TWO County Durham police stations will have starring roles in the next series of the TV crime drama Inspector George Gently.
Filming is under way for the next set of feature-length stories starring Martin Shaw in the title role and Lee Ingleby as his sidekick, Det Sgt John Bacchus.
And among the North East locations used by the production company for the seventh series were two of Durham Constabulary’s main police stations.
Several exterior shots were taken at the Chester-le-Street office on Newcastle Road, while the custody block in Stanley was used for scenes featuring suspects being held and interviewed in the cells.
The stations had to be specially adapted to fit in with the 1960s setting of the show.
The producers, Company Pictures North, have now written to the force expressing their thanks for the help given by Durham Constabulary.
“On behalf of myself and all the crew, over the past few months you have been a great help in the making of episode one and we couldn't have made it without you,” said Kayleigh Cruickshank, location manager for Company Pictures.
“All the staff in estates, Chester-le-Street and Stanley have been continuously helpful in organising our film shoot.
“I work nationwide and have filmed in different police stations across the country and Durham, in my opinion, is home to the most film-friendly police force in the UK.
“You should all be happy in the knowledge that you have aided the promotion of the North East for future filming and when episode one is aired in the autumn please remember you played a massive part in making it happen.”
Police confirmed the filming has taken place in areas which are not usually operational, so it does not affect day-to-day policing.
A fee is charged for the use of the facilities, but this is principally to cover essential staff costs.
In the latest series the detective show moves to 1969 making it five years since Gently moved to the North East.
Although the series has always been set here, it was once filmed in Ireland. But the last few series have benefited from locations in the region.
George Gently is based on the Inspector Gently novels by Alan Hunter. The TV series moved the setting of the stories to Northumberland and County Durham from the Norfolk portrayed in the original books.
Durham, in my opinion, is home to the most film-friendly police force in the UK