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Jodie Whittaker, the first female to play Doctor Who

So it’s been confirmed that the next Doctor Who will be a woman.  A woman controlling the Tardis and saving the day, we say why not and about time.  Bravo! Here at BMT Towers we think it’s a smart move by the BBC.  It’s the reboot the show needed.  The rumours were rife about a woman playing the role but we weren’t convinced they would actually do it.  With today’s diversity it’s important that the BBC have taken this move and we think it’s a landmark moment for pop culture and TV.

The timing is perfect really, recently we have seen the first female hamlet, the super hero Wonder Woman film became a great hit. More and more women are taking the lead in hit shows which is great for everyone. Plenty of fans took to twitter to voice their disapproval, but that was bound to be expected.  You can’t please all of the people of the time.  Why shouldn’t a woman be the next Doctor and be the one to save the day?

I personally think it’s a smart move. I remember voicing my opinion on social media when Matt Smith left suggesting the next should be a woman, even creating a facebook group.  It’s important that kids of today see women leading top shows like Doctor Who.  For myself growing up in the 70’s and 80’s it was empowering to watch women take the lead.  Wonder Woman was one of my favourite shows. I also loved Josette Simon in Blake’s 7, then when Madonna took the pop music world by storm.  Over the years more and more women are proving they can take the lead be it in music, film, TV and business in general.

So who is Jodie Whittaker? Well she is known to many of us in the UK most recently from her great role in Broadchurch. She is a Yorkshire girl, born in Skelmanthorpe in 1982. She went to Shelley College before going to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She received a British Independent Film Award in 2006 for her role in the film Venus. She is married to American actor Christian Contreras and has one child. When asked recently about her new role as the Doctor she said “It feels completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. It feels incredible.” Good for her. Girl power all the way.

We think Jodie Whittaker will make a great Doctor.  How she plays the part will be interesting to see, what sort of character she will portray. Will she follow her predecessors and be charming like David Tennant was? Will she be more manic like Matt Smith? Then there is the question of her companion.  The Doctor almost always travelled with a female companion.  Will she have a male companion or female?  Perhaps this Doctor will actually be gay.   Just last season Pearl Mackie played an openly gay character which was a first for Doctor Who. It would be great to see how these two would bounce off each other. For me Pearl was the only freshness the came with Peter Capaldi as I didn’t really connect with him as a doctor and thought he didn’t suit the character.

All will be revealed when she makes her debut in the Christmas special later this year.  I was only thinking the other day how it won’t be long until the nights draw in and autumn will once again be upon us, then Christmas.  Now I can’t wait for Christmas.

If you didn’t see the trailer at the weekend where Jodie was revealed as the new doctor, take a look below.  Also if you want to join us on tour and discuss your thoughts on the new doctor, click here for all Doctor Who tours.

 

Where was Outlander Filmed?

If you have recently found yourself immersing in the mystical world of Outlander and want to learn where it was filmed, you have come to the right place. Outlander was filmed in Scotland and we run tours to the top iconic locations.

The TV series Outlander is adapted from the best-selling books by Diana Gabaldon. It tells the story of Claire Randall (a nurse in WWII) who on her second honeymoon in Scotland touches some mystic stones and is transported back to the 18th century. For survival she marries Jamie Fraser and is caught between two vastly different men in two inharmonious lives.

Outlander Iconic Locations

Many people wonder where the standing stones are from the first episode; however they were Diane Gabaldon’s imagination so not real. Probably made of polystyrene or some other material, but sadly they were completely fake. However the scenery that surrounded them was real and it’s Rannoch Moor. It’s an area of boggy moorland which is located to the west of Loch Rannoch in Scotland. The scene where Claire and Frank are driving along the country lane in the vintage car, it’s the mountains of Rannoch Moor in the background they are passing. There are many of standing stones and stone circles in Scotland each with a tale to tell. Orkney and Shetland is the place to head as they have a number of stones there as does Dumfries and Galloway. Back to outlander…

Rannoch Moor

Rannoch Moor

Doune Castle in Perthshire doubles as Castle Leoch which you can see when they stop outside the castle (the interior shots were fabricated in a studio). Once she has touched the rocks and is transported back to the 18th century, this castle is home to the MacKenzie Clan. Doune Castle is located in Doune near Stirling, next to the River Teith. The medieval castle has a high gatehouse and it was also a former Monty Python filming set.

