Monday, November 9, 2015

News: Filming wraps on latest BBC show filmed in Rotherham

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Filming wrapped last month of the TV adaptation of David Walliams' book, Billionaire Boy, with key locations including Wentworth Woodhouse and Oakwood High School in Rotherham.

Billionaire Boy is the fourth BBC adaptation of a Walliams novel following the successes of Gangsta Granny, Mr Stink and The Boy In The Dress. It tells the story of Len, who makes a billion from inventing a new toilet roll, and his 12-year-old son Joe, who appears to have everything he could want but what he really needs is a friend.

Screen Yorkshire invested in the production, which has an all star cast, through its Yorkshire Content Fund. Screen Yorkshire works to secure and support the very best projects, companies and individuals, helping to make Yorkshire and the Humber one of the most sought after destinations for production in the UK. As an investor it operates the £15m, ERDF-supported Yorkshire Content Fund.

Billionaire Boy filmed in South Yorkshire from October 5 - 31. Wentworth Woodhouse, the largest privately-owned house in Europe, was last seen on the BBC as a backdrop for one of the most ambitious TV dramas ever undertaken in the UK - Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. The magical drama was another investment from the Yorkshire Content Fund and was the largest scale production that Screen Yorkshire has ever invested in.

Billionaire Boy stars Elliot Sprakes in his first major TV role, as Joe. It also stars John Thomson, Catherine Tate, Rebecca Front, James Fleet, Warwick Davis, and Walliams himself (pictured with Elliot on set).

A number of local school children from Oakwood High School were cast to appear in the production as Joe's classmates.

David Naisbitt, headteacher at Oakwood High School, said: "There were a number of staff colleagues who participated and even enjoyed being extras in some key scenes. And in addition to this there was something like 150 children able to participate as extras, over and above the children that had secured key speaking roles.

"The experience was tremendous and very interesting. Watching the band wagon roll in and then seeing it in action was an amazing experience. In simple terms; it was substantial, spectacular and thoroughly exceptional for people like ourselves who rarely, if ever, see these sorts of things in action.

"I really do hope that the children got a terrific amount out of the experience and I am sure it will be something that they continue to talk about long beyond the screening; at some point over the Christmas holidays."

Jo Sargent of King Bert Productions, said: "We've had a brilliant time shooting Billionaire Boy in Yorkshire. The combination of fantastic crew and locations, brilliant performances from the local children and investment from Screen Yorkshire created the perfect package for a successful shoot. We can't wait to share the results with audiences this Christmas."

Sally Joynson, chief executive of Screen Yorkshire, added:: "We're delighted to have had the opportunity to work with King Bert to bring David Walliams' Billionaire Boy to the screen. With a fabulously entertaining script and stellar cast on board, it has all the makings of a real treat for audiences over the festive season."

Screen Yorkshire website

Images: Screen Yorkshire

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