Bang Goes The Theory (2012)

Bang Goes The Theory presenters Liz Bonnin, Dallas Campbell, Dr. Yan Wong and Jem Stansfield

Bang Goes The Theory presenters Liz Bonnin, Dallas Campbell,

Dr. Yan Wong and Jem Stansfield  © BBC

Production Companies: BBC, Open University

Kent Locations Used: Broadstairs, Viking Bay

BBC’s Bang Goes the Theory returns for its sixth series and comes to Broadstairs to look at engines, explore why petrol costs so much, and look at the alternatives, such as homemade bio fuel.

In the first episode of the series you can find out how an engine works and watch the team race two motorbikes, both powered by homemade bio fuels. This is a must watch for all science lovers and petrol heads!

The popular science magazine series has been running since 2009 and is co-produced by the BBC and Open University.  The show is presented by Liz Bonnin (Autumnwatch), Dallas Campbell (The Gadget Show) Jem Stansfield (Scrapheap Challenge), and Dr. Yan Wong. They examine how science shapes the world around us and test scientific theory with various experiments.

Broadstairs is a beautiful seaside town which boasts a sandy beach lined with traditional beach huts. It  also has a very busy high street with a wide range of shops, from mainstream to independent stores, lots  of restaurants and plays host to several annual festivals including The Broadstairs Dickens Festival in June and Broadstairs Folk Week in August.

The new series of Bang Goes the Theory starts on Monday 12th March 2012 at 19:30 on BBC1.

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Britain’s First Photo Album (2012)

John Sergeant on the Thames

John Sergeant on the Thames © BBC

Production Company: Reef Television

Kent Locations Used: Gravesend, Faversham, Broadstairs, Hythe

This new BBC2 series, Britain’s First Photo Album, looks at the works of Francis Frith, the pioneer Victorian photographer who spent much of the late 19th century photographing various spots of Britain, including Kent.

Francis Frith who sold his grocers business to focus on photography, set out to capture every city, town and village in Britain, and his images are thought to be some of the first of Britain.

The 10-part series is presented by journalist and broadcaster John Sergeant, who also took part in the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing.  Following in Frith’s footsteps, the series will cover the whole of Britain concentrating on Frith’s most stunning work. John will also look at the stories behind the pictures, talk to locals, as well as taking a picture of his own to compare the  past with the present.

Several episodes will feature areas in Kent:  Gravesend, Faversham, and Broadstairs, and it will be a fascinating to find out how each of these places has changed over the years.

Gravesend is on the south bank of the River Thames and is proud home to the oldest remaining cast iron pier in the world: The Towns Pier. The historic town also boasts an unspoilt promenade, high street and two shopping centres. Nearby attractions include the clock tower, and the beautiful Windmill Hill, which offers extensive views of the Thames. Gravesham has previously welcomed filming from Age Of Heroes and The Canterbury Tales.

Faversham is a beautiful, historic market town which has nearly 500 listed buildings and is set on the picturesque Faversham Creek. It has lots to offer including restaurants, shops, attractions, and some beautiful walks.

Broadstairs is a traditional seaside town and home to Charles Dickens’ Bleak House. It has a beautiful sandy beach lined with traditional beach huts, a multitude of restaurants and large Victorian terraces.  Popular dramas The Fixer, and Hancock and Joan have previously filmed in the area.

Hythe is a small seaside town at the edge of the Romney Marshes, formerly one of the Cinque Ports, it only retains a small fishing fleet today.  The Royal Military Canal flows into the sea here and in Napoleonic times it was home to the famous Hythe School of Musketry.

Don’t miss Britain’s First Photo Album which will be on every week day for 2 weeks from Monday 12th March 2012 at 18:30 on BBC2.


