Leah Eades
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A Tour of Onscreen Bristol

September 23, 2010 @ 5:40 AM | Permalink

 Bristol’s looking familiar, and it’s not just because we walk through it every day. No, it’s because it’s reflected back to us from the silver screen. It seems that wherever you go in Bristol, it has at some point been used for filming. Start off at the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge for example, and it might just remind you of the 2007 film The Truth About Love- the scene in which you wish Jennifer Love Hewitt would just throw herself off it rather than continue that annoying British accent.


Walking through Clifton (scenes from Teachers are Berkeley Square were filmed here, so keep an eye out) you can join up with Whiteladies Rd and find the BBC Studios- this is where 25% of the world’s natural history programmes are produced! Impressive stuff. Continue down to the University and find the School of Chemistry: look familiar? This is the supposed ‘Student Union’ that features in Starter For Ten, a film starring James McAvoy as the ‘80s Bristol fresher looking to win both University Challenge, and the girl of his dreams, and is well worth a watch if you’re after some Bristol nostalgia in your holidays.


Of course, no TV tour of Bristol would be complete without a significant Skins segment, and so we begin ours: from beneath the shadow of Wills Memorial Building, head down Park St and onto College Green, and you’ll be recreating Freddie’s impressive opening skate scene to series three. Incidentally, the second generation Skins girls bought their ball dresses at Motel. And, should you want to take your Skins tours into the night, head to the centre and jump onto Thekla, the club on a boat from Cook’s episode, or Syndicate, the site of Sophia’s fatal leap in the opening of series four. Whilst we’re on the subject of clubbing in Bristol, you might want to head to Oceana and recreate the ‘lads’ night out’ in Cardiff from Gavin and Stacy- here is where it was actually filmed. Sadly Uncle Bryn is not included.


To end your tour of TV Bristol head down Broadmead in the dead of night and keep an eye out for Batman and Robin- if you don’t know why, google “Only Fools and Horses Batman and Robin”. Not only is it a scene of comedy gold, but it was filmed right here in these streets. Who’d have thought that the Delboy’s Peckham is in fact Bedminster?


Of course, if you really want to go the whole hog on your Onscreen Bristol tour, you might want to participate yourself- and that is where Deal or No Deal comes in. That’s right, Noel is here in Bristol, at the Endemol Studios just half a mile south of Temple Meads Station, and you can apply for audience tickets online at http://www.dealornodeal.co.uk/backstage/tickets. I have it on good authority that Noel makes some shockingly dirty jokes that never air, and that the rest of the audience- all old ladies with an average age of about 107- love it.  


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