Bridgerton filming schedule thrown into chaos after they're stopped from filming at Prince Andrew's former home

WHEN Bridgerton’s creators wanted to build a posh set for the toffs drama, they thought land owned by the Crown seemed perfect.

Producers had their eye on Berkshire’s Sunninghill Park Estate near Ascot, once home to the Duke and Duchess of York, and wanted to replicate parts of Georgian London.

But locals kicked up a fuss and creators of the Netflix period drama are having to look elsewhere.

Ironically, Bridgerton bosses had set their sights on the land after looking at other locations, only to discover they had already been snapped up by another Netflix drama, The Crown.

A TV insider said: “This is a headache for the producers because finding the perfect spot to film isn’t always easy and they had drawn up extensive plans to build on the site.

“The idea was to create sets for grand houses and halls that feature in Bridgerton, which takes place in early-1800s London.

“Fortunately, with series two now well under way, this would have been a location for series three and four, so they still have some breathing space.

“But it’s a rejection they could have well done without.”

The production firm, Shondaland, had hoped to use the grounds to build versions of two fictional mansions from the series, Bridgerton House — home to show heroine Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor — and Featherington House.

They had also wanted to put up a shopping arcade, tea house and back alley.

Producers had hoped to keep the whole set, which would cover a five-acre site, in place for five years while they filmed society goings-on. But it is now back to the drawing board.

'Midwife' family secrets

CALL The Midwife creator Heidi Thomas has revealed her grandad was rumoured to have helped women with backstreet abortions.

The hit BBC1 drama, now in its tenth series, is set in London’s East End and has often touched on the issue of terminations.

They only became legal in Britain in 1968 after a law was passed the previous year. On the Fortunately . . .  With Fi And Jane podcast, Heidi said:

“My grandfather was a medical herbalist.

“He was a working-class man who trained as a herbalist and apothecary in a herbalist shop.

“But I do not doubt, and indeed there are family rumours, that he could provide a concoction that restored menstrual regularity, which is an abortifacient drink of some kind.

“If he was doing this he was probably using that in a concoction and an infusion which women would drink at the back of the shop.”

Tender tribute to Paul

FRIDAY Night Dinner star Tamsin Greig will pay tribute to her “TV husband” – the late Paul Ritter – in a new documentary about the Channel 4 sitcom.

In the show, which will be screened on May 28, she discusses her sadness over his death last month aged 54 from a brain tumour.

The special, called Friday Night Dinner: 10 Years And a Lovely Bit Of Squirrel, includes a moving interview with Paul and a touching introduction from Tamsin.

She said: “Very recently we lost our dear and most cherished friend Paul Ritter.

“We all miss him terribly, an incredible actor, a true friend and a lovely human being.

“Sadly at the time of making the documentary, Paul was pretty unwell and I did try and persuade him not to do the interview.

“But it is testament to Paul’s courage and generosity and dignity and lack of vanity that he wanted to participate in the documentary, to do an interview, and to celebrate this little world that he’s been a part of and that he’s enjoyed so much over the years.”

“So I know Paul would want us to sit back and laugh and enjoy this celebration of the Friday Night Dinner universe and say, as we do, in his memory, ‘Shalom’.”

What a joyous way to mark such a sad loss.


BRITISH hip-hop duo Krept & Konan are taking BBC Three behind the scenes as they create a new England football anthem for the Euros, with the help of the Three Lions players and their manager Gareth Southgate.

The documentary will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer from next month.

Skinner: My love for Alice

FUNNYMAN Frank Skinner has revealed one of the great loves of his life – rocker Alice Cooper.

The comic has revealed how he fell for the veteran rock hellraiser – famous for wearing thick, ghoulish make-up – when he appeared on his ITV chat show in the Noughties.

Speaking on the latest edition of The Frank Skinner Show podcast, he said:

“In the midst of the interview I experienced what the ancient Greeks used to call agape. I felt utter love for him, but I mean a pure love.

“I couldn’t tell him lest he should become embarrassed. You don’t want to be blushing in that make-up.”

Fair point, Frank.

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