Castle Leoch

Castle Leoch

The village of Cranesmuir where Claire bonds with Geillis Duncan is actually the village of Culross, in Fife. It is a treasure trove of filming locations and as you enter the town it’s like you are going back in time. Remember the herb garden in Castle Leoch? This was actually the garden at Culross Palace which is a 17th century merchant’s house. It is actually a Jacobite garden meaning they try to only grow plants from that era. Geillis Duncan’s home is here and the village square where the child gets his ear nailed to a post. It’s not hard to see why they used the village of Culross with its cobbled streets and picturesque setting. Also this was the location for Black Kirk which in reality is West Kirk.

Village of Cranesmuir - Culross

Village of Cranesmuir – Culross

Broch Tuarach, otherwise known as Lallybroch is Jamie Fraser’s ancestral home. They used Midhope Castle in South Queensferry for the external shots. Today its derelict and you can walk around the grounds; however it’s not safe to go inside. You will have to use your imagination to fill it with the furnishings of Jamie’s family home. Here you can stand in the archway where Jamie is brutally whipped by Black Jack Randall.

Archway of Lallybroch

Archway of Lallybroch

The scenes where Jamie is nursed back to heath in Sainte Anne de Beaupré’s monastery in France is actually Aberdour Castle. This location can be found off the coast of Fife in Aberdour, Burntisland. You can see the old kitchen and long gallery which were used for filming.

Visiting the Outlander Filming Locations

If you’re planning on visiting the locations you have to remember that for filming the houses were painted grey to look for authentic. Once filming was finished they were painted back to their original colour.

Why not join us on one of our Outlander tours where you can learn more about the filming of Outlander as well as lots of fascinating 18th century Scottish History. We have a 9 hour tour and a 2 day tour. So why not book up with us and walk in the very footsteps of Claire and Jamie along with other fans of the show.

Season 3 Release Date

Amazon Prime have just announced that the first episode of Outlander season three will be available to stream from Monday 11th September here in the UK. In the states it airs a day early on Starz at 8pm.

Season three will consist of 13 episodes, based on the third book in the series, “Voyager.” It will be based on her return to the 20th century and her life with first husband Frank. However she is pregnant with Jamie’s child, and he is not too far away in her mind.

See Liverpool’s Stunning Architecture on our Peaky Blinders Tour

Our first Peaky Blinders tour with a visit to Tommy’s mansion when ahead recently and the sun was shining brightly on us all. It was one of the hottest days of the year, but we all stayed calm and collective thanks to the air conditioned coach.  It was a completely successful day and everyone had a fabulous time, the first of many.  Lifelong friendships were made or at least online social friends.  There was a slight buzz because one of the chaps (my son) looks a bit like Tommy Shelby himself.  Everyone wanted to take his picture at the locations which we both found amusing.  He was like a celebrity for the day. Had the weather been a bit cooler we would have dressed him up in the full outfit, but it was just too hot. He has since got a few new followers on social media.

Peaky Blinders Tour Group

The tour guide was great and he gave us lots of anecdotes which got us all giggling.  He pointed out the monuments and buildings which have some interesting history.  It was great to see the street where the Shelby family lived in series 1 and 2. The area is in Toxteth’s Welsh Street area, where all roads have Welsh names.  Today row after row are derelict and in disrepair. The actual road of houses used in Peaky Blinders (Powis Street ) was secured for filming and painted black.  This was the first stop where we got off and could take a walk around.  You can read more about my experience on this Peaky Blinders Tour here.

The tour is a great way to see some of the beautiful architecture which Liverpool has to offer as well as meeting likeminded fans of the show.  I found it really enjoyable driving from location to location and seeing some of the Georgian and Neo-Classic architecture.  The Georgian houses are beautiful, the Victorian buildings stunning.

Liverpool’s origins date back as far as the 11th century, with the earliest building probably being Liverpool Castle.  There are a couple of Tudor and Elizabethan buildings in Liverpool today.  Speke Hall is a Grade I building and a popular tourist attraction in Speke, owned today by the National Trust.  Also Croxteth Hall is the other building from that era which is well worth a visit.

There is some Stuart architecture in Liverpool with Woolton Hall being a fine example.  It is a grade I listed manor house south of the city.  Tuebrook house is probably the oldest from this era and was built in 1615 as a farmhouse.  Today owned by a local family so you cant go inside, but you could do a drive by, its found on 695 West Derby Road.

