Cheshire East is to feature in a host of television programmes after one of the busiest summers ever for filming in the Borough.
The rural village of Bunbury will be the setting for six-part Second World War drama Home Fires, starring Francesca Annis and Samantha Bond and produced by ITV Studios. It tells how members of the Women’s Institute hold the fabric of society together while their menfolk are away fighting.
Filming began earlier this month (September) and will continue until December, with some of the villagers appearing as extras.
The Real Housewives of Cheshire, an ITV reality show about the lives of glamorous women living around Alderley Edge and Wilmslow, will be shown in the new year on Freeview channel ITVBe.
Production company Monkey Kingdom has been filming footballers’ wives and successful businesswomen in the area’s country mansions, beauty salons, restaurants and bars and the programme will also feature local beauty spots including Tegg’s Nose Country Park in Macclesfield.
This autumn, viewers in the UK and US will see historic Arley Hall, near Knutsford, playing a major role in Evermoor, a mystery adventure about an American teenager who leaves the States behind for a new life in England.
In the drama, made by Hollyoaks producers Lime Pictures for the Disney Channel, the hall doubles as Evermoor Manor, where the 14-year-old lead character discovers a magical tapestry which seems to predict the future.
Arley Hall’s impressive double herbaceous borders also featured recently on BBC Two’s Great British Garden Revival.
And on BBC One’s A Taste of Britain this week (Wednesday, September 24 at 3:45pm) presenters Janet Street-Porter and Brian Turner will be visiting Cheshire Smokehouse, in Wilmslow, to try its smoked trout pate and touring the kitchen garden and rare breed farm on the Tatton Park estate.
Meanwhile, Crewe is to feature in a new a new series of Channel 4’s Three in a Bed, the reality show in which bed and breakfast owners review each other’s premises. Filming is due to take place in late September and early October.
In many cases there were financial spin-offs for local businesses after Cheshire East Council officers helped crews to find accommodation and premises locally, including an office in Bunbury for the Home Fires producers.
Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We are very pleased to welcome so many film crews to the Borough as their output helps to showcase our beautiful scenery as well as our vibrant cultural and economic life, thereby boosting tourism and creating jobs. And I am looking forward to seeing Bunbury, where I live, featuring in Home Fires.”