Inspector George Gently, set and filmed in the region, returns next month

TV DETECTIVE: Martin Shaw, as Inspector George Gently

TV DETECTIVE: Martin Shaw, as Inspector George Gently

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (Sedgefield)

TELEVISION viewers will see parts of the region in a new light when a detective series hits the small screen.

Police stations, city streets and school buildings were among the North-East locations used for filming the seventh series of Inspector George Gently, which is back on BBC One next month.

From Thursday, February 6, the audience will see Inspector Gently and his Sergeant John Bacchus recovering from the horrific shootings that nearly claimed their lives in Durham Cathedral at the end of the last series.

Actors Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby will not be the only familiar sights in the show, as sharp-eyed North-East fans could also spot their neighbourhood, landmark buildings or even their old classroom.

A year after Tudhoe Grange School, in Spennymoor, County Durham, closed it was used as the production base for four 90-minute episodes filmed between March and June last year.

The front of the 100-year-old Durham Road building became Gently’s police headquarters and former classrooms and teachers’ offices were transformed into a mortuary, hospital ward, gym, police interview room and the detective’s bedroom.

The first episode, Gently Between the Lines, features a death in the cells of fictional Rye Hill Police Station, which was filmed in Chester-le-Street and Stanley police stations, in County Durham.

Other settings include streets in Chilton, Middlesbrough and Newcastle; Durham University, Birtley Crematorium an old social club in Billingham.

Executive producer John Yorke said he was delighted to shoot the series in the region, which provided the perfect backdrop to Gently’s world of 1969, and the region proved popular with actors.

Robert Pugh, who plays Superintendent Ray Lewington, said: “I’ve filmed in Newcastle before, on BBC's Elizabeth with Anne-Marie Duff, but I’ve never worked in Durham before.

"Both cities are beautiful.

“As for the locations, the magnificence of Durham Cathedral will stick with me.”

Emma Fielding, who appears in the second episode, said: “I have worked in a lot of theatre up North but never had a real chance to take in the countryside, which is breathtaking.

“I had also never been to Durham before and the crew took us on a day trip to go around the Cathedral which was stunning.

“But every time I’m up North I’m reminded of how lovely the people are.”

Australian actor Daniel Lapaine, who plays a psychiatrist in episode three, even said it reminded him of home.

“The Tyne Bridge in Newcastle is the baby brother of the Sydney Harbour Bridge so it made me homesick.

“Durham was beautiful - fly fishermen in the river, the cobbled streets, the cathedral, students racing to their lectures".

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