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Golden age for filming in SW London 06.12.10

South West London is fast becoming the destination of choice for a host of for award-winning TV and film shows.

Bradley Walsh filming a scene for Law and Order in Sutton High Street

High-profile productions such as Law and Order UK, Psychoville, The Apprentice and Misfits have descended on the London Boroughs of Sutton and Merton in recent months.

A diverse range of locations in Sutton – from a large pedestrianised town centre, to numerous parks, as well as spectacular lavender fields have been cited as reasons for the filming boom.

Word of the impressive locations has spread with Sutton Council receiving enquires from location managers on Hollywood blockbusters such as X-Men 4 and Pirates of the Caribbean 4.

Harriet Lawrence, the location manager of the E4 comedy, Phoneshop, which was filmed entirely in Sutton, said: "I really would recommend filming in Sutton to anyone - it is so close to central London.

"There is huge array of different styles of housing from flats and council estates to large detached Victorian houses, a great High street and some fantastic parks, it really does seem to have a bit of everything."

The large increase in filming has defied the blow dealt to the area when the ITV cop drama, The Bill was cancelled in March after 27 years.

The studio where The Bill was filmed has now reopened as Wimbledon Studios and is plying an impressive trade, with the new series of the Channel 4 comedy Peep Show already filmed there. A pioneering 3D company, Neoscene 3D has also set up shop at the studios.

Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London, said:  "I am delighted film-makers and producers are discovering a somewhat untapped part of the city in South London and the newly reopened Wimbledon Studios – it can only add to the richness of what the capital has to offer and long may it continue."

Jayne McCoy, Executive Member for Economic Development on Sutton Council, said: "This is a very exciting time - bigger and bigger productions are coming to the area, boosting the local economy and showcasing what a diverse and beautiful area of London this is.

"As well as the money people and business can make by hiring out their premises, Film London studies show that, for every pound spent on filming, production crews spend an additional £2.50 in the local area."

Other productions such as a new John Hurt BBC drama due to air over Christmas, 'Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad', Channel 4 comedy the IT Crowd, and From Time to Time, a fantasy film starring Dame Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall and Hugh Bonneville have also filmed in the area.  

Last updated: Tuesday, 04 January 2011

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