If you live in a period property with plenty of character, could your home be the star of a major film or TV show? There are currently more thank 40 UK agencies looking for homes to feature as locations. If you’re prepared for the hassle, putting your home in the limelight could bring you a fee of up to £5,000 per day.
Having a major feature film shot in your local area can also increase property prices, especially if goes on to give your area cult status. One of the pretty, pastel terraced houses in Primrose Hill, which featured in the film Paddington 2, went on the market for £3.25 million shortly after the film’s release. Whether its fame boosted the selling price is debatable, but the property certainly benefited plenty of media attention.
Wimbledon in film
Wimbledon has long been associated with the film industry. From 1929 until the 1960s Merton Park Studios on Kingston Road produced wartime propaganda and feature films. Mainly B-movies were shot here, shown in cinemas before the main event. However, the studios’ claims to fame include some of the first Carry On films as well as early ventures by future stars, such as Michael Caine and John Thaw.
In the 1950s Morden Hall Park hosted star-studded charity parties, where, for the price of admission, members of the public could enter the grounds and mingle with some of the biggest British films stars of the age including Stewart Granger, Richard Attenborough and John Mills.
Wimbledon Studios, based in Deer Park Road, south Wimbledon, is well known as the place where long-running police drama, The Bill was made. Today the studios are a popular choice with production companies. Films made here include Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, starring Tom Cruise (the A-lister caused a stir by turning up at Old Ruts Cricket Ground, Merton Park, on the set in 2016) and The Iron Lady, in which Meryl Streep played Margaret Thatcher. TV comedies, including Bad Education, featuring Jack Whitehall and Episodes starring Matt Le Blanc were also filmed here.
One of the most obvious films to be shot locally was Wimbledon, a 2004 box office hit directed by Richard Loncraine. The film starred Paul Bettany as Peter Colt, a British tennis star whose glory days seem to be over until he falls in love with up-and-coming American player, Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst) and goes on to win Wimbledon. Some scenes were filmed between matches at the Wimbledon Championships in 2003. However, shots of the entrance to the All England Club were actually filmed at London Zoo. The film also starred Jon Favreau and Sam Neill.
Nine films and TV series with a local connection?
1. Cor, Blimey – the 2000 release that dramatises the love affair between Sid James and Barbara Windsor was shot here.
2. Total Siyapaa – this 2014 rom-com was the first Bollywood movie to be filmed at the Wimbledon Studios and included location shots in the Broadway, on the common and in Wimbledon Village.
3. Nuns on the Run – the 1990 crime caper starring Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane features scenes in the Broadway.
4. South Park gardens features in BBC sitcom Not Going Out.
5. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa purports to be set in Norfolk, but the siege and other scenes were filmed locally.
6. The Brockman family home in Outnumbered may have been in Wandsworth, but the Sue and Karen are seen visiting Centre Court shopping centre in one episode.
7. Sick Note, staring Don Johnson and Lindsay Lohan includes scenes on Wimbledon Common.
8. The IT Crowd pay a visit to the New Wimbledon Theatre in one episode.
9. The theatre also features in a new series from American network HBO. The Nevers is an epic science fiction drama about Victorian women with unusual powers, from acclaimed director Joss Whedon.
Whether you’re into film or not, Wimbledon has plenty of amazing properties, which wouldn’t look out of place as big-screen locations. To find out more, get in touch with Robert Holmes today.