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Norfolk railway gets boost in TV requests after BBC Bodyguard success

PUBLISHED: 17:06 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:48 29 August 2018

Bodyguard -  David Budd (RICHARD MADDEN) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Sophie Mutevelian

Bodyguard - David Budd (RICHARD MADDEN) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Sophie Mutevelian

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The Mid Norfolk Railway in Dereham is already reaping the rewards of featuring in a hit new BBC television drama series.

Dereham's Mid Norfolk Railway was the location for the start of the BBC's Bodyguard series. Picture: ArchantDereham's Mid Norfolk Railway was the location for the start of the BBC's Bodyguard series. Picture: Archant

Almost seven million viewers saw Dereham’s heritage railway station in the opening scenes of Bodyguard on Sunday evening.

Filming was carried out in Dereham during January and February this year.

The scene saw war veteran David Budd, who is played by Game of Thrones star Richard Madden, successfully prevent a terror attack on a train to London.

The Mid Norfolk Railway has already had interest from others wanting to use the location for media purposes and an advert for a German beer has also recently been filmed there.

Bodyguard  (C) World Productions - Photographer: Des WillieBodyguard (C) World Productions - Photographer: Des Willie

George Saville, operations manager of Mid Norfolk Railway, said: “We were really pleased with the show. Plenty of the railway was shown at the start which is great because you can never be too sure how much will be included.

“We’re now finding we are getting approached more and more. A German beer company came and spent the week with us last month and the station was turned into a German railway station. We are hoping that it will continue and the Mid Norfolk Railway will attract more film and television crews in the future.”

Bodyguard features troubled war veteran police sergeant David Budd who is assigned as a principal protection officer to the controversial home secretary, the Rt Hon Julia Montague MP, played by Ashes to Ashes actress Keeley Hawes.

Her political ambitions of pushing a new counterterrorism bill through Parliament make her a high profile target for terror attacks. The series became the biggest new drama launch in the UK this year with a peak of 6.9 million viewers tuning into BBC One for Sunday’s episode.

Dereham town councillor Philip Morton was pleased to see Dereham feature on the show and said: “I thought the show was magnificent. I think it’s great that we are on the map in terms of broadcasting and hopefully it will be able to continue.”

Viewers of the new series also took to Twitter to praise the series and particularly the opening scenes of the first episode.

Lewis Scott tweeted: “Bodyguard is absolutely outstanding television. First time there’s been anything half decent on the box since Line of Duty. Jed Mercurio is a genius.”

TV editor Morgan Jeffery also wrote: “Best, most dramatic 20 mins of television I’ve seen in ages” and even Olympic long jump hero Greg Rutherford took to social media to praise the show, tweeting: “I will say again, Bodyguard is bloody good!”

Writer of the show Jed Mercurio also thanked Mid Norfolk Railway in a tweet, posting: “The opening sequence of Bodyguard was originally going to be shot on a train about to depart Waterloo Station. Permission was revoked and we had to reconceive the whole sequence to a new location with a completely rewritten chain of events. Thanks to @midnorfolkrly.”

The second part of Bodyguard was screened on Monday and part three is being screened this Sunday at 9pm.

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