Seven films made in Hertfordshire on TV over Christmas
- Credit: STUDIOCANAL
With Christmas being different for us all this year, we will be spending more time at home over the holiday period.
That means cosy afternoons and evenings in front of the telly as a family.
Here’s seven films on TV over Christmas that were shot on location in Hertfordshire.
1. Paddington 2
Thursday, December 24 - Christmas Eve
You may also want to watch:
BBC One, 4.15pm.
Scenes from the 2017 Paddington sequel were shot on location at Knebworth House.
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While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s forthcoming 100th birthday, the big-hearted bear from Darkest Peru spots a unique pop-up book in Mr Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it.
But the book has also caught the eye of narcissistic local celebrity Phoenix Buchanan, whose designs on the book are less than altruistic.
For the dastardly Phoenix, it’s the key to his ultimate ambition: a one-man show, An Evening Of Monologue And Song with Phoenix Buchanan.
“I’m not sure that would be my favourite evening out,” deadpans Hugh Grant, who plays the film’s villain.
The book is crucial to Phoenix’s plans because only he knows that it contains the key to a fortune.
That fortune is hidden by Madame Kozlova, the great-grandmother of a Russian circus owner whose huge travelling fair comes to London at the beginning of the story, and provides the platform for Paddington and Phoenix to meet.
Enter the huge fairground built in the grounds of Knebworth House.
Hundreds of extras filled the rides and played carnival workers, while Paddington and the Brown family roam around the fair.
However, the production of the heartwarming sequel involved some pretty chilling moments.
In the movie, the fairground scenes are supposedly set during a summer’s evening, whereas in reality, filming took place at the end of January, right around the time of a cold snap.
2. Goodbye Christopher Robin
Friday, December 25 - Christmas Day
Film 4, 6.50pm.
This 2017 behind-the-scenes film explores the relationship between writer A. A. Milne and his son, Christopher Robin, and how this became the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh.
Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald, and Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, this bittersweet biographical drama also includes scenes shot at Knebworth House.
Returning to Britain after the First World War, A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) suffers from trauma after his experiences at the Battle of the Somme.
The contrast between war and society life is too much for him at first. But then he and his wife, Daphne (Margot Robbie), move to the country and have a son, who they name Christopher Robin, and everything changes.
Saturday, December 26 - Boxing Day
Sky Cinema Musicals, 6.30pm.
This fantasy adventure stars David Bowie as the Goblin King.
Directed by The Muppet Show creator Jim Henson, the Goblin City set was built in the former Stage 6 at Elstree Studios in the borough of Hertsmere.
Saturday, December 26 - Boxing Day
Sky Cinema Musicals, 8pm.
If you’ve sat through Labyrinth, don’t switch channels as Rocketman follows straight after.
This fantasy musical biopic stars Taron Egerton as Elton John.
As well as scenes between Elton and his manager shot at Brocket Hall, the singer’s luxurious LA mansion in the movie – complete with outdoor swimming pool – is actually near Brookmans Park.
5. The Dam Busters
Monday, December 28
Channel 4, 1.35pm.
This 1955 World War Two classic recreates the true story of the RAF 617 Squadron’s daring attacks on the Möhne, Eder, and Sorpe dams in Nazi Germany during 1943.
With its iconic theme tune by Eric Coates, it’s another movie made at Herts’ Hollywood – Elstree Studios.
Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd star in Michael Anderson’s classic war drama.
Early in World War 2, scientist Barnes Wallis (Redgrave) is working on an idea to attack German dams in order to flood their war industries. He wants to create a bouncing bomb that will skip over water and sink at the dam wall, creating maximum blast power when it detonates.
Barnes Wallis is frustrated by the lack of support but eventually Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris (Basil Sydney), the head of RAF Bomber Command, gains government backing for the project.
While Barnes battles the technical demons involved in creating the bomb, a special RAF bomber group is formed under Wing Commander Guy Gibson (Todd). The crews must learn to fly just 60 feet above water in order to drop the bombs correctly.
Finally, in May 1943, the planes take off on their daring mission to destroy the dams of the Ruhr valley.
6. Murder On The Orient Express
Monday, December 28
BBC Two, 2.10pm.
This 1974 adaptation of the Agatha Christie mystery stars the Oscar-nominated Albert Finney as detective Hercule Poirot.
The all-star cast includes Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave and Jacqueline Bisset.
Sidney Lumet’s movie, which was made at Elstree, bagged six Oscar nominations in total, with Bergman winning Best Supporting Actress.
7. Wonder Woman
Tuesday, December 29
As Gal Gadot returns in sequel Wonder Woman 1984, catch the original adventure of the Amazonian warrior on ITV.
Set during World War One, Patty Jenkins’ DC Comics blockbuster stars Gadot as Diana Prince and Chris Pine as US pilot Steve Trevor whose plane crashes off the Themysciran coast.
And the film’s Hertfordshire filming links?
Steve and Diana – aka Wonder Woman – infiltrate a gala party held by the German High Command, with the scenes actually filmed in the Long Gallery at Hatfield House.