The 17th century and the expansion of the port brought lots of wealth to Liverpool.  This was the time when Georgian houses began popping up, with many still preserved toay.  Liverpool Town Hall was designed by John Wood the Elder and today is a fabulous example of Georgian architecture.  Rodney Street is known as the ‘Harley Street of the North’ due to the number of doctors living there.  It’s a stunning example of Georgian architecture and today these buildings fetch a high sale price.

Rodney Street Peaky Blinders

Neo-Classic architecture is in abundance today in Liverpool. A number of neo-classical buildings can be found around William Brown Street.  It has been labelled the city’s “Cultural Quarter” and houses the town’s central library and museum.  St Georges Hall on Limes walk is another great example of this era and it’s where we meet for our Peaky Blinders Tour.

So if you are a fan of Peaky Blinders and want to visit the locations up close and see some of the great architecture Liverpool has to offer, why not book a tour with us today. We offer a 4 hour Peaky blinders tour which takes you to Powis Street which was the home of the Shelby’s before they hit the big time. You can also see the outside of Polly’s home and the waterways museum used as Camden Town in the show and much  more..  The tour costs £30 per person and is run on Sunday at 9:30am on the following dates: 16 & 30 July, 20 August, 17 Sep, 1 & 22 October.  If you want an all singing and dancing tour why not book our Peaky Blinders Tour plus Tommy’s Mansion.  You see all of the locations but the highlight is to take a stroll around Tommy’s mansion.   This tour costs £60 and is taking place on 13th August.  Next year the tour runs on 1st April, 17th June, 15th July, 19th August.   We keep tour groups to a maximum of about 30 so everyone can hear the guide and enjoy the day.  We also can arrange private tours so get in touch if you want to have your own private group tour.

Click here for more details and to book our 4 Hour Peaky Blinders Tour.

Click here for more deails and to book our 9 hour Peaky Blinders Tour with Tommy’s Mansion.

 

 

Poldark is Back with Bang

***SPOILER ALERT – DONT READ IF YOU HAVENT WATCHED SEASON 3 EPISODE 1 OF POLDARK***

Here at BMT we have been eagerly awaiting the return of BBC’s Poldark.  Well its back with a bang! Sunday night’s first episode was a treat.  There was so much action going on in that one hour that it could have been shared over the whole series.

The episode did a good job of reminding us of the feud between George and Ross, the drowning of Francis, Elizabeth and Ross’s ambiguous night, and Aunt Agatha’s premonitions about a baby who would be coming suspiciously soon.

Starting with a breathtaking view of the cliffs of Cornwall, we had had a birth, marriage and death, three new characters and a fast-escalating French Revolution!  Last series we saw Ross and Demelza reeling from Ross’ night with former love Elizabeth who is married to his sworn enemy George Warleggan.

The episode started with Elizabeth losing control of her horse.  Dangerously close to the edge of the cliffs she is saved by Ross as he races to her rescue.  He doesn’t get any thanks, instead he gets a tongue lashing from Elizabeth and then George.

Ross back at home is holding things together although things are still tense between him and Demelza because of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. He is occupied with the tasks on his estate and the planned wedding of Dr Enys and Caroline. His bank manager tells him that the mine and his land are actually making some money for a change.

Elizabeth welcomed a little baby boy which was oddly named Valentine. Elizabeth took plenty of risks to justify her baby coming a month early. Once the pains began she faked a fall on a staircase. The very same night, Demeza’s father passed away.

Enys and Caroline wedding was a simple affair, but their wedding night was rudely interrupted when Enys had to leave to help deliver Elizabeth’s baby.

Ross strikes a bargain with George and promises to stay away from the Warleggan family in exchange of George taking good care of the estate, the mine and Aunt Agatha.

Two new characters rolled up in the name of Drake and Sam, Demelza’s brothers.  They met Morwenna the governess of young Geoffrey and there is an immediate spark between Drake and Morwenna.

Ross didn’t like poor Aunt Agatha being strong-armed out the way by George’s croanies. She cursed them and went on about the evening’s black moon.  I do like all the mysticism stuff as it’s a great reminder of Cornwall’s pagan past.

Cornwall itself is such a huge part of this show. The craggy coastline, expansive beaches and the cliff tops with distinctive engine shafts.  Here at BMT we have put together a tour which takes you all of the Poldark filming locations in Cornwall. Cornwall’s story is determined by its geography, and on tour we take you to some of the most picturesque and historic sites which are unrivalled.  Our tour lasts for 9 hours and includes some walking along cliffs, beaches, steep paths and uneven terrain.  The tour is no suitable for small children or those in wheelchair accessible. Tours available in English, Russian and Italian.