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The Calling (2009)

Emily Beecham in The Calling © Meave Films

Emily Beecham in The Calling © Meave Films

Written and Directed by: Jan Dunn

Produced: Elaine Wickham

Production Company: Medb Films

Kent Filming Locations: Ramsgate, Broadstairs, University of Kent Canterbury Campus, Wingham Wildlife Park, The Churchill Tavern, Barnsole Vineyard, St Lawrence College, Salmonstone Grange, Viking Bay

The Calling is a film about Joanna (Emily Beecham), a university student in her final year chooses to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a nun, despite strong opposition from her family, friends and boyfriend. Arriving at the convent, a closed Benedictine order, she discovers an eccentric community of nuns  Joanna begins her spiritual journey under the guidance of  progressive Sister Ignatious (Brenda Blethyn). All seems well until an unexpected secret is uncovered, which puts Joanna’s future at the convent at risk. Only her bond with Sister Ignatious can guide her to fulfill her own destiny in a surprising twist of the plot…

Directed by Jan Dunn and produced by Elaine Wickham, of Kent based Maeve Films (formerly Medb Films) the same team who created the critically acclaimed ‘Ruby Blue’.

Susannah Harker, Brenda Blethyn, Rita Tushingham and Jan Dunn on the set of The Calling © Meave Films

Susannah Harker, Brenda Blethyn, Rita Tushingham and Jan Dunn on the set of The Calling © Meave Films

Emily Beecham (Hail, Caesar!,Into the Badlands) stars as the protagonist Joanna, alongside Brenda Blethyn (Atonment, Pride & Prejudice, Secrets & Lies) as Sister Ignatious.  The supporting cast includes, Susannah York (Superman 1978, A Man For All Seasons).

The film was shot entirely on location in Kent in the districts of Canterbury and Thanet. In Ramsgate, St Lawrence College  was used for the nuns quarters whilst The Churchill Tavern featured as Joanna’s local pub. Salmonstone Grange in Margate,a beautiful 14th Century retreat, was used as the setting for St Bertha’s Priory. Various external scenes were filmed . In Broadstairs various external scenes were filmed in popular locations such as Viking Bay. The Thanet area has previously been used for filming  including Emelie Sande music video Hurts (2016), Not Going Out  (2013) and Whistle and I’ll Come To You (2010).

In Canterbury the University of Kent Canterbury Campus doubled as Joanna’s university, whilst Barnsole Vineyard was the used for St Bertha’s Vineyard. Wingham Wildlife Park also featured doubling as Africa in the final scenes of the film. Rustom (2016),  Boomers (2014) and Only Fools and Horses: The Jolly Boys Outing  (1989) have previously filmed in the  Canterbury area

The Calling will open the fifth edition of the London Independent Film Festival (LIFF) on April 15th. Writer/director Jan Dunn is a previous winner of the prestigious ‘Best Feature’ award at LIFF with her 2008 Kent based film Ruby Blue . She was able to use the £50,000 prize money, towards fund this new project.

The film was the first to benefit from Kent County Council’s Development Fund, the initial investment of £75,000 was then match funded by other Kent Businesses including Courtyard Studios, Screen South, Maidstone Studios and The Hop Farm. The investment secured more than £500,000 spend into the local economy and also provided training for six young people from Kent on the production.

The Calling was released in 2009 and is now available for DVD purchase.


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Hancock and Joan (2008)

Ken Stott as Hancock - sitting at a table holding a cup and wearing a black coat and hat

Ken Stott as Hancock. Copyright BBC/World Productions

Writer: Richard Cottan

Director: Richard Laxton

Production Company: World Productions

Kent Filming Locations: BroadstairsRamsgate

A one off drama starring Ken Stott as Hancock (Rebus) and Maxine Peake (Shameless), Hancock and Joan charts the affair between Hancock and his best friend’s wife, Joan Le Mesurier.

Not long wedded to their current spouses, Joan and Tony embarked on a passionate love affair that lasted nearly two years. But Tony, despite his adoration for Joan, was plagued with depression and alcoholism, which proved to be a constant drain on their relationship.

When Tony is offered a chance to revive his career with a new series in Australia, Joan gives him an ultimatum to give up alcohol and in return for her leaving John and marrying him. Agreeing Tony embarked to Australia. Unfortunately, the failure of his series and a misunderstanding about Joan’s loyalty for him prompted him to take his life.


