Winter Olympics-themed ad filmed in Hitchin with Torvill and Dean

Filming in Hitchin for the Winter Olympics-themed Aldi advert. Picture: Hitchin BID

Filming in Hitchin for the Winter Olympics-themed Aldi advert. Picture: Hitchin BID - Credit: Archant

The cameras are back in Hitchin town centre today, with imitation snow replacing the real stuff for a Winter Olympics-themed advert featuring ice dancing legends Torvill and Dean.

The ad, for Team GB sponsor Aldi supermarkets, centres around a man who slips on ice in the town’s Market Place and, rather than falling, manages to do an impressive ice skating routine to the tune of Boléro.

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean – who together danced to the Ravel classic to win figure skating Olympic gold for Britain in 1984 – feature in scenes shot off Market Place at Halsey’s Deli.

An actor was today seen using roller skates rather than ice skates in the square, carrying an Aldi bag in each hand.

The filming of yet another TV production in Hitchin has been received mostly positively, with one social media user quipping: “I could have entered the Olympics this week, the way I was sliding to work.”

But some have expressed concern over the routing of funds from filming location fees to Herts County Council rather than local bodies such as the Hitchin Initiative – although County Hall says charges are only made to cover administrative and publicity costs.

Hitchin has become something of a favourite for filming since being featured prominently as Parminster in BBC drama Doctor Foster – with robot-themed Channel 4 series Humans also shooting in the town centre since September.

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Hitchin town centre manager Keith Hoskins told the Comet today: “I wish any location fee was retained by the local community as they are the ones that are inconvenienced. As it stands, I’m told, all fees go to county!

“I noticed the ropes tying the screens were affixed to lampposts. Any stress testing done for that?”

A Herts County Council spokesman told the Comet he was clarifying whether the authority was involved, but said: “The only time we are involved is when there needs to be a traffic regulation order for the closure or management of a road. In these cases, we charge a fee simply to cover the administrative and publicity costs.”

The Winter Olympics will be held in South Korea’s Pyeongchang county during February.

Aldi does not have a Hitchin store. The nearest branch is in Stevenage, and North Herts District Council gave the green light this year for a site in Letchworth.

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