The Kray Twins – London Gangsters Feared By All

Ronnie and Reggie Kray were twins born in Hoxton, East London, on October 23rd 1933 who became the most feared gangsters in the city during the 1950’s and 1960’s. They became involved in protection rackets, armed robberies, arson, assaults, and two murders in front of witnesses. They also owned a West End nightclub and mixed with film stars such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, George Raft, Barbara Windsor, and Diana Dors.

At the age of five, the twins and the family, who were of Irish and Romany Gypsy descent, moved from Hoxton to Vallance Road in Bethnal Green. Their grandfather, Jimmy Lee, persuaded them to take up boxing, which they did with some success. In 1952 they were called up for national service with the Royal Fusiliers , but although they reported they tried to leave after only a few minutes. A corporal who tried to stop them was seriously injured when Ronnie hit him on the jaw. The following morning they were arrested and taken back to the army.

They went absent without leave and assaulted a police officer who tried to arrest them. They were then held in the Tower of London (some of the last prisoners to be held there), before being transferred to a military prison in Somerset where they were court martialled. Found guilty, they were sent to jail in Canterbury. They were dishonourably discharged from the army.

Their boxing careers over as a result of their criminal records and other activities, they turned to full time crime. They purchased an old snooker club in Mile End from where they ran protection rackets, and worked for a gangster from Liverpool organising armed robbery, arson, and highjacking, the proceeds of which enabled them to buy more clubs and properties. In 1960 Ronnie served a prison sentence for running a protection racket and while he was away Reggie was given a nightclub called Esmeralda’s Barn in Knightsbridge by a notorious landlord called Peter Rachman.

In 1964 the Sunday Mirror published an article which suggested that Ronnie Kray had a sexual relationship with Conservative peer Lord Boothby, although no names were mentioned. This was at a time when homosexuality was still illegal. The Krays threatened the journalists that were involved and Boothby threatened to sue the Sunday Mirror with the help of Harold Wilson’s solicitor (Wilson wanted to protect MP Tom Driberg who was a homosexual known to associate with both Ronnie Kray and Lord Boothby). The Sunday Mirror backed down, paid Boothby £40,000, sacked the editor, and published an apology.

The police investigated the Krays several times, but their reputation for violence made witnesses afraid to testify.

On March 8th 1966 there was a shooting at a nightclub in Catford involving the Richardson gang of South London, during which an associate of the Krays, Richard Hart, was killed. Most of the Richardson gang were arrested, but not George Cornell who had not been present. The following day Cornell visited the Blind Beggar pub in East London which was only a mile from the Krays home. Ronnie Kray was drinking in another pub nearby and when he learned that Cornell was in the Blind Beggar had his driver take him there along with his assistant Ian Barrie. Kray walked into the pub with Barrie, went straight up to Cornell, and shot him in the head.

In December the same year, the Krays helped Frank Mitchell to escape from Dartmoor prison. Mitchell and Ronnie had become friends when they were both in Wandsworth prison, but Mitchell had a mental disorder and was difficult to control. He disappeared and the Krays were charged with his murder, but acquitted.

In October 1967 Reggie was allegedly encouraged by Ronnie to kill Jack “The Hat” McVitie who was a Kray gang member who had been offered a reward of £1,000 – half of which he had been paid up front – to kill Leslie Payne, but had failed to do so. McVitie was lured to what he thought was a party at a flat in Stoke Newington. When he saw Ronnie Kray he started verbally abusing him and cut him below the eye with a piece of broken glass. Reggie Kray pointed a gun at Mcvitie and pulled the trigger twice, but it failed to fire.

The twins cousin Ronnie Hart then grabbed McVitie in a bearhug and Reggie Kray knifed him to death with a very large carving knife. This murder began to turn people against the Krays and some were prepared to testify to Scotland Yard. On May 8th 1968 the Krays and 15 other members of their “Firm” were arrested.

In March 1969 the twins were both sentenced to life imprisonment, Mr. Justice Melford Stevenson remarking “In my view, society has earned a rest from your activities.”

