Sunday, 25 August 2019

Martin Clunes films new series in Nettlebed

ACTOR Martin Clunes filmed scenes for a new TV drama series at the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed.

The Doc Martin star and Men Behaving Badly visited Joyce Grove for the filming of Arthur and George, a three-part adaptation of Julian Barnes’ novel for ITV. He plays celebrated author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Graham Campbell, head of support services at the hospice, said: “They were here just for a day doing some scenes inside the hall and reception area. They set up from 7am, started filming about 10am and finished about 6.30pm.

“There were a lot of people watching as a lot of families had come in to visit their relatives.

“All the crew — the runners, the assistant directors — were charming. They were very nice to our patients and relatives that were held up for 30 seconds while they took a shot.”

The film crew also captured some exterior shots of the Jacobean-style manor house, which was built in the 1900s and was once the home of James Bond creator Ian Fleming.

Mr Campbell said the producers approached the hospice, saying the wood panelling and huge fireplaces made it an ideal location for the production. The drama is based on an intriguing series of true events in the life of the Sherlock Holmes’ creator.

Conan Doyle recaptures his zest for life by pursuing and challenging a notorious miscarriage of justice — the case of George Edalji, a hard-working solicitor and son of a vicar.

Arthur and George also features Conan Doyle’s relationship with Jean Leckie, a much younger woman with whom he enjoyed a platonic relationship while his wife was alive. Jean eventually became his second wife.

Other members of the cast include Arsher Ali, star of Four Lions and Silent Witness, as George Edalji, Art Malik, who appeared in The Jewel in the Crown, as his father, the Reverend Shapurji Edalji, and Emma Fielding, star of Silk and DCI Banks, as his mother Charlotte Edalji.

Steve November, ITV’s director of drama, said: “Arthur and George explores what we think we know about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s life. It’s a fascinating insight into the man who was to become one of the most famous of his age.

“We’re delighted to be working with Martin and the production team at Buffalo Pictures on such a clever and complex adaptation of Julian Barnes’ acclaimed novel.”

In August the Henley Standard reported that actor Benedict Cumberbatch had visited patients at the Nettlebed hospice while making a film.

The Sherlock star plays the lead role in The Imitation Game, which tells the story of how British mathematician Alan Turing helped crack the Enigma code during the Second World War.

The film, which also stars Keira Knightley and Charles Dance, will be released next month.

The hospice served as the iconic Bletchley Park, the secret code-breaking centre where Turing and his colleagues deciphered German messages.

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