Inspector George Gently: Returning home to Durham

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I think everyone is, and always will be, in love with Inspector George Gently and the 1960s. Martin Shaw's natural charisma breathes life into this character - he is warm, conscientious, engaging. Couple that with Peter Flannery's great skill as a writer and the magic that is Inspector George Gently ignites.

As you may know I was in one of the opening scenes of the first series with Martin and Lee Ingleby (Detective Sergeant John Bacchus). It was on the beach saying "Over there sir." A very proud moment.

Since that distant day way back in Dublin, where we shot the first two series, the three of us have become very close.

It was a pivotal moment for this new series with the new addition of my moustache. Of course, Lee and I are the jokers on set, so it was inevitable when my character Taylor grew a moustache, Lee would tease me. I think he was only jealous because he couldn't grow one and, well, I liked it and more importantly, so did my girlfriend.

Martin would also comment on Taylor's 'tache. I think it was hard for them to look at it without laughing in order to get the take right. So yes, as you may have guessed already, there will be bloopers ahead from this series.

I have to say, it was totally amazing being back in the north east of England after all these years, especially Durham, which is such a beautiful city. I grew up in a village next to Durham called Penshaw and being back home with the Gently cast was just magic.

We had filmed the first three series in Ireland, where I live now, and it was always strange to walk on to the set in Dublin and see maps, pictures and documents from my home town, especially 1960s ones.

I loved the time in Ireland and the crew were great but it seemed very natural to bring Gently back to the north east of England. The backdrop of the city, support and welcome we got from the local people really helped to relax us, and there was a great buzz on set.

This is a very special series - Gently has come home. The texture, tone and feel of the city is breathtaking in every scene, it really adds to the atmosphere of the show.

The guest stars this series are well-loved institutions, much like the show itself. Warren Clarke, who plays Charles Hoxton in episode two: Peace and Love is a consummate professional - like many of us, we have all been fans of his for many years. The beautiful Sarah Lancashire, who plays Mallory Brown in the same episode, was so warm and graceful. The two brought great 'Sixties spirit'.

The new scripts are amazing. I can't say too much, but in true BBC style they have captured the zeitgeist of the 1960s and Inspector George Gently has some tough crimes to solve. The best thing for me was watching Martin playing Gently with the backdrop of Durham Cathedral. I was proud to be a Geordie.

I hope you enjoy the show.

Simon Hubbard plays PC Taylor in Inspector George Gently.

Inspector George Gently is on Sunday, 26 September at 8.30pm on BBC One and BBC HD.

For all future programme times please visit the upcoming episodes page.

You can see extra behind-the-scenes pictures of the filming of Inspector George Gently on the BBC Wear website.

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  • Comment number 16. Posted by northeastfirstaid

    on 1 Dec 2010 20:29

    Really looking forward to the next series

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  • Comment number 15. Posted by Peter_Sym

    on 12 Oct 2010 10:03

    Regarding Gently's accent... it confused me too but I DON'T think he's a Geordie. He fought with a Southern English regt in the war (Shropshires spring to mind, but don't quote me on that) and transfered to the North East from the Met.

    A lot of the criticism of jumping from Durham to Wallsend is quite valid but Newcastle University barely existed in 1966 (it was part of Durham until '63) and the modern buildings being in the heart of the city would be impossible to film and maintain the illusion of the 60's.

    I irritate my wife trying to spot anachronisms and apart from a load of burglar alarms on house walls in the first episode of series 3 the makers do a great job. No double glazing or Sky dishes in sight!

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  • Comment number 14. Posted by Orchidie

    on 8 Oct 2010 21:23

    Really enjoying this series. The scripts give the tried and tested formula an extra sparkle and depth.

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  • Comment number 13. Posted by tri5ia

    on 7 Oct 2010 14:34

    @ Roy Lambeth

    I think the the building used for the Police Station is in what is now part of the prison. I used to walk across there when going back to Parson's Field. In one shot you can clearly see Old Elvet; in another the Court Inn (if it's still called that these days).

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  • Comment number 12. Posted by tri5ia

    on 7 Oct 2010 12:12

    As a child of the 60s I thoroughly enjoyed this drama the last time around. As a Durham graduate I am thrilled that it is now being shot in the North-East - so good to see all of my old stamping grounds.

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  • Comment number 11. Posted by peterstod

    on 5 Oct 2010 18:03

    The script is not very accurate concerning police procedures in the 1960s. Prisoners would not ask for a solicitor or be allowed to make a phone call home. It would not have been considered unless some kindly CID officer agreed to do it. Even a prisoner being interview for murder, as shown in recent episode, would not have had a solicitor present. This was introduced by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984.

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  • Comment number 10. Posted by RedJules4

    on 4 Oct 2010 22:32

    Tache or no tache, it would have been nice to see a lot more of PC Taylor in the latest two eps ;-)

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  • Comment number 9. Posted by PC368

    on 4 Oct 2010 20:14

    I am enjoying my first sight of this programme. However on a point of accuracy and to make it more realistic, it would be nice if the caution on being charged was corrected by removing the incorrect ''...used in evidence against you.'' These words have often been used in fiction but have not been used in real life for around a hundred years. The actual wording of the caution at the time of charging in the era of Gently was "Do you wish to say anything in answer to the charge? You are not obliged to say anything unless you wish to do so but anything you say will be taken down in writing and may be given in evidence."

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  • Comment number 8. Posted by Roy Lambeth

    on 3 Oct 2010 22:22

    Good to see my home town, Durham City used in a TV series. However artistic licence seems to have taken over. It was wonderful to walk out of a room in Durham Castle straight into the Durham Cathedral Cloisters - Shades of Harry Potter! And a bus service from the Palace Green outside the Castle direct to Liverpool is something else! The Police Station looked remarkably like the main entrance to my old school - Whinney Hill Secondary Modern School in Durham. One can only wonder where the police cells were done - probably in the studio. Super series whether filmed in Dublin or the North-East. Long may it continue.

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  • Comment number 7. Posted by geordianna

    on 3 Oct 2010 21:48

    As an exiled Geordie I spent much of the first series frustratedly trying to recognise northeast landmarks until I found it was shot in Ireland, so this time I looked forward to enjoying a bit of nostalgia. Sadly, the programs were spoilt by the odd choices of location. I mean since when was Swan Hunter's in Durham City. Weird.

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