Meet the actor who played Nick the Greek in Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels on our Krays Tour.  Learn about some of the methods used by some of the most feared gangsters in 1950s and 1960s London. Visit the location where Vinnie Jones had his first day of filming for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and other film locations including some from The Krays, Face, The Crying Game and Gangster No 1.  At the end of the tour you can enjoy a Q&A session with Stephen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stunning Film Locations Of Game Of Thrones

HBO have revealed that Game of Thrones Season 7 will premiere on July 17th.  Season 7 is starting later than normal as ‘Winter is here’ and they wanted to film some grim weather scenes in the sunnier places they shoot.

Apparently the upcoming seventh season will only run for seven episodes, however, it appears episodes could be the longest ever. According to HBO, the first episode will run for 59 minutes. A few of the actors and actresses have said they were actually filming longer and working harder on this season. A lot of things that normally would take a season now take up one episode.  So it sounds like they have packed lots into each episode! Excited is an understatement.

Take a look at the official trailer for Game of Thrones Season 7:

Here at BMT we are all about location location location. So where exactly are all those stunning locations that they use in the series? Here we take a look at ten of them.

Stunning Film Locations Of Game Of Thrones

The Long Bridge of Volantis is actually the splendid Roman Bridge in Cordoba, Andalusia. It sports 16 arches and is a thumping 247 metres long. It was built by imperial soldiers in the 1st century BC and replaced an existing wooden bridge.

Yunkai in Slavers Bay, and Pentos, the largest of the Free Cities, are a fortified city (or ksar) named Ait-Ben-Haddou about 70 miles south east of Marrakech. Mounted on a hill overlooking the desert, it has been used by film makers for 50 years or more, and has appeared in Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, Prince of Persia, Jesus of Nazareth, and The Mummy, to name just five. The world’s largest film studios are at Ouarzazate in the Moroccan desert and are a major tourist attraction because many of the film sets still remain, as well as some of the Game of Thrones series being filmed here. You can combine a visit to the studios with a day trip from Marrakech to Ait-Ben-Haddou.

Astapor is south of Yunkai, but is actually Essaouira which is about 70 miles west of Marrakech on the Moroccan coast. This is another fortified city, with a red wall, and during the 1960’s was a favourite place of hippies, being visited by Jimi Hendrix and Cat Stevens among others. It is noted for its’ seafood and its’ surfing.

Wildling Camp is set in Dimmuborgir which is in Iceland near to the town of Grjotagja, and is a lava field with strangely shaped rocks. In Icelandic folklore it is supposed to be connected to hell, and is the spiritual home of murderous trolls whose descendants are known as the Yule Lads and are a scary alternative to Santa Claus. Dimmuborgir was the place where Mance Rayder set up his camp in Westeros. It is a beautiful place and well worth a visit.

Frostfang Mountains is Hofoabrekka which is close to the southernmost city in Iceland, Vik. It was used in season two of Game of Thrones when Jon Snow went into the Frostfangs beyond the Wall.

North of the Wall is the largest glacier in Europe located in south-east Iceland which also happens to be in the largest national park in Europe at 13,600 square km. The glacier is called Vatnajokull and in Westeros was the land of mythical creatures.

Middle Westeros is in Thingvellir National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Established in 930 AD, the national parliament of Iceland was based here until 1798 when it was transferred to Reykjavik. Here you will find obsidian, which is cooled lava rock, and was referred to in Game of Thrones as “Dragonglass”.

Leaving Iceland, we go on to Dubrovnik in Croatia. Just outside the city is The Red Keep which is the heart of King’s Landing. It is actually Lovrijenac Fortress which is set on a 120’ – high rock on a bay which was used for the final scenes in the Battle of Blackwater. Also here is the island of Lokrum, which in the series was Qarth – the Queen of Cities – which was where much of the story of Daenerys took place in the second season.

Also in Croatia is Split which was used as King’s Landing in the fifth season. This is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and was where the Roman emperor Diocletian built his huge palace complex. Parts of his 3rd century buildings were used in the Middle Ages to build the cathedral, cafes, and many other buildings within the city walls. While you are in Split take a climb up to Klis Fortress which overlooks the nearby village of Klis and is one of the places where Daenerys plots returning to power.

Game of Thrones Tours

 

 

A “Must Do” Treat For All Harry Potter Fans

One of the most exciting days out for fans of Harry Potter has to be a trip to visit the Leavesden Studios of Warner Bros where every one of the films between 2000 and 2010 was made.

