Hartlepool’s hospital is all set to star in BBC1 comedy

Tom Binns as hospital manager Susan Mitchell  in Hospital People. Photo by Paul Stephenson
Tom Binns as hospital manager Susan Mitchell in Hospital People. Photo by Paul Stephenson

Hartlepool was the perfect place to shoot a new prime time comedy.

That’s the view of the team who worked on the six-part Hospital People series, which will hit our screens on Friday.

The University Hospital of Hartlepool.

The University Hospital of Hartlepool.

An unused area of the town’s hospital and grounds were used as the set for the show, which will see its lead man Tom Binns take on four of its characters.

The show is set in the fictional town of Brimlington, but viewers will be able to spot familiar sights as aerial footage taken over the buildings, nearby homes and the coastline appears in the programmes.

Tom, who grew up in Sheffield but whose father comes from the region, said: “We looked for the best place and Hartlepool was it.

“Brimlington is more based on where I live, so between Derbyshire and Yorkshire, but on the coast, so it’s a fictional place.

We looked for the best place and Hartlepool was it.

Tom Binns

“Everybody who plays a character speaks in their own voice, but then everyone else has a North East accent because of where it was filmed.

“The hospital was absolutely amazing.

“Lots of our crew came from the North East and they couldn’t believe their luck, so they didn’t have to travel for hours and they had a great time.

“George Gently and Victoria have been filming there too, so it’s growing.”

Tom Binns as Ian D Montfort, Susan Mitchell, Father Kenny  and Ivan Brackenbury. Photo by Paul Stephenson.

Tom Binns as Ian D Montfort, Susan Mitchell, Father Kenny and Ivan Brackenbury. Photo by Paul Stephenson.

The mockumentary’s make up artist Jessica Downes and her brother Matt, a sound assistant, are from Hartlepool, while its producer Emma Lawson is from Sedgefield.

While in town the cast, brought together by Roughcut TV, formed a following of Mumbai Indian restaurant, with guest star Mark Williams among those to eat there.

Tom has performed as hospital DJ Ivan Brackenbury and medium Ian D Montfort for several years, with the pair joining characters hospital boss Susan Mitchell and Father Kenny in his repertoire.

For the role of Susan, he had to spend an hour in and also out of make up and he had to shave his head for the part of Fr Kenny.

Tom Binns's character DJ Ivan Brackenbury is one of the central figures in Hospital People.

Tom Binns's character DJ Ivan Brackenbury is one of the central figures in Hospital People.

Tom added: “The role of Ivan is one I’ve been playing for 25 years, so to go into his studio set inside the hospital was emotional.

“The best thing is the money from using the buildings goes straight back into the NHS.”

Hospital people, which also features stars including Russell Brand, Sally Phillps, Sian Gibson and James Fleet goes out on Friday at 9.30pm on BBC One.

Spirit medium Ian D Montfort, played by Tom Binns in the show. Photo by Paul Stephenson.

Spirit medium Ian D Montfort, played by Tom Binns in the show. Photo by Paul Stephenson.

Father Kenny, played by Tom Binns, in the hospital chapel. Photograph by Paul Stephenson

Father Kenny, played by Tom Binns, in the hospital chapel. Photograph by Paul Stephenson