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Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 12:57 UK
Leeds is the new location for TV and film appearances
 Piper, Rachel Leskovac)
A Passionate Woman is, initially, set in Leeds during the 1950s

Leeds has had a lot of starring film roles recently and is the on-screen home to the drama A passionate Woman, wooing audiences on BBC One.

Leeds backdrops have featured heavily on both our TV and cinema screens.

As well as A Passionate Woman recent Leeds productions include the second series of Five Days (BBC) and Married, Single, Other (ITV) on our TV sets.

Earlier hits, The Red Riding Trilogy (Channel 4) and The Damned United film, were also shot and set in the city.

The city is the star

So what makes Leeds a successful film location?

Firstly, there's the local angle. It is a flourishing artistic city and home to high-profile writers like Kay Mellor. There was nowhere else that could have fitted the bill better than Leeds for her latest venture.

Alun Armstong, Sue Johnston
A Passionate Woman is set in Leeds during the 1950s and 1980s (Alun Armstong, Sue Johnston)

A Passionate Woman began life as a play seen at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 1992. It stars Billie Piper as a young wife and mother who falls in love with her Polish neighbour in 1950's Britain and is based, in part, on the story of Kay Mellor's mother.

It also stars Sue Johnston as the same woman decades later in the 1980s.

Kay herself had no doubts, "I drew on Leeds specifically because I love it, because it was where I was born and bred. This is where this story started, the middle of it and the end of it. It's all of it.

"I think Yorkshire's beautiful, it's filmic, I can't think of anywhere else that I'd rather film something."

Locations seen on screen included Roundhay Park, Hyde Park Picture House and the surrounding area, and Blenheim Square.

A great package

Secondly in Leeds' favour is the expertise available in the city for film crews, with the historic presence of the YTV site providing studio facilities. Many of the interior scenes on A Passionate Woman were shot onsite in Studio 81 in Kirkstall Road.

And the last ingredient for success is the presence of Screen Yorkshire, based in Leeds, it provides funding and practical support, including location finding, for locally-based productions.

Add in a film-friendly Leeds City Council and it adds up to a great package of local expertise.

A cast picture of Married Single Other
The cast of Married Single Other, the drama heavily featured locations in Leeds

As Screen Yorkshire Marketing Officer Rachel Mcwatt explains:

"Leeds has got the diversity of the city centre yet the country landscapes are close, there's a broad range of locations. Compared to London, filming in Leeds is compact and cheaper.

"But there's another reason why companies use Leeds, and quite a few return to film further productions here, it's the support and the trained workforce we can provide."

Screen Yorkshire have seen a real peak in locally-filmed drama and the trend is set to continue.

Rachel adds "It's great, it's like a snowball effect. The more people see the benefits of Leeds the more you can see people coming to film."

Suranne Jones
Five Days shot the second series around Leeds, it starred Suranne Jones

Putting out the red carpet

Andy Morgan, location manager on Five Days (seen over five consecutive evenings recently on BBC1 and starring Suranne Jones) says: "We felt like the red carpet had been laid out for us wherever we filmed".

Spotting the Leeds locations while sat in the comfort of your lounge might well add extra enjoyment for local residents but there is also a concrete financial advantage.

The benefits of the investment in the city are wide-ranging, with employment of the film crew and facilities, combined with the extra spend on local hotels and other services.

And the final advantage is the tourist boost that follows recognisable locations on film and television, people love to search out the spot where filming actually took place.

With the region's locations, including Bramham Park been used for the new ITV version of Wuthering Heights, it is a massive draw for period drama tourists.

Get ready to jump aboard any future location-gazing bus tours around Leeds.

A Passionate Woman is available on BBC iPlayer


Your choice?

The above is far from a comprehensive list of Leeds' starring appearances.

You might also think of recent dramas like Monday Monday, Fat Friends, North Square, Frost or earlier Tina Goes Shopping (1990s), the Beiderbecke Affair (1980s), Queenie's Castle (1970s) on TV, and back as far as the Billy Liar film (1963) for glimpses of Leeds locations.

What are you favourite memories of Leeds on film or TV?
Which programmes have we missed?

email us at leeds@bbc.co.uk

I remember when YTV production filmed Harry's Game (ITV) in the early 80's in the Gledhows streets in Burley/Kirkstall these were back to back houses which were in the middle of demolition and Hallelujah (ITV), staring Thora Hird, was filmed in Burley as our friend's house was hired out for a couple of days by YTV (they lived in Wetherby Grove).
Danny

When we were young children, about 9-10 (mid 1970s) part of the programme Special Branch (ITV) was filmed on the street near where we lived in Woodhouse and we were asked as kids to run up and down the street - because I was so young and the programme was on at 9pm I was not allowed to stay up and watch it and have never seen that episode. Also the Beiderbecke Affair (ITV) was filmed in and around St. Mark's Church in Woodhouse.
Louise

At Home with the Braithwaites (ITV, 2000) was filmed in Leeds. The home of the family was on Weetwood Avenue and I did see other scenes being shot in the area.
Stefan

The last episode of A Touch of Frost also had scenes shot in Leeds, the shots of Frost on the roof were filmed on Whitehall Road.
Les

An American made-for-tv remake of Murder on the Orient Express was filmed almost entirely in Leeds in 2001 - locations used included Kirkstall Abbey, and the interiors were shot in a converted industrial unit in Horsforth. It starred Alfred Molina and featured one of the final performances by Leslie Caron.

Also the final series of Playing the Field (another Kay Mellor production, for the BBC) was filmed in Leeds - much of it in Guiseley, but also some exteriors in Beeston, Chapel Allerton, and Armley. That was 2001 too, and at least one series of Fat Friends was filmed in Leeds.
Ed Long

I too remember Harry's Game, although I thought it was filmed in the back to back houses off Woodhouse Street. I remember a scene shot on the narrow road down into Wharfedale from Adel near the quarry. More recently, Frost has been using a location on Gower Street for the Police Station (next to the British Gas offices) and in one of the last series, they filmed in Ireland Wood behind the shops on Iveson Approach. The same area, in particular Beevers Court flats was used during the filming of the recent Five Days series. The hospital scenes in that series were filmed in the old Cookridge Hospital.

Fat Girls included many shots of Woodies Pub at Far Headingley, St Chads Church opposite, Becketts Park and even Midgeley's Fish and Chip shop at the top of Butcher Hill in West Park. The only problem was I spent more time spotting parts of Leeds than listening to the plot.

Only this week I noted that Emmerdale was being filmed at Arthington Hall, which is used as Home Farm. Long may the use of Leeds landmarks continue as it makes watching the programmes even more interesting.
Heather

On the very last Frost ,amongst all the Leeds shots, I particularly noticed inside the Adelphi pub, near Leeds Bridge, standing in for what was supposed to be a London boozer.
Claire




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