PARTS of historic Hartlepool have been taken over by film crews recording scenes for two hit TV shows.
The Headland has been a hive of activity this week as actors, crews and extras have been filimg scenes for Inspector George Gently, a detective drama set in the 1960s for the BBC, and ITV crime drama Vera.
BBC crews have taken up residence around the Town Wall for their filming, while the ITV show is being filmed at the other end of the Headland around Rowell Street, Catherine Street and South Terrace.
Both crews are expected to be on location for the rest of the week, and residents on the Headland have been watching with interest as the shows’ respective stars, Martin Shaw and Brenda Blethyn, go about their work.
One Town Wall resident has had exclusive access to the set for Inspector George Gently, however, after the BBC took over his house to record some scenes.
Dave Taylor, who lives with wife Ethena, had to move all of his furniture upstairs as producers redesigned his living room into a 1960s home.
But despite having dozens of actors, camera crews and directors walking through his home, he is delighted to be so heavily involved.
Dave, 61, said; “It’s a bit strange, they have basically taken over the house for three days.
“They took a day to set it up, then they have a day filming, then a day to take it all down again.
“We’re still living in the house, we just go in a different room when they are filming the scenes.
“All of our furniture is upstairs and they have brought in all of the props to transform it back to the sixties.
“They have put 60s-style photos on the walls, and there are even magazines from that era on tables and things like that. It’s all very realistic.”
Dave added: “It’s nice to be involved, I actually had interest in the house from the Vera producers as well as George Gently, but it wasn’t quite what they were looking for.
“It’s good for the Headland to have two high-profile programmes being filmed down here though, it’s strange they’re being done at the same time.”
Vintage cars line the street near Dave’s home to add extra authenticity to scenes, while his front garden - which is normally decking - has been kitted out with polystyrene ‘paving’ slabs and fake plants.
Dave is looking forward to seeing the finished product, with the seventh series of the programme due to be screened next year.
Scenes for Vera, which stars Blethyn as central character DCI Vera Stanhope, will appear in the fifth series of the drama which is due to hit the screens next year.
Council bosses have welcomed the crews, saying they provide aboost to the town and help to raise the profile.
A council spokesman said: “We are officially classified as a Filming Friendly Authority through Northern Film & Media, which aims to encourage filming in the North East and as a result we have enjoyed a close and positive working relationship with TV production companies over a number of years.
“We are delighted to welcome them back on this occasion.
“Their presence is good for Hartlepool, both in terms of boosting local economy and raising the town’s profile.”