Kingdom comes to South Lynn

LYNN has been playing host to the Kingdom filming crew this week – as a location far removed from the popular ITV1 series' usual Norfolk setting.

For actor Stephen Fry, who plays the lead role of country solicitor Peter Kingdom, and ex-Emmerdale star Karl Davies, as his legal clerk Lyle Anderson, have been in town shooting sequences set in Stockport, Greater Manchester, for the third series likely to be shown next spring.

A Coronation Street-style back alleyway between Langham Street and Hockham Street in South Lynn, and nearby allotments, were chosen by location manager Henry Woolley for outdoor scenes involving the well-known duo.

And the home of Steve and Kay Smith, at 19 Hockham Street, will appear in the episode, including a scene where actress Pippa Haywood, best known as Helen Brittas in the 1990s television comedy The Brittas Empire, leans out of an upstairs window there and calls to Lyle as he is kicking a football in the alley.


Mr Woolley said: "It's a lovely little spot here, a great community, and everyone has been very accommodating and friendly."

ITV senior drama publicist Naomi Phillipson explained that in the episode Lyle returns to his home in Stockport "to sort out family matters" and ends up asking for help from Peter Kingdom, who travels there from his fictional Market Shipborough (Swaffham) base.

In scenes shot on Tuesday, Pippa Haywood plays Lyle's mum and Oliver and James Phelps, best known as the mischievous Weasley twins in the Harry Potter films, are his twin brothers and involved in a cheeky sequence with Karl Davies in the alleyway.

Stephen Fry, who has a home at West Bilney and has lived in West Norfolk for 22 years, told the Lynn News that filming on the third series started in Swaffham at the end of June, "and has been going jolly well".

Speaking on set during a break between takes, he said: "The only problem has been with the weather – it would have been nicer if there had been a little less rain.

"When we did the first series in 2006 it was absolutely gorgeous, really hot and probably too good. But this year and last it has been absolutely rotten, although it's not stopped Norfolk looking really good again.

"For this location it's probably quite appropriate that it's raining because Lynn is standing in for Stockport and this area reminds me very much of Coronation Street."

He and Karl Davies said the nearest they had filmed to Lynn previously was at Castle Rising Cricket Club for a cricket match in the second series."That was a very nice setting," Karl said.

They said this summer's filming has been mostly in Swaffham and West Norfolk, with Wells and Holkham for coastal scenes as Market Shipborough is meant to be a seaside location.

In a cheeky reference to the new film The Duchess, which has scenes of Keira Knightley at Holkham Hall, Stephen said: "We were at the hall last week – picking up the neglige that Keira had left on the floor!" Karl added: "I wasn't there, unfortunately."

Schoolchildren and South Lynn residents have been watching the filming and looking forward to seeing their neighbourhood on television when the series is screened.

Kingdom producer Georgina Lowe said there were about 50 people involved in the production crew at Lynn this week and a "significant" number were local people, including make-up artist Karen Edwards, from West Dereham.


"Some of the local crew have done all three series, which is great. We also try to take on people who haven't worked in the industry before to do trainee roles and all our extras are recruited locally," she said.

Lorries, trailers and vans used by the production team and cast members, and a catering van and double decker bus used as a covered eating area, have been parked on the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area project office site beside Lynn's Southgates roundabout this week.

The nearby lorry park was scheduled for further filming in Lynn, as well as some general driving scenes in Peter Kingdom's familiar blue Alvis car through some of the town's streets.

Ms Lowe said "some lovely new locations" have been added to the familiar ones at Swaffham and Wells for the third series, for which filming in Swaffham will finish at the end of this month.