Leavesden is situated between Watford and Abbots Langley in Hertfordshire, and in 1940 Leavesden Aerodrome was created by the Air Ministry and the de Havilland Aircraft Company as a base at which to build what would become the Mosquito fighter plane. Leavesden was also used to build the Handley Page Halifax heavy bomber and by the end of the war it was the largest factory in the world. Later, the airfield was used to produce Rolls Royce aircraft engines, but they left the site in the early 1990’s and the aerodrome became disused.

In 1994, Eon Productions was looking for a site for its’ production of the James Bond film GoldenEye, as Pinewood Studios was fully booked, and they leased Leavesden, converting the hangars and factories into film studios, offices, and workshops. Subsequently, in 2000, Heyday Films acquired the site on behalf of Warner Bros in order to make Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Warner Bros finally bought the site in 2010 and subsequently invested more than £100 million developing it further.

Permanent Exhibition

As part of its’ development, Warner Bros created two brand new soundstages in order to house a permanent exhibition known as Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, which opened in 2012. The studio tour usually takes about three hours and the attraction can handle up to 6,000 visitors a day. The tour is styled like a theme park, and the standard tour is self-guided, but there are also options for various guided tours.

Here you can step inside the Great Hall, look inside Hagrid’s hut, and explore the Wand Room. Take a trip down Diagon Alley, wander through Dumbledore’s office, and admire the antique furniture in Gryffindor Common Room. You can also see the Chamber of Secrets, have fun with the special effects in the Weasley Kitchen, and see the Invisibility Cloak.

Next up is the triple decker Knight Bus and the Dursleys’ house on Privet Drive, and you can also buy Butterbeer! No trip to Hogwarts would be complete without a look at some of the many goblins and elves that were created by the Creature Effects department over a period of ten years.

The Forbidden Forest

The latest part of the attraction to open is the Forbidden Forest which opened on March 31st, and here you are in for a really frightening experience. There are 19 very life-like trees with realistic bark and entwined roots hiding a number of creatures, including the hippogriffs, in the dark. There is also a full size working model of Buckbeak which has had every feather put in place individually by hand. Hagrid also makes an appearance, but further into the forest lurks the acromantular, Aragog. The spider has an 18 foot leg-span and was hand-fitted with sisal, yak hair, and hemp from brooms. It emerges from its’ lair when you are least expecting it and sends lightning and thunder through the forest. In the film it took 15 people to operate it.

Of course, you can see the Hogwarts Express steam engine which is actually the GWR 4900 Class 5972 Olton Hall dressed up as 5972 Hogwarts Castle, and you can visit the railway shop at Platform 9¾. Here you can have your photo taken while you push the trolley through the wall. You can sit in the carriage that was used as the original set and look through the “windows” at the Dementor attack and the escape of Harry’s first Chocolate Frog.

See the Memory Cabinet, the Time-Turner, and an array of beautiful hand-made wands personalised for each character. Wander among the spooky ghost costumes, admire Hermione’s Yule Ball gown, and view the Quidditch robes.

There is certainly a lot to see at the Warner Bros Studio Tour London and it is well worth a visit for every Harry Potter fan. You can call into the Studio Shop before going home and buy replica wands, clothing, and other souvenirs.

Click here to book your Harry Potter Studio Tour..

Emmerdale Tours

For those that don’t know, Emmerdale is filmed on a purpose-built set on The Harewood Estate near Leeds in Yorkshire.  Since 1998 it has used this life-sized replica of Esholt, West Yorkshire as the location for filming the show.  Before this time it was filmed in the real village of Esholt in Bradford, West Yorkshire.  When they made the decision to put out 3 episodes a week they decided to look into a location for building a replica village.  The filming was becoming more and more disruptive to the people who lived in Esholt.  They would have to park their cars further afield and not walk into shots, plus fans of the show how to turn up to have a nose around.

The Harewood Estate was known to the show because they used two farmhouses in a field on the estate as exterior scenes for the Dingles farm and Glovers farm.  In June 1997 they began construction and copied the entire row of 4 houses next to the Woolpack and the 4 running along from the adjoined post office.  All the buildings were built to look the same and the replica set was finished by December of the same year.  The only difference to Esholt is that they made the stonework look more Dales like.  Apparently, they put yogurt over the stonework to encourage algea and moss to grow to make them look old.

