Christmas TV 2019: where were your favourite shows were filmed?

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  • Christmas TV 2019: where were your favourite shows were filmed?

    Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special (BBC One, 8.30pm Christmas Day)

    Almost a decade after the last episode, the Anglo-Welsh rom-sit-com remains close to the hearts of the nation, so fingers crossed that this one-off, hour-long revival can live up to high expectations. The gang’s all here, led by writer-stars Ruth Jones (aka Nessa) and James Corden (Smithy), and they’ve been revisiting old haunts for the filming. Most of the cast were spotted in front of the cameras in Trinity Street on Barry Island, home to Stacey’s family the Wests, with Rob Brydon’s Uncle Bryn also in residence, with, festive decorations up ready for his crack at cooking the Christmas dinner. Though set in Billericay as well as Barry, the show was always filmed pretty much entirely in Wales, so expect to see the Shipmans’ home on Laburnum Way in Dinas Powys near Newport too.

  • Christmas TV 2019: where were your favourite shows were filmed?

    A Christmas Carol (BBC One, 9.05pm 22-24 December)

    This three-part adaptation of the Charles Dickens festive favourite comes with the highest credentials: it was written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and produced by the mighty Tom Hardy. You might, though, expect more of the flavour of their previous collaboration, Taboo, with a strong emphasis on gothic dread. Their firepower has drawn a great cast – Guy Pearce as Scrooge, Stephen Graham as Jacob Marley and Andy Serkis as the Ghost of Christmas Past – and also allowed access to some excellent locations. There are starring roles for Rainham Hall in East London, a Georgian mansion built in 1729, and the church of St John-at-Hampstead in the north of the capital. Further afield, the medieval cottages of The Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick were used for town scenes, while Queen Street Mill in Burnley, now a museum housing steam-driven weaving machinery, added to a screen CV that already includes The King’s Speech (2010) and a previous Christmas TV hit, 2015’s An Inspector Calls.

  • Christmas TV 2019: where were your favourite shows were filmed?

    Worzel Gummidge (BBC One, 6.20pm on 26 and 7pm on 27 December)

    The fondly remembered early Eighties series starring Jon Pertwee and Una Stubbs gets an overdue reboot over two hour-long episodes. After the success of his pastoral sitcom Detectorists, it’s hard to think of anyone better qualified to revive Barbara Euphan Todd’s none-more-English tales of the talking scarecrow than Mackenzie Crook, who writes, directs and stars, supported by Michael Palin, Zoë Wanamaker, Steve Pemberton and Vicki Pepperdine. While the original series was filmed near Romsey in Hampshire and Detectorists in Suffolk, this time Crook is out in the rolling hills of Hertfordshire. While much of the action takes place in open farmland, Worzel meets a friend in an allotment in Highfield Park, St Albans, and takes tea in the local Big House, filmed at a privately owned stately home near Watford and the Wardown House Museum in Luton, a Victorian mansion that’s mainly


    devoted to the local hatmaking industry. The farm where the children stay is close to Dunstable, while in the final episode, Worzel has a heart-to-heart with The Green Man (Palin) in the grounds of the National Trust’s Ashridge Estate, close to the woods where Crook appeared as the druid Veran in Sky Atlantic’s Britannia.

  • Christmas TV 2019: where were your favourite shows were filmed?

    Call The Midwife (BBC One, 7.30pm Christmas Day)

    Now firmly established as a Christmas Day staple, this seasonal special serves double time as the opening episode of the show’s ninth season. This time, the midwives of Nonnatus House leave Poplar and head to the snowy north: the Outer Hebrides. Led by new recruit Sister Mildred (Miriam Margolyes), they travel by minibus to the Isle of Lewis and Harris for a mercy mission as well as what writer Heidi Thomas has called a Christmas of ‘wild seas, stormy skies and some very disobedient sheep’. Filming locations include the nine restored thatched crofters cottages of the Gearannan Blackhouse Village on the coast of Lewis, the 16th-century St Clement’s Church at Rodel, the windblown beaches of Leverburgh and the historic red-and-white striped lighthouse on Eilean Glas off Scalpay, the oldest in the islands.

  • Christmas TV 2019: where were your favourite shows were filmed?

    The Trial of Christine Keeler (BBC One, 9pm from 29 December)

    This unpicking of the great Sixties establishment scandal should give us all something to get our teeth into over the cold turkey. The story of showgirl Christine Keeler (played by Sophie Cookson), politician John Profumo (Ben Miles) and middle man Stephen Ward (James Norton) is retold over six episodes, and was filmed with Bristol standing in for London. Based at The Bottle Yard Studios, home to Poldark and Wolf Hall, the production made great use of the city’s many grand stone edifices, including the university’s Wills Memorial Building as the House of Commons and the Mansion House in Clifton, the official residence of the Lord Mayor, as a Mayfair restaurant and hotel. The Central Library, meanwhile, was recast as Marylebone Police Station, and offices above St Nicholas Market in the city centre as the War Office. Street scenes were also shot in the centre, on Corn Street and Broad Street, while courtroom drama took place in the Guildhall in neighbouring Bath.

  • Christmas TV 2019: where were your favourite shows were filmed?

