Posts Tagged Broad Street

Citizen Khan takes over Birmingham

The cast of Citizen Khan take to the red carpet at Cineworld on Broad Street, Birmingham

The cast of Citizen Khan take to the red carpet at Cineworld on Broad Street, Birmingham

On Tuesday 27 October 2015 the nation’s favourite Pakistani Community Leader and Sparkhill resident, Mr Khan, was seen out and about in Birmingham to celebrate the start of the new series of Citizen Khan on BBC One, Friday 30 October 2015.

Before arriving in the trademark Mercedes, at a red carpet preview of the new series at Cineworld on Broad Street, Mr Khan took over the train announcements at Birmingham New Street station.

During the one hour takeover Mr Khan announced trains all over the UK, with one even making a surprise stop at Karachi, although I think that may have been a Mr Khan joke. He also offered commuters insights on the best shopping deals around the region, with 99p toilet rolls in Nottingham (worth the trip alone) and very nice Halal Butchers in Aston, en route to Walsall.

Mr Khan then proved his claim that ‘Everybody knows him’ when he went on a walkabout in the new Grand Central concourse where he was soon surrounded by fans of his show wanting selfies with the self appointed community leader and of course Mr Khan duly obliged.

It did seem that not quite everybody knew him though, as one mother was overheard explaining to her son that the crowd that had gathered around Mr Khan because “he was off the television and was in that show called The Kumars.”

He also took some time out to record a short video piece for The One Show to support the fundraising Rickshaw Challenge

Then it was off to Broad Street where the Khan family arrived in the pouring rain in the yellow Mercedes to meet and greet fans on the red carpet before a special screening of the first two episodes of the new series.  Mr Khan (Adil Ray), Amjad (Abdullah Afzal), Shazia (Krupa Pattani), Naani (Adlyn Ross) and Riaz (Nish Nathwani) all arived in character and mingled with fans who grabbed photographs and videos on their smart phones.

Mr Khan was in demand being interviewed live on air for BBC Midlands Today (or as Mr Khan called it ‘Muslim’ Today), BBC Asian Network Radio and this interview with I Am Birmingham (Twitter).

When asked where Mrs Khan and Alia were he explained that Mrs Khan was busy babysitting their grandson, Mohammed, and that Alia was very busy with her college work and was planning to do her homework at the Mosque until around 4am.

The lucky few that managed to get tickets in the BBC ballot along with some invited guests were then treated to a preview screening of the first two episodes of the new series.

Episode 1: Farley Manor – BBC One Friday 30 October 2015 at 8:30pm
A family day out with the Khans is never going to run smoothly. A chance meeting with Lord Anstruther on a day trip to Farley Manor, filmed at the Elizabethan stately home of Englefield House in Berkshire, may be the stroke of luck Mr Khan needs to get his dream council job but when Naani decides to help herself to some of the historical Indian treasures on display it threatens to ruin Mr Khan’s plans to hobnob with the aristocracy.

Episode 2: Family Photo – BBC One Friday 6 November 2015 at 8:30pm
Mr Khan attempts to take on a fitness regime around the streets of Birmingham, with the help of Amjad, his back problem returns and his plans to secure a school crossing patrol job at a school in Edgbaston are put under threat. Naani has arranged a family photo session in a proper studio, but Alia wants to hijack it for a portrait portfolio for her fashion vlog, which is getting quite a few hits, but for all the wrong reasons.

Both episodes were well received by the preview audience and following the screening, Andy Akinwolere (BBC Inside Out) hosted a question and answer session with the cast, who were now out of character and being themselves.

The new six episode series of Citizen Khan starts at 8:30pm Friday 30 October on BBC One and there will also be an extra Christmas special to look forward to shortly after the fourth series has finished.

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Behind The Scenes of Doctors Hour Long Episode

Back in May 2015 I was invited on set for the filming of the special hour long episode of BBC Doctors. Now the episode has been on TV I can share some of the images of the filming I took on that day, but beware, if you haven’t seen the special episode yet there may be some spoilers included in the images below.

For those that missed the hour long episode it can be seen on BBC iPlayer until the 10th October 2015.