Here at Brit Movie Tours, we have always been fans of the show. We have 4 Emmerdale tours for fans to choose from.  Below is a little summary of each tour:

Emmerdale Tour of Classic Locations

Our Emmerdale Tour of Classic Locations takes you to the original locations which are spread around West Yorkshire.  The tour lasts for 4 hours and takes you to the market towns of Otley (Hotton) and  Esholt  (Emmerdale Village).  Along the way, you will have a chance  to get off the bus and see the locations up close, but also enjoy the beauty of the Yorkshire countryside along the way.

The tours costs £29 for adults, £21 for OAPs and £21 for children under 16.

Click here to learn more and book

Emmerdale Village Tour

The Emmerdale Village Tour will take you around the live working TV set within Harewood Estate in Leeds. The tour is purely a walking tour of the exterior of the village as interior scenes are filmed elsewhere.  It lasts for 4 hours and will take you past Bob’s Cafe, The woolpack, the village Church and the familiar stone cottages. The chances of seeing the actors are slim as they only allow tours on the days the actors are off learning scripts.  However, if you keep reading you will learn we do have a tour for those wishing to meet a star from the show.

The village tour costs £65 for adults, £44 for OAP’s and £55 for children under 16.

Click here to learn more and book

Emmerdale Studio Experience

Many fans that have been on our village and classic locations tour often book for the studio experience.  This tour allows you to see the behind the scenes and learn how the production team puts everything together.  It lasts for 90 minutes and is based at the ITV studios in Leeds. However please note that the full-scale set reconstructions are just that, reconstructions, and not the actual interior sets used, as these are constantly in use for the shows filming.
The Emmerdale Studio Experience costs £26 for adults, £25 for OAP’s and £24.50 for children unde4r 16.

Click here to learn more and book

Meet an Emmerdale Star in Leeds

We are lucky to be able to offer you the chance to meet one of the actors from the show. You would need to book a location tour and at the end of the tour, we will arrange a private meeting where you can enjoy a drink or a meal with a star from the show.  You can get autographs and have your photograph taken with them and ask them questions only they can answer.  It is the all singing and dancing day out for serious fans of Emmerdale.

Click here to learn more and book.

Facts you might not know about Emmerdale

  • Originally the show was called ‘Emmerdale Farm’ and first broadcast in 1972 but changed to just Emmerdale in 1989.
  • The cast drinks real beer during recording but advised to drink small amounts during takes.
  • The episode where a plane exploded over the village was watched by their largest audience, 18 million viewers.
  • Ross Kemp, Pam St Clements, Anna Friel and Spice Girl Mel B have appeared in the soap.
  • The cast was kept in the dark for the ‘Who killed Tom King’ plotline and eleven different endings were recorded.
  • Edna’s dog Batley became the first animal to win a British Soap Award when it was put down after fighting a battle with cancer.
  • A full-time gardener works at the village and ensures the correct flowers are in bloom at the right time.  As the show films 6 weeks in advance, the gardener has his work cut out to ensure the right flowers bloom 6 weeks early.

Latest Storyline Rumours

This summer will be exciting for fans as it’s rumored a that Emma will finally get her comeuppance.  Emmerdale has clarified that Emma will be killed off in dramatic circumstances, possibly a shooting.  Also, the control freak that is Pierce is also rumoured to get his comeuppance.  Poor Rhona has had a long and arduous battle with painkiller addiction and because she keeps the secret of Pierce raping her, this eats her up inside and she starts to use the pills again as a coping mechanism.  The bullying storyline is also heating up as Dan Spencer discovers thug Josh’s lifeless bloodied body. Will he get the blame? It’s all happening on the famous cobbles and this summer looks set to be one to remember!

If Emmerdale is your favourite soap and you can’t get enough of it, why not join us and other like-minded fans on one of our tours.  We share lots of unknown facts about the soap and try to make each tour entertaining as well as educational.  People of all ages are welcome to book with us, we look forward to welcoming you on one of our Emmerdale tours.

 

 

 

 

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A Harry Potter Book Club is Coming to London

Did you know that it is nearly 20 years since the very first Harry Potter book was published? Bloomsbury published ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ on the 26th June 1997 and the following year in America. It’s hard to believe that before that date Harry Potter was unknown to the world and just a character on JK Rowlings imagination.  I suspect she didn’t realise what impact the release of that book would have on the world.  She must of believed in herself as she was turned down my publishers time and time again.  Now 6 books and 8 box office smashing movies later there can’t be many people in the world who haven’t heard of the Harry Potter phenomenon.

