Northumberland appeals to TV viewers

Northumberland was tipped into second place by Italy in a survey of television settings that viewers would most like to visit.

The poll saw Radio Times readers vote for the location they would most like to visit after watching their favourite television programmes in 2014.

The Trip, a sitcom starring Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan and featuring beautiful locations such as the Amalfi Coast, Piedmont and Tuscany, helped Italy take top spot.

But ITV’s detective drama Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn and David Leon, earned Northumberland and Durham the runners-up position.

The popular show is filmed in a variety of locations across the North East, but Northumberland features prominently, most notably in the first episode of the series which aired eariler this year, which centred around Alnmouth.

The rest of the top 10 was: Northern Ireland (Game of Thrones); Cornwall (Jamaica Inn); Derbyshire (The Village); London (Sherlock); Malmo, Sweden (The Bridge); Liverpool (Cilla); Calgary, Canada (Fargo); Cardiff (Doctor Who).

Jade Bremner, Radio Times travel editor, said: “The fact that British locations dominate our top ten TV settings list this year is testament to the quality of UK dramas, our home-grown production teams and our incredibly diverse, beautiful and dramatic landscapes.

“But the number one spot is utterly deserved by Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan’s The Trip, in which they take a romantic grand-tour style romp through magnificent Mediterranean countryside, and sprinkle witty observations throughout.”

The cast and crew of Vera clearly enjoyed north Northumberland as they were back in August to film in Alnwick for an episode of the fifth series, which is due to air in 2015.

And Vera is just one of several TV programmes showcasing Alnwick and Northumberland at the moment.

Tales from Northumberland, with Robson Green, is due to return early next year, which comes hot on the heels of Alnwick Castle’s starring role as Brancaster Castle in the Downton Abbey Christmas special.

Meanwhile, the Gazette recently revealed that Alnwick Castle would be used for filming some of The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, a second series of three adaptations of Shakespeare’s history plays, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Dame Judi Dench, Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville and Michael Gambon.