This year’s festive guide is full of TV shows made in Bristol to enjoy this Christmas – and there’s plenty of locally-made titles to look forward to in 2020 too. Here’s a roundup of shows to look out for, all filmed at The Bottle Yard Studios and/or on location in Bristol, with assistance from Bristol Film Office.
Clockwise from top left: The Cure (Story Films / Channel 4), The Crystal Maze Celebrity Christmas Special (Fizz TV / RDF Television / Channel 4), The Trial of Christine Keeler (Mammoth Screen / BBC), Tipping Point Lucky Stars Christmas Special (Fizz TV / RDF Television / ITV)
The Cure: Thursday 19th December, Channel 4, 9pm
Based on the inspiring real-life story of Julie Bailey, The Cure is the story of an ordinary woman who exposed one of the worst hospital care scandals in the history of the NHS. Starring Sian Brookes, Sue Johnston and Hannah Rae, the one-off drama charts the scandal at Stafford Hospital which came to national attention in 2008. Produced by Story Films for Channel 4, The Cure filmed in Bristol in April ’19 at locations including City Hall, College Green, Canford Cemetery, Badock Woods and Wellington Hill West.
His Dark Materials series finale: Sunday 22nd December, BBC One, 9pm
Jack Thorne’s highly anticipated adaptation of Philip Pullman’s acclaimed series of novels reaches its series finale on 22 December. The eight-part drama, said to be the BBC’s most expensive to date, was predominantly produced in Wales but visited Bristol a number of times throughout its shoot to film key scenes with the help of Bristol Film Office, including extensive filming supported by Blaise Park Rangers at Blaise Orangery, which provided an atmospheric location for a ‘window between worlds’.
The Crystal Maze Celebrity Christmas Special: Monday 23 December, Channel 4, 10pm
This year’s Christmas special line-up includes Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas and 2019 contestant Catherine Tyldesley, alongside I’m a Celebrity winner and former Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt, choirmaster Gareth Malone and comedian Nish Kumar. Richard Ayoade guides the celebrity team of adventurers around the Maze, which stands in 30,000 sq.ft. of space at The Bottle Yard Studios.
Tipping Point Lucky Stars Christmas Special: Christmas Day, ITV, 5pm
Ben Shephard hosts a special seasonal edition of the quiz in which three celebrities take on a magnificent machine in the hope of winning £20,000 for charity. Getting into the festive spirit are comedian Joe Pasquale, TV favourite Rustie Lee and actress Nina Wadia, who all hope to land their charities a Christmas gift to remember. Filmed earlier this year in the show’s 8,000 sq ft studio at The Bottle Yard Studios.
The Trial of Christine Keeler: Sunday 29th December, BBC One, 9pm
A fresh look at one of the most infamous British stories of the 20th century: the chain of events in the 1960s that came to be known as the Profumo Affair. At the centre of the storm was 19 year-old Christine Keeler, a young woman whom the powerful, male-dominated establishment sought to silence and exploit, but who refused to play by their rules. This six-part drama made by Ecosse Films and Great Meadow Productions for BBC One takes us behind the headlines to tell a human story about the sexual and cultural politics of one of the most revealing and iconic stories of modern times. Filmed at The Bottle Yard Studios and numerous Bristol locations including Wills Memorial Building, Lord Mayor’s Mansion House, Central Library, St Nicholas’s Market, Caledonia Place, Berkley Square, Corn Street, Small Street and Broad Street.
Coming in 2020
(l-r) The Pale Horse (Mammoth Screen/BBC One), War of the Worlds (Urban Myth Films / Canal+ / Fox TV)
The Pale Horse: BBC One, 2020
The latest Agatha Christie thriller adapted by Bafta-nominated writer Sarah Phelps. Emmy and Bafta-nominated Rufus Sewell (The Man in The High Castle) stars as widowed antique dealer Mark Easterbrook who, despite having found love again with his new wife, is still haunted by the tragic death of his first wife Delphine. Mark investigates how and why his name came to appear on the list, leading him to the peculiar home of a trio of rumoured witches, The Pale Horse, in the beautiful village of Much Deeping. Filmed at The Bottle Yard Studios, locations around Bristol and the Cotswolds village of Bisley near Stroud.
Invisible: ITV, 2020
A new series of feature length crime mysteries set in modern Bath starring BAFTA-winner Jason Watkins (The Crown) as shy, modest DS Dodds alongside Tala Gouveia (Cold Feet) as wildly ambitious DCI McDonald. Produced by Mammoth Screen for ITV. Filmed at The Bottle Yard Studios and on location in Bristol and Bath.
War of the Worlds: Fox TV, 2020
Epic new reimagining of the timeless story by H.G. Wells, set in present day Europe and starring Golden Globe winning and EMMY & Tony award nominated actor Gabriel Byrne (Hereditary, In Treatment) and Elizabeth McGovern (The Wife; Downton Abbey). Produced by Urban Myth Films for Canal+ and Fox Network Group. Filmed across Bristol earlier this year.
Salisbury: BBC Two, 2020
Three-part factual drama starring Anne-Marie Duff, Rafe Spall and Mark Addy focusing on the impact the 2018 Novichok poisonings had on the local community. Salisbury tells the remarkable story of how ordinary people and public services reacted to a crisis on their doorstep, displaying extraordinary heroism as their city became the focus of an unprecedented national emergency. Produced by Dancing Ledge Productions for BBC Two. Filmed at The Bottle Yard Studios and on location across Bristol and Wiltshire.