Letherbridge Cars prop as seen on the set of BBC Doctors

Letherbridge Cars prop as seen on the set of BBC Doctors

The set of the Doctors special episode in Centenary Square as viewed from the Library of Birmigham

The set of the Doctors special episode in Centenary Square as viewed from the Library of Birmingham

A number of market stalls were set up in Centenary Square to create the set

A number of market stalls were set up in Centenary Square to create the set

Is there a Doctor on set? Chris Walker (Rob Hollins), Ian Kelsey (Howard Bellamy) and Ian Midlane (Al Haskey) pose for a group photo

Is there a Doctor on set? Chris Walker (Rob Hollins), Ian Kelsey (Howard Bellamy) and Ian Midlane (Al Haskey) pose for a group photo

Some of the regular cast pose for a big group picture with the Bhangra dancers in front of Baskerville House

Some of the regular cast pose for a big group picture with the Bhangra dancers in front of Baskerville House

Ian Kelsey (Howard Bellamy) and Ian Mercer (Andy Weston) wait for their next scene.

Ian Kelsey (Howard Bellamy) and Ian Mercer (Andy Weston) wait for their next scene.

Not a doughnut in sight, but Sgt Rob Hollins (Chris Walker) has found the coffee shop

Not a doughnut in sight, but Sgt Rob Hollins (Chris Walker) has found the coffee shop

Ian Mercer (Andy Weston) takes a relaxing break in the sun during filming in Centenary Square

Ian Mercer (Andy Weston) takes a relaxing break in the sun during filming in Centenary Square

Lorna Laidlaw (Mrs Tembe) and Cornell St John (Rick Joseph) exchange a few words

Lorna Laidlaw (Mrs Tembe) and Cornell St John (Rick Joseph) exchange a few words in a scene rehearsal

Ian Mercer (Andy Weston) mingles with the crowd in the Birmingham market in Centenary Square

Ian Mercer (Andy Weston) mingles with the crowd in the Birmingham market in Centenary Square

Lenny (Grahame Edwards) tries to sing his song while Mrs Tembe (Lorna Laidlaw) tries to talk him down

Lenny (Grahame Edwards) tries to sing his song while Mrs Tembe (Lorna Laidlaw) tries to talk him down

A shot rings out and a man is down. The

A shot rings out and a man is down, the market crowd scatter. The man in the heart costume points out where the gunman may have been firing from to Rob Hollins (Chris Walker) while DCI Driver (Elizabeth Rider) checks on the victim.

Doctors’ executive producer Mike Hobson said: “This is our homage to Birmingham, to say thank you for last 15 years since the show started.  We wanted to set it in the heart of the city. It’s an exciting climax to a hard-hitting storyline.  They are our biggest scenes yet, involving more than 200 people including dhol players and Bhangra dancers.  Drama has always been part of the DNA of BBC Birmingham and the Drama Village in Selly Oak, continues this tradition.”

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Saturday is TISWAS Day – This is what they want!

TISWAS Pies Again is on Big Centre TV Saturday evenings at 10pm. Image source: Big Centre TV Facebook Page

One of the shows I always feature on my Birmingham TV locations tour is TISWAS, as it was recorded at the sadly recently demolished ATV studios on Broad Street, but I often get blank looks for attendees who are slightly younger than I am. I not sure if it’s because they can’t actually believe that a whole Saturday morning show could be made for a mere £300 or they are shocked that children were often soaked with water and janked up by the ears, but they clearly have no idea what the show was about.

TISWAS was the brainchild of ATV announcer Peter Tomlinson and was originally hosted by John Asher and a local TV reporter by the name of Chris Tarrant. In the late 70s new presenters such as Sally James, John Gorman (The Scaffold) and Bob Carolgees (he with the spitting dog) joined the fray. They also found a role for a little known young Dudley comedian named Lenny Henry, who was once seen famously impersonated Trevor McDonald (as Trevor McDoughnut) while Chris Tarrant sneaked in the REAL Trevor to surprise his co-star.

TISWAS ended in 1982 but now, thanks to Big Centre TV, Saturday is once again TISWAS day as they will be repeating highlights from mostly previously missing episodes of the Saturday morning mayhem that were thought to be lost forever.  Because the show was broadcast live it was very often never recorded and many episodes were thought to be lost forever, but no one accounted for their legion of fans who recorded the show on their home video recorders.

Mainly sourced from home recordings of the show the team at The Tiswas Fan Club (TiswasOnline) and TV archivists Kaleidoscope have carefully restored and cleaned up the footage (and I don’t mean wiped the remains of custard pies off them) to show compilation episodes on Midlands channel Big Centre TV.  Viewers who are not in range of the regional Birmingham and Black Country channel will be able to catch up online at http://www.bigcentre.tv, so no one will miss out on the return of this Saturday morning institution.

