Soap to be shot at landmark

A LONG-running soap opera is heading north to film at a North Tyneside landmark.

Pobol y Cwm, People of the Valley in its native Welsh, is the BBC’s longest-running soap, and it will be filmed at St Mary’s Lighthouse next week.

Though little seen outside its homeland, the series, launched in 1974, has been a stepping stone to success for former cast members including Hollywood star Ioan Gruffudd.

The scenes being filmed revolve around the Monks, a family featured in the series for nearly a decade.

They will be seen revisiting their roots in the north east.

St Mary’s Lighthouse will feature as a place Brandon Monk, played by Nic McGaughey, used to visit to take time out as a child, and during his time back up here he will return there to reminisce about the past.

The episode featuring St Mary’s Lighthouse will be screened in March or April.

Viewers outside Wales can see Pobol y Cwm on Sky channel 134 and Freesat 120.

Since signing up to Northern Film & Media’s filming-friendly charter two years ago, North Tyneside has established itself as a popular location for film crews.

Shows filmed in the borough over the last year include ITV1’s Ant and Dec’s Push the Button, Robson Green’s Wild Swimming and Joe Maddison’s War, a drama also starring the Dudley-raised Wire in the Blood star.

Two dramas filmed here last year and due to go out soon are the ITV1 series Vera, based on stories by Whitley Bay crime writer Ann Cleeves and starring Brenda Blethyn, and the BBC’s United, a one-off show about football’s Busby Babes starring David Tennant, Dougray Scott and Jack O’Connell.