So what’s new in the world of wizards and muggles for 2017? There is a Wizard Book Club being launched  in London which is especially for lovers of the Harry Potter books.  The idea is to help Londoner’s  de-stress and relax by reading the Harry Potter books  together.  It is for old fans and new, however it’s for over 18’s as alcohol will be served.  Many people have seen the films but never read the books.  The Wizard Book Club will take place at a secret location in London, members will get an email a week before the event. Two chapters of the stories will read out loud by one of their storytellers and then lots of activities and treats will be on offer.   Each week will have a different theme based on the chapters members will be reading. It starts on Tuesday 7th June and will run on every Tuesday until the 15th August.  So if you’re an adult Potter fan new or old and can attend the book club in London  head over to this website and book your tickets today.  There will be limited places so the sooner you book the better.  This Wizard Book Club is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros. or Bloomsbury Publishing. The tickets are £25 to join and then £15 a week thereafter.

Here at Brit Movie Tours we have been taking fans on our Harry Potter Tours for a few years now.  They are one of our best loved and most popular tours. Fans can join us on a mini coach tour of locations around London on our Harry Potter Bus Tour of London locations.  This tour last for about 3 hours and costs adults who are 16 years or over £27, and for children under 16 it’s £20.

We also have a Harry Potter tour in Oxford which is a two hour walking tour taking you some of the film locations used in the Harry Potter movies. This walking tour of Oxford costs adults (16 years+) £20 and children under 16 years £19.  We also have a Harry Potter London Walk and an all singing and dancing tour taking you to the Warner Bros. Studios as well as plenty of film locations.  There is a tour for all budgets so take a look at all of our tours over on this page. We look forward to welcoming you on one of our magical Harry Potter Tours.

 

 

Latest News on Peaky Blinders Series Four

The latest series of Peaky Blinders is currently in the filming stage. Cillian Murphy revealed that the filming would begin in March. True to his word last month Cillian was seen running around the streets of Liverpool in complete Tommy Shelby attire holding a gun. Other images show Tommy surrounded by white smoke which assumes shots were fired. So it seems series four will continue with its dramatic and tense scenes to thrill fans.

The end of season three had a real nail-biting climax as the police arrived and arrested  Polly, Michael, Arthur and John. But if the images of the filming scenes are anything to go by it seems Tommy has managed to get them out of the police hands as he was seen laughing with his onscreen brother Arthur, played by Paul Anderson during a break.

Although the drama is set in Birmingham many of the scenes were filmed in Liverpool which you can see on our Peaky Blinders tour here. Last month Kinmel Street, South Street, and Powis Street were all transformed to look like the 1920s. You can see the vintage billboards and classic cars been driven onto the streets in the video below:

When will Peaky Blinders season 4 air?

Filming of the current series is expected to last until the end of June this year. Then they will spend 3 months editing the show. This means the series could be shown on BBC2 around October or November this year. This is what happened with season 3 so although no official dates have been released; this is the thinking behind the expected release.

How many episodes will there be?

It is thought there will be 6 episodes like all the other series. In January the show’s creator Steven Knight said he had almost finished writing episode 6 which we presume was the final episode.

Any new cast members?

Oscar winning actor Adrien Brody tweeted a picture of himself in period costume on the set confirming he is appearing in the new series. There is no talk of what character he is playing but Steven Knight said he was perfect for the role. Knight said, “He genuinely was the actor in my head when I wrote the part. I’m sure he will be a formidable presence in the world of the Peaky Blinders.” Also Game of Thrones star Aidan Gillen is set to feature in this new series. Again there is no word on what role he is playing yet.

Regarding the rest of the cast obviously Cillian Murphy will return as the head of the family Thomas Shelby. Tom Hardy is also back as Alfie Solomons. Other main cast members are all returning such as Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Sophie Rundle, Joe Cole, Finn Cole, Aimee-Ffion Edwards and Kate Phillips, Natasha O’Keefe and Packy Lee.

Are they filming any scenes in Birmingham?

Their are rumours that more scenes will be filmed at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley in May.  Once again the Museum will be transformed into Charlie Strong’s scrap metal yard which is the place where Tommy stores and exports his illegal goods.

Will season 4 roll straight on from season 3?

Well again this is rumour but because there is a new older child playing Tommy’s son Charlie, it is assumed the next series will have moved on by a couple of years.

October cannot come round soon enough for us here at BMT.  We are all serious fans and cant wait to see the Shelby’s carry on their shenanigans!

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