Film / Television / Theatre

Dr Who star John Simm in Norfolk for new film Seven Days

Eastern Daily Press-EDP24
7 January, 2011
Matthew Sparkes

Actor John Simm, signing autographs in 2008 while filming at Cromer high school.

Actor John Simm, signing autographs in 2008 while filming at Cromer high school. Photo: Bill Smith Copy: Ed Foss For: EDP / NNN Archant © 2008 01603 772434

A film crew was working in Norfolk this week to shoot several scenes for a new movie featuring Life on Mars and Dr Who star John Simm.

The film has the working title Seven Days and will be shown on Channel 4 in 2012 after five years in the making, including footage shot in several locations around Norfolk.

On Monday the crew was filming in Helhoughton, near Fakenham, and several scenes including Simm were filmed on the high street in Holt and in the town’s Budgens on Wednesday afternoon.

The cast and crew returned to London on Thursday morning.

Seven Days tells the story of an imprisoned drug smuggler played by Simm and the turbulent relationship he has with his wife, Harry Potter and Trainspotting actress, Shirley Henderson.

The film is due to be completed within 12 months and has been shot over several years so that the four young actors cast as the couple’s children will age realistically during the finished movie.

Simms and Winterbottom made a previous appearance in the county in 2008 to shoot footage for earlier parts of the film, when they spent a day filming inside Cromer High School.

Headteacher Glyn Hambling was offered a part as a prison guard at the time, but had to turn it down because of meetings.

Other scenes in Cromer and Fakenham were also shot at the same time, and will appear in the film.

The film will also feature scenes shot at Norwich and Brixton prisons.

The production company behind the project, London-based Revolution Films, has said that it will be filming in Norfolk again but has not planned exactly when it would return.

Channel 4 plans to broadcast the film, which has the working title Seven Days, in 2012, and it will be simultaneously released in cinemas in other countries.

Director and co-writer Michael Winterbottom, who also made 24 Hour Party People, 9 Songs and A Cock and Bull Story starring Alan Partridge creator Steve Coogan, has said in the past that working in Norfolk is convenient for him because he owns a house in the county.

But the renowned director was reluctant to say where he was based.

Large parts of A Cock and Bull Story were also shot in Norfolk at Felbrigg Hall, while films by other directors including Shakespeare in Love and Starlight have also been partially shot in Norfolk.

The ITV series Kingdom was also filmed in Swaffham by Parallel Productions, which used local businesses as much as possible.

It is estimated that while filming three series the company invested as much as £2.5 million into the local economy.

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