Two Croydon locations feature in the opening scenes from a soon-to-be-screened Sunday-night family drama following the travels of the young Gerald Durrell and his family.
Securing these locations for ‘The Durrells’ was managed by FilmFixer, the company that runs Croydon Film Office on behalf of the council. They also negotiated donations to a local church and to residents, as well as helping two young people who are looking to work in film get a day’s work experience on the set.
“It’s great that this feel-good family drama helped to bring local people together and gave two young residents an insight into the world of television and film-making.”
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
Hurst Way and the Royal Russell School will both feature when the show airs on Sunday 3 April on ITV. Take a look at the six-part series’ trailer.
Keeley Hawes plays Louisa Durrell, a widow with four unruly children finding it hard to make ends meet in 1930s England. Rather than a safe but oppressive marriage as the solution, she picks up the family and moves to sun-drenched Corfu.
Following their experiences Louisa’s son Gerald grew up to become a world-renowned conservationist, author and TV presenter. He also created the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Hurst Way resident Tim Stanack said: “The donation contributed to a Christmas party, bringing together 100 of our neighbours. It was such a success that we’re planning a street party now for spring, to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.
“It was very pleasant to learn how much we had in common and how we enjoyed one another’s company. But it took the donation to prompt so many of us to get together in this way.”
Tim’s daughter Lucie, 17, thanked location manager Guy Adams for the on-set experience he made possible, shadowing the production from morning call to evening wrap. She said: “Seeing the creative process at work behind the scenes made me realise just how interesting that side of the production is too.
“I’m hoping to get the marks to study theatre and performance from September. This experience has helped me make my mind up about wanting to work in the industry.”
FilmFixer director Karen Everett said: “We were really pleased to hear residents telling us how considerate and accommodating the crew was. Providing some on-set experience was a marvellous opportunity for local young people, and we are always grateful to productions that make this possible.”