Filming at Saunton Sands for drama starring Hugh Grant

Film crews at Saunton Sands car park this morning (Monday). Picture: Marc Kenwood

Film crews at Saunton Sands car park this morning (Monday). Picture: Marc Kenwood - Credit: Archant

Filming is taking place at Saunton Sands today (Monday) for a new BBC drama starring Hollywood icon Hugh Grant.

A film crew is at Saunton Sands today (Monday) filming scenes for a new three-part BBC drama about the career of MP Jeremy Thorpe.

A Very English Scandal will star Hollywood icon Hugh Grant playing Thorpe, who served as North Devon MP from 1959-79 before his downfall after appearing in court charged with conspiring to commit murder.

It is understood today the film company is shooting a Californian-style beach hut scene in the dunes - despite the very un-Californian weather.

Hugh Grant is not believed to be on set today, but the scene reportedly stars English actor Ben Whishaw.

Ben Whishaw is playing Norman Scott in BBC One's A Very English Scandal. Picture: BBC/Blueprint Tele

Ben Whishaw is playing Norman Scott in BBC One's A Very English Scandal. Picture: BBC/Blueprint Television Ltd - Credit: BBC/Blueprint Television Ltd

The production team has been working with Christie Estates, who granted filming rights on the beach and Saunton Beach Enterprises who have provided logistical support for the shoot.


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Paul and Lucie Tamlyn, of beach operators Saunton Beach Enterprises , said: “We delighted that once again Saunton has been chosen as a location for such a high profile production.”

Resident Jenny Adam, whose home overlooks Saunton beach, said: “All we can see is the huge amounts of lighting down there and it’s been there all morning. It’s not handheld, it’s all up on a gantry.”

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Filming for A Very English Scandal will continue tomorrow in Chittlehampton, where is understood Hugh Grant will be on set.

The Gazette revealed last month Chittlehampton residents received a letter about the filming.

The production’s location manager said the drama directed by Stephen Frears and written by Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies is ‘a work of fiction rooted largely in historical fact’.

The letter says during filming on the day the main road past The Square will be closed to traffic, although essential traffic can be allowed through on a case-by-case basis.

The Bell Inn – which the Gazette understands could play a part in the production – will be closed at lunchtime because it is right in the middle of the set.

In April Saunton provided the backdrop for another film, Guernsey, a big-screen adaptation of international best-selling historical novel, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

A Very English Scandal is based on the bestselling book by the author and former arts editor of the Evening Standard and Sunday Telegraph John Preston.

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