    You (Netflix, from Boxing Day)

    Having delivered Season 1 largely unheralded on Boxing Day 2018, Netflix can be confident of a warm reception when it repeats the trick for Season 2 this time around. This dramatic tale of stalker Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgeley) was a huge hit, skillfully adapted from the book by Caroline Kepnes, so the producers have leapt straight onto the sequel, Hidden Bodies. There’s a major twist, too. For Season 1, Joe was in New York, based in the bookstore Mooney’s, filmed at Logos on York Avenue on the Upper East Side, a Christian bookstore that also featured in Can You Ever Forgive Me (2018) – the show even created a subway station outside called York Ave, though the store is probably keen to stress it wasn’t their basement we visited. This time round, Joe has crossed coasts to Los Angeles, in pursuit of aspiring chef Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) – and he’s brought his bad attitude with him. We can expect to see a hidden side of this most filmed of cities, as showrunner Sera Gamble told Entertainment Weekly, ‘This show is an opportunity to illuminate an LA that maybe a lot of people haven’t seen, that goes beyond the Hollywood sign.’

    Home for Christmas (Netflix, streaming now)

    This Norwegian Bridget Jones had already proved a hit before the first door of the advent calendar was open. Little wonder, with a simple but winning premise: single nurse Johanne (Ida Elise Broch) makes the terrible mistake of giving into family pressure and agreeing to invite her boyfriend to the family Christmas – leaving her 24 days to find someone to pull a cracker with. Her ensuing romantic adventures are filmed in Røros, a former copper mining town in the heart of Norway that has earned itself UNESCO World Heritage status for its uniquely preserved wooden buildings and was previously the location for a series of films starring children’s book favourite Pippi Longstocking and Joseph Losey’s 1973 film of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, starring Jane Fonda. Here, the traditional setting has taken on some 21st-century dressing, but the shoot focused on the two central streets of pretty painted timber buildings: Kjerkgata, where we see Johanne falling out with one suitor over Love Actually and a reindeer in Episode 2, and Bergmannsgata, where she buys a Christmas tree with her family outside the town’s oldest restaurant, Kaffestuggu, in Episode 4. If you fancy a visit, you’ll notice from Episode 5 it’s also a ski resort.

  • Christmas TV 2019: where were your favourite shows were filmed?

    Wisting (BBC Four, 9pm from 28 December)

    If it’s a white Christmas you want, then Scandi drama is a safe bet. This latest BBC Four Saturday-nighter is from Norway, but comes with added Hollywood star power in the shape of Matrix actor Carrie-Anne Moss. She plays FBI agent Maggie Griffin, posted to the town of Larvik to assist in a mysterious Christmas-tree-related investigation run by William Wisting (Sven Nordin, of Valkyrien). Situated in the south-eastern corner of the country, Larvik is the hometown of Wisting creator Jørn Lier Horst and is known at home as a summer-holiday destination. Don’t let that worry you, though: while there are plenty of shots of sea, along with local sights from the newly opened Farris suspension bridge to the pretty Larvik Church, be reassured that the Scandi noir grey skies and continuous snow are present and correct.

  • Christmas TV 2019: where were your favourite shows were filmed?

    Dracula (BBC One, 9pm 1-3 January)

    Quality assured by the presence of Sherlock creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, this reboot of the tale of the bad batman stars devilishly handsome Dane Claes Bang as the Count and some authentically medieval settings as Transylvania. While interiors have been shot in Bray Studios back home in Berkshire, the real action takes place in Slovakia, spread across two different castles. The first is in Banská Stiavnica, an old silver mining town in the heart of the country, where the Old Castle began life as a 13th-century chapel but was later extended into a lavish walled Gothic complex. The second is another Gothic construction to the north, the clifftop Orava Castle overlooking the town of Zuberec. For Dracula fans such as Gatiss, the latter will be of particular interest, having served as the beast’s lair in FW Murnau’s legendary 1922 classic Nosferatu.

  • Christmas TV 2019: where were your favourite shows were filmed?

    Gordon, Gino & Fred: Christmas Road Trip Three Unwise Men (ITV, 9pm 23 December)

    Having previously wrought havoc in the three chefs’ respective homelands of Scotland, Italy and France, this Top Gear for foodies puts a seasonal spin on proceedings with our boys Gordon Ramsay, Gino D’Acampo and the now-ubiquitous Fred Sirieix heading for Morocco, for reasons yet to be satisfactorily confirmed. There’ll be camel riding in the Agafay desert, a Bedouin masterclass in nose-to-tail cooking, an RV ride through Marrakech’s medina, saffron-picking, goat-herding, fishing and messing about on donkeys and motorbikes. And of course it all ends up with an alternative Christmas feast, served up in a friendly riad.

  • Christmas TV 2019: where were your favourite shows were filmed?

    The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan: Christmas (BBC Two, 9pm 22 December)

    It’s hard to know where he finds the time but TV’s favourite comic host recently added this anti-travel show to his bulging portfolio. Last year’s festive special was a trip to the Arctic, in which our intrepid hero rather lost his sense of humour in the minus-40ºC temperatures. This year, to save him from tears, they’ve sent him somewhere very different: the Sahara. Hilariously, the show was actually filmed in July, the very hottest time of year – think 50ºC – and the production requires him to travel the 700 miles from Marrakech to the ocean. With the help of Berber guide Bobo he takes a balloon ride, meets nomads and is given a lesson in Saharan history and snakebite treatments – and experiences a sandstorm. Well, it is Christmas.

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