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Reel Life is back to tell you about telly and film

So, 2023 has been and gone. It was a tumultuous year for the film industry, with screenwriters in the United States starting their strike on 2 May. The actors followed suit in July and were the last to resolve their dispute on 14 November.

Throughout that time, overall TV and film production in the UK slowed down considerably. Many productions stopped altogether due to their links with the US.

A few intrepid UK productions kept about their business during the summer, creating some intriguing and exciting new TV in and around Ealing. Did you see them?

It’s time for Reel Life, the blog from the West London Film Office (based at Ealing Council) to return…

A touch of Ireland, Orlando and Eddie

Man standing with camera on tripod near the entrance to Ealing Hospital
BBC wildlife cameraman and presenter Hamza Yassin at Ealing Hospital for filming of nesting peregrine falcons – Photo by Chris Howard courtesy of Silverback Films / BBC

Strangely, the West London Film Office experienced a bit of a run on locations to double as Belfast. Luckily, we had the inimitable Stephenson St in NW10 to cater for film crews trying to find such a thing. First to turn that location into the Northern Irish capital was Orlando Bloom and his new thriller The Cut, a psychological journey through a retired boxer’s comeback. They rolled into Ealing in June for a day or two.

Next up to recreate Belfast in NW10 was Eddie Redmayne’s crew for the new Sky reimagining of Day Of The Jackal. In contrast to the well-known film, this time the story is woven into a full series with Mr Redmayne playing the Jackal, a man who agrees to do a terrible thing for a lot of money.

Royal approval

2023 saw the finishing touches being put to The Crown’s last series, unless they decide to predict the monarchy’s future after this one. Series 6 brings us bang up to date and the plush, modern flats at Greenford Quay provided the right backdrop for a scene or two. Berkeley Fields helped out with their entourage of cars.

Flight of fancy

Back into the real world and something a bit special has been happening over at Ealing Hospital. For a little while now, some peregrine falcons have made the rooftops and ledges around the hospital their home. The BBC’s Hamza: Strictly Birds Of Prey, working with the Ealing Wildlife Group, came to film them for part of a 1-hour episode featuring birds from around the UK.

We were told the falcons had a habit of taking their prey over the road into Brent Meadow and feeding while perched on the Wharncliffe Viaduct, so that was one of the spots they wanted to film. You can catch the episode on iPlayer now.

Eat, drink and buy

As always, we like to round up with a few tips from our advertisers. Based on a selection of TV commercials shot in Ealing this year, the movers and shakers would like you to eat some chips, drink some coffee and upload footage of the experience to an app. Go!

Photo of Hamza at top of article by Ellie Jo Hilton, courtesy of Silverback Films / BBC

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