Paul Hicks standing by a car in front of a house

Paul Hicks and his car. Copyright: Kent Film Office


On set of Hancock and Joan - cameras in a residential street

On set of Hancock and Joan. Copyright: Kent Film Office

The programme is based on John Le Mesurier’s autobiography ‘Lady Don’t Fall Backwards’ and Edward Joffe’s ‘Hancock’s Last Stand’ and was filmed in the Le Mesurier’s home town of Ramsgate.

Set in 1967, the challenge to find period locations for the piece were providentially solved. Both Ramsgate itself and it’s close neighbour Broadstairs provided some untouched gems such as Morellli’s cafe, one of the only remaining 50’s style cafes in Britain and the house that doubled as John and Joan’s family home. Vintage cars where bought in from around the county to dress the streets, which proved to be a task in itself as despite glorious November sunshine temperatures were brisk and the cars had to be well looked after due to their fragile nature.

Broadstairs and Ramsgate are coastal towns in the Thanet District of Kent offering gorgeous beaches, historic towns and a harbour. Eastenders (2015), Edge of Heaven (2013) and True Love (2012) have all utilised the area for filming.

Hancock and Joan was shown on BBC 4 at 9pm on 26th March 2008.


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Only Fools and Horses: The Jolly Boys’ Outing (1989)

L-R Rodney Trotter (Nicholas Lyndhurst), Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter (David Jason), Uncle Albert Trotter (Buster Merryfield), Boycie (John Challis), Trigger (Roger Lloyd Pack) and Mike Fisher (Kenneth MacDonald) at a theme park

Only Fools and Horses The Jolly Boys’ Outing © BBC

Director: Tony Dow

Writer: John Sullivan

Starring: David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Buster Merryfield, Paul Barber, John Challis, Sue Holderness, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Kenneth MacDonald, Gwyneth Strong, Tessa Peake-Jones.

Production Company: BBC

Kent Locations: Margate, Dreamland, Broadstairs, Herne Bay

The Jolly Boys’ Outing is the 1989 Christmas Special of the popular BBC series Only Fools and Horses and sees the Trotter brothers go on their annual coach trip to Margate with the Nag’s Head regulars. However, the trip doesn’t go to plan and forces the gang to stay overnight where Del bumps into his old flame Raquel.

Renowned British comedy Only Fools and Horses is about the Trotter brothers who live in Peckham, South London and the highs and lows they face trying to get rich. The sitcom was created and written by John Sullivan (The Two Ronnies, Roger Roger) and ran from 1981 – 2003, becoming one of the most loved sitcoms.

The Jolly Boys’ Outing episode was directed by Tony Dow (Babylon 5, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show) and stars David Jason (Open All Hours, The Darling Buds of May) as Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter and Nicholas Lyndhurst (Goodnight Sweetheart, Rock & Chips) as Rodney Trotter and Buster Merryfield (Shroud for a Nightingale, Strangers and Brothers) as Uncle Albert.

The supporting cast also boasts many familiar face including Roger Lloyd-Pack (The Vicar of Dibley, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Tessa Peake-Jones (Marchlands, Holby City) and Paul Barber (The Full Monty, Coronation Street).

Margate was the main destination in the episode where the boys visit theme park Dreamland. The former Broadstairs Police Station also features in the episode as well as the now closed Roman Galley Pub in Herne Bay which was used for the pitstop location where the gang stop off on their journey to Margate.

Margate is a delightful seaside town with a sandy beach, harbour, arcades, and period housing. The area has been seen on screen before featuring in productions such as BBC One’s improvised drama True Love (2012), The Apprentice (2009) and feature film Last Orders (2002). 

Herne Bay boasts beaches and seafront gardens as well as many shops and eateries, amusement arcades and a windmill. Productions that have chosen to film in the area include Peter Andre’s 60 Minute Makeover (2013), Got To Dance (2012) and Things I Haven’t Told You (2008). 

The Jolly Boys’ Outing episode of Only Fools and Horses was first shown on Christmas Day 1989 and is now available on DVD.


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