Here at Studio Giggle, we are proud of our Bristol heritage. But did you know that the city is a regular backdrop for films and TV shows? The mixture of period buildings, cobbled streets and modern tower-blocks makes for the perfect setting for any film. In addition to this on 31st October 2017, Bristol was named UNESCO City of Film, to celebrate the cities achievements as a leading city in the field of film. In 2017/18 filming in the city brought in over £15 Million worth of investments to Bristol’s economy.
Stan and Ollie (2018)
Even though you might not be able to tell, but Bristol was featured in recent release Stan and Ollie. The film tells the story of Laurel and Hardy’s last tour- one date of which was in Bristol. But that’s not the reason why Bristol features in the film. Bristol Harbourside was transformed into Cobh Harbor in Ireland, with Bristol boat, the Balmoral being disguised to convey Laurel and Hardy arriving into Ireland.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)
Similarly to Stan and Ollie, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society used Bristol harbour. But this time the Prince Wharf, M Shed and the Balmoral were transformed to recreate Weymouth docks in 1946.
Starter for Ten (2006)
Starter for Ten is a film that focuses on character Brain Jackson and his time at Bristol University. So, it’s no surprise that Bristol features heavily in the background, notably the Royal York Crescent, the Christmas Steps, the harbour, Temple Meads and the University of Bristol.
Inbetweeners 2 (2014)
Although it is an incredibly brief mention, Bristol does feature early on in the Inbetweeners 2. The film opens with clips of Will attending university in Bristol and as a result one of the opening scenes is of Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Being Human (2008)
Before the series got moved over the Severn River and started filming in Cardiff, Being Human Series 1 & 2 (the best out of all the series) was set in Bristol. The house that Annie, George and Mitchell live in was actually Windsor Terrace, Totterdown. In addition to this many Bristol landmarks can be seen such as Bristol General and Glenside Hospitals, Clifton, Temple Meads and the Redcliffe Caves.
Only Fools and Horses (1981-2003)
Many associate Only Fools and Horses with Peckham, but it was actually filmed in Bristol. One of the most famous scenes in the programme’s history, when Del and Rodney broke down dressed as Batman and Robin, was actually filmed in Penn Street on Broadmead. You can even go on an Only Fools and Horses bus tour around Bristol. In recent Bristol/Only Fools and Horses history, an auction took place in East Bristol selling artefacts from the show. The props sold for anything between £1000 to £9,100.
The Duchess (2008)
While the film was predominantly filmed around Bath and London, Bristol does make an appearance: the Bristol Old Vic is used instead of the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane in London.
A Casual Vacancy (2015)
The JK Rowling three part mini-series set in a west country village was partially filmed in Bristol. The Bristol locations included Ashton Vale, Ashton court and Flax Bourton Mortuary. Silbury Road in Ashton Vale was used to create ‘The Fields’ an important housing estate from the novel.
Similarly to ‘Being Human’ production of Casualty started in Bristol but then moved to Cardiff after 25 years. Between 1986 and 2002 Ashley Down Centre was used for Casualty’s exterior shots before it moved to central Bristol for 9 years. Despite the move to Cardiff, production occasionally still takes place in Bristol, most notably was in 2018 when a road in Yate was used to create a huge explosion. Fun Fact: In Giggle’s early days we used to occasionally work on Casualty creating the VFX, take a look at some of our past work:
Despite being set in London, a large amount of the filming took place in Bristol. Victorian Bristol was used extensively for ‘The Abominable Bride’ episode: Tyntesfield house, Arnos Vale Cemetery, Cathedral Square, King Street, Queen Square and Hengrove Park. One of the most iconic scenes from the end of season 1 is the finale which takes place at a swimming pool was actually filmed at Bristol South Swimming Baths.