One of the main sources of the historic episodes was a Matthew Butler. For those old enough to remember young Matthew was a regular on the show for a couple of years in the early 80s after he first appeared dressed as a rabbit to sing along to Bright Eyes, the theme from movie Watership Down. Matthew’s private collection of TISWAS tapes has provided hours of classic footage so that everyone can now see exactly what was going on just off Broad Street on a Saturday morning.

Last Saturday morning, at the end of the afternoon Birmingham TV and Film Locations tour, some of the attendees stumbled across a promotional photo shoot for the new series and had a picture with the The Phantom Flan Flinger, see link below.

Look who was filming near to the former Central/ATV Studios at the end of today’s TV Tour of Brum #ThisIsWhatTheyWant

A photo posted by Mark Wilson (@sparks1968) on Sep 5, 2015 at 11:12am PDT

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“Tiswas Pies Again” is an UpAndHappy! Production for Big Centre TV.
Big Centre TV broadcasts across Birmingham and the Black Country on Freeview channel 8 and Virgin Media channel 159, and online at http://www.bigcentre.tv

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Monochrome Movie Trailer Released

Monochrome is the latest movie from Tom Lawes, the owner of The Electric Cinema, in Birmingham’s Station Street, and the director of the 2012 documentary The Last Projectionist.

With some scenes shot on Broad Street and Colmore Row, Tom has remained true to his local roots, having been a pupil at Handsworth Grammar School and has made great use of these Birmingham locations to create a his Monochrome world.

The psychological thriller tells the story of Emma, a disillusioned young woman who escapes to the country after her boyfriend is arrested over millions of pounds of stolen pension funds. She relies on casual work from wealthy landowners to survive, but reacts with extreme violence against her controlling employers, turning her into one of the country’s most wanted killers.

The newly formed British Crime Agency hire a brilliant detective with the unusual neurological condition of synesthesia, to track Emma down. Will his unusual skills find her before she kills again and can he solve the secret of the hidden millions?

The film stars Jo Woodcock (Land Girls) and singer songwriter Cosmo Jarvis. The supporting cast includes BAFTA winner James Cosmo (Game of Thrones), Patrice Naiambana (Highlander: The Source), Lee Boardman (London Boulevard) and Steve Jackson (Coronation Street) and Liz May Brice (Black Mirror).

There is no official release date as yet, but the official movie trailer was released earlier today, and you can see it below;

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Line of Duty – Series Two (feat. Birmingham)

Line of Duty Returns

Hit BBC drama Line of Duty returned to our screens on 12th February 2014 with some familiar faces returning from series one and some new faces, in the form of Ashes to Ashes star Keeley Hawes, and a whole new storyline for Ac-12 to investigate.

Line of Duty series one was shot on location in Birmingham, although the actual setting remained undisclosed, however series two was filmed entirely in Belfast. With funding from the Northern Ireland Screen Fund and additional support from Invest NI and part funding by the European Regional Development Fund the move to Belfast was not a great surprise, but I for one was disappointed that the show was not to return to the streets of Birmingham.

During the dramatic climax to episode one, we did however get a brief glimpse of Birmingham. The view from the Intensive Care Unit window, whilst slightly higher than the exterior of the building dictated and partly obscured by a falling body, was of Broad Street in Birmingham, as the screen grab below clearly shows.

The view from the ICU window reveals Broad Street, Birmingham as the street below. You can see the Central Library, Hall of Memory, Town Hall and the Council House.

The view from the ICU window reveals Broad Street, Birmingham as the street below. You can see the Central Library, Hall of Memory, Town Hall and the Council House.

The Library of Birmingham under construction can be seen through the closed window.

The Library of Birmingham under construction can be seen through the closed window.

A few seconds later there is a shot through a closed window and you can see the construction site of the new Library of Birmingham, complete with a large yellow crane.

So it appears that the producers still have a bit of a soft spot for the streets of Birmingham after all, and I will now be keeping a keen eye open for the rest of the series to see if they drop any further Birmingham scenes into the show.

Regardless of the location change this show continues to deliver high quality drama and the new storyline and the new character of DI Denton, played superbly by Keeley Hawes, has certainly given the show the edge it needed to replace the fantastic Lennie James, who played the AC-12 target Tony Gates in Series One.

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