

Don’t miss the Thames Estuary episode of Ade at Sea which airs on Thursday 27th March 2014 at 20:30 on ITV1.

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


The Tapes (2011)

Poster for The Tapes. A bloody hand lies in the snow clutching at a video camera. There is barbed wire wrapped around the wrist. Across the top of the frame is written The Tapes in grey faded text and along the bottom in the same font are the words SEe wHat tHEy sAW.

The Tapes (2011) © Darkside Pictures

Director: Lee Alliston, Scott Bates
Starring:
Jason Maza, Arnold Oceng, Natasha Jean Sparkes
Production Company:
TiCTaC, Darkside Pictures, Pure Film Productions
Kent Locations Used: 
Whitstable, The Rose in Bloom Pub

 The Tapes (2011) is a British indie horror movie following three Kentish teenagers who find themselves trapped on an abandoned farm being hunted by devil worshippers, whilst trying to record a Big Brother audition tape.

Directed by Lee Alliston (Talaash, Challenge 2) and Scott Bates (PRU (2022), Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022)), The Tapes stars Jason Maza (Rise of the Footsoldier: Vengeance, Outside Bet) as Danny, Arnold Oceng (The Good Lie, Brotherhood) as Nathan and Natasha Jean Sparkes (Powder Room, Victim) as Gemma.

The film was shot and set in Whitstable, with locations including Whitstable Harbour, Tankerton Slopes, The Rose in Bloom pub and a privately owned abandoned farm, which is the film’s main location.

Whitstable is a seaside town with working fishing harbour, shingle beach and busy high street. The town is famous for its oysters and the harbour has a number of shops in large sheds which sell fish and shellfish or are seafood cafés. Tankerton Slopes are adjacent to Whitstable Harbour and consist of grassy banks covered in beach huts in front of a pebble beach. There are a number of kiosk style cafés, a yacht club and a beach front skate park. Other productions to have filmed in Whitstable around this time are Venus (2007), Gangsters, Guns and Zombies (2012) and Still Life (2013).

The Tapes (2011) was released on Friday 23rd September 2011 and is currently available to purchase on DVD.

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


Cockles! (1984)

Opening title screen for Cockles!. A white screen with cockles in the top half, the programme title Cockles! In the centre , and on the bottom in black text is written Cc-Cc-Cc-Cockles, cockles from Cocklesea.

Cockles! (1984) © BBC

Writer: Douglas Livingstone
Starring: James Grout, Joan Sims, Norman Rodway, Jane Lowe, David Bamber, Tim Wylton
Production Company: BBC
Kent Location Used: Herne Bay, King’s Hall, Ramsgate Royal Harbour, Whitstable Harbour, Tankerton beach

Cockles! (1984) was a BBC comedy series, set in the fictional Kentish beach town of Cocklesea. The series follows ex-pat Arthur Dumpton trying to get the faded old seaside resort back to its former glory

The series was written by Douglas Livingstone (Clayhanger, Boys from the Bush), and stars James Grout (Inspector Morse, Mother Love) as Arthur Dumpton, Joan Sims (Carry on Screaming, Carry on Up the Khyber) as Gloria du Bois, Norman Rodway (Inspector Morse – Deceived by Flight (1989), Reilly: Ace of Spies) as Jacques, Jane Lowe (Bad Girls, The Creeping) as Mabel du Bois, David Bamber (Valkyrie, Miss Potter) as Graham and Tim Wylton (Pride and Prejudice, Wycliffe) as George.

Herne Bay doubles for the fictional town of Cocklesea, with filming taking place on the beach, the promenade by the bandstand and clocktower as well as along Central Parade. Private properties on Central Parade feature as the exterior of the Sunny Side Guest House run by Gloria DuBois and the Seaview Guesthouse run by Mabel. The King’s Hall appears throughout the series, doubling as the Cocklesea Pavilion which Arthur has bought and fixes up to become the new hub of the revived community.

Whitstable Harbour features as Cocklesea harbour in the first episode where Jaques and his mates Graham & George try to run a smuggling operation and Tankerton Beach also appears briefly in Episode 4, where George goes for a run by the Yacht Club.

Ramsgate Royal Harbour appears in Episode 4 of the series, as the location where Jacques goes to paint and meets the American Veronica Stapmeyer (Pat Starr) on her yacht.

Herne Bay is a coastal resort which is home to the world’s first free-standing purpose built clock tower. Productions which filmed in the town around the same time include Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (1973), Blue Jeans (1977) and The Medusa Touch (1978).

Opened in 1913, the King’s Hall is an architectural gem, captivating visitors with its original Edwardian features and idyllic seafront views. French Dressing (1964) and Jagame Thandhiram (2021) filmed at this location.

Ramsgate is the home of the only Royal Harbour in the UK, decreed by King George IV in 1821 due to his fondness of the friendly locals he met there. The Harbour is a popular filming location, featuring in Contraband (1940), Á nous les petites Anglaises (1976) and The Big Sleep (1978).

Whitstable Harbour is a small commercial harbour in North Kent. Built in 1832 to serve the new railway, nowadays it is a municipal harbour. The town is famous for its oysters and the harbour has a number of shops which sell fish and shellfish.

The Tankerton Slopes are adjacent to Whitstable and consist of grassy banks covered in beach huts in front of a pebble beach. The beach features in Zoe and the Astronaut (2018) and Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022).

Cockles! (1984) aired on BBC One from Wednesday 4th January to Wednesday 8th February 1984.

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