Two major dramas are being filmed on location in Liverpool from this week.
BBC’s The Witness for the Prosecution sees one of Agatha Christie’s most celebrated works brought to life as Kim Cattrall heads to the city to film the two-part adaptation that is expected to take a primetime slot at Christmas. Other stars involved in the project include Toby Jones (Marvellous, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Andrea Riseborough (Bloodline, Birdman, Oblivion), and David Haig (The Thick Of It, Mo, My Boy Jack).
Adapted by Sarah Phelps who was also responsible for hits such as Great Expectations and The Casual Vacancy, it will be a co-production between Agatha Christie Productions and Mamouth Screen which previously joined forces on the highly acclaimed And Then There Were None which drew in more than eight million viewers last year,
ITV are also in the city filming Safe House which will see four sixty minute crime episodes starring British actor Stephen Moyer (True Blood and the upcoming Fox drama series Shots Fired) as charismatic yet impulsive ex-police officer Tom Brook. Dervla Kirwan, (Injustice, Blackout), Jason Watkins (The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, The Secret), Sunetra Sarker (Casualty) and Ashley Walters (Top Boy, Cuffs) are also set to star.
The series has been produced by leading independent production company Eleventh Hour Films. The level of filming related activity in the city remains at an all-time high and follows a recent Film Office announcement that 2015 was a record breaking year for filming in the city with 257 projects filmed in the city, resulting in 1,067 filming days and bringing in £11.5million to the local economy.
BBC One has also commissioned local producers Colin McKeown and Donna Molloy of LA Productions to shoot Jimmy McGovern’s new six-part primetime drama series Broken (working title) with filming set to take place in mid September.Sean Bean is Executive Producer and plays the lead part of Father Michael Kerrigan, a Catholic priest presiding over a northern urban parish.
Eleventh Hour Films Executive Producer, Jill Green said: “Liverpool was brilliant for Foyles War, so I had no hesitation in bringing Safe House to film here. Contemporary or period, the city offers scale, quality and above all friendliness second to none.”
Mammoth Screen Producer Colin Wratten said: “Liverpool has a rich history of creative culture, excellent period locations and has hosted many productions over recent years. It was the obvious choice when looking for a home for The WItness For The Prosecution.”
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member responsible for the Film Office, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Liverpool has filming appeal across the board – not only are we continually attracting brand new directors and producers to the city, but those who have already worked here are returning time and time again thanks to the variety of locations the city has to offer and the outstanding work of the Film Office.
“To have these major productions in the city is a real coup and it will be fantastic to see the city on the small screen in the near future.”
As the success continues from 2015 into 2016 – so far 147 productions have been filmed resulting in 312 film days, with the most high-profile projects to be shot in the city being Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool which saw actors Annette Bening and Jamie Bell in Liverpool in July.