Saturday, 18 September 2021

TV stars cheer up patients at hospice

THE stars of a TV drama series took time out from filming to meet patients at

THE stars of a TV drama series took time out from filming to meet patients at the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed.

Nicholas Lyndhurst, Larry Lamb and Denis Lawson, who all appear in New Tricks, visited the wards to chat with patients and pose for pictures in between shooting scenes for the forthcoming BBC 1 series.

The actors and film crew used the Fleming Room, day hospice and reception area at Joyce Grove.

Miriam Payne, the hospice’s PR and marketing officer, said: “Our patients were thrilled to meet Denis, Nicholas and Larry â?? it really made their day.

“One lady told me that things had been so dreadful for her lately and this was a nice break that had made her feel so much better and brightened up her day.”

Karen Guy, head of clinical services, said: “It is very exciting and life-enhancing to have filming in the hospice, to interact and engage with the actors and crew and to observe first-hand the drama as it unfolds on the ground floor.

“We are always mindful that the needs of our patients, relatives and visitors are paramount and we would not hesitate to interrupt filming if it caused too much noise or disruption.

“Sue Ryder Nettlebed is known for providing incredible care at the end of life but by allowing filming on the premises it places the emphasis on wellbeing for some of our patients â?? it provides distraction, enabling life to be lived to the full in that moment, despite severe limitations due to a life-limiting condition that preoccupies their day-to-day normality.”

New Tricks follows a police unit made up of retired detectives looking at unsolved crimes. It is understood that the 12th and final series will be broadcast this summer.

It is the latest in a series of TV and film productions to use the hospice.

In 2013 actor Benedict Cumberbatch visited patients while making The Imitation Game.

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

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

The film also starred Keira Knightley and Charles Dance. It was nominated in the best picture category at last month’s Oscars and Cumberbatch was nominated for best actor.

Last year actor Martin Clunes filmed scenes at the hospice for Arthur and George, a three-part adaptation of Julian Barnes’ novel, which has just been shown on ITV. He played Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

Graham Campbell, head of support services at the hospice, who co-ordinates filming requests, said: “We have had everything from one-day to five-week shoots here.

“They provide publicity for the hospice while at the same time bringing in much-needed money to help us continue to provide the incredible care that we do.

“The filming also provides a nice distraction for patients and their families but we are always aware that we are primarily a hospice and we have a responsibility to ensure our patients are not inconvenienced by any filming taking place.

“Everyone who has come to film at Nettlebed has been very aware and respectful of the needs of the hospice and generous with the time they spend with patients.”

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